Georgetown First Year Seminar – Ideas and More

Yesterday we had an amazing session with our editorialists. Each student took about 5 mins to discuss their fantastic ideas with experts and listened to their suggestions.


Thank you all for the help and your great thoughts! Looking forward to seeing the students’ products!

Professor Michael Czinkota ( teaches international marketing at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in Washington D.C. and the University of Kent at Canterbury, U.K. His key book (with Ilkka Ronkainen) is International Marketing, 10th ed., CENGAGE

Open Ivory Tower Windows Will Bring Fresh Air

Universities are among the most successful institutions that mankind has created in the last millennium. But what role do universities need to play in the knowledge society of tomorrow to continue their success story? This question grows more pressing for the Western welfare states, as their dominance in research and innovation is being challenged by globalization and the dynamics of the emerging economies.

The example of the United States, which like no other nation has been able to benefit from universities as drivers of growth, makes this abundantly clear. For a long time America has combined cutting-edge research not only with strong science and engineering but also with entrepreneurially oriented business schools. With this approach the country has promoted groundbreaking innovations.

Yet, since the bursting of the internet bubble, there are increasing doubts as to whether the previous innovation concepts still fit the new and future challenges and research priorities
The advancement of biotechnology and social sciences absorbs almost half the research funds of U.S. universities. Add the expansion of national security and military research, and universities have lost important drivers for the industrial use of new scientific insights. Instead, the ivory towers, which were believed to be abandoned, have returned. Like the hanging sword of Damocles the gigantic budget deficit will also require new structures and processes in research and teaching at universities.

Germany may currently look better with its broad mix of industrial and service-related innovations and its strong and flexible small and medium-size businesses. However, this should not obscure obvious weaknesses. What has been achieved with the excellence- and high-tech initiatives and more autonomy for universities in recent years is threatened to be lost again with ideologically motivated campaigns against an alleged commoditization of higher education.

Germany and the United States are facing similar problems. So far the American and the German university system have learned from each other in a time delayed fashion. Now, due to mounting competitive and financial pressures, universities need to learn simultaneously from each other. The transatlantic exchange of ideas at a conference in Washington a few days ago made it very clear: University success is not about tearing down the ivory towers, but to open their windows as far as possible to other disciplines and to new markets.

While the freedom of teaching and research have to be defended, at the same time strong bridges for mutual transfers have to be built.

In the 19th century, Alexander von Humboldt revamped the Western education system by insisting on the scientific approach to research. We now need a set of Humboldt kind of ideas for the 21st Century. The university of the future is only viable if best research and best teaching go hand in hand with best knowledge transfers. To achieve these goals, universities need reliable funding and high productivity. Interdisciplinary linkages, a close integration with the eco-system as well as research excellence and relevance are also necessary.

All this calls for major cultural change on both sides of the Atlantic. For a faster industrial use of new scientific knowledge both in universities and in businesses one has to rethink current approaches. We need more risk capital, new business models, and efficient intermediary organizations in order to build a sturdy bridge over the wide valley of death between basic research and innovation.

The efforts are worthwhile. Key is not just wealth and employment; it is all about the development opportunities of each individual and the defense of our freedoms. These provide the ideas and energy for the design of the next stage of our universities and our societies.

Michael Czinkota teaches international business and trade in the Graduate School of Business at Georgetown University (USA) as well as international marketing at the University of Birmingham (UK). Andreas Pinkwart is Senior Visiting Fellow, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University (USA) as well as Dean of HHL – Leipzig Graduate School of Management (Germany). He served as vice chair of the Free Democratic Party in Germany.

If Only Global Firms Knew What They Know About Local Marketing

This article is from the Winter 2010 edition of Marketing Management. It is co-authored by Michael Czinkota and Marc Falco Schrader.

“Good marketing usually means that specific marketing knowledge is developed locally. Best local practices are required knowledge for a multinational firm. To make this knowledge transparent and accessible for colleagues in other countries is indispensible.”

Market Management Winter 2010 Czinkota Schrader


Michael R. Czinkota and Andreas Pinkwart

Universities and their internationalization are important. Traditional knowledge exporters, such as the United States, Germany, France and England, aim to maintain their high share in the growing international academic market. They recognize the economic benefits of educating students who, when back home, will decide about purchases for infrastructure, engineering and other economic goals.

