How Insead redrew the MBA map


On September 12 1959, 57 men walked into the Château de Fontainebleau, the former country house of French kings, to begin a programme that would change fundamentally the way business schools operate. They were the first cohort of the Insead MBA. 1959年9月12日,57名男子走进枫丹白露宫(Château de Fontainebleau)——这里曾是法国国王的乡间府邸——开始了一项将从根本上改变商学院运作方式的课程。他们就是欧洲工商管理学院(Insead) MBA课程的首批学员。
Although Insead was not the first European business school – ESCP Europe in Paris, founded in 1819, holds that accolade – Insead’s establishment 50 years ago this week revolutionised management education. 尽管Insead并非欧洲第一家商学院——此项荣誉属于成立于1819年的巴黎高等商业学院欧洲(ESCP Europe)——但成立于50年前这个时候的Insead,却彻底变革了管理学教育。
In particular, Insead created and legitimised the one-year MBA programme, introduced the concept of global management and proved that a private, independent business school could operate outside the university system in Europe. 尤其值得一提的是,Insead创立了一年制MBA课程,并确立了这种课程的地位;引入了全球管理的理念,并用事实证明,独立的私立商学院可以在欧洲大学体系之外运作。
With decades of hindsight, the creation of an MBA programme that was less than a year in duration – half the length and cost of the traditional US degree – looks inspired. But, says Claude Janssen, one of the founders of the school, the decision was determined as much by necessity as by design. “We thought a one-year MBA programme would be more appealing . . . But we also didn’t have many faculty,” he concedes. 从几十年后来看,为期不到一年、课时和成本均为传统美国学位一半的MBA课程,似乎是一项颇具灵感的创新。但该校创始人之一克劳德•詹森(Claude Janssen)表示,当时作出这个决定,既是出于必要,也有刻意为之的因素。他坦言,“我们觉得一年制MBA课程会更吸引人……但我们也确实没有太多教师。”
Perhaps even more innovative was that the five founders of the school, all fresh-faced Frenchmen and recent graduates from Harvard Business School, decided that from the outset the school had to be international. Planning their venture little more than a decade after the end of the second world war and at the birth of the European Union – the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957 – they saw the school as part of the healing process for Europe. 还有一点或许更富创意,该校的五名创始人——都是法国年轻人,当时刚从哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)毕业不久——从一开始就决定,必须办一所国际化的学校。他们筹划办学之际,距离第二次世界大战结束仅10年多一点的时间,欧盟(European Union)也才刚刚诞生——《罗马条约》(Treaty of Rome) 是1957年签署的——因此他们把Insead视为欧洲复原进程的一部分。
“We thought we could contribute,” says Mr Janssen. “We decided that no more than one third of the students, board or faculty could be of one nationality.” In the event, 17 nationalities were represented in that first class and the first professor appointed was German. “我们认为自己可以做些贡献,”詹森表示。“我们决定,在学生、董事会成员或教师中,同一国籍的人数不能超过三分之一。”其结果是,该校首届学员来自于17个国家,而任命的首位教授是德国人。
Today, most top business schools, particularly in the US, still cannot match the cultural diversity that Insead established at the outset. According to Daniel Muzyka, dean of the Sauder school at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and former MBA director at Insead, the school created a “learning alchemy. . . It always got its graduates to understand the power of diversity.” 时至今日,大多数顶级商学院(尤其是美国商学院)仍无法与Insead创立之初所形成的文化多元性比肩。加拿大不列颠哥伦比亚大学尚德商学院(Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia)院长丹尼尔•穆扎克(Daniel Muzyka)曾在Insead担任MBA课程主管。他表示,该校发明了一种“学习上的炼金术……它总是能让毕业生理解多元化的力量。”
And, says Prof Muzyka, an American: “Insead gave a platform and a voice to something other than the US-centric view of the world.” 此外,穆扎克教授表示:“Insead为那些不同于以美国为中心世界观的观点提供了一个平台和发言机会。”他本人是美国人。
