IABEP news releases

View our news stories to find out more about IABEP activities across the globe.


Two IABEP-Partners realize a double degree programme

ESB Business School and University Malaysia Pahang provide wide-ranging international experience

By: Petra Greiner, Lena Jauernig

White beaches, lush tea plantations, bustling Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia is renowned for being an exotic holiday paradise. But what does it mean to plunge into everyday life in Malaysia for two years, far away from the tourist hotspots and with heart and soul?

“Authentic“, is how Theresa Stöhr describes the experience. The ESB Business School graduate is one of the five students to complete the “Double Degree Track“ in the Bachelor International Operations and Logistics Management (IOLM).

If you choose this option, you spend two years in Reutlingen and two years abroad. For Theresa and the other four double degree pioneers this meant two years of studying and completing an internship in the partner country Malaysia. “What attracted me was the totally unfamiliar, fundamentally different culture“, recalls Theresa. 

Studying at the University Malaysia Pahang

In preparation for the new country, its culture and language, the group attended a weekly course in culture and language in Reutlingen. In August 2016 the adventure started. The first stop was Kuantan, a city with half a million inhabitants in the hinterland of Malaysia. This is where the University Malaysia Pahang is situated.  

“In Kuantan you feel the cultural influences more strongly than for example in Kuala Lumpur. Life is more rural and shaped by religion. This is also demonstrated in everyday university life“, says Theresa Stöhr. Male and female students in separate halls of residence, lectures that fit in with Muslim prayer times and a ban on alcohol, cigarettes and pork on campus. Unusual for German students.  

Despite all the cultural differences the group enjoyed their time in their temporary home. “The people in Malaysia are open-minded and friendly to foreigners. Since our group altogether consisted of seven German students on campus, we were often approached and spoken to and soon made friends. I soon got talking to other international students, particularly from Bangladesh, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and other countries“, reports Simon Funken. 

Practical semester a big Asian city

The booming region South-East Asia plays a major role in the global logistics industry, making it a fascinating environment for our aspiring business engineers. The five IOLM students moved for half a year to the metropolises Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown/Penang or to Singapore.  

“The working atmosphere was pleasant although the working times in Malaysia are on average longer than in Germany“, recalls Theresa Stöhr, who completed her internship at BASF in Kuala Lumpur. She also wrote her bachelor thesis at BASF in Kuala Lumpur. For her and all the others taking the Double Degree Track the bachelor thesis abroad is an integral part of her studies.

Double degree completed and ready for the job market   

Theresa, Simon and the three other Malaysia pioneers have now successfully completed their studies. Last Saturday at the graduation ceremony of ESB Business School they received their double degree certificates. The five business engineers have gained much more than just a certificate, however: with their wide-ranging international experience and their skills in business and technology they are now ideally prepared for the world of work.


The 2nd Business Engineering Summer School

Cuckoo Clocks and Industry 4.0

In early September 2018 students from IABEP member universities School of Business and Management, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Universiti Malaysia Pahang and International University Vietnam arrived in Reutlingen, Germany to participate in the Business Engineering Summer School. The event was organised for the second time by ESB Business School, Reutlingen University.

Accompanied by their lecturers Prof. Pri Hermawan PhD (SBM ITB), Dr. Ridzuan bin Darun (Universiti Malaysia Pahang) and Dr. Ho Thanh Vu (International University Vietnam) the 30 students spent a week on campus at ESB Business School. The programme offered a mix of input lectures and excursions, but the focus of the participants was on the group task competition. In a simulation, the five teams were assigned with the following task:

“Develop a strategic proposal how our two companies can jointly take advantage of Industry 4.0 concepts and tools in order to further improve the performance of our supply chain (=efficiency and effectiveness of our collaboration).”

During two company visits to Festo Didactic and Wiha Werkzeuge GmbH, the students had the chance to gain insights and useful information to solve the task. The excursion to Wiha was combined with a boat ride on Titisee in the Black Forest. The participants were thrilled by the beautiful landscape and some even bought cuckoo clocks as a souvenir for their families at home.

“We had fun and the whole week was an extraordinary experience. We did not only gain new insights and a broader perspective of business and management, but we also learned how the different cultures and different working styles affect the working environment and the group”, summarised Tuan, a third year student at IU Vietnam.

