Joey Ye

Three years after its launch in April 2012, the Global Network for Advanced Management welcomed its second U.S. member school last Thursday: the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

The announcement came after a unanimous vote among existing GNAM members schools to accept Berkeley-Haas’ application. After the addition of Berkeley-Haas, GNAM — an international partnership of business schools founded by Yale School of Management Dean Edward Snyder in 2012 — now includes 28 member schools. Before Berkeley-Haas joined GNAM, the Yale School of Management was the only U.S. school in the network. Administrators and students interviewed said Berkeley-Haas will add strength to GNAM.

“Adding a U.S. school will reinforce that Yale SOM’s interest in GNAM is not to build a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model with Yale SOM at the center, but rather to develop a network of top business schools and change management education,” Snyder said. The “spoke-hub” distribution network is a system of connections in which all traffic moves along spokes connected to the hub at the center.

SOM Associate Dean David Bach said it is reasonable to have a second U.S. school in GNAM given that the U.S. remains the world’s largest economy and pre-eminent market for management education.

Both Snyder and Bach referred to Metcalf’s Law — an economic theory of the network effect — when explaining the value Berkeley-Haas will bring to GNAM. Metcalf’s Law states that the community value of a network grows as the square of the number of its users increases.

“Having invested a lot in getting [GNAM] going, should we have kept it to ourselves, at least as far as the U.S. is concerned?” Bach asked. “If [GNAM] is more valuable and dynamic as a result of Berkeley’s joining, then all members — including Yale — are better off.”

Dean of Berkeley-Haas Richard Lyons said his business school and Yale have “complementary, rather than competing” areas of expertise.

SOM is a major player on the East Coast, whereas Berkeley-Haas is situated in San Francisco, Lyons said, adding that the school’s proximity to Silicon Valley gives it a unique strength in startups and innovation.

Lyons added that the school plans to bring faculty from GNAM member schools to Berkeley-Haas to offer an up-close view of the entrepreneurship environment. The school will also run workshops to provide perspective on methods of teaching entrepreneurship in business schools that are rapidly changing, he said.

Bach also said that Berkeley-Haas’ strengths in innovation and entrepreneurship will contribute new areas of expertise to the network, adding that its strong presence around the Pacific Rim will extend the GNAM’s geographic reach.

“The fact that such a prominent school as Berkeley-Haas would join GNAM shows how attractive the proposition of network-based business school collaboration is when compared to more traditional, usually bilateral partnerships,” Bach said.

Beyond the geographical distinction, Lyons said Berkeley-Haas’ unique strength also lies in its online platform; the Philanthropy University was launched by the school to offer free education on leadership in social entrepreneurship. Currently in its first academic cycle, Philanthropy University has half a million users around the world. Lyons said member schools could utilize this online platform.

SOM students interviewed praised the addition of Berkeley-Haas for the opportunities it will create for students at member schools.

“Since we think of the U.S. as a single entity, we are often guilty of thinking of it as a homogenous place,” Krishan Rele SOM ’17 said. “Haas’ membership in the GNAM provides us students with access to a different perspective from that of schools on the East Coast, exposure to a new diverse location in the U.S., and an opportunity to expand our understanding of the dynamics of business in a very diverse part of the U.S.”

Rele added that although SOM will continue to play a strong role in the network as a founding member school, the addition of Berkeley-Haas may start to infringe on SOM’s appeal to foreign students within the Global Network.

SOM’s GNAM student representative Nilofer Ahmed SOM ’16 said adding another U.S. business school to the network reinforces that business schools should go global to keep up with increasingly international student bodies and diverse workforces. Ahmed added that U.S. business schools are currently somewhat inwardly focused, in that they meet one another at American MBA events but rarely meet their European, African and Asian counterparts.

GNAM was founded with 22 member business schools.