Thinkers and Practitioners of a New Business Movement
December 11, 2013

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business Launches CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) Program

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) successfully held the opening ceremony for the first intake of its CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) Program in its Beijing campus on November 29, 2013. All 35 doctoral candidates of the class attended this simple, academic ceremony. Dr. Xiang Bing, Founding Dean of CKGSB, and Klaus Rohland, World Bank’s Country Director for China, Mongolia, and Korea in the East Asia and Pacific Region graced the opening ceremony with their heartfelt wishes for the candidates. The ceremony was presided over by Dr. Chen Long, Associate Dean for the CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) and Alumni Affairs, Academic Director of CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA), and Professor of Finance at CKGSB.

The first intake of CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) Program

An Effort of Innovation for the Second Decade

As an effort to further innovate during the second decade of CKGSB’s history, the CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) is committed to developing thinkers and management scholars with a global vision and resourceful minds, to better prepare executives for this era of transition. The launch of the CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) comes naturally and necessarily in the context China today—after more than 30 years of reforming and opening-up, as well as over 10 years of establishing educational practices in business administration in the country. The Program fulfills the needs of leading Chinese businesses that are faced with transitions and upgrade in processes driven by waves of innovation and globalization. CKGSB, as a forward-looking educational institution with a strong sense of responsibility, has committed to the strategic decision of developing more thoughtful practitioners and to contributing to China’s reemergence.

“China’s future depends on institutional changes, but even more so on insightful individuals who actually deliver social progress and sustainable development,” said Dean Xiang at the ceremony. “The times call for doers of new ideas and visions, along with the courage to explore new solutions and to shoulder greater social responsibility. I hope that all candidates in the first intake of CKGSB’s DBA Program can pool together ideas and work with our school to further explore and grow, and that they can redefine this new wave of business and the public-private partnership.”

“It is an era when the government, the business community, and the entire Chinese society are transitioning, and the county is in urgent need for thinkers and practitioners of redefined business values and practices,” said Professor Chen when explaining the missions and significance of the CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA). “It is against this backdrop that we have invited entrepreneurs and civil servants with the most innovative minds to attend this program. We are going to engage rigorous attitudes, scientific research methods, and diverse means of learning to systematically and rationally look into cutting-edge issues on management, to integrate key corporate management practices with the humanities, to meet today’s global challenges, and to facilitate deepened reforms, innovations, and sustainable development of the Chinese economy.”

Dean Xiang addresses CKGSB’s first CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) class

Professor Chen presides over the opening ceremony

Wishes and Blessings

On behalf of Bernard Yeung, the Dean and Stephen Riady Distinguished Professor in Finance and Strategic Management at National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, Professor Li Zhen congratulated the launch of the CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA). Professor Li emphasized that China’s unique development path that is unlike that of any other economy. “To become a sustainable power in the world,” he said, “China needs to redesign its business models, cultural systems, human resources development, and innovation strategy, which in turn relies on effective interactions among the government, businesses, and individuals to successfully move on to the next stage of development. By brining together the right organizations and individuals, the CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) is making substantial steps toward achieving the Chinese Dream.”

Professor Li delivers a congratulatory speech

In his keynote speech, Mr. Klaus Rohland shed light on a few challenges that China will face in its future economic development. Mr. Rohland based his interpretation on “China in 2030,” a joint report prepared by the World Bank and the Chinese government. “China faces three major challenges in transforming its mode of economic growth. The first one would be labor shortages due to declining demographic dividends, where education might hold the key to improving labor productivity; the second challenge derives from scarcity in global resources and environmental degradation; and third challenge lies in the pace of urbanization in the country, where smart urban design and practical solutions to a series of social problems would deserve more attention. In response to these challenges, the government and enterprises—placed at opposite sides of the economic equation—must jump out of their original cycle to enable extensive collaboration and reflection. I think this should be included as a goal of the CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA).” In the meantime, he offered his tribute to the opening of the first CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) class, saying, “China now pins much greater importance to its soft powers, trying to be a country of modernization, globalization, and steady growth. I sincerely hope each of you benefits from this CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) so as to facilitate the process of China becoming one with the world, and to play a more positive role in fostering world peace and sustainable development.”

Mr. Klaus Rohland delivers keynote speech

Learning Ecosystem of CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA)

With a wealth of experience from its successful EMBA and CEO programs, CKGSB emphasizes in the CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) depth and breadth in content of teaching, innovations in methods and forms of teaching, and honing of research capabilities. It is committed to exploring a third path that differs from existing EMBA programs and conventional doctoral programs. The past decade has seen quite a few world-class professors of management attracted to and retained by CKGSB for continued and fruitful research. The school teams up with the other globally renowned institutions, including business schools, government-led organizations, and universities of the sciences, to leverage the world’s top educational resources for its CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA).

The CKGSB DBA Program adopted a strict screening process to ensure that all 35 candidates in the first class have educational backgrounds and managerial experiences living up to world-class standards: 80% of them have more than 15 years of managerial experience; 33% of them have more than 20 years of managerial experience; more than half of the companies represented by candidates each have a total asset of over RMB 10 billion; and a mix of ownership structures in their companies.

On behalf of his classmates, Feng Lun, Chairman of MassMutual Holding, expressed his joy and expectations as a returnee to the CKGSB classroom. “We are under the same roof today because of our desire to achieve change and excellence. What we anticipate for ourselves coincides with what the school expects from us. The powerful sense of responsibility as CKGSB students puts us at the tip of our toes. With what we are going to learn here, we look forward to playing more contributive roles in the development of new business models and values. I also hope that all of my classmates at CKGSB can retrieve the simple pleasures of scholarly muse and progress in thinking.”

Mr. Feng Lun speaks on behalf of all candidates of CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA)’s first intake

To conclude the opening ceremony, Professor Chen said, “I have all reasons to believe that outstanding CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) candidates from all walks of life would constantly improve themselves through academic studies and pragmatic explorations at much higher levels, and that they would perform more successfully in a business world filled with opportunities and challenges. More importantly, I believe they are going to be more beneficial to the entire community.”

The opening ceremony was followed by a three-day module of residential reading, where the candidates officially embraced their new experience of learning.

The first CKGSB DBA class with Bernard Yeung, the Dean and Stephen Riady Distinguished Professor in Finance and Strategic Management at National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, who gave a lecture to the class 

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