The BE Summer School 2018 is part of the project „Making Business Engineering (BE) happen in South East Asia“. The project is sponsored by DAAD with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It is an initiative of the undergraduate programme International Operations and Logistics Management (IOLM), which offers its students a double degree option in collaboration with a partner university.


by Petra Greiner


Business Engineering and Industry 4.0 in a Global Economy

International Business Engineering Conference 2018 (IBEC)

How can companies succeed in an environment that is marked by increasing digitisation, a globalisation of supply chains and increasing complexity in business relations? And how does business engineering as a cross-disciplinary approach help businesses deal with this situation?

At the International Business Engineering Conference (IBEC) that took place in Bali, Indonesia from 9 to 10 August 2018, around 60 experts from all over the globe came together to discuss these questions.

After they had already successfully organised an International Business Engineering Conference in 2016, IABEP partners decided to launch a second edition of the event in 2018. “The IBEC conference is the perfect platform for exchange of information, knowledge and needs among corporate, academic and government representatives in the field of business engineering. Against the backdrop of the rapidly developing economy in South East Asia, such an exchange is critical”, according to Prof. Dr. Nur Budi Mulyono, Lecturer at School of Business and Management, Institut Teknologi.

The IBEC conference 2018 was opened by I Made Mangku Pastika, Governor of Bali. In his keynote speech, he emphasised the significance of industry 4.0 concepts for Balinese tourism.

Prof. Dr. Hendrik Brumme, President of Reutlingen University, together with his colleague Prof. Dr. Hazel Grünewald then went on to share their views on how key technologies impact the current business and academic environment. An important point that was highlighted is the critical role human beings play in the fourth industrial revolution, whether as managers, employees, customers or general stakeholders. Their speech was followed by a panel discussion of academic and business professionals.

On the second conference day, a series of workshops shed light on various aspects of the potentials of business engineering in the age of Industry 4.0. Topics ranged from Business Models and Processes to Automation and Robotics, from Supply Chain Management to Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics. Experts from Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, UK and USA provided input on the latest developments in their field.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Taschner, Dean of ESB Business School and Chairman of the IABEP association reflects on his conference participation: “The complex problems that business engineers are faced with cannot be discussed in a short paper presentation only. As all IABEP partners share the goal of being practice-oriented and business-relevant, the workshop format at IBEC provided the ideal framework for an in-depth exchange between business representatives and scholars. We have learned a lot about what keeps companies in the region up at night and what kind of solutions and support they are looking for.”

The conference organisation was managed by Indonesian IABEP partner School of Business and Management, Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB). “One personal highlight for me was certainly the unmatched hospitality of our ITB colleagues and the perfect conference organisation on site. This was the best advertising IABEP could hope for”, stated Taschner.

While this year`s IBEC conference has closed successfully, the IABEP partners will not lean back now: “Longer-lasting relationships need to be established, the ideas exchanged during the workshop need to be translated into projects and joint initiatives. The work actually starts now”, says Taschner.


TEDx UMP Pahang

On 14th August 2018, UMP Pahang, academic partner of IABEP, held the TEDx UMPahang event entitled “The Time is Now”.

The theme was a call to the public that now is the time to take assertive actions themselves for change to occur. All the speakers made a call for action to take small steps to improve the lives of others. It was important to plant this seed into the mind of the audience and encourage them to believe that one can achieve great things to change people’s lives. All it takes is endeavour and perseverance.

Prof. Dr. Hazel Gruenewald, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at ESB and currently visiting professor at UMP, was invited to speak at the event. Having navigated across multiple disciplines, sectors and countries, she understands how critical adaptability and resilience are in today’s global and volatile world. In her talk, she discussed the importance of developing self-efficacy and resilience in students before sending them out into industry. Her own experiences inspired her to develop a simulation game, Quest 3C, originally for business engineering students. Through gamification, she confronts students with complex, real-life challenges they will face in the field to help them learn and grow.






Innovation from abroad

Guest lecturer Martin Grossman visits the MBA International Management Part-Time programme

By: Philip Scherer

During the two attendance weekends in May 2018 in the MBA International Management Part-time, the programme was pleased to welcome guest lecturer Professor Dr Martin Grossman. The professor from the Reutlingen partner university Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts lectured for the two weekends on Innovation Management at ESB Business School. In a relaxed manner he vividly conveyed sound specialist knowledge from his field to the students and was available for in-depth discussions during the breaks.

The MBA International Management Part-time programme reoriented itself in winter semester 2017/18 and has become more international. In addition to increasing the proportion of subjects taught in English to 50 percent, the modules at the partner universities abroad are now carried out in integral partner programmes. This also enables foreign students to attend courses of the BA International Management Part-time programme.

