01 Feb 2017
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New Regional Offices Broaden HBS’s Intellectual Reach

Re: Sid Yog (MBA 2004); Luis Viceira; Geoffrey Jones

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Geoffrey Jones
(photo by Susan Young)

Professor Geoffrey Jones
(photo by Susan Young)

Two decades ago, HBS launched the Global Initiative to strengthen the School's engagement with businesses and business leaders around the world and to deepen the faculty's understanding of global management practices. Since then, the Initiative has established nine research centers and five offices that facilitate case writing and research; build connections with alumni and other leaders of industry, government, and academia; and create opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in emerging markets. The newest regional offices, which opened this past year in Dubai, Singapore, and Tel Aviv, provide a means for understanding the unique economic and cultural factors shaping business in those locations.

“We are broadening our intellectual footprint to enable the School, particularly faculty members, to understand management issues in these growing economies,” says Victoria Winston, executive director of the Global Initiative. She oversees the centers, offices, and the staff of more than 60 with Luis Viceira, the George E. Bates Professor and Senior Associate Dean for International Development.

These regional offices—including the one previously established in Mexico City—are staffed by a local researcher and are aligned with one of HBS’s global research centers, which range in size from 3 to 12 people. Many of the offices and centers house staff from Executive Education and Harvard Business Publishing.

Scholarship advanced by the new regional offices is wide-ranging:

  • Dubai: “Emaar: The Center of Tomorrow, Today,” a case written by Sid Yog (MBA 2004), senior lecturer at HBS, focusing on a listed real estate developer in the United Arab Emirates
  • Singapore: “Olivia Lum: Wanting to Save the World,” a case by Geoffrey Jones, the Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, featuring Olivia Lum, founder and CEO of Singapore-based Hyflux Group, one of the world’s leading desalination companies
  • Tel Aviv: Various research projects, including an in-depth study of the factors underlying Israel’s strength in technology and innovation

More than half the cases published in FY16 were international in scope or focus. To facilitate growing interest and activity in Africa, the Global Initiative established an office in Johannesburg, South Africa, in January 2017.

“Our hope is to leverage our international activities and outreach as we continue to deepen our understanding of global issues in business,” says Viceira.

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