by Murat Akpinar
JAMK has been accepted into the Microeconomics of Competitiveness (MOC) network developed by Professor Michael Porter at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School. There are around 90 affiliate universities in the MOC network. JAMK is the second Finnish institute of higher education to join the network following Aalto University School of Economics.
MOC is a graduate-level course which explores the determinants of national and regional competitiveness through the lenses of strategies of firms, government policies, and the roles of actors such as industry associations and universities. The course analyzes clusters, organizational structures, institutional structures and change processes required for sustained improvements in competitiveness. Target students are graduate students in business, economics, development, government and related disciplines. Member universities in the network teach the course locally with the aid of resources developed at Harvard. The course is taught in the International Business Management master degree program at JAMK.
Harvard selects universities that are leading business schools in their regions. The ideal member university should have faculty with doctoral degrees and an ongoing research program in the field. Participation in the course is on an invitation-only basis. JAMK was recommended to the network via visiting professor Faheem ul-Islam who has been an affiliate of the network since 2006. Instructors from new affiliates should attend the new faculty workshop at Harvard in December prior to teaching the course. The workshop provides instructions on how to teach the course, how to use case studies in the course, and how to manage student teams in class. Matti Hirsilä and Murat Akpinar from JAMK will attend this workshop at Harvard during Dec 12-13, 2011.
Areas for Cooperation in the Network
MOC opens the doors for cooperation possibilities in teaching and research with highly prestigious schools in the network from all around the world. Instructors meet annually at Harvard to share their experiences in teaching of the course, learn about new developments, and exchange ideas for research and development. Cooperation continues throughout the year between instructors through joint projects and staff exchange. This is an excellent opportunity to contribute to JAMK’s internationalization.
Long-term Vision for Member Universities
The course addresses the ways in which the private, public and university sectors can work together to boost regional development and competitiveness. As such it does not only serve as a platform to educate young people but also to help universities to contribute to regional and national economic development. The course can be adapted to train public sector officials and private sector leaders. In that respect it stimulates projects in which students and faculty work together with business and regional government. As for JAMK, this course can provide the means to play an even more influential role in the development of the region of Central Finland.