Can the Holacracy (no boss organization) work in China? 

After implementing the Holacracy practice at Zappos, the management practice gets special attention from managers and scholars. So far, the Holacrazy does not work well. But, I give a special attention to this new managerial concept because I believe that a new form of organizational structure is necessary to meet the business environment changes. 

A Chinese student thinks that the Holacracy can work in China. 

Do you agree with him? 

Jeonghwan (Jerry) Choi, 



Course: Principles of Management

Module 08: Organizing

Name (Pingyin & English): Shen Zhenyao (Stacey)

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, decided to use the creative idea- holacracy in his company. When facing his unexpected management method, a large number of people are hard to understand his action. 

   Holacracy breaks many thinking methods in traditional management. It shows Tony has his own creative ideas about managing his employees. People always cannot accept new things. At the time of the announcement, 14% of people left the company. And Zappos is becoming weaker during this time period. In society, many traditional managers and scientists do not think this will cause Zappos become more successful. After the implementation of holacracy, the situation of Zappos is becoming worse. As a good manager, there is no reason for Tony to take such a huge risk if there is no reasonable future benefit. Therefore, there are must have some reasons for him to make that decision. It is meaningful to analyze holacracy’s benefits. Holacracy will contribute a lot of benefits to companies. It will increase the relationship between workers, collect more imaginative ideas, and obtain more comprehensive information.

First, holacracy will encourage collaborate and communication by eliminating workplace hierarchy. 

   Hierarchy let workers just talk with their superior managers. However, in most of time, the manager cannot exactly recognize whether the idea is good or not. It is difficult for people to recognize their errors, but it is easier for other people to figure out their mistakes. Traditional hierarchy causes workers just focus on the work of their own area. If the people in other departments have some suggestion for them, they may consider that as provocation, and not accept it. And the people in other departments always do not want to share their opinions for the misunderstanding. However, holacracy let people dispel this concern, and speak out their advice freely. 

Second, more creative ideas will come out. Not only because there are more people can consider about creating new ideas, but also because they are not constrained by others. 

   In some situation, smart people’s minds are being constrained by knowing too much things. They will automatically think about other similar events and the possible results. However, some normal people may come up with some creative ideas, which are not reasonable but useful. Though the ideas of normal people are not practical. But there are many professional people, who can expand the original simple ideas. Thus, if there are more people can come up new ideas, the company can be developed more unexpected.  Moreover, many workers do not say out their ideas because they are not confident, they think they are ineligible to speak out their ideas. Holacracy will avoid they have this kind of concern.

Third, a company can have more detailed information from people. Hierarchy cause CEO just can hear the thought of superior managers. 

   However, according to a fferent situation, different people can see different aspects. Superior managers just can see the problems, which may happen in a more macroscopic way. Normal people can realize the problems, which may happen because of some tiny things. These tiny things are easy to be ignored by many superior managers, but these tiny things always can cause the deadliest problem. Collecting detailed information is critical for companies.

Holacracy changes a lot of thinking in traditional management. 

   It will bring many benefits to companies. Although holacracy changes many aspects in traditional management, it is one of the significant trends of future management. Managers should try to learn it and figure out the advantages in it. It is a wise and valuable decision to choose holacracy.

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Does Chinese e-Commerce prevail traditional economy like Amazon does in the US? 

I discussed the Amazon - Whole Foods deal in the perspective of Chinese e-Commerce in my Principles of Management Class (June 19, 2017). Interestingly, many Chinese business students do not have any objection about e-Commerce because they are highly integrated with a few key e-Commerce tools like Alipay, WeChat pay, and Taobao. This Chineses people's reaction is interesting, and I would like to share a reflection essay of my student. 

More than I expected, Chinese e-Commerce business is getting more deeply integrated with people's daily life than any other country. 

June 2017. 

Jeonghwan (Jerry) Choi

Source: Alibaba buys 32% stake in grocery chain Sanjiang:


Alibaba prevails Off-line Market. 

Course: Principles of Management

Module 7: Planning & Strategy

Name (Pingyin & English): Zhuchen Wang & Oliver

Alibaba is the dominant e-commerce giant in China, but now it is moving into the brick-and-mortar space. Last year, Alibaba has invested $305 million in Sanjang Shopping Club, a discount supermarket in China, that would give Alibaba a 32% stake in the offline retailer (Reuters, 2016). It is Alibaba’s long-term strategy that integrates its online shopping with offline brick-and-mortar stores. The decision made by Alibaba shows that the integration of online and offline channels may help those e-commerce giants to keep its market share even earn more profits. There are many reasons that relate to the change, including improving the efficiency, data analytics, and customer convenience.

