Asian Correspondent » Glion Online Asian Correspondent Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:16:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hospitality brands embrace education as Glion celebrates golden anniversary Fri, 23 Mar 2012 12:23:23 +0000

This spring see the 50th Anniversary of Glion Institute of Higher Education. A major achievement in a field where experience has often been seen to outweigh qualifications. Yet Glion is by no means resting on its laurels, with the growth of the online programs over the last 2 years opening further opportunities and widening the scope of hospitality education to a greater audience.

Partnering with major industry names such as Accor and Taj Hotel, Resorts and Palaces has given Glion firsthand experience of what companies are looking for in terms of personnel development. “The Accor General Manager needs to be an ambassador of our company culture, our values, but also needs to be the total business manager and know their market,” says Fabrice Tessier, Director of Schools Relations and Partnerships, Accor. All of which are encompassed within the Glion MBA program.

The majority of students joining the online programs are seeking a step up the career ladder, and the knowledge that executive talent from multi-national brands is involved is a significant factor. In Asia alone, Accor operate 300 hotels, and are opening new properties at a rate of one per week. This presents individuals with more opportunities in an ever growing industry while continued investment in education is a clear sign of where companies see the future and how managerial candidates can set themselves apart.

The combination of 50 years of expertise matched with the continued strength of incoming students from partnerships as well as on an individual basis has put Glion in a very strong position moving forwards. The value of the partnerships cannot be underestimated, yet it is the endearing quality of education that keeps Glion is its industry leading position.

To find out more about studying online with Glion click here.


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How does studying online change your personal life? Wed, 07 Mar 2012 16:28:41 +0000

Daniele Ticli manages Academic Operations and the Student Support Department for Glion’s suite of online programs. He has also studied online to a post-graduate level.

During Enrollment and Admissions processes, we always emphasize the importance of time management and point out the benefits of online studies in terms of career and professional development as a whole. We also make students aware of the impact that these studies will have on their lives.

When talking to our students, I am never too surprised to find out that the majority of them consider online studies to be challenging and not easy to combine with other commitments. But they also tell me it’s a great way to learn more about themselves on a personal level, and not only as professionals. 

For those who are not in this “industry”, it could seem rather strange given that students interact with fellow classmates via an online platform and, from beginning to end of their studies, have less time to dedicate to family, friends and other activities (sport, entertainment, hobbies).

But as a former online student, I can certainly understand their mindset. On our Post-graduate courses students cover topics such as Finance, Accounting, Research – strictly related to professional life – but also study Leadership, Human Resources and Communication – skills that are naturally applied to personal lives.  

So in understanding this, and the nature of our programs, we can say that studying with Glion is not a pure academic journey, but a comprehensive knowledge experience.

Our students work in hospitality and wider service industries, industries built on human relationships.  While we don’t teach how to network or how to close deals; this is a perfect example of how business skills are honed as a wider basis of knowledge grows.  

So where do our students put into practice what they retain from their online studies with Glion? At home with kids and partners, on a football pitch, or networking during industry events. And of course, at their work place.

To find out our more about learning online with Glion click here

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Should classroom debate be graded? Mon, 27 Feb 2012 17:26:43 +0000

 Glion Online offers a range of 100% online executive programs from one of the world’s leading hospitality management schools.

Much of the debate now centered around learning online focuses on the worth of virtual education when compared with more traditional campus based studies.

Several weeks ago, the Glion Online blog featured results from a recent international poll; the numbers suggested that when asked if online learning was of the same worth as campus studies, just 29% of adults said yes.

So why is this? In our previous article, the Dean of Graduate Studies at Glion, Dr Lyn Glanz suggested that detractors of online learning could point to ‘tick the box’ corporate courses, or superficial ‘degree mill’ programs as examples of why learning virtually requires less input, and is therefore less beneficial to student understanding.  

The crux of this argument or perception is based upon an assumption that the further a student is from the classroom, the more the value of education dissipates. Put shortly, nothing can quite replicate learning in a classroom.

This view has undoubtedly been a major challenge for institutions now offering online education. But as learning platforms have become slicker, educational programs have begun to evolve and feature weekly classroom discussions among peers and faculty.

