Is there a right approach to management research in CEE countries? IMTA faculty Krzysztof Obłoj observes that while "nobody cares about how and what you teach" in the US, so long as you do research, "here in CEE and Russia we have been at the other end of the spectrum. We were doing consulting, improving our teaching skills, and did not pay enough attention to research."

Research rigor vs. relevance... IMTA faculty have sought to find the right "balance"
Against a backdrop of debate over research rigor versus relevance, CEEMAN's IMTA faculty have sought to find the right "balance" between these extremes in developing the future generation of CEE scholars. IMTA faculty J. B. Kassarjian contends that a core ingredient of an ideal management professor is "first-hand business experience," earned either as a practitioner or a consultant. Obłoj contends that a professor should be a good researcher—"you have to train your brain and keep close to new concepts"— but adds, "at the same time you have to be close enough to business practice to understand how to move these concepts into the classroom." Jim Ellert, in his turn, stresses relevance—in what professors choose to study and how they ultimately communicate their findings. "Participants who enroll in a management degree or continuing education program expect rigorous but practical and relevant content that addresses local and regional concerns, challenges, and business opportunities."

IMTA's program on Research and Publishing (run by two professors: Peter McKiernan, Dean of St. Andrew's School of Management, UK, and Derek Abell) consists of a three-day preparatory seminar that features guidance on defining a relevant research issue, research design and methodology, and research execution and field work. Participants critique each other's research proposals in small groups and get individual mentoring from faculty advisors. They then undertake five months of field research, submit draft research papers, and propose how to integrate their findings into educational material. Afterwards, they return for a two-day workshop where they present their papers, get advice on content and publication potential, and try a hand at teaching what they have found.
IMTA Faculty Members, From left to right: Krzysztof Obloj, Robert A. Howell, Ron Pannesi, Joe Pons. Bled, 2003
On April 7-8, 2005, CEEMAN and European School of Management and Technology, ESMT-Berlin hosted a meeting on developing a case writing agenda for CEE and Russia. It included 33 participants from business schools, three consultancies, and a corporate group. This was followed up by a dialogue at the 22nd International World Association for Case Method Research and Application Conference in Brno, Czech Republic, enlisting further support from faculty at business and management schools to provide case writing coaching and mentoring.

Thereafter, IMTA launched a Case Writing Module. The program's three-day preparatory seminar includes: guidelines for writing good cases and teaching notes; a critique of poor and excellent case drafts and teaching notes; guidelines for conducting field, Internet, and library case research; use of multi-media in case teaching; getting approval for case release; small group critiques of participants' cases and teaching note proposals or initial drafts; and individual mentoring from faculty advisors.

During the four-month field work period, participants carry out field and related research, draft the case and teaching notes, and submit these to their faculty coach for review and feedback. Based on faculty feedback, participants carry out additional research as necessary to improve their cases and teaching notes, which should be in near-final condition prior to the final classroom sub-module.
I found the case writing module a really developmental experience facilitated especially by the excellent teaching of Derek (Abell) and Jim (Ellert), the efficiency of the admin staff, and, of course, by the high level of friendly, yet challenging and insightful, discussion and debate between the course members.
Participant, IMTA Case Writting Module
A two-day concluding workshop involves detailed peer and faculty critique of participants' cases and teaching notes; individual mentoring, and practice teaching of a few of the participants' final cases. One of the role models for budding case writers is Professor Lynn Isabella, of the Darden Business School, University of Virginia. She wrote benchmark teaching cases on CEE firms Lek Pharmaceuticals, milk producer Ljubljanske Mlekarne, and appliance manufacturer Gorenje. These cases not only have "local and regional" appeal, notes Lynne, they fascinate students and managers studying at Darden who "also learn a tremendous amount about the struggle companies are facing in that part of the world."

In 2007, CEEMAN reached an agreement with Emerald Publications to publish outstanding cases from its annual case writing competition. (To capture earlier contributions CEEMAN Best Cases 2001-2007 was published in cooperation with Emerald in 2008).

Milenko Gudić, IMTA Managing Director, Swee Liang Tan, participant from Singapore and Olga Veligurska, CEEMAN Head of Projects; IMTA 2005

IMTA Outreach
IMTA took several additional measures to extends its reach and impact.
IMTA took several additional measures to extends its reach and impact from 2003-07. It hosted seminars on "Consultancy for Management Educators" (CME) at IEDC Bled in 2003 and 2005. The workshops covered the consultancy business as a whole, the consultancy process, the consultancy profession, and the integration of consultancy practice into the educational profession. In addition, it tailors its content to consulting services provided to large firms and SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises).

