International Business in Context

International Business in Context: a small course of one evening, straight to the point and with three frameworks. Prof. Dr. Leo Sleuwaegen indeed presented the CAGE framework, Porter’s diamond and the ADDING logic (among other things). But the most interesting observation from this evening (imho) was not really there but in the striking difference between students from the Modular and Part Time MBA programmes.

All Modular MBA students were sitting in the center and on the right. All PT MBA students were sitting on the left (not everybody was there: the Corporate Financial Management exam of this Friday is maybe responsible for this). Only a few questions and interventions came from us. The Modular MBA were more outspoken, more direct, acting more like a group, wore more suits and positively interrupted the class several times. They were also more international (coming from Germany, Russia, Georgia, Columbia, India, Portugal, …). And since the Modular MBA lasts for 18 months (instead of 24),  they received more courses than we currently received. It was a fresh breeze :-) YMMV.

Back to International Business in Context, here is a short glimpse at the course:

What is crowdsourcing?

Yesterday Prof. Venkat Subramanian (Strategic Management) spoke about crowdsourcing as part of the value proposition of a business model. The only example that came was some activities at Johnson & Johnson. But in fact we were all like Mr. Jourdain, crowdsourcing all our lives without knowing it (or at least not without labeling it as “crowdsourcing”). Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, LinkedIn, … these are all tools that most of us use and that create their value by tapping in the participation of crowds.

Crowdsourcing was first coined by Jeff Howe (@Crowdsourcing) in a Wired article, in 2006: “The Rise of Crowdsourcing“. Already at that time, examples were abundant: iStockphoto, Web Junk 20, Eli Lilly InnoCentive, Amazon Mechanical Turk, etc. But let’s wait no more, Jeff Howe himself will define crowdsourcing:

For those who prefer to read, here is the definition (there is even a book):

Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.

Jeff Howe emphasis two crucial terms: open call and undefined. Wikipedia takes a broader view and defines crowdsourcing as: a distributed problem-solving and a production process.

And examples now are abundant and in various fields: creating a bike map of Moscow, funding a music group,  design of furniture, crowdsourcing the writing of a Ph.D. thesis on crowdsourcing :-), solving algorithmic problems, or even producing a movie (Life in a Day, watch below)!

Now the real question is: does it really create additional value? Or is it just a way to produce at a cheap price? Or is it just a bubble? Some think crowdsourcing has plenty of myths, others link it to co-creation as the real value creator, others just include it in the broader framework of Open Innovation, … What are you thinking of crowdsourcing?

Venkat Subramanian’s final link

Don’t want to type in the last link Prof. Venkat Subramanian gave us? Here it is.


iJulesToday we had one of these hot debates, this time about the smartphone wars (for the Strategic Management course). It became lighter thanks to Jules, one of the Apple fans in the class. Thanks, iJules! ;-)

First Indian Evening at Vlerick on June 5th, 2012

After some days and nights of hard work :-), we are proud to announce the first Indian Evening at Vlerick Ghent, on June 5th, 2012!

Textile Industry, Raipur, Chhattisgarh

The idea of this evening is to give Vlerick students (and any other people interested) insights on India, its businesses and the opportunities future businessmen will find in India. An interesting perspective would be to hear opinions of  business leaders on these topics as well as their stories on doing business with / in Belgium and, more broadly, Europe.

The confirmed speakers currently are:

More info will follow soon. But be sure to save the date! June 5th, 2012, at around 18.00!

India Inc: How India's Top Ten Entrepreneurs are Winning Globally - book cover

Photo credits (edited on March 12, 2012): Textile Industry, Raipur, Chhattisgarh (all rights reserved) by Ice Cubes and India Inc: How India’s Top Ten Entrepreneurs are Winning Globally – book cover (all rights reserved) by Vikas Pota on Flickr (the book).
Ok, for those interested, the Bollywood actors previously displayed here and in the presentation are Aishwarya Rai (picture) and Hrithik Roshan (picture) :-)

You are the apple of my eyes

Will there ever be a MBA class without Steve Jobs and Apple? Management, innovation, change, organizational behaviour, corporate finance, CSR, entrepreneurship, marketing, … All these courses take Apple or Steve Jobs as examples of everything that could be great and successful. Is it really the case or is it the beginning of a new religion?

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