This evolution is clearly a step forward for the virtual classroom and represents a move to lessen the distance between learner and institution.  Such is the belief that these discussions help to facilitate learning similar to what takes place in a classroom, many institutions now grade a student’s discussion performance.  

However, at Glion while virtual debate is considered paramount to developing thinking and understanding, the approach is different. As Program Leader Martin Senior describes:

“Any good program continues to believe in the value of collaborative discussions and will work hard to promote and encourage it through grades, encouragement, collegial obligations, etc, and Glion shares all of these attempts, except for grades.     

Many online universities grade these discussions a way to ‘force’ students to participate in an equal way, but Glion takes a slightly different view.

It would rather promote discussions as a normal way for mature, experienced professionals to share, discuss and debate issues in a similar way to that at a work based meeting, professional conference, or intellectual debate.”

It could therefore be argued that it is the type of student in the classroom that is key to fuller learning. The Glion approach aims to utilize the shared experience of students, and relies on this resource to promote class interaction and learning.

 As Martin Senior explains:  “Judging from the extensive research literature on the subject of online programs, it appears that even assessed discussions have little bearing on achieving a goal of participation.

The Glion approach says rather – why not share, discuss and debate issues with like-minded colleagues as one would at work. Why do professionals need to be graded for what they think and say in a virtual meeting area, which occurs quite naturally on a daily basis?”

Graded weekly discussions may go some way to changing the perception of online learning, but this begs a question; is it the perception that needs changing most, or the outcome? Based on the foundations of collaborative learning, critical thinking and faculty engagement the Glion model suggests the latter, which may over time also change the former.

Learn more about studying online with Glion.

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An ethos of continual learning in the face of evolving marketing trends Mon, 20 Feb 2012 09:40:24 +0000

In 2006 Glion’s Governing Board approved the creation of the Center of Marketing Excellence in Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management.

The vision was simple; to take Glion’s understanding, ethos and reputation, and apply it to creating a centre in which leading academics and industry professionals shared marketing knowledge in the face of a rapidly changing global market.

The unrelenting developments made in technology and an acute understanding of how these changes were transforming the way successful businesses operate, acted as the driving force, and a concept was put into motion.

Having taught to the next generation of hospitality leaders for 50 years, the plan for the Center of Marketing Excellence continued Glion’s proud reputation, as both under graduate and graduate programs were developed to accommodate expert understanding of evolving marketing practices.

Today, the center continues to strive towards its vision of excellence and now focuses on providing consultancy services directly to those currently working in the industry.

Glion Online Program Director Kate Buchanan-Jack currently teaches Marketing to industry professionals around the world as part of the online suite of programs now offered by Glion. Having an established international marketing and consulting background, she suggests now more than ever marketing trends require a more dynamic approach due to the powerful influence of the virtual world.

“What makes marketing so much more challenging these days is its’ revitalized, dynamic nature and it’s constantly evolving characteristics. The needs of the consumer are changing and through the internet we have found a way to connect with them directly. Marketers need to be both successful and effective and must adapt strategies to the changing needs and demands of the consumer. In the hospitality and service industries world, customers like to feel unique and nurtured and this makes the blend between the product and the service ever more ambiguous.”

Put into practice this understanding translates into on the ground training for companies across the service industries. Director of the Center of Marketing Excellence Dr. David Horrigan has a MA in marketing communications and a PHD in educational leadership. He explains how the academics focus on delivering expertise to the industry:

“We just debriefed from the general management training program we held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Al Hokair Group which has 4 star hotel brands and 32 properties asked us deliver a training program to their general managers that covered various finance, human resources, marketing, and strategic planning subject matter.

The five day program was a successful event and everyone had a great time. We will be following up with other training programs that focus on targeted disciplines such as finance. This way, the attendees will be able to focus more deeply on one specific area for a longer time. A program series will be tailor designed to cover multiple disciplines for the Al Hokair Group’s needs and a combination of onsite and online delivery methods are being discussed. The idea is to create an ongoing management training program for their managers’ development.”

In striving to bring together international industry and academia, Glion has facilitated learning that not only benefits the hospitality professionals of tomorrow, but also those working in the industry today.