First, integration of online and offline can improve the society’s efficiency.Once Alibaba has the offline channel, it could manage the whole supply chain to combine its online shopping services with the offline physical store’s experience. For instance, you have to buy the fresh food in the grocery store by yourself because those products require a more hands-on experience than delivering, and also there should have someone to receive the goods. With the new retailer service, customers order groceries online and chose the nearest convenience store, then drive to that store where they can get the bags right away which save time and money.

Second, leveraging data to analyze customer’s buying patterns.Alibaba is working with several brands such as PepsiCo and Mattel to help them identify customer preferences through data analytics. This gives the e-commerce giant insight into what products customers prefer to purchase offline. Analysis of this data can help the company to work towards its integrated retail offering, where certain products are offered offline and others can be conveniently bought online.

Third, to combine to the online and offline strategy can improve the consumer convenience. E-commerce is soaring and food-delivery businesses are taking off because human beings are fundamentally lazy and they do not want to leave the couch to buy stuff. Now, once the Alibaba expanded its service to offline grocery stores, people could elect to have the fresh veggies and organic dips delivered to their homes and apartments. It will improve the consumer convenience.

As the retail landscape evolves, the “online-only” model will face growth limitations. Under the requirements of improving the society efficiency, using data to optimize buying options and consumer convenience, Alibaba took an important action on its strategy.In my perspective, I think it is a wise choice for because it will benefit not only to the customers but also to the whole industry. The presence of brick-and-mortar stores remains important to many customers, and there are several products which customers still prefer to buy in person. Alibaba’s strategy formulates a bright picture of future.


Reuters. (2016, Nov. 18). China's Alibaba buys into supermarket chain Sanjiang Shopping. Retrieved June 20, 2017 from

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Should S. Korea join the OBOR or Not? 

I am teaching the Principles of Management course (MGS2030, 2017 Summer) now. 

In my class, I encourage my students writing 'reflection essay' for each learning module. 

Two students discuss One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) initiative in terms of S. Korean business perspective for Module 5: Contemporary Issues of Management. 

Please read the following essays, and what do you think? 

Jeonghwan (Jerry) Choi, PhD, MBA, ME

Assistant Professor, 

Kean University (Wenzhou). 

S. Korea should join the OBOR! 


Course: Principles of Management

Module 05 :Contemporary Issues of Management

Name (Pingyin& English):    Nick

In 2013, China's president, Xi Jinping, proposed establishing a network of railways, roads, pipelines, and utility grid that would link China and Central Asia, West Asia, parts of South Asia and parts of Europe. OBOR comprises more than physical connections. It aims to create the largest platform for economic cooperation, including policy coordination, trade and financing collaboration, and social and cultural cooperation. OBOR can benefit everyone involved through open discussion. South Korea is a neighbor country of China. It is also an Asian country. In March, 2015, South Korea joined Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. And the development of OBOR drew great attention from all walks of life of South Korea.

So, should South Korea cooperate with China and work together for the joint implementation of OBOR?

And I thing South Korea should join the OBOR. Because there is no doubt that the initiative will provide economic opportunities for South Korea. And according to the "Vision and Actions" plan, three provinces of China(Liao ning, Ji lin and Hei long jiang) will become sea-land "window" linking Russia, Mongolia and other areas in the Far East. So Korean government could get many opportunities for cooperation with Eurasia. OBOR can contribute to build a Northeast Asian economic zone. And South Korea will benefit from it.

The construction and development of OBOR is closely related with South Korea.OBOR will invest and construct a great amount of infrastructure including railways,  roads, pipelines, and utility grid that would link China and almost the whole world. South Korea could take advantage of these infrastructure to  transport their products and stimulate its economic growth.In Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country, South Korea's Samsung and LG electronics products occupy the local market share as high as 80%.  And the number of  South Korean cosmetics agency is increasing too. However, most of South Korea's products are transported across the mainland of China. The products were shipped to Lianyungang, Jiangsu province of China, and then arrived in Almaty by the "New Asia" regular freight train. This railway line officially opened in February 25th, 2015,  is one of the important achievements of "China Belt and Road Initiative construction. For South Korea, this railway also has a special significance.

South Korea will have new way to connect with Europe if it join the OBOR.OBOR will provide an opportunity to improve the logistics environment of South Korea.Nowadays, the two most common logistics networks between South Korea and Europe are sea freight and railway. Shipping is cheap, but it takes a long time. It takes forty or fifty days from South Korea to European ports. Although South Korea could use Siberia railway, the shortest logistics network connecting South Korea and Europe is China's new Eurasian Continental Bridge. The rapid development of OBOR will be helpful for the construction of the new Eurasian Continental Bridge. As a result, providing  South Korea a new way to connect with Europe is undoubtedly good. It will help South Korea has more close connection and business communication with European countries and create huge profit.

