As the 21st century advances, the world has witnessed an acceleration in the cross-border exchange of ideas, goods, technology, and capital. Some leaders have been encouraged by evidence of expanding economic growth, higher standards of living, and greater consumer choice that have resulted from increasingly complex value chains and greater access to investment resources. Others express apprehension in light of environmental degradation, offshored jobs, and weakened local control that have also accompanied these expanded cross-border exchanges. This increased connectivity means that businesses—whether multinational or domestic—must both do things differently and do different things as previously distinct national markets further integrate.
Our Global & Cross-Cultural Perspective Pillar
“A key element of the University of Redlands School of Business & Society is a focus on the global environment, its effect on business practices and performance, and the consequences for our students as they enter the workplace and interact with the marketplace,” says Gerald Groshek, professor of international economics and business at the School of Business & Society.
To effectively prepare our students to be change-makers, we ensure that multiple courses help them develop a conceptual toolkit to respond effectively to the increased complexity of decision-making when businesses cross borders. For example:
- Business decisions are affected by domestic and foreign market conditions and government policies, as well as the actions of international organizations. In turn, the latter are challenged by the expanding influence of multinational businesses. Our students are challenged to evaluate the forms of political, social, and economic risk across nations and develop strategies and organizational approaches to respond more effectively in a changing global environment.
- Effective business decision-making increasingly relies on the linkage between national and international capital markets and an ability to manage the consequences of global financial markets. Global emphasis coursework enables students to extend the fundamental concepts of financial theory to international banking, foreign currency, and investment activities, as well as to international bond, equity, and derivatives markets.
- Students also focus on globalization at the micro or firm level by exploring why and how business processes and procedures are globalized in a multinational enterprise. A practical emphasis is placed on the issues presented by the distance between cross-border productive activities and the connections across the major functional areas of business. By understanding these concepts, students gain proficiency in directing an enterprise’s resources, competencies, and management processes across functions on a global scale to achieve competitive success.
- Enterprises of all sizes are motivated, if not compelled, to compete in the global marketplace. Because businesses need to develop information and intelligence capabilities that incorporate cultural, linguistic, and social distinctions, our students learn how to design and implement marketing strategies under diverse distribution, promotion, and pricing conditions.
Redlands University and the School of Business & Society also have a far-reaching impact on students outside of the Redlands campus. Since 2015, Redlands and the Kyiv National Economic University have offered joint MBA and Master of International Management degree programs for Ukrainian students. It’s the first joint-degree program with a foreign university in the School of Business & Society, and it’s the only one in Ukraine.
During the program, Ukrainian students complete two-thirds of the program in Kyiv and one-third at Redlands. The relationship between the two universities has also enabled Ukrainian business professors to teach courses at the University of Redlands and Redlands professors to teach in Kyiv. While the pandemic and then the political instability in the region interrupted the program, that partnership remains intact and dedicated to advancing intellectual openness and global engagement.
Beyond the curriculum, multiple study abroad opportunities are a key feature of our programs. Our focus goes further by including exposure to different cultural approaches to business in those business environments.
“We run about four international short-term study abroad experiences annually, and they change each year,” explains Michael Mac Queen, director of International Programs at the Redlands School of Business & Society. “Each experience has a specific theme, like innovation and tradition or sustainability. We visit old-world companies and innovative new enterprises all over the world to learn how their businesses are set up, how they market, how they manage their brands, and how they do their manufacturing. It’s a total immersive and cultural experience.”
The Redlands School of Business & Society global capstone program also helps students hone their business skills and cultural intelligence. Students can go abroad and act as an independent consultant to an international business for one week to develop a solution to a challenge the company has or refine a plan to take advantage of a specific business opportunity. They can also do a domestic consultancy with a company with international or multicultural interests.
Preparing Business Leaders for Global Success
Cultural differences and increasing diversity within all enterprises add complexity to doing business and enhancing brand management and profitability. Academics must include experiential opportunities and blended learning to appropriately prepare students for their leadership roles in an interdependent and intercultural business landscape.
“Work is changing, and where we do our work is changing,” says Allison Fraiberg, professor of communication and cultural studies at the University of Redlands School of Business & Society. “Work is a global endeavor now, and we have an opportunity to prepare our students to lead in this global business environment. We focus on making them ready and excited to make those moves by helping instill the confidence they will need to be agile and thrive in those settings.”
Learn more about the Redlands School of Business & Society and how we develop business leaders with global perspectives and cultural intelligence who are prepared to make a positive, real-world impact on business and society.