Some 23 professors from business and management development schools in 10 countries attended the November, 2003 program; another 18 professors from 16 countries participated in the April, 2005 program. CME faculty in these program editions included Milenko Gudić, Nenad Filipović, Peter Kraljič, of McKinsey Advisory Council, Germany, and Allan Gibb, Small Business Centre, Durham University, UK.

Gazmend Haxhia, then President of A.S.G. Group, Albania, offered this testimonial to the program. "A must for every 'thinking business educator', this positive and thought-provoking seminar taught by top-notch professors to a very colorful multinational group of professionals uplifted and inspired us while challenging us to reflect on how to remain competitive."

In 2006, IMTA also hosted Ichak Adizes who hosted a seminar on his consulting methods. Ichak has this to say about contemporary business education: "To me business schools are more of a museum telling people what has been done rather than art studios where the student is exploring and pushing the envelope of knowledge." His hands-on program covered subjects like "getting to Prime" in an organization's life cycle and differences between" horizontal and vertical diversity." Among his points to budding consultants:
If you are one of those who is fond of 'mapping' people on a two by four matrix or whatever, please, stop immediately. You are pigeon-holing the un-pigeon-holable; and you are imposing a single dimension of diversity, rather than recognizing the multiplicity of identities.
Ichak Adizes
During this era, IMTA also formalized its alumni network in this era and invited graduates to a continuing education and professional socialization seminar in Bled, Slovenia, August 23-26, 2006 and Riga, Latvia, August 23-26, 2007. IMTA faculty member Arshad Ahmad reminded alums of the importance of "shifting the light" in the classroom: "For many years I have been trying to learn it from others who do this very well and to practice it in my own classes. One of the key things that makes communication from a teacher to a student is to 'shift the light' from yourself to those in the classroom. In fact it's a very liberating concept because you need to do less to do more, which means creating an environment where you engineer activities where you are not the center of attention anymore. Where you are more like a coach, or a guide, or someone who is there at those critical points where learning occurs. So you are intervening in situations that you've designed."

Commenting on the impact of IMTA in Financial Times' FT.com, July 16, 2006, Gudić noted, "We had instances where alumni, as visiting lecturers, taught at schools where there were other IMTA participants and the students immediately commented on the similarity of styles."

First IMTA Alumni Conference, Bled, 2006

Deans & Director's Meetings
During this era CEEMAN also formalized its educational exchange among deans and directors of business schools. In prior years, these were one-off seminar hosted by one or another member school. Beginning in 2003, it was agreed that deans and directors would meet prior to the CEEMAN annual conference to explore leading topics together and conduct their business. The topics of meetings from 2003-2007 were as follows (click to expand text):
Marketing of Business Schools,
Sofia, Bulgaria, 2003
Speakers included Joe Pons, former professor from IESE, Barcelona and a marketing consultant, and Rick Crawley, Director of Communications &External Relations, LUMS, UK. Deans and directors discussed challenges of reaching fragmented markets and gearing up to make better use of the internet in the marketing campaigns.
Positioning and Branding of Business Schools,
St Petersburg, Russia, 2004
Speakers included Erich Joachimstahler, former professor from IESE and University of Virginia and founder of Vivaldi Partners, New York, and Jim Bodoh and Robert Mighall of Lloyd Northover, UK.
Challenges and Methods of Faculty Development,
Kiev, Ukraine, 2005
Speakers included Kai Peters, Chief Executive, Ashridge, UK., Chin Tiong Tan, Provost, Singapore Management University, and Leon Selig, Member of the Board of Trustees at the American Universities in Paris and Sofia. Sergey Mordovin discussed competencies of management faculty and Thierry Grange of ESC-Grenoble School of Management, based in France, addressed the importance of matching a school's strategy to its mission and its stage of development.
A New Alliance Between Business Schools and Business,
Berlin, Germany, 2006
Derek Abell and Wulff Plinke, the Founding President and Dean respectively of ESMT, European School of Management and Technology, shared lessons from the Bauhaus on working together to create knowledge. The program included a panel discussion on experiences working together in the classroom.
Internationalizing Management Education: Challenges and Opportunities for Business Schools,
Istanbul, Turkey, 2007
Speakers included Sabri Sayari, Professor of Political Science, Sabanci University Faculty of Management Istanbul and Jean-Pierre Lehman, Professor of International Political Economy, IMD Lausanne. Lehman spoke thoughtfully about what CEE schools could bring to a global dialogue: "What the Central and Eastern Europeans experienced with respect to dictatorship of the state, ideology, the restrictions on the market, the curtailment of freedom, and the twisting ethical compass, provide in all their tragedy, a rich backcloth for a truly profound reflection and education on the political, economic, and philosophical dynamics of the market."