South Korea could also get benefits from taking part in building infrastructure in developing countries, development of resources and new industries.Many countries involved in OBOR are developing countries. These countries are facing great challenge of development also have great developing potential. However, these countries' infrastructure including railways, industries, roads and so on needed to be upgraded.South Korea could accept these developing countries' infrastructure building projects and get benefits from it. Also South Korea will have more resources due to its convenient connection with other countries. Also, as a member of OBOR, South Korea has the same right compared with other countries to enjoy the benefits from new kinds of industries that developed by all member countries of OBOR.

In the construction of OBOR, China put forward the concept called "community of destiny", its core is interconnection which means expand economic cooperation by connecting highways, railway and port to build infrastructure with neighbor countries. In this process, if South Korea take an active part in it and strengthen the cooperation with China, both China and South Korea will get benefits. And I think China and South Korea should disregard previous enmity and work on OBOR together. It will be helpful for both countries' development. Especially for today's South Korea weak economy, I think OBOR will stimulate South Korea's economy and make it has a fast economic growth.China and South Korea should make a joint efforts to develop a better world through the bond of OBOR. South Korea could get a lot of benefits from OBOR. And I hope the sound of the OBOR chorus will spread loud and wide across the world and make the world better.


Tai Hwan Lee. "One Belt, One Road Strategy and Korean-Chinese Cooperation". Web. June 13,2017.


Tian Jinchen. "One Belt and One Road: Connecting  China and the World". Web. July 2016. June 13, 2017.

S. Korea should not join the OBOR! 


Course: Principles of Management

Module 05: (Contemporary Issues of Management)

Name (Pinyin & English): Joseph

At all times and all over the world, whatever occupations a person pursues, making a right choice is the most important thing.

In March 2015, China announced that it was going to set up One Belt One Road (OBOR) item. China would invest in the countries who were the members of OBOR, focusing on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe. However, in October 2015, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) made substantial progress, which was considered as the weapon to balance OBOR, leading by the United States. Under this background, almost half of the nations in the world have determined to participate whether OBOR or TPP. However, as a significant economic entity in this world, S. Korea have not make the decision yet.

S. Korea decision makers must choose one agreement to participate, and business managers of S. Korea must consider the benefit and loss of participating one of the agreement, influencing the government’s decision to maximize their benefits. Over the two years, from 2015 to 2017, the situation seems that choose OBOR is a better choice for S. Korea because the United States would quit PPT, and the Chinese market definitely has a huge potential. Besides, lots of analysts think the future of OBOR is bright, regarding it as another Marshall Plan. Whereas OBOR is not a rescue plan but evaluated on a commercial basis. The whole item depends on China, which means the risk is very high just like only one stock in an investment portfolio. In addition, for S. Korea itself, geography and policy issues would also come about some challenges and stresses.

Therefore, I think OBOR has a huge risk for South Korea.

First, basically supported only by China, OBOR itself will face a huge financial risk.According to the news, China warned of risk to banks from One Belt, One Road initiative, the lack of commercial imperatives behind OBOR projects means that it is highly uncertain whether future project returns will be sufficient to fully cover repayments to Chinese creditors (Weinland, 2017). Even though the China government declares OBOR is a commercial item, but lots of analysts regard it as a rescue plan. For instance, OBOR connected many countries include some huge poor areas like East India, Africa, and Middle Asia. Obviously, people in these areas have a very low purchasing power, so the investment in these areas is quite hard to recover the cost. Once China cannot support the loss, widespread bankrupt would happen in China, which could lead a new financial crisis especially throughout OBOR members. S. Korea must be hurt by the crisis if it joins OBOR.

Second, the geography of South Korea can bring challenge and risk to it.South Korea is on the south of North Korea which rejects to join any terms of organizations (Hwang, 2017). North Korea also is an uncertainty factor in the area of China and S. Korea. Therefore, if China and S. Korea have any major cooperation plans, they must consider the negative role of N. Korea. For instance, the main thing that OBOR does now is building unitive road and railway to connect all the members, so if S. Korea joins in OBOR, it cannot be excluded that China could build a cross-sea bridge between S. Korea and North-East of China, and then connect S. Korea to Russia and Europe. However, once the bridge built, it must close to N. Korea unless China does not count the cost, which would recur N. Korea’s attention or even reaction, containing lots of uncertainty and pushing the area of Northeast Asia on edge. Therefore, S. Korea would face a huge risk because of neighboring country N. Korea.

