【Dean’s Column】MAO Jiye: Why DO We Aim For A Business School “Expert in Chinese Management”?


New vision—to be a world class business school as the expert in Chinese management
The new vision of Renmin Business School (RMBS) is “to be a world class business school as the expert in Chinese management”. I would like to unveil connotations of the vision. First, regarding “World-Class”, we have a definite goal, that is, to be a world-class Business School in 2025. Our country has launched “Double First-Class” initiative. Renmin Business School, with its Business Administration ranking the first in China, aims at being a world-class top Chinese Business School. To achieve this goal, we must have our academic research in top 100 in the world, that is to say, the top international journals shall see top 100 of published papers of RMBS faculties among other international institutes. We must also make our teaching programs be in top 50 of the world. So far, RMBS has made the Top-50 list of the three major programs—MBA, EMBA and EE ranked by Financial Times. 
Regarding “expert in Chinese management”, as far as I am concerned, a Business School expert in Chinese management must be down to earth, closest to Chinese enterprises, be the best learning companions and also be the best learning medium as well as the summarizer of the best Chinese management practices. If any overseas country has an idea of learning Chinese management practices or Chinese management modes, Renmin Business School should be the best school. If anyone asks “who could represent the theoretical level of Chinese management”, Renmin Business School would be the only representative. That’s all about “to be a world class business school as the expert in Chinese management”.
With the growth of demand and development of technology, the enterprises need to be “expert in Chinese management” when experiencing transformation and encouraging innovation.
Next, I would explain why we aim for a Business School expert in Chinese management from both aspects of demand and supply. 
Let me explain from the aspect of demand. First, we do have entered a comparatively overall well-off society and become a middle-income country with per capita GDP of 8,000 USD. Our country has been in a new period of development with changes in demand and consumers. Nowadays, the generations after 80s and 90s have become the main force of consumption as they have higher requirements for life quality. People in our generation would feel satisfied with listening free online music. So it’s hard for us to understand why the post-80s and 90s young people would like to spend one or two hundred each month on downloading high-quality music despite of their low salary. 
Second, our national economy is experiencing transformation from previous shortage economy to surplus economy, from incremental economy to storage economy. The whole industry is encountering over-productivity and the enterprises face huge pressure when it comes to transformation and upgrading. 
Third, the technology also sees change. We have comprehensively entered an era of mobile internet. Taking the latest statistics of “Double 11” (Dec. 11th) in this year as an example, 90% orders in Tianmall were placed via mobile terminal (the percentage of last year is 80%). In other words, orders that were placed via PC are as low as less than 10%. The whole society is transitioning to the age of mobile internet. Enterprise offices also tend to be moving toward mobile internet. This year, e-commerce accounts for around 14% of the whole retailing. Any enterprise engaging in B-to-C commerce and consumer products cannot ignore this phenomenon. 
Except Mobile Internet Age, Big Date, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Cloud Computation are all overturning the previous business mode. The new media is playing a more and more important role. In the age of mobile internet, the channels people obtain information change radically. Instead of people looking for products, service and information, nowadays, people are sought for products, service and information. We didn’t quite understand before why Haier stopped using print ads in 2014 and why e-commerce chose internet celebrities instead of ordinary ads to promote itself. While having learned the functions of new media, we have new thoughts and different opinions.
I would like to take an example of one of our alumni companies, doing new media operation. The company helps manage the official account of Legend Holdings and brings in more than 300,000 fans within several years, setting a striking example of the idea that enterprises could also be the we-media themselves. This company also runs a very interesting wechat account named “Maolaile”, attracting about 400 to 500 thousand fans in a couple of years. What’s more, this account, with monthly ads incomings of hundreds of thousands of Yuan and estimated value of close to 100 million Yuan, is managed by several post-90s young people who graduated not from leading universities. These young people post articles on this account regularly at 5:00pm and tens of thousands of fans read instantly. This account sees a stable rate of reading. On average, each article draws attention of 15% fans. 
