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Volume 1
2006

On the globalEDGE: globalEDGE.msu.edu

  • Tomas Hult
  • Director, Center for International Business Education and Research (MSU-CIBER)
  • Eli Broad College of Business and Graduate School of Management
globalEdge home page screen shot
globalEDGE connects international business professionals worldwide to a wealth of information, insights, and learning resources on global business activities.

When it comes to international business, Michigan State University has the global edge. This is no idle boast—search engines Google, Yahoo, and AOL all give MSU-CIBER's globalEDGE Web site a No.1 ranking (based on the search term "international business," as of July 20, 2006). The site receives over 3 million hits a month, with 75% of the traffic coming from business executives worldwide who spend on average about 14 minutes in each globalEDGE session.

The most visited section of globalEDGE is the "resource desk." Maps, key statistics, and links to country-specific news and resources are compiled for about 200 countries. Powerful features such as comparing countries using multiple statistical indicators are also available. In addition, more than 5,000 international business resources have been evaluated, categorized, and made available in the global resources section.

Other areas of the site offer an in-depth "news and views" page that includes a message forum. The "academy" section targets course content, announcements, research, and career resources. The "diagnostic tools" provide intelligence-based decision support systems for business executives.

Tomas Hult, director of MSU's International Business Center, oversees the continued development and maintenance of globalEDGE. Hult matter-of-factly states, "Our objective is to be the world-leading provider of international business knowledge to practitioners, public policy makers, academics, and students." To achieve this objective requires a staggering amount of work. A team of approximately 20 people—undergraduate and graduate student assistants, faculty, academic specialists, graphic artists, and computer programmers—work on the site daily, with others from the center helping out as needed.

The project also benefits from several partnerships. Numerous world-leading textbook publishers in the field of international business build globalEDGE exercises into their textbooks, allowing students to utilize globalEDGE as a powerful research tool to get an in-depth look at a given specialized topic. In addition, globalEDGE operates as a content provider for some of its partners' Web sites; examples include the American Marketing Association and the Academy of International Business.

From its beginning as a single Web page in 1994, globalEDGE has expanded to be the most comprehensive international business resource online. In order to keep up the impressive ranking and effectiveness of the site, the team is working on many additions and improvements. Hult states that "Our users demand customization to their liking. It is not enough to provide vast amounts of resources; we also need to customize those resources to our users' needs so that the knowledge they seek is at their fingertips as soon as they enter the globalEDGE world."