Learn more about studying online with Glion.

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Innovation in the Hospitality Industry Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:51:52 +0000

Martin Senior is the Program Leader for Glion’s innovative 100% online MBA in International Hospitality Management. He also lectures to campus based students at Glion, and has an extensive background in both hospitality and education.

The importance of innovation has been recognized since the days of Joseph Schumpeter some 100 years ago, and this recognition is continuing with vigour today in businesses around the world (Economist, 2007; Tidd & Bessant, 2009).  Innovation is seen as a key way to effectively compete in crowded marketplaces, or even to create new market-spaces which disrupt existing industries and markets by making them less relevant.  Cirque du Soleil comes to mind here (Kim & Mauborgne, 2004).

 The hospitality industry is no stranger to innovation, though much of it may not be at the top level of Booz Allen Hamilton’s framework of being ‘new-to-the-world’ (Ottenbacher & Harrington, 2010), or even ‘disruptive’ (Christensen et al, 2000).  The industry though does occasionally provide some radical ideas which change the game somewhat.  Early examples from North America would include Holiday Inns, fast-food chains, roadside budget hotel chains, and the ‘Starbuck’s’ experience amongst many others.  More recent innovative ideas have emerged from other countries, such as Asian-style restaurants (YO!, Sushi Shop, Wasabi Sushi, Wagamama) and more-affordable modular-type hotels (CitizenM, Yotel).  At the top end of the hotel sector we are seeing state-of-the-art ideas, such as the Burj Al Arab and Rose hotels in Dubai, the Skypark in Singapore, or even Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas.  These small examples demonstrate that the hospitality industry is full of innovation vitality and will no doubt continue to be so in the future.

 What is perhaps less clear, especially from the literature, is how much the hospitality industry develops a culture of creativity and innovation within its organizations, such as that found at Google or 3M (Kuratko et al, 2008; Tidd & Bessant, 2009).  This is surprising since so many of the employees in the industry are part of the product, have high contact with customers, and deep understanding of their experiences.  These employees are therefore a ripe source of creative solutions and ideas and can easily contribute to NSD new service developments in the more enlightened organizations (Limpibunterng & Johri, 2009; Tajeddini, 2009).  Perhaps though the industry focuses more on tradition and established practices which provide the customer with a predictable and more certain experiences?  Perhaps management in the industry do not have the space in cultivating creativity within a highly transient workforce?  Or perhaps industry leaders have not been schooled in the science and art of creativity and innovation, and have more immediate tangible targets to meet, such as filling seats and filling beds day-in, day-out?

Find out more about learning online with Glion.

Christensen, C.M., Bohmer, R. & Kenagy, J. (2000). Will disruptive innovations coure heathcare?,  Harvard Business Review, September-October.

Economist (2007, April 26). Joseph Schumperter: In praise of entrepreneurs; The Economist, Retrieved February 9, 2012 from

Kim, W.C & Mauborgne, R. (2004). Blue Ocean Strategy, Harvard Business Review, October, 69-80.

Kuratko, D.F., Morris, M.H., Covin, J.G. (2008). Corporate Innovation & Entrepreneurship, 3rd ed., South-Western.

Limpibunterng, T. & Johri, L.M. (2009). Complementary role of organizational learning capability in new service development (NSD) process, The Learning Organization, 16(4), 326-348.

Ottenbacher, M.C. & Harrington, R.J. (2010). Strategies for achieving success for innovative versus incremental new services, Journal of Services Marketing, 24(1), 3-15.

Tajeddini, K. (2009). The impact of learning orientation on NSD and hotel performance, Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, 2(4), 262-275.

Tidd, J., & Bessant, J. (2009) Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change (4th ed.). Chichester, England: Wiley.


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Alumni network continues spirit of transformation Mon, 06 Feb 2012 10:27:41 +0000

The 1960s are rightly remembered as a decade in which everything changed. Popular culture set about challenging all that had gone before with new music, art and literature, while civil rights movements across the globe swelled in the spirit of revolution.   

Although the decade will forever be associated with those who provided the sounds, colors and oratory of the time, the 60s were as remarkable an era for the hospitality industry.     