Third, join OBOR will generate political risks to South Korea.In terms of economy, OBOR and TPP are like brothers, but in terms of politics, OBOR and TPP are contrary, so the behavior of join OBOR will bring some political stresses from TPP members or to S. Korea. The issue of participating OBOR or TPP can be simply defined as the choice to close to China or America even though the United States will quit TPP, so the action of taking part in OBOR will be read as breaking away from American camp and join Chinese camp, which is not only an economic issue but a political issue. Then it’s possible that the United States treat S. Korea as another competitor and distribute a kind of sanction in some extent. S. Korea would be suffered from the political risks. For example, S. Korea’s military equipment basically depends on the United States, so once S. Korea has a political crisis with America, it’s national defense will face a huge shock, which is the most serious issue for a sovereign nation.

All in all, For S. Korea, participating OBOR has a huge risk. Because of OBOR itself high risk in business and finance, S. Korea can sustain some loss to some extent. In addition, the geography of S. Korea generates certain risk from N. Korea, and if S. Korea joins OBOR, it could face a political risk from America.The choice of taking part in OBOR is not so good as it seems like, at least the risk is so large for S. Korea, so the business managers should consider more about the benefit and loss of the choice, participating OBOR or TPP.


Hwang, B. (2017, January 14). What South Korea Thinks of China's 'Belt and Road' Retrieved June 13, 2017, from

Weinland, D. (2017, January 26). China warned of risk to banks from One Belt, One Road initiative. Retrieved June

13, 2017, from


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Faculty Experience at the First Undergraduate American Business Education Program in China (Kean University, Wenzhou Campus).  

By Jeonghwan (Jerry) Choi, Assistant Professor at College of Business, WKU. 

August 05, 2016. 


In 2006, Dr. Dawood Farahi - the president of Kean University of New Jersey suggested Mr. Xi Jinping (Prime Minister of China) establishing a four-year degree granting higher education institution in China to teach Chinese students in China in the American way.

Photo source:

In 2016, Kean University, Wenzhou in China becomes the most influential Sino-foreign cooperative university, and  the institution produces the first graduates on the campus.

186 Chinese students and one American student get the first four-year Amercian higher education degree in mainland China in May, 28, 2016.

Around 100 students graduate with 4-year business degrees majoring Accounting, Finance, and Global management. And around 70% of business graduates go to Global graduate colleges such as University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Northwesern,  Oxford, Australian National University, Tsinghwa, Peking University.  The high enrolling in these prestigious global graduate program in business is exceptional. 

Coming to the Kean University, Wenzhou Campus

I had worked as a management faculty for Kean Univeristy, Union campus, New Jersey from Aug. 2014. 

In July 29 2015, Kean University offered me a full-time faculty position at Wenzhou, China campus. I cordially accepted the offer and I prepare going to China.  The key working conditions were: 10 Month appointment, 30 credit hours teaching load, $65,000 annual payment; free accommodation; two times round trip tickets between US and China per year; two-years contract. 

I accepted the China campus job offer for three reasons.

First, I wanted to experience another global experience in an emerging nation like China. Throughout my professional and educational journey, I experienced many global exposures in the US, Germany, and Korea. And I feel that China is attracting me to let me have a chance to give another wonderful and exotic experiences. 

Second, I wanted to know what is going on in China in the field of (Global) Business Education. Shaun Rein (2012) - The author of "The End of Cheap China" insisted that "China Needs American Education" especially in Business Education to develop the right business people for global economy within Chinese territory. A few American Universities such as Duke and New York University operate Shanghai campuses for several years, and many American Universities want to expand their global initiative in China. However, we have little known about 'what is going on in American Business Education in China'? I want to take a role of 'a microscope' to observe and archive what I will be experiencing in American Business Education in China.  

Third, Wenzhou is an interesting and fascinating entrepreneurial city in the world. Xi Jinping - the current Prime Minister of China was the Governor of Zhejiang province between 2002-2007.  Xi frequently praised the entrepreneurship of Wenzhou people, and he supported Wenzhou city to train their next generation in the global environment. Wenzhou city can be understood as a 'hidden champion city' in global economy. 

With these reasons, I decided to come, see, and learn about Wenzhou in China to get to know more about 'real changes of China'. 

Arriving at Wenzhou

In September 08, 2015 (in my birthday), I took an airplane from Seoul to Wenzhou. I departed from Seoul, Korea because I needed to get a Chinese visa in Korea as a Korean Passport Holder. Two large pieces of luggage and a carry-on were enough to move to China. 


