Purdue News

May 25, 2006

International business program receives $1.4 million federal grant

Greg Hundley
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's Center for International Business and Research, based at the Krannert School of Management, has received a four-year $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

"While the CIBER program has been doing good things at Purdue since 1993, this award is based on the proposal for innovative activities to improve and enhance American competitiveness internationally over the next four years," said Greg Hundley, center director and the grant's principal investigator. "Our charge is to produce 'nationally exemplary' programs in curriculum development, research and outreach that will make American businesses better global players."

Hundley, a Krannert professor of organizational behavior and human resources, said that the proposed program also has direct implications for regional business. Thus, for example, research and development of materials for location branding should not only help the tourism industry, but also manufacturers who might gain from the establishment of a regional identity, such as the Indiana wood products industry or specialty foods producers.

CIBER's efforts to raise the level of international business competitiveness operates at all levels of education, including graduate, undergraduate, executive, K-12 and in the community.

"As an example of our extensive commitment to graduate education, we will work with the CIBERs at several other major research universities to conduct special doctoral training programs in specific business disciplines, including operations management, organizational behavior, finance and marketing," he said. Consequently, when candidates graduate, they are well-equipped to conduct international business research and integrate international business principles and practices into their classes.

In Hundley's view, competing better internationally is not optional for business schools or, for that matter, universities and American businesses.

"Either you're globally competitive or you're not competitive at all," he said. "Just as businesses must compete globally, business schools must be international, or in 10 years they will not be able to compete domestically."

Over the next four years, Hundley said CIBER will support the development of new international programs for graduate and undergraduate students, as well as for professors and researchers.

Several CIBER programs focus on the emerging Asian giants, India and China.

"As a result of Purdue CIBER initiatives, we have large groups of both undergraduate and MBA students in China this summer," he said. "We will be bringing leading academicians and representatives to West Lafayette for two major national conferences on Chinese business languages and culture."

Hundley said another CIBER initiative will be in the area of corporate public diplomacy, a concept that is based on the idea that how U.S. companies and their managers do business in the world has a big influence on how the United States is perceived by other countries.

"You can view American companies doing good international business as part of the country's homeland security effort," Hundley said. "It is certainly a plus when an Eli Lilly and Co. donates life-saving drugs to a country in a time of disaster, but it is just as important for companies and their managers to understand the necessity of being good global citizens every day."

While the Purdue CIBER program is headquartered at, and receives financial support from, the Krannert School, its programs encompass faculty from other Purdue colleges, schools and departments, including the agriculture, engineering and consumer and family sciences colleges, as well as the foreign languages and literatures and communications departments in the College of Liberal Arts.

Purdue CIBER also works closely with CIBER programs at 30 universities, including the one at Indiana University that also recently received new four-year funding.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu

Source: Greg Hundley, (765) 494-4508, ghundley@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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