 The development of highways and commercial flights opened up the possibility of travel to millions and triggered the mass expansion of tourism and hotel chains.

It was against this backdrop of transformation that Walter Hunziker and Frederic Tissot founded Glion Institute of Higher Education in 1962. The vision was simple, to create the world’s finest hospitality management school, and to educate with an ethos of enthusiasm, respect for others, self-discipline and a sense of shared identity.

50-years later, and hospitality and tourism has become the world’s largest service sector industry, while Glion has grown to accommodate some 1600 campus students, and teaches online to industry professionals in 61 countries .    

A first cohort of just 14 students has grown to over 9000 alumni, all of whom have been educated with the founder’s philosophy, or the ‘Glion spirit’ as central to their learning.

Such is the sense of shared identity, that the Glion alumni network (GAA) is now used as a potent networking tool among former students.

Claudio Zucco, Director of Alumni Relations & lecturer in Tourism at Glion Institute of Higher Education, extols the benefits of networking born from shared belonging:

“The Glion spirit encourages solidarity amongst its alumni. They support each other in the professional world without necessarily knowing each other because they are linked by common values which bring down the barriers which usually create a distance between strangers. Practically, this support consists in pushing the CV’s of alumni into the right hands or in hiring other alumni.”

 If networking can be understood as the acquisition of contacts for the exchange of information, each member acts almost as an antenna able to detect job opportunities or business opportunities for other members. As Zucco suggests:

“Alumni can become valuable contacts to other alumni if communication is authentic, if the shared information is reliable, if the members of the network are available, which implies knowing how to listen, and therefore accepting people. With this in mind, alumni will never be strangers and the words ‘hello, I am from Glion’ will continue opening doors for mutual benefit.”

The value of networks such as Glion’s has been analyzed by sociologists like Mark Granovetter (1983, John Wiley & Sons) who argues in his article ‘The Strength Of Weak Ties’ that networks of people who rarely meet but have commonalities are professionally more fruitful than those with ‘strong ties’ because innovative ideas can be easily introduced and a variety of viewpoints can be discussed.

It is perhaps fitting then that as Glion moves into its 50th year, its GAA network – which can trace its origins to the spirit of change brought about in the 60s – continues to transform the hospitality industry, one alumnus at a time.

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The importance of a hotel website Mon, 30 Jan 2012 10:01:56 +0000

Antonis Anastasiades is a member of the Glion Online faculty. He also runs a successful e-commerce business and works with independent hotels worldwide.   

Not so many years ago, booking for your flights and accommodation, required the consumer to visit their local travel agent whereby they would be presented with a couple of options to choose from and they would then be supplied with the traditional thin-paper flight ticket and a hotel voucher. That was the time where tour operators were controlling the market, either through independent travel agents, or perhaps through their own ones.

 Times have now changed. The Internet is regarded as a basic commodity in several countries, meaning that just like you would expect to have electricity and water in your house or apartment, Internet connectivity is also considered to have a similar weight of importance. Consumers now expect to be presented with a large number of options to choose from and this includes hotel accommodation.

 The Internet hosts various channels which allow someone to shop around for their next hotel visit, whether these are called online travel agents, travel review websites or even corporate websites such as the hotel websites. Through these channels, the consumer is liberated from the shortlist of their local travel agent and can now access virtually the same database that their travel agent was accessing through all those, read several reviews for each hotel and most importantly, be presented with various daily rates, which may vary from channel to channel.

 So now we ask ourselves? Where do hotel websites stand? Can they make a difference to the decision making process of the consumer? Can they compete with all those online travel agents such as Expedia and The answer to those questions is very simple: Hotel websites should be considered as the number one online channel of any hotel.

 The reasoning behind that answer is also quite simple. All those channels that we have talked about, such as the online travel agents and travel review websites are not exclusive to a unique hotel. Those channels will usually host thousands of hotels into their databases and this means only one thing: they will only present a very limited amount of information about your hotel to the consumer. The hotel website however, is unique and exclusive to your hotel and would usually present very detailed information about the hotel but also about the surroundings of the hotel.