David Maister, keynote speaker at the CEEMAN Annual Conference in Berlin, 2006

Growing Together
"... we run a chance to propose alternative model of management education..."
CEEMAN added new members during 2003-07 from new countries, many from outside of CEE. They joined from compass points East (Singapore, Pakistan) and West (Spain, Peru and a partnership with CLADEA--Latin American council of Management Schools); and from North (Norway, Iceland) and South-East (Greece, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan).

An article in the Financial Times, July 16, 2006 on "Common Ground Across Continents," took notice of the growing reach of CEEMAN. Chin Tiong Tan of Singapore was quoted, "We believe we can learn more about the region by getting our faculty involved there. I anticipate stronger economic relationships between Asia and Central and Eastern Europe." Prof Nambiar from IIPM in India added, "CEEMAN represents business schools from a part of the world going through rapid economic growth and the resulting enormous changes. India is going through much the same process. Thus CEEMAN's vision, created for business schools which are a part of that change, is applicable to us as well." And Kai Peters, chief executive of Ashridge Business School in the UK, concluded, "We have worked and are working on projects which have come through the broad CEEMAN network. Understanding the market and building brand among colleague schools leads to business."

Reflecting on CEEMAN's growth, Koźmiński remarked, "Our model has become attractive for business schools coming from other dynamically changing environments. If we play it right, we run a chance to propose alternative model of management education fitting emerging countries characterized by scarcity of resources and turbulent business environments. In order to do that, we have to cultivate our own identity and not to mimic the others." Nina Bandelj and Danica Purg's article "Networks as Resources, Organizational Logic, and Change Mechanism: The Case of Private Business Schools in Postsocialism," Sociological Forum 21(4), 2006: 587-622 captured the animating power of a network of business schools for expressing identity and driving improvement and change. This power continued to express itself as CEEMAN expanded its network to new territories.

Gala dinner at the CEEMAN Annual Conference in Berlin, 2006

New Territory
Economic reforms in Central Asia were having a considerable impact on systems of business education.
On April 26-28, 2007, CEEMAN co-organized an international conference on Business Education to Support Country's Competitiveness in Almaty, Kazakhstan, along with RABE, the Central Asian Foundation for Management Development (CAMAN), and EdNet, a regional education network. The conference focused on how business education can help companies in dynamically changing markets to build and sustain their competitiveness through increasing international business cooperation. Local schools represented included Kazakh University of Economics, the International Academy of Business and Mira University.

Zhanna Mukhamedyarova, director-general of CAMAN, remarked that economic reforms in Central Asia were having a considerable impact on systems of business education and that national management schools must adjust in order to be competitive: "We need to train professional specialists who are capable of being effective leaders and managers across the fast-changing spectrum of politics, economics and culture."

In turn, Danica Purg offered this advice on internationalizing business schools in the region, "In our school we have 80% of foreign students and still it is not enough. Students come and learn from each other, and learn from different cultures. You learn to live with other people, to understand and to respect others. This is very important in creating networks, which will enable students in the future to establish closer business ties and effective cooperation. I would also look for international professors, but that does not mean that they all must be international; business schools need also local expertise."
We wish to strengthen our attention to the development of holistic thinking in our schools. Schools at Almaty represent a wide spectrum of cultures and a variety that is extremely important for that kind of endeavor. You know the diversity between countries and cultures in the region causes serious problems in politics, but as most intellectuals keep themselves away from this we are able to add value to the development of business education in our countries.
Sergei Filonovich, Chair, explaining RABE's perspective
Later, CEEMAN held its first Executive Education (ExEd) Workshop , Executive Education in Transition and Dynamically Changing Economies: Key Issues and Possible Synergies, at the Estonian Business School, Tallinn, June, 27-29, 2007. Some 32 participants from 25 schools participated in a nice mix of presentations, networking, and World Café-type breakout sessions to share information, case examples, and best practices. The program sessions included: mapping of executive education offerings within CEEMAN; identification of key issues and possible synergies; recommendations on how business schools could respond to changing executive education needs; and follow-up activities.

The workshop was facilitated by coach, consultant, and author Uwe Weissflog of Pathway Guidance, Germany, and included contributions by Danica Purg, Priit Poldoja, Managing Director of Hansabank, Estonia, and Bob Stilliard, Director of Executive Education of Ashridge in the UK.

CEEMAN-RABE-CAMAN-REGENA Conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2007

Institutional Development
program for "the infantry that wins the war"
Described by the Financial Times as the program for "the infantry that wins the war", the Program Management Seminar, aimed at developing operational excellence in business and managed schools, was launched in January, 2005. The intent is for program managers in charge of educational programs to improve their skills related to the promotion and delivery of educational programs and learn about best practices in initiating, developing, organizing, coordinating and streamlining program management processes and methodologies (see Sidebar on Program Management Seminar).

