The College of Business

The Global Competitiveness Program

The Mayberry Chair of Excellence and the College of Business Administration is involved in the development of an innovative program that will help businesses in Tennessee achieve global competitiveness. The Global Competitiveness Program is being designed by the Global Competitiveness Council (GCC), an affiliate of the Tennessee Association of Business, to help companies, communities, and organizations understand the global economy, develop the institutional agility and flexibility to react to it, and successfully meet global competition and prosper in the 21st century. This initiative has been led by Ms. Betty Steele, the president of GCC.

The program seeks to accomplish its goals through three primary tools/methodologies. First, a baseline assessment of an organization’s global strengths as well as its opportunities for improvement will be established. Second, an interactive instructional and workshop program will provide organizations with the tools to prepare prioritized action plans that help them build upon strengths and address opportunities for improvement identified in the baseline assessment, thereby making them better able to effectively compete on a global basis. Third, an on-going network of global programs and opportunities will be offered.

A participant’s baseline will be established through an assessment utilizing the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award’s Criteria for Performance Excellence – criteria used by organizations, large and small, foreign and domestic, to improve performance. The Tennessee Quality Award offers a program similar to the Baldrige program for Tennessee organizations. However, TQA’s Baldrige criteria are supplemented by assessment criteria for global competition and international business. Participants will have a variety of choices about how their baseline assessment will be established, the common denominator being that the Baldrige criteria, plus the new global criteria, will be utilized in this process.

The instructional and workshop program involves a curriculum designed to improve the capabilities of organizations to compete globally. Six interactive modules tie directly to the baseline assessment so that participants develop prioritized action plans that concretely address developmental issues identified in the baseline assessment. At the same time they learn about global competition and how it affects their organizations. The subject matter of the modules will be global leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource development and management, and process management coupled with topics such as international trade, corporate and tax law, export and transactional finance, international product and service standards and regulations, logistics, methods of entering foreign markets, international market information and trade leads, and international cultural factors.

The on-going network of peer learning and information sharing, on-line tutorials, global information access, and educational opportunities will provide participants with the external infrastructure to access information and develop relationships at their own time and pace. Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in global experiences that tie directly to their action plans, again, during their own cycle time.

In October 1998, Dr. Curt Reimann and Dean Bell conducted a workshop titled “Global Competitiveness: Role of the Baldrige National Award” for this program. Dean Bell and Mayberry faculty associate Dr. Nat Natarajan are involved in curriculum development for the leadership and process management modules. They also participated in a presentation about this program to a focus group.

To learn more about the program, please call or send to e-mail Ms. Betty K. Steele, President, Global Competitiveness Council, at (615) 214-3048 or