First Impression on Kean University, Wenzhou Campus. 

The 300-acre well designed and newly established campus make gave me a nice first impression. Four educational buildings, an administrative building, a canteen, and five apartment style dormitories are on the campus. A large Global business building is now under construction, and the building will start operating from September 2017. 





Business Faculty in Kean University, Wenzhou Campus

Faculties are living in three sites: On-campus, Chashan Apartment, and Xin-Tian-Wien Apartment. Especially all new business faculty were highly encouraged to stay in Chashan Apartment (GaoJiao BoWien) for better collaboration. 


The Business faculty has diverse ethnic, professional, and national backgrounds. 

20% of faculty (including me) members directly come from Kean University, Union (20%). 

60% of faculty are hired by Kean university and they were expatriated (60%). 

20% of faculty are Chinese born (20%). 

15% of faculty have Chinese experiences in higher education. 

However, all faculty has American educational background (mostly PhD from US educational institutions such as Temple University, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, Drexel University, University of Michigan etc.) or Globally prestigious English speaking educational institutions (such as University of Edinburgh).

In order to work as a faculty member in China, Foreign faculty needs to register as a registered Alien in China to get working permit. Work-permit is given after a thorough medical check and document investigation (i.e. criminal history). Faculty can renew working permit annually. Some of faculty members experienced difficulties to get working-permit because of health issue, passport expiration, and unknown reasons. However, all faculty could get working-permit within two months, fortunately.   



Business Students in Kean University, Wenzhou Campus

Around 2,000 students are studying business in Kean Wenzhou campus (2016). Students who joined Kean University, Wenzhou campus are mostly Chinese students. 40% of students come from Wenzhou area, 20% students come from Ningbo (a big city near to Shanghai), and the other students come from all around the China such as HeBei, Shanxi, Shandong, Tsingtao, Beijing, and Chongching. Recently American exchange students from Kean Union campus vitalize classes. The student diversity is expected to increase as the school size is increasing. Kean Wenzhou plans to recruit more international students from Asia (Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, HongKong, Malaysia, Vietnam) and all around the world as well as increasing diversity within China to boost global business education. 

40% students are majoring Finance, 35 students are majoring Accounting, and the other students (25%) are studying Global management. 65% students are female and 35% are male. 


The Majority of Kean Wenzhou students come from Chinese middle class. From my personal communications with students, many business students come from small-medium size business family. And students are expected to complete graduate level business education and take over their family business. For example, a student will take over a Hotel in Hangzhou and she wants to grow the hotel as an international one in the city. Another student will take over an apparel manufacturing company. He is expected to explore the enterprise as a global fashion brand. As such, many Chinese business students want to get the global business education in order to expand their family businesses to global business. 

Business Classes in Kean University, Wenzhou Campus

I teach management courses such as Principles of Management, HRM, OB, and Business Statistics in Kean Wenzhou campus since 2015 Fall term. 

2016 ~ Assistant Professor

Human Resource Management (MGS 3030 W01)

Organizational Behavior (MGS 3032 W01)

Commercial Development of IT (MGS 3045 W01)

Principles of Management (MGS 2030 W01)

Business Statistics and Application (MGS2150)

2015 ~ 2016 Full-time Lecturer

Human Resource Management (MGS 3030 W01) 

Principles of Management (MGS 2030 W01) 

Organizational Behavior (MGS 3032 W01) 

Business Statistics and Application (MGS2150) 

The average size of business classes is 32~36. It is relatively large class size, but learning outcomes are better than my expectation thanks to high level of students' class engagement. 100% of students reside in campus dormitory, and students are quite homogenous in terms of age and learning background. For example, all business students gained the top 10% of Chinese Entrance Exam (Gaokao) and majority of these students have very supportive family background in learning and they do not need to worry about tuition because family take care of it. All students have laptops and smartphones especially more than 70% students have most recent Macbook and iPhones for study. 

However, It is not easy to apply experiential learning instruction methods such as semester-long individual or team project, term-papers, or project-based learning because of large class size and limited access to learning materials such as Business Simulations that come from Amercian Publishers (Pearson, Wiley). 


Academic Integrity is a big issue on Chinese campus. A business professor found many cheating sheets during her exam (see the below picture). And she officially issued the cheating issue. The Cheating issue was also found in Online exam format. My officemate designed a sophisticated online exam by using Blackboard (Learning Management System) for his Finance course. During the online exam, a few number of students took screenshots of the online exam and shared them with the other students. This cheating issue was extrapolated in public and a local Chinese newspaper reported the issue. 


