Western Michigan University's Global Business Center seeks to develop synergies as a central clearing house—mainly to initiate, facilitate, expedite and champion the global business activities of the Haworth College of Business. As such, it works closely internally with other Western Michigan University groups such as the Haenicke Institute of Global Education and externally with the larger community to further and enhance the college's globalization efforts.
Such efforts will help to more efficiently and effectively contribute to WMU's mission, which is characterized by pursuit of specific institutional goals. The Global Business Center contributes to all of these goals, in particular: "to strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration and international programs."
The center will facilitate, initiate and coordinate the internationalization and globalization activities of the Haworth College of Business. The prime focus will be to facilitate and enhance the internationalization of the curriculum, faculty and students; support internationally oriented teaching and research; and develop global community outreach.
In a world flattened by technological and communication developments and the death of distance, noted author and columnist Tom Friedman remarks on why education and an understanding of the globally connected business environment are critical. He tells his daughters:
"Girls, when I was growing up my parents used to say to me, 'Tom, finish your dinner—people in China and India are starving...' My advice to you is: Girls, finish your homework—people in China and India are starving for your jobs."
Companies are now increasingly searching for savvy talent from all over the world. Here at WMU and the Haworth College of Business, we need to do all that we can to make sure that our students don't fall off the edge of the intensely competitive flat business world.
Globalization trends also point to the disaggregation of business functional activities which can and are being performed in geographically dispersed locations. Concomitantly many nations are moving toward adopting free-market principles and aspiring to improve standards of living; these provide tremendous opportunities and challenges to business and demand imperative attention on how to conduct business with and within these countries. Moreover the workplace here and overseas is increasingly marked by multicultural diversity. Regionally and nationally, companies are requiring business schools to prepare students for this globalized world of business.
The Haworth College of Business has recognized this need and has been involved in various initiatives toward strengthening and contributing to the globalization of the faculty, students and curriculum. The Global Business Center will provide the synergy in conducting globalization activities.