 Another common question is: “If my hotel is present on all those alternative channels, how do I know that the consumer is going to visit my hotel website”? Luckily when someone is considering to book for a specific hotel, they will usually visit around 2-3 alternative channels (including the official website of the hotel), before deciding whether or not they would like to book for that specific hotel. This means that the hotel must ensure that there is sufficient and updated information on their hotel website in order to be more attractive towards the consumer and potential customer.

 Furthermore, what many hotels fail to understand is that selling through their online booking engine hosted on their website will not be subject to the high commissions that many online travel agents charge for selling through their website. If a hotel manages to increase their website traffic and to convert their hotel website as the most productive online reservations channel, then the revenue generated from online reservations will be significantly higher.

 In order for a hotel to have an attractive website that acts as the main online reservations channel, there are some important criteria that need to be met, such as: investing on their website and on its marketing, spending enough time to update its contents and media files, having an efficient online booking engine and advertising attractive rates and offers. Once these criteria are met, then the results should speak on their own.

Find out more about learning online with Glion

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Living to work, or working to live? The expat question Mon, 23 Jan 2012 09:37:06 +0000

Glion Online offers a range of 100% online executive programs from one of the world’s leading hospitality management schools.

Dr Lyn Glanz is Dean of Graduate Studies for the Glion Online MBA

The global mobility of employees has been the subject of considerable attention in business studies but as new generations of employees enter the global labour market, the focus of research into how and why people live and work abroad, is changing.

With the move to globalization in the 1990’s research looked at the ‘expatriate’ experience, considering a few years abroad as the natural preparation for a linear career success within the same company and how such experience could be eased by company provision for expatriates. Later work in the ‘noughties’ charted how organizations took a more transactional approach to employment where loyalty could not be offered or expected from an employee. Research at that time looked at the onus placed on the individual to continually seek career experience that allow them to remain ‘employable’,  asking or requiring them to seek out opportunities for learning and personal development that in one form or another contributed to work experiences.

More latterly, coinciding with the entry of Generation Y into the international labour market, studies have come to recognize the significance of lifestyle choice in global careers. These recent studies suggest the career aims of some employees involved in international moves may not solely be to do with traditional organizational advancement and are rather a shift toward a holistic view of how life is to be lived. In essence, careers become about working to live, rather than living to work. A number of differing motives have been identified in international career moves such as economic and political migration, constrained domestic labour markets  and adventure and personal development. The development of a global mindset is now described as a “way of being” and such identity construction is seen as central to the way individuals make sense of their experiences of global mobility.

The constant factor throughout the years of research on international mobility is that people are predominantly recruited across borders on the basis of technical need and business competence i.e, the ability to a job when it is perceived other local candidates are not available. It is quite likely that all types of international experience have existed together throughout the time described above, but the shift in research focus demonstrates a shift in the need to deal with the recruitment and maintenance of talent in organizations such as the hospitality industry, that perceive a talent shortage in emerging markets. With more available data to inform choice, employees in Generation Y can continually review options so that for well qualified and experienced employees entering the international field, current international moves may well be expected to ‘perform’ more quickly for the individual in both their career and personal expectations than at any time previously.

Find out more about learning online with Glion

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Is the perception of online learning finally changing? Mon, 16 Jan 2012 10:14:23 +0000

Glion Online offers a range of 100% online executive programs from one of the world’s leading hospitality management schools.     

Over the past decade the internet has revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives.

Rapidly developing technologies have changed the way we perceive modern living and are constantly introducing new areas of our life to the instant, 24 hour, worldwide reach of the web.

And yet, one of the surprises about a world that now chooses to do so much online is a general skepticism towards learning over the internet.

Recent research (Pew, 2011) has suggested that only 29% of the wider public view online education as carrying the same value as an on-campus program.

But in economic downturns when people look to consolidate their skills and safeguard their jobs with further education, could the current global financial crisis be one factor helping to change perception of online education and ultimately, how we choose to learn?  

As Dean of Graduate Studies at Glion Institute of Higher Education, Dr Lyn Glanz has overseen the launch of Glion’s suite of 100% online academic hospitality programs, and suggests economics as a factor behind Glion’s online success:

“Glion launched its online MBA some 18 months ago and has found that in current economic circumstances, this form of delivery has a particular appeal to hospitality industry employees. Approximately five out of six students choosing an MBA with Glion last year decided to take the full online program option.”   

