Picture this, an American from Cleveland, an Asian Indian American, a student from Poland and myself trying to agree on a research topic on China. That is our challenge over the next few weeks as we start our Global Initiatives in Management (GIM): China class.
GIM is a very popular course at Kellogg with more than 400 students participating last year and involves in-depth study of a country. Students can choose from one of 8 countries or regions that have a GIM class.
Students collaborate with faculty advisors to design a ten-week curriculum on the chosen country. The curriculum is taught in class and includes guest speakers. For GIM China we will study topics such as economics, health care reform, consumerism, culture and many more.
Most of the course is designed around the independent study projects. These involve doing secondary research from now until March and then travelling to China for two weeks doing primary field research. We will of course also be visiting giant pandas and seeing some of the sights.
The aim of these independent study projects is to research an economic or business issue related to China in depth. We want to study a topic that is cutting edge to make it really worthwhile.
Knowing this, our group has been trying to think creatively about what is new, interesting and not been so widely thought about on China. However, with all the hype around China’s explosive entry onto the world stage this can be challenging. Two topics that have received attention only recently are China’s large and growing excess capacity and China’s ability to move towards innovation and design and away from from low cost manufacturing.
Over the coming weeks, as a group, we will be reading more on these topics and searching for inspiration elsewhere to develop our research question.