The school changed the exam policy to "Common Exam" - Taking an exam at the same time and the same place in a class. And the school is now addressing the academic integrity issue with applying American academic integrity policy. But we need to go further... 

Kean University Code of Conduct: 

Personally, I am driving a small initiative of "Using the Authorized Software in Campus". 
When I taught business statistics courses, I found out that around half of business students got and used 'unauthorized Microsoft Office Program' [Survey, March 2016, 78 Business students, Instruction of "How to get the authorized MS office from Kean University was given two months before].  

Business students tend to using  "Authorized MS Office Program" when they got my guide and instruction (More than 60% students strongly [6/6 likert scale) wants to get the authorized software . 

From 2016-17 academic year, I and a few number of Faculty, Staff, and students (Margaret, Caroline, Casey, Echo) would actively engage in "Using the Authorized Software in Campus" initiative with the "Quality First Initiative Fund" ($20,000 from Kean HQ) with aiming to increasing the "More than 80% of business students use authorized MS Office program in the college of business" until the end of 2016-17 academic year.  

Extracurricular Business Education in Kean University, Wenzhou Campus

Kean University Wenzhou campus business students actively enroll in many extracurricular activities such as "Business Plan Competition in the US", "Campus Shark Tank Event", and "Research Day". 

First, I organized the "Kean Business Plan Competition 2016" as a coordinator of the event in Wenzhou campus. Six business students teams applied the event in New Jersey, and two teams get the first and the second prize. 

Article: Two WKU teams won top prizes at 2016 Kean Business Plan Competition

Here are two winners' Business Plan Presentations that I recorded and edited and sent for the BPC conference (You can hear my voices in Q&A sessions in these videos )

Much better than my personal expectations, Kean University Wenzhou campus business students are enthusiastic in developing and executing their creative and entrepreneurial ideas in a professional manner. I was quite proud of myself that I am a part of those entrepreneurial students' growth. 

Second, I played as a "Shark" in the entrepreneurship activity of "Kean University Wenzhou Shark Tank". Seven business student-led campus entrepreneurship teams presented their business ideas in front of 12 refrees including local business leaders, business faculty, and school administrators. And the first prize winning team got the authority of operating their business idea in the school bookstore now. A 'Social Dog Cafe' - the first winner of last year Shark Tank event operates the cafe on campus and 6 students run the business in a quite successful way. As such, Wenzhou campus supports students' entrepreneurial ideas and gives students experiencing the 'real business operation' on campus. 


Third, Business students are highly encouraged conducting 'research' by the school and faculty. The school organized a "Research day" event every year to inspire students and faculty engaging in creating new knowledge. Students bring their research questions to faculty and they organize their research idea, conduct data collection, analyze the data, and present their findings in research day. Two of my students won the second and third prizes from the events. 


Kean University Wenzhou campus business students and faculty learn practical knowledge from Informal school activities such as student group activity, discussions, East meet West, and many extracurricular events. 

Learning about the Second Largest Global Economy - China

"Do I really know about the China?" 

The inquiry drove me to go China and experience the real 'China' - the second largest global economy. Born in South Korea, Trained as a German Engineer, Developed as an American Researcher, I wanted to know about 'what is going in China?'. 

Chinese cheap manufacturing?


Tough negotiation?

Boosting or Collapsing global economy?

Without situating myself in the Chinese context, I thought my understanding about China would be limited. And I traveled Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wenzhou, and a few small / large traditional Chinese villages. 

I have to confess that China is too big enough to understand in short. But I could develop a keen 'sense' of China. For example, China cannot be understood in one-dimensional way. The most advanced technology-based economic development is flourishing in China (see the fastest bullet train in the world, Mobile phone manufacturing, Electric vehicles, and tons of thousand scientists and engineers), but the nation also have traditional culture and disrupted social norms for 'Cultural revolution' and 'less developed business disciplines. 

In one sentence, I want to say that "China has many unleashed potentials". 

It will be our own choice that will determine the way of unleashing potentials - good way or bad way?.  I want to dedicate myself to guide the Young, not only Chinese but also all global, to choose a good way that creates prosperity for all. 








By 2020, China aims to support a total of 50,000 Chinese and American students to study in each other's territory.

The unique higher education model of Kean University Wenzhou campus (American Business Education in China) can take a role of "Litmus" - a practical indicator of American Business Education model in a different cultural context. So far, the model works well in China. 