Furthermore, contact seminars have been added to the degree programme, which in addition to the lectures held during the classical attendance phases at weekends take place in the evening during the week. Since this semester the contact seminars have taken place completely online via Adobe Connect and can be accessed by the students from anywhere in the world.

Professor Dr Martin Grossman, who taught in this semester for the first time at ESB Business School, will come to ESB Business School again next semester to lecture on Innovation Management during the block week. 

The next application deadline for the MBA International Management Part-time degree programme is 15 June.


Double visit

Guest lecturer Dr Yudo Anggoro and students from Indonesia at ESB Business School

By: Katrin Reil

Fascinating, interesting and a completely new experience was the verdict of the five visiting students from the School of Business and Management at the Institute Teknologi Bandung (SBM ITB) who visited ESB Business School at the end of April as part of an excursion on  ”Cross Cultural and Conflict Management“. A tightly packed programme awaited the group which they completed partly together with German students from the BSc International Operations and Logistics Management programme. Lectures and discussions with expats alternated with excursions in and around Reutlingen as well as a visit to TUBEX, a packaging manufacturer located in Rangendingen. After a week the students drew a positive conclusion in an interview with Professor Dr Andreas Taschner, Dean of ESB Business School. The only thing that needed getting used to in Germany was the weather which at 15 degrees was springlike by German standards but clearly too chilly for the Indonesians.    

Dr Yudo Anggoro also experienced the contrast to Indonesia’s tropical climate. He not only led and accompanied the student group from SBM ITB but is currently staying for a longer time at ESB Business School. He is also from ESB’s renowned partner university and is Deputy Director of the campus in Jakarta. At SBM ITB his teaching and research activities include business ethics, business leadership, business economics and cross-cultural management.

From March until the end of May Dr Anggoro is teaching at ESB Business School in the three degree programmes BSc International Operations and Logistics Management, BSc International Business and BSc Production Management. His lectures deal with intercultural management, international organization and human resource and organization behaviour. He has noticed distinct differences between German and Indonesian students:  The study trip of the Indonesian students to ESB Business School had many benefits, as they learned a lot about German culture and work ethics, e.g. about the efficiency of the Germans in using their time, the direct communication in Germany and how regulations were strictly implemented in the society in terms of transportation, education, and small-medium scale industries. On the other hand, the German students learned about the Indonesian culture during class activities and interaction among them. They learned that in terms of decision making, Indonesian people prefer to have a consensus building since the society values collectivism more than individualism. This practice of sharing among students who have different backgrounds is good to understand each other's cultural challenges. The interaction between Indonesian students and IOLM students went well, as the IOLM students are so nice and they happily introduced the German culture to the Indonesian students.”

The international atmosphere at ESB and the support he has received from the Dean’s Office and colleagues helped him a lot when starting in Reutlingen, Anggoro says. And with a twinkle in his eye he adds that his temporary home also has other advantages: ”Reutlingen is a typical German city where the population is not that large but you can find almost everything in the city. It also has some cultural spots where people, especially foreigners, can interact with local people. The foods are nice too, and I have tried the delicious local Swabian food here.“

As part of the international guest lecturer programme ESB Business School regularly welcomes guest lecturers from abroad. ESB and SBM ITB will intensify their relations in the future by offering a double degree programme.


Quest 3C Simulation Game in Malaysia

In April 2018, Ramona Mayer, a previous graduate of the BSc International Business study program of the ESB Business School joined Professor Hazel Grünewald in conducting the business simulation game Quest 3C at the Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP).

The interdisciplinary simulation game Quest 3C supports business engineering students in gaining realistic insights into how organizations work. Thereby they improve team performance and develop leadership skills in an international environment.

It is already the second time at the UMP that International Logistics and Operations Management (IOLM) students are going through this interdisciplinary learning experience with Quest 3C. Within the scope of Flying Faculty, a program in which professors transfer their knowledge to other universities around the globe, Professor Grünewald is teaching the simulation game to 15 Malaysian IOLM students who will begin their 2 years study experience in Germany next semester. Ramona Mayer who is currently working as HR Business Partner at Festo in Esslingen joined this game as alumni and industry expert to share her industry knowledge with the students.

