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Teaming Up: The Importance Of Collaboration Between The Corporate And Education Sectors Corporate-sponsored or initiated high-quality executive education keeps the workforce up-to-date as well as presents enormous benefits to the company in terms of employee motivation.

By Professor Laoucine Kerbache

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The concept of cooperation between schools and corporates is best reflected under the Humboldtian principle, which emphasizes the "union of teaching and research" in academic work. This was dominant and highly influential in Europe from the late 1800s to the 1950s. Under this principle, the function of the university was to advance knowledge by original and critical investigation, not just to transmit the legacy of the past or to teach skills. This led to the emphasis on collaborative and applied research for the benefit of industry, the military and wider society.

Rapidly developing technologies may present challenges in terms of keeping the current workforce and new employees up-to-date with new developments. The challenges include the lack of skills and knowledge to operate and implement new processes and technologies. This is what has driven the development of efficient and innovative corporate initiatives and learning programs. Effective learning and development (L&D) plans include selecting the right technologies, organization, providers and content along with low costs to demonstrate business returns on training.

A massive online open course (MOOC) is one of the innovations in distance education and e-learning that serve thousands of learners worldwide at low cost via the Web. They are heavily utilized by well-known universities because it allows training and development providers to focus on the expertise of the institution. MOOCs are assembled from existing open software and delivered free to millions of students via partnerships.

A corporate university, on the other hand, is an approach designed to align the training arm of companies with the organizations' vision and strategy. They were first created in the late 1980s as an enhancement to traditional training departments. Among the advantages of a corporate university is that it offers a powerful model for learning that compels learners to grow and develop; provides a unique branding opportunity, and has long-term positive effects on a company's financial health and stability. Furthermore, it decreases turnover with employees being far more likely to stay with their employer if their individual development is kept at the forefront.

Corporate-sponsored or initiated high-quality executive education keeps the workforce up-to-date as well as presents enormous benefits to the company in terms of employee motivation. This in turn greatly influences business performance. As a key factor to productivity and competitive success, both organizations and individuals need constant and continuous learning and development. The sooner organizations realize that their performance and employee motivation go hand-in-hand, they will understand that providing executive education programs that enhance employees' knowledge and capabilities motivates employees. Strong business performance that directly benefits employees' career growth also further inspires and motivates them.

This puts into perspective our motto at HEC Paris: "The more you know, the more you dare." We remain faithful to our conviction that knowledge determines the freedom and entrepreneurship required for a better world. Therefore, HEC Paris has produced more alumni in CEO positions within Fortune Global 500 companies than any other European business school, according to The Times Higher Education Alma Mater Index 2013. These include 11 CEOs from well-known brands such as BestBuy, L'Oreal, Kering, Lafarge, and AXA, as well as the Executive Vice President of Havas Worldwide. In Qatar, our high-profile alumni include senior executives from Qatar Foundation, Ooredoo, Ministry of Business and Trade, the Supreme Council of Health, Qatari Diar Vinci Construction, Qatar Audit Bureau, Msheireb Properties, and Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC). From the region, our alumni come from Bank Muscat in Oman, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in KSA, KAMCO from Kuwait and Etisalat in UAE to name a few.

The continued successes of these companies are concrete examples of how HEC Paris' executive education programs drive business performance. It also shows how business executives are further motivated and better equipped to pursue their goal of becoming business leaders in their respective organizations or eventually as successful entrepreneurs. HEC Paris has implemented the Custom Programs approach in collaborating with corporates for the training and development needs of their teams. In recognizing the varying and often times, unique educational and training requirement of every business organization, HEC Paris offers, creates and delivers outstanding corporate, tailor-made Custom Programs. These programs address the major challenges facing organizations and are tailored to the specific professional development and training needs of executives and managers. Thus, with every company being different in every aspect, no two programs are alike.

We utilize a tried and tested four-step methodology: diagnosis, co-creation, delivery and continuous evaluation. This enables participants to be immersed in a challenging environment where they can step back from their daily routine and reflect upon themselves, their organization, their role within their industry and the position their company occupies on the national and global stage. In addition, we offer an unrivalled pool of globally recognized academic practitioners who capitalize on decades of research, real-life vocational experiences, regional and cultural awareness. So far, HEC Paris in Qatar has graduated about 350 participants (EMBA, SBUM) and trained over 1000 executives from the programs conducted across the GCC over the past five years. There is indeed a growing trend for companies opting to enter into partnerships with reputable executive management schools for custom-made programs for their staff.

Related: Follow The Leader: Laoucine Kerbache, Dean and CEO, HEC Paris in Qatar

Laoucine Kerbache is Dean and CEO of HEC Paris Qatar. He has been teaching (undergraduate, MBA, and executive programs), researching and consulting in the field of operations and supply chain management, logistics, and applied quantitative methods for more than 25 years.

Professor Kerbache holds a Ph.D., an M.Sc, and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA), an "Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches" from the University of Nantes (France), and a diploma of International Teacher Program (IMD-Lausanne, Switzerland).

Professor Kerbache has been supervising several Master and Ph.D. dissertations on optimization in operations and supply chain management. He has published numerous papers in international journals such as: Marketing Science, European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Production Economics, International Transactions of Operational Research, Computers and Operations Research, Annals of Operations Research, Journal of Mathematical Modeling and Algorithms, IMA Journal of Management Mathematics, IEEE Transactions, Material Flows, Interfaces, Gestion 2000, Santé et Systémique, etc.


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