Although the Paris Chamber of Commerce gave the fledgling business school seed funding, Insead had to pay its own way through accrued fees. “We made a programme that was expensive in Europe where education is free, but we were never worried about students coming. We always had more applicants than we could take care of,” says Mr Janssen. 虽然在起步阶段,Insead得到了来自巴黎工商会(Paris Chamber of Commerce)的种子资金,但该校仍须以学费收入支付自身开支。詹森表示:“我们在提供免费教育的欧洲开设了一项昂贵的课程,但我们从来都不担心生源。报名人数总是超过我们的招生能力。”
It was this independence from the university system that made Insead successful, he says. “It made us entrepreneurial and closer to business.” 他表示,Insead之所以成功,是因为它独立于大学体系之外。“它使我们像一家企业,缩短了与企业之间的距离。”
Frank Brown, the current dean, agrees. “Would Insead have had the freedom to do what it has done if it were part of a university?” he asks. “I doubt it.” Insead现任院长弗兰克•布朗(Frank Brown)赞同上述观点。“如果Insead隶属于一所大学,它是否能够自由地去做它所做过的那些事情呢?”他问道。“对此我表示怀疑。”
Being a stand-alone business school is not always positive, says Arnoud de Meyer, who taught at Insead for 23 years and is dean of the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge in the UK. He says working in a university allows interaction between the business school and diverse departments. 曾在Insead执教23年的剑桥大学(Cambridge)佳奇管理学院(Judge Business School)院长阿尔努•德•梅耶尔(Arnoud de Meyer)表示,商学院的独立性并不总是件好事。他表示,在大学内部运作,可以让商学院与各系互动起来。
“It [being independent] is a real disadvantage in this respect. Insead has tried to overcome this through close contact with business and alumni. And the alumni are very willing – Insead has fantastic alumni.” “就此而言,(独立性)是一种真正的劣势。Insead试图通过与商界和校友加强联系,来克服这一劣势。校友们非常积极——Insead拥有相当出色的校友。”
But Prof de Meyer agrees that this independence gave Insead its strength. The school is run like a business and is prepared to take risks and cut its losses if things do not work out, he says. “There is a desire to experiment and a willingness to try out new things . . . If you had an idea you could always do it. Nobody ever said, ‘an academic institution doesn’t do that’.” 但德•梅耶尔教授也承认,Insead的实力正是来自于这种独立性。他表示,该校的运作类似于一家企业,它愿意冒险,也做好了如果出问题就收手止损的准备。“校内有一种渴望实验、愿意尝试新事物的氛围……如果你有一个想法,你总是可以去实践。没有人会说,‘这不是一家学术性机构该做的事情。’”
Tom Robertson, dean of the Wharton school at the University of Pennsylvania, with which Insead has a research and exchange alliance, says Insead’s independence meant it had to be entrepreneurial and innovative and as a result attracted entrepreneurial faculty. And the creation of a second campus in Singapore a decade ago was “very, very brave”. 与Insead在研究与交换方面建立了合作关系的宾西法尼亚大学沃顿商学院(Wharton school at the University of Pennsylvania)院长汤姆•罗伯逊(Tom Robertson)表示,Insead的独立性意味着它必须具备企业家精神和创造性,它也因此吸引到了具有企业家精神的教师。此外,10年前在新加坡创建分校之举,“非常、非常勇敢”。
Insead does not intend to stop there. It runs programmes in Abu Dhabi, which is likely to become a third full campus. And Mr Brown says Insead has been at the forefront of developments in the virtual world Second Life. Insead并不打算止步于此。该校在阿布扎比设有课程,还可能在那里建立第二所分校。布朗表示,在虚拟世界《第二人生》(Second Life)的开发过程中,Insead一直走在最前列。
These days, Insead MBA students can study anything – complex financial instruments, consumer marketing, or entrepreneurship. In 1959, things were more limited. Insead introduced a course on Europe, The Institutional, Economic and Social Aspects of European Affairs. It also included a business simulation game, sponsored by IBM, the computer maker. But the process was slightly different back then. With no computer on the site, computer punch cards had to be sent overnight to Paris for processing. 如今,Insead的MBA学员可以学到任何东西——无论是复杂的金融工具、消费者营销还是企业家精神。而在1959年,课程范围还较为有限。该校曾经推出一门关于欧洲的课程:《制度、经济和社会层面的欧洲事务》,还曾把一项由电脑制造商IBM赞助的商业模拟游戏纳入课程。但当时的做法略有不同。在现场没有电脑的情况下,学校不得不把电脑打孔卡连夜运至巴黎,进行数据处理。

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