 “I was very impressed to see the huge improvement in students’ performance when comparing the first simulation meeting with the last one. By providing the students instant feedback after each simulation, they directly knew on what to improve for the next session”, says Ramona Mayer. Professor Hazel Grünewald adds: “When playing the game with Malaysian students, the challenges were quite different compared to Germany. A lot of Malaysian students had to overcome cultural differences first, we challenged them to ask questions when they don’t understand some English words and to look us directly in the eyes. In the end, we were very proud of the results.”



The IABEP flagship event

The International Business Engineering Conference (IBEC), our flagship event, is due to take place on 9 - 10 August in Bali, Indonesia. This year’s key topic is “Business Engineering and Industry 4.0 in a global economy”. 

IBEC provides the ideal platform for experts from academia and industry to discuss the challenges and the opportunities arising from digitization (Internet of Things, big data) for business in South East Asia and across the world. We have a clear focus on business practice and will discuss the potential of business engineering as a cross-disciplinary approach to help businesses deal with Industry 4.0. IBEC will shed light on this topic from various perspectives by offering a series of workshops to corporate participants.  more


Guest lecturer from Vietnam

By: Lena Jauernig

The equation Dr. Phan Ngyuen Ky Phuc just finished writing on the blackboard is a true brainteaser. His students read it carefully. Then they start scribbling and discussing while Dr. Phuc walks around, gives explanations and answers questions.

“The classes here at ESB Business School are much smaller than at universities in Vietnam. Therefore, I can easily answer questions individually and help students make progress”, Dr. Phuc says and adds: “I am very happy with my students here. But also with my colleagues – they make me feel at home in Reutlingen.”

ESB Business School regularly welcomes lecturers from abroad. Dr. Phuc ‘s stay in Reutlingen is within the framework of the project „Business Engineering in South East Asia“, a project sponsored by DAAD with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Dr. Phuc is from Ho-Chi-Minh-City, hometown of one of ESB´s many partner universities: He is a researcher in the areas of computer programming and mathematics at International University (IU) / Vietnam National University HCMC.

Currently, he is spending one semester at ESB Business School to teach Mathematics in the Bachelor Programme International Operations and Logistics Management. Classes are held in English, thus preparing the future engineers for today’s global business environment. Come to think of it: Is English really the only universal language used in the classroom? Shouldn`t numbers and equations count as universal language, too?


Hong Kong Institute of Business Engineers delegation in Reutlingen

By: Verena Werdich / Lena Jauernig

Meetings, campus tour, visit to the Logistics Learning Factory, Network Dinner and more, the schedule of the delegation accompanying Prof. Dr. Baldwin Hui and Dr. Gary Ching was packed. For two days a team from the Hong Kong Institute of Business Engineers (HKIBE) visited ESB Business School at Reutlingen University.  

The HKIBE is an institute for further professional training in business engineering which develops interactive teaching methods and maintains close contacts with companies and universities.  

One of the main purposes of the visit to Reutlingen was to discuss opportunities for cooperation in the framework of the International Association of Business Engineering Professionals (IABEP). IABEP is dedicated to the promotion of professional training and international knowledge transfer in the area of business engineering/technical business administration – focusing mainly on Southeast Asia but also globally. Both ESB Business School and the HKIBE are among the founding members of the still young international association IABEP.  

“The meetings with the HKIBE were very productive“, Prof. Dr. Andreas Taschner, Dean of ESB Business School, is pleased to say. “Among other things, many ideas emerged about how to stimulate knowledge transfer between Chinese companies and the academic IABEP partners”. Prof. Dr. Hui also expressed his satisfaction with the visit: „Concerning the works of IABEP, we are glad that we reached a resolution to move forward to promote Business Engineering concepts and applications in Europe, South East Asia and China. HKIBE will surely share the responsibility of promoting Business Engineering and contribute through lectures, seminars, conferences and other forms of cooperation. We will bring along our research, expertise and experience to ESB Business School and Reutlingen University. Looking forward to a fruitful cooperation!”

Besides the meetings about IABEP, the delegation also organised an interactive lecture for the BSc International Operations and Logistics Management degree programme. “It is our pleasure to share with your students and professors our works in business engineering“, says Prof. Dr. Hui, with words of praise: „Your students surely demonstrated their profound knowledge and dynamic mindset in our interactive teaching section.“ The guest showed that he was convinced of the international and corporate education concept at Reutlingen University, particularly the interdisciplinary training for future business engineers.

While visiting the Logistics Learning Factory and in discussion with Prof. Dr.  Vera Hummel the guests then experienced another realistic learning and research environment for industrial production processes and logistics concepts on the campus.  

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