01 Sep 2014

HBS Faculty Explore Ideas Around the World


Building an Evidence Base for Emerging Markets

It’s one thing to research the history of companies in Europe, the United States, or Japan, where libraries, archives, and public records are abundant. But what about emerging markets, where such resources are either inaccessible or nonexistent?

Professor Geoffrey Jones, a passionate advocate of the power of history to inform the next generation of business leaders, has answered this challenge with the Creating Emerging Markets project. Jones, the Isidor Straus Professor of Business History and faculty chair of the Business History Initiative, conceived the ambitious online oral history archive together with Chilean shipping entrepreneur Sven von Appen (AMP 76, 1977). The project is building an evidence base for emerging markets by documenting the personal experience of top business leaders.

To date, nearly 70 systematic, in-depth interviews have been completed that provide a unique perspective on the last 40 years of business in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The majority of these are now available on the Creating Emerging Markets website as videos or transcripts, together with links to further resources.

“The website is a public good provided by HBS,” says Jones, “and its success will be measured by the extent to which diverse researchers make use of it.” He credits the project with showing how successful businesses emerged from volatile political economies and revealing the broad view of social and ethical responsibility shared by so many business leaders in countries with great income disparities.

Learn more at www.hbs.edu/businesshistory/emerging-markets

Global Case Writing Shaped by Faculty Interests

Assistant Professor Doug Chung’s interest in the airline industry has led him to research how a Japanese airline facing a declining domestic market can expand internationally. It potentially will become a “home run” case, as Chung calls it—one that focuses on a compelling topic in an important industry that is global in nature.

Chung’s case is an example of the inherently international nature of research at HBS, which recognizes that the School is preparing students to be global leaders. The idea for the case arose during his participation in a March faculty immersion to Tokyo, “Japan on the Move.” Chung met with representatives from All Nippon Airways (ANA), which led to research he conducted for the case. He learned that although ANA is one of the world’s most profi table airlines, a majority of its revenues come from the domestic market, which is shrinking due to Japan’s declining population and competition from the country’s high speed trains. “ANA needs to expand internationally,” explains Chung, has this brand recognition issue.”

Chung was one of 18 faculty members who participated in “Japan on the Move” to gain a deeper understanding of Japan’s business environment, especially in light of reconstruction after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. HBS’s Japan Research Center hosted an all day conference, followed the next day by the Japan Research Symposium, at which 13 faculty members, including Chung, presented to more than 100 executives, management scholars, and HBS alumni.


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