New Director takes reins of Griffith MBA

Griffith's MBA Director Associate Professor Chris Fleming.

Reinforcing the core values that drive Griffith’s MBA program is a natural step for new Director, Associate Professor Chris Fleming, who sees the Griffith MBA as very much a program for its time.

Associate Professor Fleming believes the values on which Griffith Business School was founded have stood strong in the wake of 2008’s Global Financial Crisis and are as relevant today as any time previously.

“Around the world there was widespread dissatisfaction, often led by students, with how business schools were run after the GFC,” he says. “A genuine demand for a shift in the focus of business schools emerged, where a responsible, holistic approach to business and business thinking was now a priority.

“This was signalled strongest through the ‘Occupy Wall St’ movement. Gordon Gecko’s ‘greed is good’ mantra was consigned to the trash heap. Business schools couldn’t ignore it anymore.”

The Griffith MBA was well positioned to embrace this social spirit, with its established structure around three core values of responsible leadership, sustainable business practice and a global orientation with an Asia Pacific focus.

“We infuse our business leaders with these values, which are integrated through all of the MBA courses from sustainability to economics,” Chris Fleming says. “Our MBA is driven by these values and the values of the academic staff teaching into it. These values are up front and central to every discussion with every student.”

The values have remained constant as the structure of the MBA program has been revisited on the back of the digital revolution. In November last year, Griffith University took online education to a new level to meet the fast-changing needs of a modern, global student community.

A sophisticated new online MBA program opened the door for students to start their studies when and where they wanted.

“Digital education is both the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge going forward,” Chris Fleming, an applied micro-economist, says.

Chris Fleming 2widescreen“As our program evolves in step with the demands of digital education during the decade ahead, I expect the MBA experience for Griffith students to continue to improve, keeping the Griffith MBA ahead of the pack.”

High ranking

The Griffith MBA has stood out from the crowd on a range of fronts during the past two years. It is the highest-ranking Australian MBA in the Aspen Institute’s Centre of Business Education’s most recent Beyond Grey Pinstripes Global 100 list, ranking at 26 due to its focus on responsible leadership, sustainability business practices and the Asia-Pacific region.

It was also ranked in Australia’s top 10 by the Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine MBA survey; it featured in CEO Magazine’s top 20 Global MBA Rankings for 2015; and was shortlisted for the inaugural Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards last year.

After taking out a Green Gown Award in 2013, the program’s credentials were consolidated when – in a first for an Australian MBA program — it offset the effect of its greenhouse gas emissions.

“Business leaders have a responsibility to not only look after the balance sheet and their shareholders, but also to look after the planet and the community where they live and operate,” Associate Professor Fleming says.

“Because of its heritage, Griffith University is ideally placed to continue to deliver the best MBA in the country. And with our new online model, there is no reason why someone in Asia, Europe or Africa cannot do an MBA at Griffith”.