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12month MBA at Oxford College of Business & CSR goes hand in hand

The role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on MBA programs is rapidly evolving as a result of the economic difficulties over the past five years, and only the best MBA programs in the country recognize the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility. The 12month MBA at Oxford College of Business (OCB) offered in affiliation with the Australian Institute of Business (AIB) is regarded as one of the best MBA’s around because the program takes CSR very seriously.

After the global recession at the end of the last decade, some, rightly or wrongly, placed blame at the doors of some of the world’s best business schools for failing to ingrain the importance of CSR values on their alumni. Further, protests around the world against the perceived greed fostered in some industries shows a global population becoming increasingly frustrated with a lack of consideration of CSR in business.

At Oxford College of Business, we don’t just embrace diversity – we’re defined by it. Students come to OCB from all types of industry backgrounds. Their cultures, backgrounds and ambitions exemplify the corporate mindset needed to be successful leaders in a rapidly evolving Sri Lankan economy. OCB often referred to as the best business school for postgraduate studies in Sri Lanka, with its diverse student population from more than 350 companies, students get a personal glimpse into other business cultures, taking them far beyond stereotypes and providing them with a framework for cross-cultural interactions across industries on the personal and professional scale.

Only the industries best get selected to join the 12month MBA offered at OCB in affiliation with AIB. Students at OCB are as unique as the companies and backgrounds they come from, but they do share common traits. They are risk-takers and problem solvers, and they think globally. Whether working with faculty, peers or the community, students forge strong bonds at OCB, creating lifelong relationships and memories. The strong MBA alumnus at Oxford College of Business plays an active role, with representation from a broad cross-section of the student body. OCB’s MBA alumni is considered to be one of the most active MBA alumni’s in the country with the student body constantly involved in organizing various events throughout the year with very special emphasis being placed on CSR projects

The MBA programs Director at Oxford College of Business explains the value of CSR to business and the importance and emphasis the 12month MBA program places on CSR projects: “The game has changed—it is essential that all managers consider full stakeholder value over the long-term. MBA students at Oxford College of Business are inculcated with the importance of CSR. MBA students are made to understand that “customers seek it; communities in which we operate insist on it, and your clients, business partners and even employees will hold you accountable for making a positive contribution.” With such importance being placed on how companies and organizations add to the world they exist in, there is a strong argument placed by the Australian Institute of Business for general MBA rankings to incorporate measurements of CSR into their methodology.

The president of OCB’s MBA alumni, Mr. Shawn Adams, often emphasizes the importance of CSR, saying that “even the business school rankings will eventually also have to change, to put more weight in measuring the global impact of a school or program, and not focus as heavily on individuals’ post-MBA salaries… the scale of the world’s challenges are simply too big for focusing so heavily on individual success.”

“This is the reason why OCB and its MBA program has dominated the Sri Lankan market excelling, through the eyes of MBA employers, in producing graduates that take into account aspects of CSR in their day-to-day business operations, automatically making OCB’s 12month MBA program the No.1 choice among all senior managers. The 12 month MBA program is the only program which has one dedicated module called “corporate governance” which ensures that future business leaders in the country’s rapidly evolving economy would be trained to consider the impact of the decisions they make on the wider community, at home and further afield.”

The MBA alumni of OCB recently concluded a CSR project named as “31 days of food, care, blessings, smile and fun.” The project involved providing food and care for 31 days, to 74 differently-able children and adults at the Preethipura Home in Wattala. The alumni also managed to raise funds to donate a specially made wheel chair for a 12 year old girl who has never been able to look at the world sitting in the right posture. “While children from the orphanage were given the opportunity to dance to music and enjoy themselves, the project made us realize how little these children needed to be happy and how much we are blessed with, which we take for granted” say Mrs. Shera Hassen who is the head of Privilege Banking at NDB and one of the AIB MBA alumni members. Further she added that “Our MBA program has made us understand that though CSR is fundamentally about the way that corporations address their responsibility to the communities that they are a part of, it is also the case that from a profitability stance, MBA graduates who are able to bring in elements of CSR into their business practices are valuable, which give the MBA graduates the competitive edge over the rest.”

Mr. Eardley Kern who headed the CSR project says “It was a personal milestone for me, and to head such a worthy cause and complete it successfully is a privilege. The amount of support and assistance that both the past and present MBA students at OCB demonstrated was extremely commendable. The participation exceeded all our expectations, and I was amazed to see the amount of interest students placed on contributing towards a worthy cause.” Mr. Kern arguably the best stock broker in Sri Lanka and currently the Head of Sales and marketing for Lanka Securities Ltd said that CSR is something that is practiced close to the heart only in multinational organizations in Sri Lanka. The 12month MBA program at OCB and AIB MBA Alumni want to change this” Mr. Kern also goes on to say “CSR from a company’s perspective is “far from being a drain on the bottom line, corporate social responsibility can increase profitability by playing a vital role in both risk management and innovation.” “The 12month MBA has made us realize that the initial investment in developing good relationships with stakeholders can have a significant financial payoff by preventing protests, work stoppages, and employee turnover. And many corporations find that social impact issues such as supply chain analysis, partnerships with social enterprises, and ‘bottom of the pyramid’ approaches can serve as true drivers for innovation.”

The Managing Director at OCB explains that “our 12month MBA program offered in affiliation with AIB is aware of the role that organizations play in addressing many of the world’s major issues, such as health care, the environment, energy, and  economic development. “Business will ultimately drive success in these areas, and those leaders who understand these issues can develop appropriate services and products to address them will not only create successful organizations, but will also help build a better world. Knowledge and awareness of CSR are critical to success which only a very few MBA’s in the world take into consideration and we are proud to have an MBA program which gives CSR its due place.” For more information contact the Malindu Ranasinghe – 0714151547 or visit www.ocbsrilanka.com