Category Archives: Travel

BOOK REVIEW: “The Southwest Airlines Way” by Jody Hoffer Gittell

coverThe low cost model has become so ubiquitous today that it’s quite easy to f0rget that, when Southwest airlines set up in 1971, its business model was quite revolutionary.  This was just two years after Concorde had come into existence, and talk of the time was of quick flights for important business people prepared to pay a high price.  The two oil shocks of the 1970s, and changes in consumer tastes had a huge impact on this and, no doubt had a great, positive impact on the business model set up by Southwest Airlines. 

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Filed under Airlines, Book Review, Business, Corporate culture, Economics, Management, Strategy, Travel, USA

How do students choose where to study? (Philip Warwick)

warwick international cover

Autumn is the time of year when many newspapers and journals produce their university league tables.   For example, September saw the publication of the Financial Times (FT) Business Education Supplement, and in the UK the Sunday Times Good University Guide, offering different takes on where to study.  These two are targeted at very different audiences.  The Sunday Times Guide is aimed at parents as much as students, recognising that parents have a significant stake in the decision making process that leads to undergraduate study choices, whilst the FT Supplement is written for mainly for business people intent on furthering their careers, by making a shrewd investment in a Masters level qualification.

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Filed under Business, Business Schools, Careers, China, Great Britain, Higher Education, India, International studies, Travel

Harvard Business School and a short history of the Case Study Method

Harvard Business School and the Case Study Method

“Love and marriage,” says old blue eyes himself, Mr. Frank Sinatra, “Go together like a horse and carriage.”   This idealised pairing might be said to be relevant for Harvard Business School and the Case Study Method.

HBS was created in 1908 and established its case study method in the 1920s. Today, this teaching method is as close to business school orthodoxy as you can possible get. There are approximately 14 000 business schools in the world and you would be hard pressed to find one that did not uses cases to teach business. But why did HBS start teaching this way and how many cases does it sell each year? 

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Filed under Advanced Management Program, Business Schools, Harvard AMP, Harvard Business School, Higher Education, International studies, Management, Strategy, Travel, USA

STUDY ABROAD : Peng Chen talks about coming to Grenoble from Beijing (Beida) University

china gre logo

Peng Chen talks about coming to Grenoble from Beijing

Peng Chen, of Peking University in China, had options to study abroad in the United States, Singapore, and all around Europe, but he chose Grenoble, France for its diverse cultural factors. Peng had always wanted to see Europe, experience the unique teaching style that came along with the continent, and live like a typical Frenchman. Needless to say, when he first arrived in France, Peng was pleasantly surprised with how accurate his expectations for France were.

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Filed under Business Schools, China, Europe, France, Higher Education, Study Abroad, Travel

A friend in change is a friend indeed

During the holiday I had a very pleasant surprise. Over the last 2 years I have looked at other blogs when writing my own to get ideas and inspiration. One of the best blogs I have seen in higher education is written by Martha Graham at James Madison University. We had both left several messages on each other’s blog (which included me stupidly calling Martha “Graham” for the first couple of months!) Even though we have never had the chance to meet we have had many exchanges over the past year or so.

Martha had written an excellent article on Bob Reid, former Dean at JMU and who is now Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer AACSB. Bob and I met up at the EFMD Annual Conference 2013 in Brussels and I send Martha the photo never expecting her to publish an article on it! I am very flattered indeed by what she has said.

An article in “The Economist” this week discusses research that shows the more time people spend on Facebook the less happy they are. Like Martha, I totally agree with this. However, technology today means that we can communicate with people without ever meeting up and I have been delighted to have many exchanges with Martha. As she says, we have become friends without ever seeing each other. 

There is another positive side. In her article, Martha refers to a friendly bet that we had concerning Greenland. Because of that, I did some quick research and was lucky enough to stumble upon a wonderful blog called The Fourth Continent. This is written by a lady who has emigrated to Greenland and gives some amazing insights into life there. I have become an avid reader of her blog which is quite a unique blog and well worth a read. So even a friendly challenge with someone you have never met can have a positive effect. 

The start of the coming academic year will be a little different for me this September, so I have asked a member of my team to begin writing another blog to take up some of the themes I have explored over the past two years. “Mainly International” will begin publishing in just over a week. When my colleagues and I started talking about the layout and the themes, I first asked them to look at the one Martha writes. My basic message was that I wanted the blog to be as good as “Be the Change.” That is just how highly I regard the blog. Not only does Martha write quite beautifully, the warmth and the attachment she feels towards students, staff and other members of the JMU community is quite evident. It makes it great reading. 

So, many thanks to Martha, not only for this post but also the the inspiration you have provided me in writing over the past year or so. I am sure that you provide the same inspiration to many other as well.

James Madison University's Be the Change

Go to any discussion board about social media or modern communication and you’re bound to find comments about the dismal state of interpersonal communication. Parents decry watching their children and friends sit side-by-side texting each other instead of talking face-to-face. And who among us has not doubted that one person can have 986 friends?

While the discussion is valid, it’s also worth noting that adaptation is a significant component of change. And what we are experiencing in the fast-changing realm of communication requires — demands, actually — an adaptation.

As a devotee of handwritten letters, I love getting real letters in my real 3-D mail box. Much history has been recorded by such letters. I’m reading a book by Dava Sorbel (Galileo’s Daughter) based on letters written to Galileo by his daughter. I’ve also written here about Dorie McCullough Lawson’s book (Posterity) a compilation of letters from…

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Filed under Business Schools, Consumer Behavior, Countries, Education, Intercultural, International studies, Study Abroad, Travel, USA

Danger on the Horse Highway: a slightly skeptical tourist remembers why the car replaced our equestrian friends.

Horse highway Kızıl Adalar, Turkey

It is a long forgotten fact that when cars were first introduced into cities in the late 19th Century they were welcomed as an environmentally friendly alternative to horses. With the help of two economists, a short trip around a ‘secluded’ island is a fun day out and a sanguine reminder of just why that might be. Continue reading

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Filed under Countries, Culture, Economics, Technology, Travel, Turkey, Vacation / Holidays

Didim. Did it. But I didn’t do my research.

Didim beach, Turkey

One of the things professors are constantly telling students is to make sure they read the entire exam paper before starting and never sign an employment contract before they have studied it several times. The same logic works for a holiday destination and this professor might think about taking his own well meant advice. 

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Filed under Behavior, Countries, Culture, Europe, France, International studies, Travel, Turkey, Vacation / Holidays