[photopress:sopranzetti_full.jpg,full,alignright]With China’s economy booming, more international companies are setting up shop in the Middle Kingdom. And more universities are offering MBAs, or masters in business administration programs to accommodate the increasing demand for executives.
As the country continues to make the transition from State-owned enterprises to private companies, MBA programs are part of an effort to make sure that investors and business people from across the globe are speaking the same language.
Rutgers has been offering graduate business courses in China since 1994 — the longest of any American university.
A monthly seminar in Beijing is part of Rutgers’ international executive MBA program. Those in attendance are a mix of foreign and Chinese students currently enrolled in the program.
Linda Lin, a Chinese student in the program who is in charge of product and commercial management at Siemens, an electric and electronic company with strong ties in China, said, ‘It’s a chance for me to learn. What we’re learning is very close to your life, both practical or business.’ Linda Lin had flown in for the seminar from the eastern province of Shandong.
The Rutgers executive MBA program has an average class size of fewer than 40 people. With its 14-month $37,000 price tag, it tends to attract people in their mid-30s who have some experience in business. Of the students who attend the program, 70% have worked in multinational corporations, and 40% are Chinese nationals.
The University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, which partners with the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, began to offer its Chinese MBA program in 2002 and introduced an executive MBA program in Shanghai two years ago.
Portland State University announced earlier this month that it’s in negotiations with Peking University to become the first American university to offer an executive MBA program online for Chinese students.
Ben Sopranzetti, professor of finance and economics at Rutgers University’s business school and seen in our illustration, gave a real life business example when speaking to a capacity crowd in Beijing’s China Life Building .
He said some firms fail to take cultural differences into account and don’t do adequate market research. He pointed to the example of two beer companies, Budweiser and Miller Brewing.
From its consumer research, Budweiser learned that most Chinese drink premium beer when they eat out. They further learned that because of cultural norms, Chinese are accustomed to drink from larger bottles and share beer during meals. As a result, Budweiser began to ship larger bottles to China.
‘Miller’s bottles were too small,’ Sopranzetti said, explaining why Miller failed to do as well in the market.
‘Firms really need to understand the consumer environment. They need to do their research.’
Source: China Daily