Insights from 2013 Global Information Technology Report Sets the Course for Business Education

Apr 10, 2013, 10:30 ET from The Johnson School at Cornell University

Report co-authored by Johnson Dean Soumitra Dutta highlights the intersection between business and technology in global competitiveness  

ITHACA, N.Y., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The World Economic Forum today released the results of the 2013 Global Information Technology Report (GITR), that examines the extent to which 144 economies take advantage of Information and communication technologies (ICT) to increase economic growth and well-being. The report is a collaboration among the World Economic Forum, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, and INSEAD.  This year's report concludes, that despite efforts in the past decade to improve ICT infrastructure in developing economies, there has been a significant lack of progress in bridging the digital divide between developing and advanced economies.   

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This year the United States slips to ninth place despite a performance essentially unchanged from the previous year. This constitutes the country's worst showing since the first edition of the GITR in 2001, in which it ranked first, although changes to the methodology and the composition of the NRI over time cause the results not to be strictly comparable. The United States now appears in the top 10 of only two out of 10 pillars (Infrastructure and digital content, and business usage), compared with six pillars just one year ago. The country still possesses the strength that contributed to making it the world's innovation powerhouse for decades. However, this leadership is now being contested.

Is US Innovation at Risk?

In 2012 the US ranked ninth within the Business and Innovation Environment pillar, and in 2013 fell to thirteenth. Another area of focus, the Business Usage pillar, captures the extent of business Internet use and efforts of firms in an economy to integrate ICTs into an innovation-conducive environment that generates productivity gains. Consequently, the Business Usage pillar measures the firm's technology absorption capacity as well as its overall capacity to innovate and the production of technology novelties measured by the number of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent applications.

While still within the top ten in overall Business Usage measures, the United States now ranks only 12th worldwide for the number of PCT patent applications in 2009 and 2010 on a per capita basis. The rate of 134 applications per million population is less than half that of leading Sweden (297 applications), Switzerland (285), and Finland (279).  

The report demonstrates that economies that fail to implement comprehensive national strategies risk losing ground in global competitiveness and may fall behind in delivering innovations that fuel economic growth.  To offset these risks, new approaches to graduate education are required. 

A Solution at the Intersection of Technology and Business

The 2013 GITR report highlights the need for accelerated skills development in business and technology to ensure that future business leaders are prepared to pursue growth and jobs in the hyperconnected world. US business schools, in particular, are at a crossroads of integrating traditional leadership training with technology-focused learning to fuel a growing capacity to innovate.

Technology is constantly changing business. Business schools need to be bold and willing to experiment to move forth the next generation of leaders. Johnson at Cornell is continually updating its curriculum and methodology to support the best ecosystem to adapt to this rapidly-paced environment.

"Johnson has a well-established culture of innovating the MBA in concert with and ahead of the changing business climate," said Dean Soumitra Dutta, co-author of the GITR. "We invented immersion learning for first-year MBA students, and were among the pioneers in launching a 12-month MBA for professionals already holding advanced degrees. Creating the MBA for the new technology-driven future is a natural progression for Cornell's graduate business school."

The process of conceptualizing and creating the MBA of the future is already underway at Johnson, with numerous stakeholders involved in co-creating a completely new approach to business education, one that will prepare graduates to lead in the networked global business environment. This work is moving forward, with the contributions and ideas of innovative corporations, current MBA students, alumni, and others. Johnson continues to employ immersive, experiential learning across all its programs, from semester-long disciplinary intensives, to results-driven projects for companies, to student treks to understand business in all corners of the world.

About Johnson at Cornell University
Founded in 1946, Johnson at Cornell University offers both a two-year and accelerated Masters of Business Administration program, as well as two executive MBA programs designed for mid-career professionals. There are 320 students from 32 countries in the regular- and accelerated MBA Class of 2012, and 366 students in the executive programs. Johnson also offers dual degree and certificate programs with law, industrial and labor relations, engineering, medicine, health administration and real estate. With 52 full-time tenured and tenure track faculty, 20 regular non-tenure track complimented by adjunct, Emeritus or visiting academics—many of whom come to Cornell from successful careers in the business world—the school offers superb instruction using a collaborative, immersive approach in which students apply what they learn to business challenges at real companies. For more information about Johnson at Cornell University please visit:

SOURCE The Johnson School at Cornell University