BU School of Management plans Institute for Global Work

in Global Work, News, School, SMG Hot Topics
March 15th, 2010

Funded by $1.67 Million Gift from the Keane Foundation

Boston University School of Management announced today that it has received a $1.67 million gift from the Keane Foundation intended to establish an institute for global work.

The institute’s mission will be to create thought leadership that shapes and guides more effective practice pertaining to global business processes.

The institute will design education and certification programs to help executives, managers, vendors, service professionals, consultants, and analysts create and foster high-performance global work teams.

“I commend the Keane Foundation and Boston University School of Management for undertaking this vital initiative….The institute will help the nation retain its preeminence in the world economy, and will give the next generation of our workforce a greater understanding of their economy and world.” 

Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Dr. Chris Newell, a pioneer in the knowledge and learning field and Keane’s Chief Collaboration Officer, will work very closely with Boston University as Senior Research Fellow and an executive of the institute.  He will be joined in providing leadership to the institute by Boston University Professor N. Venkatraman, as well as by Professors John Henderson and Kathleen Curley.

Research from these professors has shown that companies cannot achieve a competitive edge by simply taking advantage of new technologies to outsource or offshore business tasks.  More thoughtful management practices are required for businesses to achieve bottom-line benefits from tapping into global talent pools.

“The nature of work is changing…That’s why we’re excited about the establishment of an institute for global work at Boston University. We look forward to bringing the institute’s knowledge about global work processes and practices to our customers in New England and throughout the world.” 

Ted MacLean, Microsoft’s general manager for New England

During the last year, the faculty at Boston University, led by Professors N. Venkatraman and John C. Henderson, have worked with Dr. Newell and Keane executives to develop and conduct a program titled “Making Global Work Work.”  The collaborative effort—funded in part by the Department of Labor—focused on the key challenges facing software and service professionals in an increasingly global services marketplace.

Their initial research reinforced their beliefs that businesses aren’t optimizing returns on global work initiatives because of under-developed management practices, and the lack of uniform business processes.

“The founding of the institute will represent a transformational point in the study of global work. Keane’s deep domain knowledge in program management and global processes, and the incredible response from our executives to the internal Making Global Work Work thought leadership initiative convinced us that deeper study of global work would be of great benefit to Keane, to our customers, and to the business world generally,” said Sandeep Bhargava, Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions and Business Development at Keane.

“As the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, I believe the Global Work Initiative will provide new ways for small businesses and workers to compete and win in the global marketplace.  I commend Boston University and the Keane Foundation for their efforts to expand knowledge in this important area.” 

Senator John Kerry

“As our economy becomes increasingly more global in nature, it is critical that we learn to function more effectively by working in cross-border, multi-cultural teams,” said Jim Puthuff, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Keane, Inc.  “The Global Work Initiative is a significant first step toward changing the way businesses think about global collaboration, and will put in place a structure and methodology for both educating employees and evaluating specific capabilities in this area.”

The institute’s plan for certifying global work processes and practices is unique.  The School of Management believes it is important to create a framework to establish best practices for how individuals, teams and business units organize and operate to take advantage of the power of global work.