A strategic partnership to benefit all of CBS

Skrevet af Sidsel GreenFelix Kasperek, translation - Foto: Joisef Hanus @Dreamstime - 10. februar 2014 - 16:000 kommentarer
Point Gray rafts loaded with timber and Vancouver and the University of British Columbia in the background.

In 2011, CBS entered into a strategic partnership with the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Canada. CBS OBSERVER investigates what it has meant for CBS’ research, employees and the students.

Over a number of years, CBS students have traveled to Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver (Sauder) on foreign exchange. In 2011, the collaboration between the two business schools were taken to the next level, when they signed a strategic partnership agreement.

Dorte Salskov-Iversen is, in addition to being the head of the Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, CBS’ Vice President of International Affairs and thereby an important part of the partnership.

- The core of the partnership with Sauder was mainly a need to understand the inner workings of a renowned North American business school, and identifying activities we have in common, Dorte Salskov-Iversen tells and continues:

- Business schools work in very different environments in North America than in Denmark – not least when it comes to their budgets. The political agenda and the expectations and tasks that Sauder and CBS face, however, are not that dissimilar.

Broad collaboration on many levels
That’s why there’s been a solid foundation for collaboration in many areas from the beginning. Today, 2½ years after the foundation was laid down, the collaboration has spread to several levels.

At management-level, the two presidents have visited each other and discussed strategies. Additionally, administrative employees and secretariat leaders from Copenhagen have been on study trips to Vancouver and vice versa.

- As expected, the collaboration has expanded within research and education where we’ve been able to draw on each other’s expertise, says Dorte Salskov-Iversen, who sees great potential in the collaboration, and continues:

- It has improved certain areas of education here, e.g. our MBA program, where we’ve had a module on leadership in which we collaborate with Sauder and hold a case competition in February.

Focused on public/private link
CBS’ Public-Private Platform (PPP) is one of the research areas that have had a very close relation to Sauder, since the partnership was kicked off. It makes a lot of sense, considering that Denmark and Canada are countries where the public and private sector are very closely linked.

- At UBC, they’re among the world leaders when it comes to research in infrastructure, says Carsten Greve, Academic Director of PPP and elaborates:

- Since it’s an area where the point is for the public to collaborate with the private sector to get financing and expertise, it’s immensely relevant for our Public-Private Platform. And since it’s an area that still needs plenty of development, it’s a good example of useful knowledge that can result from this collaboration.

Conferences and knowledge sharing
Furthermore, the partnership has resulted in two conferences in 2012 and 2013, in Copenhagen and Vancouver respectively. In 2014, a third conference will be held in Melbourne – this time with a focus on management.

- Having these conferences definitely gives us some organizational advantages. We can show CBS from its best side and thereby improve our reputation internationally. At the same time, it attracts international guest speakers, which benefits the students, says Carsten Greve.

- The three conferences are good examples of forums for knowledge and excellence that the partnership has led to – which benefits both our researchers and our practitioners, says Dorte Salskov-Iversen and mentions knowledge sharing as a central part of the partnership.

TAPs on ’exchange’
The researchers aren’t the only ones who get to share their valuable knowledge. The Sauder Foundation finances an exchange period at Sauder School of Business for a CBS employee. In October 2013, Academic Officer Maja Dueholm of the Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, spent four weeks in Vancouver.

- It started with a staff development dialogue in which I expressed a wish to improve my English language capabilities. I really wanted to go abroad for work as well. So my management suggested that we applied for funding for a stay in Vancouver, through the Sauder Foundation, says Maja Dueholm.

Through a mutual agreement between Sauder and CBS, Maja Dueholm was sent to Vancouver to be part of the administrative work at Sauder. At the same time, she took an intensive course with an English-coach at UBC, and gained valuable insight into how a North American business school operates.

- The four weeks at Sauder definitely led to personal development for me. The English lessons I got in Canada were incredibly effective and have definitely optimized my work here at CBS, where I use it daily, says Maja Dueholm and continues:

- At the same time, it has opened my eyes to the North American university life. And if we’re to understand our exchange students here at CBS, and make our way through globalization successfully, I think it’s really good for our employees to experience it, and gain that insight.

More than a prestige project
Generally, the consensus is that strategic partnerships, like the one CBS has with Sauder, contribute greatly to the university. And even though it might not last forever, CBS having an international perspective is alpha and omega.

- Our ‘reputation capital’ in the rest of the world means a lot: for example, it’s a deciding factor for our ability to make exchange agreements with prestigious universities/business schools and our ability to attract international talent. More and more CBS graduates go abroad and it’s important that we’re capable of aiding them, says Dorte Salskov-Iversen and continues with an important point:

- Of course we should constantly evaluate whether our participation turns into something useable. Our partnerships can’t just be prestige projects, but should rather be mutual learning projects where researchers, students and practitioners get something concrete and useable from it.