Lessons from China

John Quelch

Professor Quelch has authored or co-authored more than 25 books on marketing and related topics. Professor Quelch was Dean, Vice President and Distinguished Professor of International Management at CEIBS, China's leading business school.

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John Quelch discusses his first year as dean of CEIBS with George Bickerstaffe and Matthew Wood.

In February 2012 John Quelch completed his first year as Dean of the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai, China. It was a busy 12 months. Dean Quelch, one of the world’s leading marketing gurus, a long-term senior member of the Harvard Business School faculty and former dean of London Business School, is presiding over a period of aggressive growth at CEIBS.

This will include doubling the size of the Shanghai campus, co-developing new facilities in Accra, Ghana, for the CEIBS Africa Programme and increasing capacity use in Beijing, where a new campus opened in 2010 and Shenzhen.

Other initiatives to raise the profile of CEIBS internationally have included the launch of a new Finance MBA programme, a co-ordinated PhD with IESE business school in Spain (to begin this year) and the opening of two new research centres – the Centre on China Innovation and the Centre for Entrepreneurship & Investment.

As the following interview makes clear, strengthening and deepening the full-time faculty has been a key goal. CEIBS has hired some top names including Professor George Yip, former Dean of Rotterdam School of Management and one-time colleague of Dean Quelch at LBS, and Professor Bruce McKern, former Stanford Sloan Master’s Program Director at Stanford Business School.

Some of the recruitment tactics have the hallmark touch of Quelch’s approach to marketing.

They include an advertisement last year in The Economist with the tag line “New dean needs 30 expert faculty now!”

In fact, says Quelch, total net recruitment this year will probably be closer to 10. “But we never said 30 in one year,” he says. “And the main aim was to create a buzz. Building awareness is very important – we’re not that well known.”

That is one reason why CEIBS, a major sponsor of last year’s Academy of Management meeting, a prestigious bun fight for business school folk, put its slogan, “China Depth, Global Breadth” on every room key card for the 8,000-plus delegates.

It also had executive search firm Saxton Bampfylde call 150 European faculty to uncover individuals who might be interested in joining CEIBS.

Expect more of the same or similar in the year ahead.

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