The following is a translation of an interview Nikkei’s Tsukasa Morikuni conducted with Xiang Bing, Founding Dean and Professor of China Business and Globalization at CKGSB.
CKGSB is a business school established in 2002 and headquartered in Beijing. The school offers MBA, Executive MBA and a variety of other executive programs and courses. Top executives who studied at the school include Mr. Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, Mr. Liang Xinjun, CEO of Fosun Group, and Li Dongsheng, Chairman and CEO of TCL. We asked Dean Xiang how CKGSB differentiates itself from business schools elsewhere.
What sets CKGSB apart from other business schools around the world?
Dean Xiang: We offer unbeatable knowledge and experience on economics and business development in China. Students learn to compete in one of the fastest growing markets in the world. We have more than 40 full-time, world-class professors, most of whom received tenure at top universities in the US and Europe such as Stanford, Colombia and Michigan.
What is your unique business philosophy?
Western business schools focus mainly on business and have more narrow viewpoints. We look at the social responsibility aspect of business, including social and environmental change. We introduce subjects such as the humanities, namely history, religion and philosophy and we attach greater importance to the humanities than we do to business. We teach concepts such as the winner should not take all and the importance of contributing to society. Our approach follows both Eastern and Western philosophies.
What kind of businesses do we need more of in the Chinese market?
There is a tremendous gap between the rich and the poor in China, and the social welfare system is far behind that in Europe and Japan. There are still places in China where families cannot afford to send their children to school. We need more businesses to help solve social problems such as this. We need to think about why and how we do business and what we should do with the profit created by our businesses.
It is important that we have a long-term vision when doing business in China. Many business schools have a short-term view and as a consequence, we are now faced with serious environmental problems such as climate change caused by heavy industry. Our world is becoming unsustainable. This is a critical problem from a humanitarian perspective and it is crucial for enterprises to govern their businesses with this in mind.
Does CKGSB have a lot of well–known alumni?
Yes, companies whose chairmen and CEOs are graduates of CKGSB generate more than one trillion dollars in annual revenue. It is fantastic to have such influential alumni in China.
What sets CKGSB apart from other Chinese business schools?
We are the only graduate school in China to be completely faculty governed. As a dean, I don’t have sole authority to employ or promote professors. Faculty decisions like this are decided by a secret ballot and need a two-thirds majority to pass. This is a common practice in Western universities like Harvard. If it was solely based on a dean’s decision, he/she may not be able to attract the best professors.
We are also unique in that we put a lot of emphasis on research. Other Chinese schools concentrate on education and only briefly introduce Western business practices. Our professors generate new knowledge and insights through research, which is regularly published by international academic journals.
How do you plan to develop your education program worldwide?
We started a Dual EMBA program with IMD, a business school in Switzerland. We have also partnered up with a school in Korea and we have plans to join up with universities in Japan as well.
Dr. Xiang Bing received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Canada. He was appointed as the Founding Dean of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in 2002. Prior to CKGSB, Dr. Xiang pioneered the EMBA program at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management and served on the faculty at China Europe International Business School in Shanghai. His research interests include the relationship between Chinese government and enterprises, the reform of state-owned enterprises and innovation, and he is a well-known opinion leader in China. He is from Anhui Province, China and is 53 years old.