Then let’s talk about the new kind of advertising –internet celebrities. INMAN, a company engaged in clothing e-commerce, found ineffectiveness of traditional advertising and turned to internet celebrities. After the celebrities posted on social networking sites their pictures of wearing INMAN clothes, INMAN saw drastic increase of sale the next day. This kind of market appeal is recognized by some people and people jokingly call the internet celebrities “the future main force of rescuing economy of Northeast China”. I heard that the best celebrities have yearly incomings of around 5 to 6 million, almost equal to incomings of some movie stars.
In a nutshell, the three mentioned tendencies contribute to more and more dynamic and complex environment. The enterprises are faced with unprecedented pressure from transformation, upgrading and innovation. When you are doing business others are also doing, the best way to stand out is to innovate, which especially increases pressure of learning. On the other hand, China has boasts of more than 100 companies ranking the world’s top 500. It is time to summarize Chinese management modes. Therefore, speaking from the perspective of demand, we do need to be “expert in Chinese management”.
Resource base determines the vision and will also contributes a lot to a better future.
Speaking from the aspect of supply, resource-based view is a pretty core theory in strategic management. To be “expert in Chinese management”, we must have a group of faculties who are “experts in Chinese management”. We have professors HUANG Weiwei, WU Chunbo, YANG Du and BAO Zheng who are experts in HUAWEI studies. We have professor PENG Jianfeng who happens to be present today, professor ZHANG Kai and WANG Fengbin. They have been studying Haier and are absolutely experts in Haier studies. We have professor SHI Wei who is expert in Medea studies. We have professor SONG Hua who is expert in Supply Chain Finance. I had experiences of doing investigation with Professor SONG and also read his books. I can hardly find anybody who has more profound understandings in Supply Chain Finance than Professor SONG. We have professor WANG Huacheng who’s outstanding in studying Finance Management of Chinese Corporations. We have professors DAI Deming and ZHOU Hua who are experts in Chinese Accounting Theories, professor ZHOU Yu in Partnership, professors LIU Gang, WANG Liping and JIAO Shubin in Traditional Chinese Culture and Management, professor ZHAO Meng and WANG Jianying in Social Enterprises, professor YI Zhihong in Chinese Management Education, professors CHENG Dong and FENG Yunxia in Reflective Learning and Action Learning. I returned to Renmin Business School in 2004 after my years’ studying abroad. What I Knew, learned and adopted were Western Theories of Information Management and practices of Western countries. However, in the past 14 years, I managed to turn my Western mode of thinking to Chinese mode. Up till now, I have investigated more than 50 Chinese corporations and I can say I’m one of, though maybe not the best, frontier researchers in Digital Transformation of Chinese enterprises.
Renmin Business School constructs Chinese management theories with standard induction method, well deserving the “best Business School expert in China”. Armed with abundant resources and also with pressing demand from social enterprises, Renmin Business School proposed the new vision. 
Then how do we make our vision realized? I called on all our faculties to do field research in enterprises, to help enterprises by suggesting new ideas and doing consulting on one hand and to develop more cases and construct theories from the other. By doing research in enterprises, the faculties could help the enterprises summarize the best practices as well as indicate difficulties and problems that need deep thinking. Sometimes, to the enterprises, indicating problems is even more inspiring than offering solutions. 
In the future, we hope Renmin Business School could own a case base containing China’s top management cases so as to provide the world with a myriad of vivid Chinese management practices.
In the future, we hope Renmin Business School could be the best learning partner of Chinese enterprises and also the best learning medium. Thus, we proposed the mission of Renmin Business School, that is, “to contribute Chinese management wisdom and global leadership talents to the world”. If any enterprises or anybody at home or abroad has an idea of learning Chinese management modes and China’s best management practices, Renmin Business School would be the best choice.

RMBS made the Top-50 list of MBA,
EMBA and EE programs——The Financial Times

Renmin University of China

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