Global Responsibility - Executive MBA courses from a student perspective


In this blog, Executive MBA student Fauziya Sayyed shares her experiences from the recent Executive MBA courses Managing Cultural Diversity and Corporate Responsibility and Ethics.

"This was the first time most Executive MBA students could attend classes in person on campus since Covid-19. The module took place in a hybrid setting since some students still faced travel restrictions. A few technical glitches and neglect of online students on the first day of class were fixed quickly, as we are all still adapting to this new way of learning. The excitement of meeting fellow classmates in person for the first time and having face-to-face discussions got us all carried away. Nonetheless, we managed to successfully have our first proper hybrid module where everyone felt included and involved. At a personal level, I was able to meet and interact with many of my classmates. It was a pleasure getting to know each and every one after classes."

Managing Cultural Diversity
"Our lecturer Patrick Martens accompanied by Dr Valia Kalaitzi, kicked off the session on cultural diversity and inclusion by laying the ground rules for the course and proper definitions of the terms. Over 4 days, we were introduced to managing cultural diversity and inclusion in society and at work, cultural differences between nations, people and groups and ways to manage it in the international work environment.

The Managing Cultural Diversity course is designed to understand the intersectionality between cultural diversity and organizational strategy. It is undeniable that managing and interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds is a task undertaking since everyone has their own opinions, views, and behaviors. The course aimed to provide students with a conceptual and practical understanding of diversity's role in streamlining an organization's strategy. A diverse workforce is vital for meeting organizational objectives and customer needs. Although there is a chance that diversity can lead to conflicts when not fully embraced by management and employees. Encouraging and welcoming diversity at the workplace increases employee morale, resulting in an efficient and effective boost in productivity.

The course was interdisciplinary; it included aspects of sociology, anthropology, and psychology seamlessly blended with business management subjects, such as human resource management, international business management, strategic management, marketing, and corporate responsibility and ethics."

Corporate Responsibility and Ethics
"The next course was Corporate Responsibility and Ethics; in sessions 1 and 2, our lecturer Mirjana Stanisic defined the CSR concept, its complexities, and its evolution. Sessions 3 and 4 focused on the basics of ethics, and ethical decision making and the many challenges corporations go through to make moral decisions. We discussed significant challenges associated with resource scarcity, demographic changes, urbanization, and climate change in the class. These issues have a considerable impact on businesses, customers, suppliers, employees and society. Organizations play a prominent role in contributing to these issues.

Besides orientating students to the world of cultural diversity from a business perspective, this course also equipped us with skills to apply ethical standards. The theoretical aspects of the course were backed up with real-life case studies, examples and videos to familiarize ourselves with ethics in business, the importance of social responsibility and ethical issues.

Globalization is a wave with a ripple effect on business, economy, society and the environment. As a result, most corporations struggle to strike a balance between maximizing profitability and maintaining ethical operations. The course highlighted the importance of considering the social, economic and environmental aspects of day-to-day business activities. For instance, the course elaborated on concepts such as "People-Planet-Profit", which goes hand in hand with corporate social responsibility. These concepts are critical for future business leaders as it prompts them to encourage fair business practices, environmental protection, responsible supply chain, efficient resource utilization, and customer satisfaction. The course also focused on stakeholders and CSR reporting to help students identify the relationship between the businesses, government and society."

"Undoubtedly, business, people and the environment must co-exist harmoniously. However, people from different parts of the world have different opinions, views and norms that need to blend together to improve society and protect the environment. These two courses are essential in nurturing prospective global business leaders to make ethical decisions and take corporate social responsibility seriously. It prepares the students to face the diverse global world by learning from theories, concepts and mind-opening interactions with fellow classmates from different cultural and educational backgrounds.

From my own perspective, these are introductory courses for every business student to gain more profound knowledge of how businesses, culture, and environment interplay."

Fauziya Sayyed is Business Manager and Co-Founder at M&F Tech Services B.V.

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