Developing Next-Generation Business Leaders: Insights from the Monash MBA Experience in Korea By Professor Patrick Butler, Monash Business School
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Developing Next-Generation Business Leaders: Insights from the Monash MBA Experience in Korea By Professor Patrick Butler, Monash Business School

In recent years, the relationship between the Monash Business School and Sungkyunkwan University Business School MBA program has developed through exchange programs and student study visits. For Monash MBA students in particular, their MBA international study module based at SKKU Business School provides them with an exceptional opportunity to understand Korean business and society. And our faculty were delighted to welcome the SKKU Executive MBA class and their professors to Monash University in July this year.

Our MBA students are ambitious; they make independent investments in their future careers by studying for an MBA because they seek to be the successful Australian business leaders of the future. And next-generation leaders must have a global mindset and international experience as they develop their executive capabilities.

To present this generation of young managers with the opportunity to understand and experience Australia-Korea trade, and to study at the leading business schools in Korea, is to seed the ground for a greater and deeper engagement between our countries in the future.

Studying with leading Korean professors at SKKU, and visiting iconic Korean businesses like Samsung and Kia, gives us insights that can only be gained on the ground in the Korean environment and in the marketplace.

Among the important lessons for next-generation Australian managers are the realisation of the scale and nature of trade between Australia and Korea, and importantly, the evolution in trade toward more value-adding, technology-based sectors. This understanding underpins the enormous potential for further exchange and economic relationships beyond just trade.

The history and development of the modern Korean economy and the distinctive business-government relations in Korea also present Australian managers with new perspectives on key institutions and their operations. Korea’s standing as one of the leading innovative economies of the world is inspirational for countries seeking to explore and exploit new technology opportunities – as Australia must – in areas like advanced manufacturing, life sciences, agritech and digital transformation.

Such engagement goes beyond commercial interests, of course. By learning about Korean culture, institutions, community and aspirations, we develop the depth of appreciation and respect necessary for our continued relationship well into the 21st century.


Professor Patrick Butler 

Director, MBA Programs

Monash Business School

Monash University