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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Back to school
Back to school
Merck KGaA is an international group of research-based companies in the fields of pharmaceuticals, laboratory and specialty chemicals with headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. Top-managers at Merck will exchange their comfortable office chairs for hard lecture hall benches more frequently in the future - Merck University has started up in Chicago. In the first round, 48 managers from 22 companies of the globally operating Merck group based in 14 countries, are taking part. By 2001, the group will have completed first-rate, two-week further education programs at four of the world's leading business schools. The program began at J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, in Chicago, where the participants familiarized themselves with current developments in marketing, controlling, and teamwork. But the virtual Merck University will not only offer courses on new management theories and models. Dr Hermann-Peter Weicht, head of management development at Merck, says:
Practical exchange between cultures and conveying different points of view and experiences is one of our top priorities.
In Weicht's opinion, international experiences are vital for a global company and a key to long-term success.
As a result, the managers will have homework to do. Between courses they will apply their new knowledge to challenges facing the Merck Group. International personnel work, e-commerce, and other topics of the future will be addressed by small teams that will stay in constant contact via the Internet. They will perfect concepts and present the results to the executive management.
This spring, the first-round participants move on to their second stop. At London Business School, they will learn about such topics as organizational development, managerial systems, and self-reflection. In the autumn of 2000, they will take courses on international financial markets, accounting standards, and intercultural management at Hong Kong University. The first round will be completed in the spring of 2001, when the Merck managers will become acquainted with the latest developments in innovative management, among other things, at the Wissenschaftliche Hochschule fur Unternehmensfhrung (WHU) in Koblenz, Germany.