Reflecting back on her motivations to organize CEEMAN (See Sidebar for details
), Purg says, "I saw very soon that there was no real understanding of management challenges in CEE countries. International management development conferences were poorly attended by people from the region, mainly because of financial problems. I also saw that efforts by international agencies to help the acceleration of management development in CEE only partly met the needs of our business schools. There was a historical misunderstanding of the policies necessary to quicken management and leadership education and reveal the underestimated potential of CEE."
"In that climate I took the initiative to bring the best professors of management of the region together with the aim of establishing CEEMAN. I personally launched the slogan 'Give us the best from the West and keep the rest' to support this action."
"CEEMAN was established because of the real need for high-quality management education in CEE and because of my view that management development institutions in CEE had to work closely together if they wanted to succeed."
These reflections on the value of working together resonate with research of psychologist Alfie Kohn who writes, "Noncooperative approaches...almost always involve duplication of effort, since someone working independently must spend time and skills on problems that already have been encountered and overcome by someone else." Yet in the market economy of higher education in management and business, CEE schools are to some extent competitors. Here listen to what sociologist Charles Horton Cooley, in his 1902 volume on Human Nature and the Social Order, has to say about organizing cooperative ventures, "The general fact is that the most effective way of utilizing human energy is through an organized rivalry, which by specialization and social control is, at the same time, organized co-operation."