IE Business School stays in the top: FT

IE Business School is ranked No. 4 in Europe and No.1 in Spain in the latest ranking of European business schools carried out by Financial Times.  The annual report is based on the average results obtained by top European business schools in the rankings published throughout the year by Financial Times (FT) that cover MBA,…

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The chaos of internal bank controls

IE Focus Newsletter November 2008November 2008 | By Jose Estevez, Professor at IE Business School

The collapse of Lehman Brothers or the fraudulent activities of a broker at Société Génerale reveal the chaos that reigns in banksâ?? internal control systems. The world economic recession and, in particular, that of the banking and financial sector is giving rise to serious problems. Lehman Brothers was considered as one of the financial institutions with the best contingency plans and yet it was not enough to save it from collapse. Another clear example is that of Societe Generale, where internal controls were incapable of detecting the fraudulent activities of one of its brokers.

Some experts suggest that the internal controls of many institutions are nothing more than “mere plans on paper”, that they are not operational, that they have never been tested and that employees “ignore them”, with no monitoring process in place as far as the institution is concerned. This is paradoxical, since a control system is characterised by the presence of elements that make it possible to influence the way in which the system works. A control system must guarantee stability and, in particular, be impenetrable as far as model errors and interference are concerned. Furthermore, it must be as efficient as possible and comply with a preset criterion. Normally, this criterion consists of control over input variables being possible, thus preventing sharp practices.

We are all familiar with the theory, but why has it not worked in financial institutions? The real situation is that, in some cases, it has worked, but while they were earning succulent profits, many consultants and managers ignored breaches of their internal controls. There is also another reason why it has not worked: the lack of good institutional information management.

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“Madrid IE Higher Education breaks the business mold” – Shanghai Daily Interview with Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño published last month in Shanghai Daily. Onzoño talks about the acquisition of IE University.

ALTHOUGH the entrepreneurial spirit and trail-blazing skills are fundamental to many business schools curricula and promotions, not every institution practices what it preaches. IE, the Madrid-based business school, is an entrepreneur, a “multiversity” unlike any in the United States or Europe. While the business school is the center piece, every field – law, art, communications,…

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Article in Chinese by Oswaldo Lorenzo on the consequences of downsizing in company workforces, published on Chinese portal 21cbh.com.海外裁员风波中的新老问题

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从上月开始,日本日产和法国雷诺分别因为宣布要在欧洲工厂裁员而引起当地工人抗议,至今没有平息。诚然,最近类似的新闻不少,之所以留意到这两家,是因为早前与一位商学院教授做访问,他正好提到它们在欧洲的合作,作为全球化催生的新生事物“供应链管理”的一个实践案例。如今发生在这两家公司的新闻表明,尽管全球化催生的新学科已经开始强调文化融合这样一些新问题,作为跨国合作取得成功的前提,但一些没有解决的老问题同样不能忽视,比如劳资关系。
先说供应链管理,简称SCM,最早是在大约二十年前出现,西班牙IE商学院教授Oswaldo Lorenzo在采访时指出,当时的背景是许多公司通过组建自己的后勤部门,独力完成供应链上从原料采购到成品发送的各个环节,认为这样做的效率最高,成本最低。但是,随着全球化成为趋势,潜在的市场越来越大,顾客的要求也越来越多,这时,怎样高效满足这些要求就成为一个新问题。厂商不得不把眼光放到自身以外,“外包”由此兴起,发展到厂商合作,在供应链各个环节形成各司其职的关系。
沃尔玛就是一个例子,Lorenzo教授说,基于这些先行者的实践,大概十二年前,一种新的管理理论产生,定名为“合作规划、预测与补给”,简称CPFR,2007年,为更准确地反映其管理已经超越单个公司的范畴,更名为“供应链管理”,简称SCM。
Lorenzo教授并且提到雷诺和日产在欧洲的合作,其中包括共享一个生产工厂,生产一款汽车,然后换上各自的商标和外观,分别由雷诺和日产以各自的方式安排进入市场。
为什么要跟日产结为同盟?雷诺一位主管后勤的副总裁在其公司网站的采访指出,最大好处是规模效益,其次,遇到问题双方可以交流经验,拿出最佳解决方案,第三,为双方在其他市场的合作奠定基础,比如俄罗斯和印度,这是两者都已进入的市场,双方在当地的分公司就可以考虑在一些相同的项目进行合作,比如建立联合信息体系或开发平台,分享使用,分担成本。
简单说就是规模效益,但新问题随之而来:SCM作为基于供应链的合作能不能取得成功,取决于什么因素,比如,作为原料供应商,为什么我要告诉你自己的生产进度,如果说了,你会不会因此设法压低我的价格,如果我不说,你大概无法准确调整自己的生产进度,确保你这个环节的成本保持在较低水平,又比如,雷诺和日产共用一个生产车间,对对方的这一款汽车可以说是了如指掌,如何确保这两款汽车不会发生竞争,万一发生竞争,会不会因为彼此了解而变得更有针对性?
对此,Lorenzo教授的回答是首先要有合作精神,其次是信任,最后是在合作当中不断改进。
说到底就是合作精神,他说,这离不开各自文化背景这个大前提。
比如,日产当初决定在西班牙设厂生产主要向欧洲市场供应的车型,这主要出于提高效率的考虑,而西班牙作为潜在生产基地又符合一些公认的主要条件,包括当地劳动力成本相对较低,教育程度也不错,等等。
但文化背景这个因素就不太容易考察。比如,西班牙和日本的文化都有鲜明特色,两国员工因此带有鲜明个性,两者能不能融洽融合,怎样做到,就直接关系到他们能不能建立真正的合作,从理解发展到信任。
当然,除了跨国合作面临的文化融合问题,还有劳资关系这个老问题。相比之下可能还是老问题显得比较公平,并不仅仅摆在日产这个外来客面前。以日产的欧洲盟友雷诺为例,即使本身是法国厂商,又是在法国宣布计划裁员,却照样引起法国工人的抗议。

Economic Uncertainty: 1,500 directors analyse this topic on annual conference at IE Business School

IE Business School received 1,500 alumni from 30 countries at its Annual Alumni Conference held in Madrid on November 21. This yearâ??s conference focused on â??Business in Times of Economic Uncertaintyâ??, analyzing the challenges brought by the US crisis, its impact on the world economy, the stance taken by Europe, the advance of emerging economies,…

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Design and Drama at IE Business School

IEâ??s new curriculum of the International MBA, which started on November 10, includes a number of exciting innovations.  As part of a two-week, interdisciplinary module at the start of the program aimed to develop skills in communication, leadership, critical thinking, and creativity, participants will work with actors and coaches from Shakespeareâ??s Globe and tutors from…

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