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CEEMAN President, Prof. Danica Purg has been chosen as International Dean of the Year 2010 by the Academy of International Business (AIB), an international organization of scholars and specialists overseeing and promoting international business education around the world. She has received this award at the AIB 2010 Annual Meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

What do you think about your nomination as Dean of the Year Award by the Academy of International Business (AIB)?

I am honored to be selected for the award and to be recognized by the prestigious Academy of International Business, especially as being only the third European dean awarded. I’m grateful to all of my colleagues, employees and friends who inspired, motivated and helped me during the last almost 25 years. I am seeing this award as recognition not only to IEDC-Bled School of Management, but also to Slovenia and whole Central and Eastern Europe.

What are the reasons for your important designation?
As listed in the Nomination for the 2010 Educator/Dean of the Year Award, these are five main reasons why the AIB awarded me this high level of recognition:

  1. My pioneering work in founding management education in Slovenia
  2. Important contribution made by founding and extending the Central and Eastern European Management Development Association (CEEMAN) of deans and directors throughout Central and Eastern Europe and other emerging economies to be a role model
  3. Recognition of my never ending desire and ability to support others, with the result that I am a role model par excellence for deans, faculty members, and managers throughout the region and beyond
  4. My innovations in how management education is conceptualized, designed, and delivered
  5. My contribution to having the world recognize the powerful role that management education plays in the functioning of civil society, as exemplified by the President of the Republic of Slovenia awarding me the “Honorary Order of Freedom” in 2001.


How do you evaluate business education in Latin American universities?

There is no doubt that the future leading economies are B.R.I.C. countries. I believe that these countries will create a momentum to develop and promote leaders for a better world. For them it will be important to make the change from a follower to a leader, as it will be important for actual leading economies, to overcome the resistance against this inevitable change, and to accept a new position and role. As for the Latin America universities, I see here the important role of the Association of Latin America’s leading management schools (CLADEA) who is a for-runner in raising the importance and awareness of management and leadership disciplines among the companies operated in the Latin American.

Ever since I got involved in the management development I have been following global trends in business education and leadership development. In this context I have found a number of similarities between trends in Central and Eastern Europe and those in Latin America. In both regions management development does not have as long tradition as it exists for instance in the United States and some countries in Western Europe.

This was one of the reasons why I initiated the idea of establishing CEEMAN-Central and East European Management Development Association in 1993. Receiving my award in Rio de Janeiro I got the opportunity to compare my ideas about management education in Latin America with the ones coming from your continent. I noticed that the word “internationalization” was the most frequent.

In its development CEEMAN has been passing through three different stages, which have always been overlapping with each other: learning from others (in order to acquire best practices from best business schools in the world), learning from each other (in order to find responses to our unique challenges and opportunities) and sharing with others. The third stage is particularly important now, at the moment when business education and leadership development industry worldwide is in a search for new approaches and creative responses to the fast changing environment. This includes all aspects of business education: educational programs and processes, research and educational materials, faculty development, but also organizational and institutional arrangements, since in addition to serving the changing needs of our customers, we also need to take care of our own institutional needs. I am proud to witness that CEEMAN members’ institutions, including IEDC, have been demonstrating an increasingly growing capacity and willingness to innovate. Let me give you an example from my school. In our search for holistic approach to leadership development we have been introducing non-managerial disciplines, like philosophy, sociology, history, but also learning form other fields like arts, culture and science. With all this and with its gradual shift from the transition specific issues to those related to the phenomena of change in general, CEEMAN has grown into a truly global association of around 190 members from 43 countries from all over the world, while some of its members are widely recognized as leading innovators.

