WMU News

Group to study business practices in Southeast Asia

May 25, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- A group of Western Michigan University faculty and students is headed overseas to study business practices in Southeast Asia.

Marketing professor Dr. Zahir Quraeshi will lead a contingent from the Haworth College of Business to Malaysia and Singapore June 16-27 for an introduction to Southeast Asian culture and business. Twenty-five WMU undergraduates, MBA students and faculty members are slated to participate in "Doing Business in Malaysia and Singapore: A Seminar and Study Tour."

The group will spend seven nights in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and four nights in Singapore while touring indigenous Asian corporations and the regional headquarters of numerous American-based businesses. Visits to a number of universities also are on the agenda, along with time for sightseeing and cultural activities. Planned stops include: the Multi-media Development Corp.; the Universiti Kebangsaan; Denso Corp. - Malaysia; the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange; Irwin Seating's Malaysian operations; Sunway College, one of WMU's "twinning" sites; the Monetary Authority of Singapore; IBM - Singapore; and a Malaysian franchise of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

"This is an excellent opportunity for both our students and faculty," says Quraeshi, who serves as the tour's director. "The students will gain understanding of how cultural differences affect the functional operations of a business, such as marketing, human resources and finance. Our professors will bring back new information to further internationalize their business curriculum and also identify possible research partners at the organizations we visit."

The Haworth College of Business has many Southeast and South Asian linkages, among them more than a decade of "twinning" partnership with Sunway College in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, and newer collaborations with Hong Kong Baptist University and Indian institutions including Christ College (Bangalore) and Rajagiri College (Kochi). The University last month announced the creation of an MBA program in Singapore, WMU's first such overseas degree.

The seminar and study tour is part of WMU's Asian/Pacific Education Program, which is supported by a U.S. Department of Education Business and International Education Grant. That program's 1999-2000 offerings also have included a series of lectures by business leaders with Asian/Pacific expertise, a workshop on exporting to Asian/Pacific countries and an international conference on East/West trade and investment issues. The Asian/Pacific Education Program is coordinated by Quraeshi, Dr. F. William McCarty, professor of finance and commercial law, and

Dr. Roger Tang, professor of accountancy and holder of the Pharmacia & Upjohn Chair in Business Administration.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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