CEEMAN also revised its accreditation standards in 2007. Derek Abell reports, "By far the most important change to the IQA was to start evaluating schools from two angles, not one. First, how do they measure up against generally accepted global criteria? Second, how well are they doing with respect to the needs of local and regional markets? An American accreditation scheme does not pay any attention to the needs of the local market. But our review teams looks at a school's target market companies and students and how that school recognizes and meet those needs—in both its mission statement and practice. It is this second dimension that is completely missing in other accreditation schemes and it is what makes CEEMAN accreditation quite unique."

Since its start-up 10 years prior, Bohdan Budzan and Randy Kudar stepped in as IQA Accreditation Directors. Schools receiving IQA status from 2003-07 included: Gdansk Foundation for Management Development, Poland, 2003; International Management Institute MIM-Kyiv, Ukraine, 2004; Riga Business School, Latvia, 2004; Caucasus School of Business, Georgia, 2005; European School of Management (ESM-Tbilisi), Georgia, 2005; Kyiv Mohyla Business School, Ukraine, 2006; and ISM University of Management and Economics, Lithuania, 2006.
Sidebar: Program Management Seminar
Don Nightingale, professor emeritus, Queens University Canada, who has been the director of this program between 2006 and 2012, interviewed Mike Page, Dean of Business at the McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley University, US, and Dianne Bevelander, Associate Dean of MBA Programs at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, the Netherlands, who have worked alongside Danica Purg and Nenad Filipović on the program faculty:

Nightingale: The job of the program manager is to support the learning development needs of the students and executives that come to their programs. This has remained the same for many years and will remain so in the future. So the issue really is how do you do that when more and more of your students and executives are facing increasingly stressful, competitive situations at home and at work?

Page: I would say the challenge for them is to innovate in meaningful ways for their own environment and not too easily copy what they perceive are best practices elsewhere in the world. This is where I think CEEMAN has a great role to play. It is all about engagement, it is all about networking, and it is all about mutual learning rather than merely being taught material.
Bevelander: And they have to take this responsibility because they are the conductors in the education experience. The faculty members may be the players but it is program management that does the conducting, the arranging and, as with any great orchestral piece, it is the conductor and the arranging that makes the piece as much as the players themselves.

Comments from participant Veronika Naumann, Executive MBA Program Manager, ESMT-European School of Management and Technology, Germany, attests to the impact: "Three days of inspiration! The time I have spent was interesting and fulfilling. I have structured my knowledge. Brilliant program faculty made me think even more positive than I did already and I believe that I can do it better. The energy in the classroom could be sensed all the time. Beside learning and teaching, the seminar was a real practical example of a very professional program management."

Adds Inga Lapina, Head of International Relations Department, RTU Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management, Latvia "I was very impressed with the program. I think it has a lot of interesting and useful information. I got some good tools that I can take back and apply immediately. Networking was also very useful. We are a networking organization but after listening to the presentation on networks I realized how little networking we actually do. Thank you CEEMAN for inviting me and putting together such a great program. Very professionally done."
Programme Management Seminar 2005, Bled

Joining a Global Movement
"business, as a key agent of globalization, can be an enormous force for good"
In 1999 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for a new contract between business and society, a social compact, a call that led to the development of the UN Global Compact, which has 10 universal principles based on globally agreed UN documents that companies commit to uphold. By 2006 the Global Compact (GC) had nearly 3,000 signatories, 2,500 of which were businesses from 90 countries around the world.

At the Global Compact Leader's Summit, held in Geneva, 2007, new Secretary General Ban Ki-moon introduced The Geneva Declaration which affirmed that "business, as a key agent of globalization, can be an enormous force for good." Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) were also introduced and adopted.

Danica Purg declared at the meeting in Geneva the commitment of CEEMAN to actively engage with PRME, and indeed CEEMAN members were among the first management development institutions to embrace PRME.
Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)
Principle 1. Purpose:
We will develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.
Principle 2. Values:
We will incorporate into our academic activities and curricula the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.
Principle 3. Method:
We will incorporate into our academic activities and curricula the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.
Principle 4. Research:
We will engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value.
Principle 5. Partnership:
We will interact with managers of business corporations to extend our knowledge of their challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and to explore jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges.
Principle 6. Dialogue:
We will facilitate and support dialog and debate among educators, students, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organizations and other interested groups and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.

CEEMAN Annual Conference in Istanbul, 2007

Text — adapted from the book "CEEMAN - 20 Years of Creating History" by Philip H. Mirvis and Arnold Walravens, 2013

Production and Design — Artyom Ushnichkov, 2018