I have observed similar trends in Latin America. There are schools that were established following the model of some of the best business schools from the United States. In fact, they almost copied their programs and all other aspects from their US partners. The schools from Spain also turned to be role models and cooperation partners in a later stage. Nevertheless the Latin American schools also faced the need for learning from each other, and this is where and when CLADEA was founded to respond to such a need. Recently I have been observing a number of changes in business education and leadership development in Latin America. Some of the leading schools and universities have been changing their mission to better serve the business. There is a much higher emphasis on entrepreneurship development, international business, sustainable development and responsible leadership. In parallel to this, schools tend to further increase the level of their internationalization, again in all aspects, including their programs, processes, faculty, students and strategic partnerships and alliances. I am glad to see that their orientation resonates very well with the specific value platform of our association. After CEEMAN members, the schools from Latin America were among those who were the first to adopt the principles of responsible management education launched by the UN Global Compact, under the auspices of the UN Secretary General. We have taken it as a natural development that Latin American schools are expressing an increasingly growing interest in CEEMAN and its programs and activities, including through their membership in our association. CEEMAN’s International management Teachers Academy (IMTA), a major European faculty development program, which has educated already 384 management professors from 120 institutions from 32 countries, has its doors widely open for the faculty from Latin America. The schools in Latin America face similar challenges as schools in other parts of the word. We all need a new generation of professors who would be capable of developing a new generation of economically successful and socially responsible business leaders.


What are your projects in business education in Slovenia and in European region?
I can mention some of the projects that I consider particularly important at this moment. IEDC-Bled School of Management will continue innovating in the area of responsible management and leadership development, particularly of focusing on leadership skills and ability to react on the demand in the globalizing world. In this respect we shall develop further our art based leadership development program which is already well known not only in Slovenia and SEE region, but the entire EU. Based on the results achieved, the expectations of our stakeholders are now even higher. The same is with the expectations from the international business education industry from where the number of prominent schools interested in cooperation with the IEDC has been growing.

Our focus on responsible leadership and sustainable development will be further facilitated through the UN Global Compact Slovenia, which was founded by IEDC. This will enable schools to further increase its role of an important change agent.

Within the European Leadership Center at IEDC-Bled School of management we will continue developing new agenda for European Leadership. The global crisis only confirmed the importance of the issues that we raised when the ELC was established in 2003.

As for CEEMAN, we will continue with and further expand and build upon our faculty development programs, including through recently launched IMTA Modules on Educational Materials Development. The need for world-class educational material which is relevant for dynamically changing environments like Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America is huge. What we are doing now is to achieve simultaneously two objectives: developing skills for case writing and research, while at the same time producing excellent and relevant educational materials.

We have recently launched CEEMAN Champion Awards to recognize outstanding achievements in teaching, research and educational materials development, and institutional management. This will hopefully inspire for even higher achievements in the overall quality of business education and leadership development. This will also hopefully for a bit compensate for the deficiencies of the existing international ranking systems, which similarly to the accreditation schemes follow certain models that cannot be applied universally. In this context let me mention also our efforts related to the CEEMAN International Accreditation –IQA, which was the first international accreditation system to integrate the principles of responsible management education among the accreditation criteria.

CEEMAN will continue exercising its role of the leader of the PRME Working Group on Fighting Poverty in the PRME Working Group. CEEMAN Survey on Management Education: Corporate Social Responsibility and Poverty (carried out in autumn 2008), CEEMAN Survey on Business Schools responses to Global Crisis (September 2009) and CEEMAN Survey on Poverty as a Challenge for management Education, which was presented in the 2nd Global Forum for responsible management Education held in June in New York, provide a platform for rethinking of the role that business schools could play in fighting poverty and achieving Millennial Goals. I was very happy to see that these surveys attracted a very high attention and interest of the business education community in Latin America and I am looking forward to having Latin American schools even more actively involved in our future work.

CEEMAN has now embarked upon identifying “hidden champions” in dynamically changing environments. We would like to present the CEE champions and their success stories to business community from other parts of the world. I am sure this will bring a lot of exciting learning lessons. Perhaps we could do something similar for Latin America? Similarly to CEE, this is also a big laboratory of change and therefore offers a high learning potential.