Exporting higher education generates income for universities and encourages them to become global entrepreneurs. The market is growing. Higher education students have increased by 53% since 2000 to more than 150 Million in 2007. In Australia and New Zealand, education is the third and fourth ranking services export. In the United States, international students and their dependents contributed $ 18.8 billion to the economy during the 2009-2010 academic year.

Universities shift their role from a provider of human resources to an innovation engine and entrepreneurial hub. Academic knowledge is transferred to new products and processes. Due to its ability to integrate international students and researchers, academia can commercialize knowledge and research in ways that companies cannot replicate.

Traditional internationalization within universities was a bottom-up activity, based on personal connections by an individual faculty member or by research teams. Increasingly, however, leading universities grow internationally as part of a top-down activity driven by institutional directives. Several key reasons account for this shift: A scientific approach demands awareness of and interaction with international work in order to benchmark one’s own competence. Internationalization is also part of becoming a competitive enterprise and contributes to capacity utilization. As part of their mission, universities need to provide a global social infrastructure and networks for their graduates. They also can assume new roles as incubators and connectors for emerging ideas and innovations. Asian countries in particular undertake major efforts to enhance the position of their universities.

For centuries, universities were leaders in international activities. They exported and imported students and faculty members by either admitting them or by sending them abroad. Latin as the ‘lingua franca’ facilitated exchanges of personnel. New locations were sought out, and international partnerships helped expansion, or were a means to escape poor conditions. For example, Georgetown University, a Jesuit school in Washington D.C., was left in legal limbo in the late 18th century, when pope Clement XIV suppressed the Jesuit order. However, by working with Jesuits in Byelorussia, the order continued to be recognized by Czarina Katherine the Great. For several decades, the Georgetown Jesuits were members of the Russian Province. Universities also raised funds on an international scale. They ensured international quality control, when in 1233 A.D. a papal bull ordered that those admitted as teachers in Toulouse, had the right to teach anywhere without further examinations.

Today, companies are the international leaders. They differentiate their international activities into investments (inflow and outflow) and trade (imports and exports). They shift entry approaches based on market needs. To some markets they export. Global sourcing and offshoring is used in others. Firms conduct franchising or licensing and often recruit their staff from around the globe. They make investments, either as sole owners or in joint ventures, and shift venues whenever necessary.
Universities have limited their response to globalization. Typically, they do not translate their experience into an institutional strategy. Many exchange programs do not outlive their faculty founders. International hiring decisions are mostly made in isolation rather than as part of a planned direction. Research collaborations tend to be temporary and international investments have been very limited – be it due to budget or risk constraints.

Since the 1980’s, globalization has moved university activities towards the market. Though universities are the prototype of knowledge institutions, there is only a very limited body of internationalization research in this important service sector. Experience is insufficiently recorded and not remembered. Insights tend to be peer reviewed based on academic criteria, with scant links to constituency needs. In consequence the knowledge and guideposts on internationalization is thin, and constitutes for many universities merely a search for student markets or respect among colleagues. International partnerships often only are intriguing wallpaper for a university president’s office. University implementation of international strategy often remains at the level of international business activities by smaller and medium sized businesses: limited, ad-hoc, unsystematic and frequently inconsistent.

Universities need to demonstrate the international benefits they can offer. The Roman Empire mainly expanded by offering market places, roads, language, laws, and linkages. Outsiders joined because affiliation offered the opportunity to live better. Universities need to achieve such voluntary interest as well. Given their knowledge base, their human talent and their cross-disciplinary capabilities, universities need to make the cost of non-collaboration so high that firms seek them out as knowledge source and partner. In addition to funding, universities need freedom. Just as universities helped define the openness and knowledge of principalities and kingdoms, today they can help define global society, competitiveness and influence.

In developing content, universities should concentrate on specific aspects in which to become multidisciplinary experts. Specialization has worked for firms, and will allow universities to provide more value to society. It will also be important to provide the connectivity between business, research and policy. Profits alone are insufficient for societal prosperity. Religion, family, culture, security are only a few of the components which universities can incorporate a systemic perspective. This will set their thinking apart and let their educational efforts become the transmission belt for the internationalization of their economy.

Michael Czinkota is a Professor of International Marketing and Business at Georgetown University and the University of Birmingham in the UK. He served in the Reagan and Bush administrations in international trade positions.
Andreas Pinkwart is Professor of Entrepreneurship and the President of the Handelshochschule Leipzig. He served as Minister for Innovation, Research and Science in Northrhein Westfalia and as Deputy Chair of the Free Democratic Party in Germany.