Management students hop on fast-track e-train
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Trying to board the e-business train while it's moving at Internet speed is daunting, but professors at Purdue University's Krannert Graduate School of Management have jumped on board first class.
Starting fall semester 2000, Krannert School master's degree students will be able to study e-business in 13 classes across the whole traditional business curriculum: marketing, finance, operations, organizational behavior, accounting, economics, management strategy and information systems. In addition, there are three interdisciplinary classes offered in conjunction with Purdue's electrical and mechanical engineering departments.
"In just four years, the Internet has changed the world," said Patrick Duparcq, an assistant professor of management and e-business expert who was a member of the committee that created Krannert's across-the-board approach to e-business. In addition to his Purdue teaching and research, Duparcq teaches e-business marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and at the Tias Business School at Tilburg University in The Netherlands. He also does e-business consulting with industry and serves on a number of Internet companies' boards of directors.
"There is now a significant enough body of research and e-business experience to address the essential strategic questions in a comprehensive fashion," Duparcq said.
The new e-business "option," which is essentially an academic minor, is not the Krannert School's first foray into the burgeoning e-business arena. Last semester, Alex Zelikovsky, former chief logistics officer for Amazon.com, team taught a class with Ananth V. Iyer, professor of management, on using e-business to manage both the acquisition and distribution sides of businesses.
Alok Chaturvedi, associate professor of management, interweaves management and technology in his course, Information Technology for E-business. Last spring, Thomas Brush, associate professor of management, taught Competition in E-business, a class that emphasized corporate strategy in the much more complex business environment the Internet has created.
Outside the classroom, the students have been enthusiastic proponents of injecting e-business into the curriculum. The popularity of the master's students' Krannert eBusiness Club testifies to the grass-roots interest in the brave, new, virtual business world. Formed in May 1999, the eBusiness Club grew like a dot-com IPO and by fall 1999 claimed the largest membership of all student groups in the Krannert Graduate Student Association.
Charles Johnson, director of Krannert's professional master's degree programs, says Krannert's e-business offerings "will mesh Krannert's traditional strengths with e-business applications." Those strengths, he says, have been recognized in Krannert's consistently high national rankings as a "techno-MBA" school, grounded in quantitative analysis and the application of information technology to management challenges.
Krannert's e-business option, according to Johnson, will concentrate on business-to-business rather than business-to-consumer e-business. This direction, he says, takes advantage of the strengths of Krannert master's degree students, 60 percent of whom have undergraduate science or engineering degrees, and experts' projections for B-to-B e-business to grow much faster than dot-com consumer companies in the next few years.
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Charles Johnson, (765) 494-4419, firstname.lastname@example.org
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