International business program wins $1.6 million grant

May 19, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's Center for International Business and Research, based at the Krannert School of Management, has received a four-year, $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

 "Our mission is to enhance American competitiveness in a more complex and rapidly expanding global economy," said center director Greg Hundley, the lead researcher on the grant.

Greg Hundley

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"The global business landscape has expanded beyond North America, Europe, Japan and the BRICs -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- to include many countries from East Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East," he said. "U.S. businesses find many of these new countries more distant, not only geographically but because they have less familiar cultures and institutions and are at different stages of economic development.

"But while challenging, these countries offer great opportunities to managers and entrepreneurs who learn how to deal with them."

CIBER will help businesses not only develop these countries as customers but also as business partners, said Hundley, a professor of management in the Krannert School.

CIBER initiatives include research and course development in applying digital technologies and social networking to global operations and new market development. Regional branding strategies to make it easier to market U.S. regions and cities as destinations for inbound tourism and foreign investment will be studied.

Initiatives are planned to ensure that doctoral students learn from leading faculty around the globe to get an early start developing their own research programs and networks. Included will be doctoral workshops and seminars in international operations management and in building sustainable organizations.

MBA students and expatriate managers will participate in Chinese immersion classes in Shanghai, and online course sharing among Big Ten universities will expand access to critical languages, including business Korean and business Arabic. Students from Purdue and partner schools will work together on consulting projects for major companies operating in overseas locations.  And courses on newly developing economies will integrate classroom and online instruction.

 "The bottom line for managers and global decision-makers is that they have to learn how to continue to learn.  From the standpoint of international competitiveness, the whole world is relevant, and globalization is always a work in progress," Hundley said.

Purdue CIBER plans to continue several major activities initiated under previous grants, including cross-cultural cross-functional teamwork, study abroad experiences, and publication of the journal Global Business Languages.

While the Purdue CIBER program is headquartered at, and receives financial support from, the Krannert School, its programs draw faculty from the colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, Liberal Arts, and Consumer and Family Sciences (to become part of the new College of Health and Human Sciences on July 1).

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432,  

Source: Greg Hundley, 765-494-4508,