In the first graduation ceremony of Kean University Wenzhou campus in May 2016, Faculty, Staff, Wenzhou city, the University, and China celebrated the great achievement of the first graduating students. Yes, those graduates, 4-year American college degree granted, achieved exceptional outcomes such as more than 70% students go to prestigious Graduate Programs all around the world (University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Emory University, Oxford, Australia National University). There is no doubt about those graduates' bright future.  


However, we need to continually give constructive challenges to the undergraduate American Business Education in China in order to make the global business education model sustainable and flourish. 

First, 'How to continually develop faculty capability'? Kean University provides the 'Professional Development Session' in Wenzhou campus in every semester. But faculty in Wenzhou feels that they are isolated or detached from mainstream research / teaching community. For example, geographic distance from the US deters faculty's engagement in interacting with global research communities. Another one is limited access to research / teaching resources - Google, Youtube, and some Databases are blocked by the Chinese Great Firewall. Fortunately, Wenzhou campus applies the VPN system to reroute the internet access and enable faculty to use blocked contents but limited access to research and teaching source limits the developing faculty capability. 

Second, "How to improve the faculty retention rate?". Around 30% of newly hired foreign faculty leave the Wenzhou campus. The two main reasons of leaving faculty are 'Quality of Life' and 'Insecure Job'. As a foreign worker in China, faculty experiences difficulties in communication and poor access to quality food/resource supplies. Outside of the Wenzhou campus, English is not working well. Consequently, faculty cannot supply what they need to make a living. In addition, limited transportation system deters faculty to explore or outgoing. 

Almost half of faculty experience significant weight loss during a semester because of limited access to quality food. Wenzhou campus has two Chinese canteens but the food quality and safety are not satisfactory. Many faculties complain about the food issue, but canteens need more time to improve the food quality and safety. Unmet hygiene needs in China causes many faculties rethinking about working in the Chinese workplace. 

More than half faculty members come to Wenzhou campus with Single-year or Two-year contracts. Renewing the contract is frequently ambiguous and unclear, and many faculties feel unsafe on the campus. The basic quality of life and job security may need to be addressed in order to retain quality faculties for the campus. 

In summary, the undergraduate American business education model in China can be flourishing when it can build a mutual benefit between American educational institutions and Chinese high-quality business education demand. And American business education leaders need to manage those challenages from 'expatriated faculties'. 

Jeonghwan (Jerry) Choi, PhD, MBA, ME

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A management student asked these two questions about Managing People in his Student Club (Campus News/Media). 

Q1. A candidate who will take over my president position has no idea about 'management'. Should I accept it or choose another one who knows management? 

Dr. Choi: First of all, I want to say this: "Knowing is one thing; Doing is a totally different thing". 

A person who would be a good leader does not need to know the specific knowledge about "Modern Management" such as HRM. 

Personally, I believe 'Everybody must be a leader in their function". I think the biggest role of "President of your Club" is to act as the best helper / coach / servant for your club members. 

In this sense, anybody can be a president if s/he can help your people to perform their job. 

It's an embarrassing truth in fundamental philosophy of management. But it is perfectly fine if one can exercise 'common-sense: treat people as you want to be treated. :) 

Q2. Isn't the HR a supporting department? But, HR department commonly has a more power than any other department. It's annoying to get control from HR people. 

Dr. Choi: You raised a quite 'debating' issue in management - the Power of HR Department. 

By definition, HR department is taking a supporting function that providing services to other direct functions like "Manufacturing, Customer Service, Sales. 

However, HR department frequently has a more power than any other direct functions simply because HR is quite close to the "Top-Management: The core of Power". Many HR works are to completing the order from Top-management, and HR department plays an 'agent' or 'gate-keeper' role for Top-management. 

You may understand the HR phenomena by using "Leader-Member Exchange Theory". Simply because HR has a more close relationship with top-management, HR usually have a more power. :)

Jeonghwan (Jerry) Choi, PhD, MBA, ME

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Recently, I have advising sessions with my 67 advisee students who are all freshmen/freshwomen in business school.

When I ask a question of "What would you like to do in summer?", Many students say "I will study English; I will prepare national Exam; I will take a driver's license; I will get a part-time job; I will travel". Yes, they are good students. ^^

But, as a bad advisor smile emoticon , I frequently give this advice for students.

"Go out from your comfort zone, Nerd ^^; Do something for good; Make as many mistakes as you can; Build your own story; Let me listen your interesting story after the summer.".

Yes, I am a firm believer that "Learning by heart is more valuable than learning by brain". And freshmen year is the perfect time for "Learning from mistakes" especially for future business leaders. ^^

Jeonghwan (Jerry) Choi, PhD, MBA, ME

Mar 29, 2016

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American Business Education in China: Construction, Construction, and Construction. 

