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Transforming Business Thinking in MENA: Leading the Way with a Business School


Sep 1, 2023

Dr. Yusuf Sidani, the Dean of AUB’s Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB), has had a deep understanding of how business is done in Lebanon and the wider region. Although his original plan was to follow his father into auditing after gaining a business education, his gradual attraction to academia led him to pursue a career in teaching. With over 20 years of experience at AUB, he has gained first-hand experiences of the challenges faced by his students and incorporates these into the curriculum at OSB.

One of the key principles that OSB emphasizes is the responsibility of business leaders beyond financial gain. Dr. Sidani believes that the objective of a business is not solely to maximize profits, but to give students a high return on investment in a responsible manner. He advises students to consider factors beyond salary when choosing a job, such as opportunities for learning and career growth.

OSB also understands the wider impact a business school can have on the local community. Through research and collaboration with NGOs, the school aims to promote female empowerment and encourage businesses to adopt policies that are sensitive to the needs of women. Additionally, OSB prioritizes ethics and provides a platform for engaged discussions about the unique challenges and opportunities present in the MENA region.

The school’s diverse faculty, who possess a deep understanding of the region’s dynamics, culture, and values, is instrumental in preparing students to be global leaders. The curriculum takes into account the perspectives of different localities, contributing to the development of sensitivity towards employees and their backgrounds.

OSB recognizes the constantly evolving nature of leadership and aims to prepare the next generation of responsible leaders. The Investment Management Programme offers students hands-on experience managing a $1 million fund, encouraging them to make ethical business decisions in pursuit of strong returns on investment.

Overall, Dr. Sidani’s leadership at OSB is focused on providing a deep understanding of business practices, challenges, and opportunities in Lebanon and the wider MENA region. The school aims to shape responsible leaders who prioritize ethics and contribute positively to their communities.

By Editor

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