Dr Glanz also cites the improved quality of programs now available as another main factor slowly strengthening the reputation of virtual learning:  

“Online education in the past has sometimes been seen with skepticism, partly through people’s experience of superficial programs requiring little serious input, offered as pale imitations of face to face teaching, or ‘tick the box’ corporate programs.

 But good programs are emerging, making use of rich media to reinforce strong instructor input and support to help people tie in and apply cutting edge theory to their own practice. Even on campus nowadays, programs back up face to face learning with online forms of delivery.”

 The primary appeal of online education to working professionals centers around the ability to gain further education and increased employability, without having to put a career on hold. Beyond this, the challenge now faced by those working in online education, is overcoming a view that in studying online, students are somehow missing out or getting less for their money.  

One view challenging this perception is the suggestion that as purpose built for those in employment, online learning provides a learning environment in which students actually benefit from the fact they are splitting time between their career and education. As Dr Lyn Glanz explains:    

 “Full online learning programs allow professional people to keep their foothold in employment which is both good financially and also allows them an environment to start applying and testing out what they have learned immediately. Practical experience of this nature allows a greater opportunity to critically appraise theoretical inputs and enriches the online classroom. Additionally, students find themselves learning in networks of other students similarly committed to lifelong learning.”

With an ever competitive global job market, it isn’t just the hospitality industry that is demanding more from those looking to advance their career, and it may well be that very fact that is beginning to change people’s perception of online learning, and potentially, how we will choose to learn in the future.

Find out more about learning online with Glion.  

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Systemic impact of implicit bias in organizations Mon, 09 Jan 2012 10:02:21 +0000

The systemic impact of implicit bias is a strong organizational preference, often unconscious and seldom explicitly acknowledged, for a particular type of employee reflecting ‘hidden’ preferences for gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, personality type, age, class, etc. (generally aspects over which people have no choice or control).

Specific types of behavior, in particular management and leadership styles, are encouraged and rewarded in an organization, while others are punished. There is usually development of strong ‘in’ and ‘out’ groups, with the former making the rules (and benefiting from them, often unconsciously) and the latter acutely aware of being disadvantaged by the rules, and forced to ask for resources which flow freely to the ‘in’ group.

The preference is very subtle, but extends from recruitment approaches (where is the organization looking for its new talent, for instance, and what kind of candidate applies?) to promotion (who is placed on the fast track in management development programs, and who is asked for key overseas jobs?) and leadership (what kind of diversity exists in the top 200?). Certain functions are favoured in different organizations, and educational background plays a strong role in determining those who are eventually promoted to senior leadership.

Most organizations, and the individuals working for them, unconsciously favour those who look, act and feel like the present leadership, and they in turn are usually clones of the leaders before them.The preferences are established over time, and then reinforced and maintained by the organization’s culture. One of the results of this continuous self‐selection process is that there appears to be a deep‐rooted desire at many boards to preserve traditional male networks and the chemistry and comfort level that go with them.

Many leaders and companies continue to shy away from the admission that there is an organizational preference for, or bias towards, a certain ‘success image’ or type of leader within their organizations. This acknowledgement would require existing management boards to undergo ruthless self‐analysis regarding their own paths to the top within the organization, and few senior leaders are willing to undergo this scrutiny.

Metrics are crucial to successful change management initiatives, and structural organizational change is needed to remove many of the barriers created by implicit bias. Most industries and organizations need numerical ‘proof’, so a systemic model for assessment, implementation, evaluation and measurement of diversity and inclusion initiatives geared to removing bias is crucial. Organizations not taking this aspect into consideration have little chance of creating real value through their diversity initiatives.

Implicit bias explains why discrimination persists in organizations ‐‐ uncovering how personal and organizational preference works is the key to achieving well‐balanced and high‐performing leadership teams, increasing employee engagement and boosting innovation.

Mary Farmer is lecturer and lead faculty in Human Resource Management for the Glion Online MBA, and is full-time faculty at Glion Institute of Higher Education.

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