sealPurdue News

November 9, 2001

Krannert offers 'mini MBAs' to Lafayette companies

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's recently announced strategy of community engagement is already paying local dividends, as managers from Caterpillar and Lilly are spending their Tuesday and Thursday afternoons on campus getting the big picture of global business.

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Management at the local Caterpillar engine plant initiated the program with Purdue's Krannert Executive Education Programs. In turn, Cat, along with the local laboratories of Eli Lilly and Co., provided initial support for the inaugural series of business and management classes.

Michael Sheahan, associate director of the Krannert Executive Education Programs, described the Executive Management Certificate (EMC) Program as a "mini MBA."

"Series 1 of EMC will serve as a prototype designed for management education that the Krannert School is offering to firms and organizations throughout the Greater Lafayette area," Sheahan said.

Richard A. Cosier, Krannert School dean and Leeds Professor of Management, said, "The Krannert School offers world-class executive programs all over the world.

"We are pleased to be able to share our professors' expertise to contribute to the local and state economy through engagement programs such as this that speak to the needs of Lafayette companies and their management teams."

The first EMC series consists of five 18-hour "modules" of in-class instruction. The modules focus on the executive management competencies Cat identified through needs analysis as critical to its executive management development:

– Micro and macroeconomics,
– Managerial accounting and financial management,
– Human resource management,
– Marketing management and
– Global strategic management.

Judy M. Potts, Caterpillar's workplace development manager of human resources at the company's large engine center in Lafayette, was involved in setting up the EMC program with the Krannert School. She's also a student in the program.

"At Caterpillar, lifelong education is part of the fabric of the company," she said. "For the EMC program, we looked for high-potential candidates from different disciplines and departments and from a variety of educational backgrounds on the management team. Our goal is a more well-rounded management team."

There have been other benefits, too, she said. "There's also been team building because there is no company hierarchy in the classroom. It's a level playing field."

David Schoorman, a Krannert professor of management who taught the human resource module, said, "The difficult economy reminds us that human resources are a company's biggest competitive advantage and often a company's least developed resource. My message is that managing human resources is not just the H.R. department's responsibility. It's everyone's responsibility.

"Good managers are those who learn to interact effectively with their employees, develop them and provide them feedback. High technology won't save a company or a manager in a competitive situation. But if you put more time, energy and effort into developing your people, no one can imitate you."

Schoorman says that his approach to teaching is interactive. In fact, he modified his approach to teaching in the EMC program following his initial sessions with the Caterpillar and Lilly managers.

"With a group like these managers, there's a lot of valuable knowledge sitting in the classroom. People from different companies, even different parts of the same company, learn from each other," he said. "So I added more interactive exercises for this group, giving them opportunities to gain further insights from their interactions with each other."

Sheahan said, "In Series 2 of the EMC program, we'll expand managerial cross-fertilization to include the experience and knowledge of managers from other companies in the Greater Lafayette area. We're currently seeking additional local firms interested in sending participants to EMC.

"Bringing a wider range of managerial experience from a variety of industries will make Series 2 an even richer educational experience for the participants."

Series 2 of the EMC classes begins in May. Registrations are being accepted now. Cost is $1,000 per module or $5,000 for all five modules. For information, contact Sheahan at (765) 494-7700,

Writer: J. Michael Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Sources: Michael Sheahan, (765) 494-7700,

Richard A. Cosier, (765) 494-4366,

Judy M. Potts, (765) 448-5813,

David Schoorman, (765) 494-4391,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Judy Potts, manager of human resources at Caterpillar's large engine center in Lafayette, also is a student in the Krannert School Executive Education Program, which offers "mini MBAs" to Lafayette companies. With her is David Schoorman, a Krannert School professor who teaches human resources management in the Executive Management Certificate Program. (Purdue News Service Photo by David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at the News Service ftp site. Photo ID: sheahan.emc.jpeg

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