x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Actions and Insights shows UAE is on the case

The Life: For years, graduates in Europe and the US have had access to countless case studies about the world's biggest and best businesses, but not so in the UAE - until two weeks ago.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the Minister of Foreign Trade, launched the book, Actions and Insights, a set of case studies about UAE companies. Charles Crowell for The National
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the Minister of Foreign Trade, launched the book, Actions and Insights, a set of case studies about UAE companies. Charles Crowell for The National

Understanding how Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, or any successful businessman overcame difficult situations is an important teaching tool for potential business leaders. It is a cornerstone of most MBA programmes.

For years, graduates in Europe and the US have had access to countless case studies about the world's biggest and best businesses, but not so in the UAE - until two weeks ago.

That was when Actions and Insights was launched, a book published by the Academy of International Business - Middle East and North Africa in collaboration with the University of Wollongong in Dubai.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the Minister of Foreign Trade, demonstrated its importance to the Emirates by launching the book. Actions and Insights marks the first time a set of case studies about UAE companies has been published.

The book sheds light on some of the management problems that private and public-sector enterprises in the UAE have faced. Unfortunately, the solutions to the problems are not forthcoming in every case study. After all, how a company solves its problem is often the most interesting and important point.

Each case study poses questions to students, encouraging them to think about how they would overcome a particular challenge. But often no comparison is made between what a student has recommended and the action a company took.

In describing Jumeirah Group's bid to globally market its woman-only floor concept in Emirates Towers, the reader is never really sure how the company proceeded.

However, there are some genuine learning curves. TMH, a brand consultancy, goes into some detail on its strategy and planning to bid for the Womad Festival last year and Etihad Airways provides a detailed rundownn on its Emiratisation strategy.

The studies are valuable tools in understanding how the business world has developed here.

The Quote: "Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana." Bill Gates, the co-founder and chairman of Microsoft

rjones@thenational.ae