What I expected to see in China was like this. In my perception, China is still developing and it needs more improvement. But... 

What I am seeing in China is "Construction, Construction, and Construction". 

Almost everywhere in Wenzhou area, I can observe many mega buildings and fancy houses are under construction.  

When I see this building in downtown Wenzhou, I feel like I am in Chicago or New York City. 

I can observe at least 4~5 large modern style Living and Commercial complex buildings are under construction when I drive 40 minutes from my accommodation (ChaShan area) to downtown Wenzhou.  

I am living in a fancy Faculty Apartment in ChaShan area near to Wenzhou University and Wenzhou Medical College. This apartment has all necessary facilities, washing machine, heater, air conditioner, bed, panel TV, Internet, Gas, and comfortable bath. 

I can observe many large Apartment complexes in downtown Wenzhou city. Commonly the first or second floors are dedicated to Commercial stores, and upper three are living areas. This new style building can be observed in Edgewater Area in New Jersey. 

However, many building constructions are not yet completed or not well finished. When I enter to several fancy buildings in ChaShan area and downtown Wenzhou city, I can see many construction and interior projects are still going on. 

I cannot avoid "Dust and Noise" problem in living in China now, because of many constructions in everywhere.  Although I cleaned up my apartment every day, my foot contaminated by dust  frequently. Dust also causes a sore throat problem which I didn't have in the US. Noise issue is another teasing problem. Every in the early morning, I can wake up with sawing and hammering noises from construction sites. And I can hear construction noises until midnight.  The noise continues even in Weekend and Holidays. 

Currently, I can see a lot of constructions are occurring in China. These large number of constructions change the life and scenes of China dramatically. We may need to change our perceptions about China from underdeveloped nation to developing and developed nation at least in the perspective of construction and living condition. 

Dr. Jerry Choi, 

Sept., 2015. 

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In July 29 2015, Kean University offers me a full-time faculty position at Wenzhou, China campus. I cordially accept the offer and I prepare going to China.  The key working conditions are: 10 Month appointment, 30 credit hours teaching load, $65,000 annual payment; free accommodation; two times round trip tickets between US and China per year; two-years contract. 

I accept the China campus job offer for three reasons.

First, I want to experience another global experience in an emerging nation like China. Throughout my professional and educational journey, I experienced many global exposures in the US, Germany, and Korea. And I feel that China is attracting me to let me have a chance to give another wonderful and exotic experiences. 

Second, I want to know what is going on in China in the field of (Global) Business Education. Shaun Rein (2012) - The author of "The End of Cheap China" insisted that "China Needs American Education" especially in Business Education to develop the right business people for global economy within Chinese territory. A few American Universities such as Duke and New York University operate Shanghai campuses for several years, and many American Universities want to expand it's global initiative in China. However, we have little known about 'what is going on in American Business Education in China'? I want to take a role of 'a microscope' to observe and archive what I will be experiencing in American Business Education in China.  

Third, Wenzhou is an interesting and fascinating entrepreneurial city in the world. Xi Jinping - the current Prime Minister of China was the Governor of Zhejiang province between 2002-2007.  Xi frequently praised the entrepreneurship of Wenzhou people, and he supported Wenzhou city to train their next generation in global environment. Xi and Kean University of New Jersey agreed to build the Wenzhou Kean University in 2006, and the University got the first freshmen in 2012. Currently more than 600 undergraduate students enroll Business education in Wenzhou Kean University. 

Photo: Agreement between Xi Jinping and Kean University, 2006.

Historically, Wenzhou is well known for it's entrepreneurship. For example more than 70% of cigarette lighters, majority of eyeglasses, buttons are being produced in Wenzhou city. However, the most famous export of the city is "Entrepreneurs" (Time, 2012). Around one - third of Chinese global businesses are under operation by Wenzhou people, believe or not. 

When I read a business case of Wenzhou eyeglasses manufacturing in 2005, I was fascinated in the city. And I have long been wanted to come and see the city and the people. 

Now, I am here in Wenzhou Kean University as a faculty member in College of Business, Wenzhou, China. And I will keep update what I am observing and what I am feeling about American Business Education in China; about Wenzhou people; and about China. 

Thank you. 

Jerry Choi, 


Rein (2012): China Needs American Education. Here's How to Bring It There.

Nathan Weiss Graduate College, Kean University (Excerpted Sept, 2015): Wenzhou-Kean.

Time (2011): When Wenzhou Sneezes.,9171,2099675,00.html

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