Starting The Case Writing Iniative
There are two reasons in my mind then there will be other reasons other people have. One is I remember our having a board meeting where we said that we need to improve our global profile. We had good faculty, good students but nobody knew about us. They thought about Singapore, they thought about Southern Methodist University in Dallas. So one was the global aspect. The other aspect was, in my personal belief, the balance between research, education and practice. The problem was that we had all kinds of research support available for tenured track faculty. We did nothing, absolutely nothing for research and education track faculty. So if in our mind, it was important to have a faculty member in the research track to be an editor or an area editor or at least on the editorial board, wouldn't it be good if we had practice track faculty who are on a corporate board. Were we providing tools for education track faculty to write cases and provide them support in those areas where we expected them to contribute? Were we sending them to an academic conference at AACSB or EFMD so they could learn the trick of the trade and how to manage academic programs? We weren't doing enough of that. So that were the motivator, those were the two motivators. It started out, really, with the case writing initiative because we have many colleagues from the west who would say, ìDo you have a case on China Airlines or China Mobile?î or ìDo you have a case on Tata Motors?î So they were asking us naturally, just as we asked our colleagues in Silicon Valley in Stanford to let us know about things peculiar to that part of the world. The idea became that if we could start sourcing cases on Asia, people were calling us anyway, that would help build our awareness, that is, SMU is doing this and SMU is doing that. It would also enhance our own faculty's knowledge about Asia because we were an Asian university. And that way we could contribute globally to knowledge if you will, articles, cases, etc. So the logic is that it would make us more visible to western universities and western corporations. What we found out is it also made us more visible to Eastern universities and Eastern corporations because you take a company like Unilever that has a strong presence in Singapore; they wanted cases for emerging markets. We did a program for them in Singapore. They liked it so much and we had, we were the ones who wrote the case so we had the regional insight and they then took that program into Four Acres London. So we started regionally with Unilever and now we've gone globally with Unilever. So it's turned out the benefit has been big for us in Asia as well because there's not that much content in our research article and case studies etc books that are sourced out of Asia. And so for every ten books and ten articles you can see coming out of the United States, there's not even one coming out of Asia. So we are happy to help in that effort.