What is the statistical benefit of an international business degree? New analysis of growing survey data at Thunderbird School of Global Management puts the value at roughly eight years abroad in four or more countries.
“For the first time ever, we are able to show a return on investment for a global management degree,” said Garvin Distinguished Professor Mansour Javidan, Ph.D., director of Thunderbird’s Global Mindset® Institute in Glendale, Arizona.
Javidan’s research team bases its conclusions on more than 10,000 survey results from the Global Mindset Inventory, a scientific self-assessment developed at Thunderbird to measure a manager’s capacity to thrive in unfamiliar environments with people from diverse backgrounds. Javidan said the 10,000 survey milestone — which Thunderbird passed on May 10, 2011 — means the sample size is large enough to identify trends, predict outcomes and make comparisons among subgroups.
Already 19 global business schools in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and the United States have used the Global Mindset Instrument to help students identify strengths and weaknesses. Javidan said many business schools talk about globalization and claim to improve their students’ capacity to succeed abroad. But the Global Mindset Inventory takes a scientific approach to quantify the boost.
In terms of international experience, he said Global Mindset data show that managers benefit from any cross-cultural immersion. But the results accelerate when managers prepare their minds with a global business degree.
“You can think of an international management degree as a turbo engine,” Javidan said. “The regular engine still goes fast, but if you add the turbo charge, your performance drastically improves.”
Global MBA recipients who have never lived in a second country for more than two years start with Global Mindset scores that average 3.8 on a 5.0 scale. Managers without a global management degree start below 3.5 and do not climb above 3.8 until living nearly eight years abroad in at least four countries.
Javidan said managers who fail to close the gap often underperform in global settings and disqualify themselves from career advancement. His research shows a direct correlation between Global Mindset and corporate rank. CEOs average 3.86 on the self-assessment, while managers who score in the range of 3.5 typically hold positions six or more levels below the CEO.
Global Mindset science also shows that managers with international degrees continue learning and growing after other managers stagnate. Managers without international degrees stop showing gains after living in four countries, while their degreed counterparts continue improving with each new immersion experience.
“An international business degree significantly increases your efficiency in learning,” Javidan said. “It lubricates your learning.”
The results are even more dramatic at Thunderbird, ranked No. 1 in the world for international business education by the Financial Times and U.S. News & World Reports.
Thunderbird has used the Global Mindset Instrument as a pre- and post-assessment since 2008. Not only do Thunderbird students show significant Global Mindset gains during their time on campus, but they consistently outscore all other business and academic groups.
Javidan said one mission of the Global Mindset Institute is to help other business schools learn from the Thunderbird model and improve their practices. “We want to help other schools to do a better job,” he said. “That is what a leader is supposed to do.”
To learn more about the Global Mindset Inventory or to take the self-assessment, visit the Global Mindset Institute website, contact business development manager Joy McGovern, Ph.D., at email@example.com, or watch the Thunderbird Knowledge Network video series below:
|Global Mindset Advantage: Thunderbird Professor Mansour Javidan, Ph.D., talks about why global mindset is important. View the video on YouTube or on China’s www.tudou.com (2:18).||Global Mindset Origins: Thunderbird Professor Mansour Javidan, Ph.D., the personal and professional influences for his global mindset research. View the video on YouTube or on China’s www.tudou.com (2:13).|
|Global Mindset Development: Thunderbird Professor Mansour Javidan, Ph.D., shares a three-step process for improving global mindset. View the video on YouTube or on China’s www.tudou.com (2:35).||Global Mindset Inventory: Thunderbird Professor Mansour Javidan, Ph.D., talks about the science behind the school’s online self-assessment tool. View the video on YouTube or on China’s www.tudou.com (2:20).|
|Global Mindset Investment: Thunderbird Professor Mansour Javidan, Ph.D., says managers can learn global mindset the easy way or the hard way. View the video on YouTube or on China’s www.tudou.com (2:49).||Globalization Benefits and Risks: Thunderbird Professor Mansour Javidan, Ph.D., talks about the benefits and risks of globalization. View the video on YouTube or on China’s www.tudou.com (2:41)|