Ahlers Center Brings the World to USD

Tuesday, August 20, 2019TOPICS: InternationalResearch

USD visiting international professor, Sebastian KortmannFrom left to right: Professor Kenneth Bates, Professor Carsten Zimmerman, Professor Sebastian Kortmann in Shanghai, China during an MBA international consulting project
begin quoteThe Ahlers Center is definitely an institution that you don’t find in many other places. It’s an incubator of new knowledge.

Big companies are investing more and more in a customer’s lifetime value, or the total revenue that one customer represents to a company over a lifetime. To develop a relationship with customers that ensures a higher lifetime value, a company needs to think differently and prioritize the customer’s needs. Research currently being conducted by Professor Sebastian Kortmann from the University of Amsterdam and USD School of Business Associate Professor of Management Carsten Zimmerman, aims to inform companies how to do just that -- how to develop a customer-centric business model.

For the past ten years, Professor Kortmann, a professor of strategy and innovation and director of the Amsterdam MBA at the University of Amsterdam, has spent his summers at the USD School of Business for the unique opportunity of working with Professor Zimmerman, along with Associate Professor of Accounting Johan Perols, and Associate Professor of Marketing Kenneth Bates, among others, to create interdisciplinary research.

As an expert on strategy and innovation, Professor Kortmann is drawn to the sense of adventure that Americans have when it comes to business. “What I like about the U.S. is this very open, entrepreneurial mindset, taking a risk, trying things out, accepting failure, learning from those failures, doing it better in the future...so this very exploratory type of attitude. If you compare to Germany, they’re very analytical and before they start implementing things, developing businesses, they want to have 100 percent level of certainty that it actually works out. Their level of scrutiny is higher, their critical thinking is more elaborate,” says Kortmann.

This type of international knowledge development and exchange is facilitated -- and also funded -- by the Ahlers Center for International Business. The Ahlers Center not only creates opportunities for students and faculty to learn abroad, but also invites international students and faculty to USD for study, teaching and research programs. Through the Ahlers Center for International Business, our School's mission to instill a global mindset in our students, faculty, and community is made possible.

“The Ahlers Center is definitely an institution that you don’t find in many other places. It’s an incubator of new knowledge. It brings students and professors out of their comfort zone and allows them to interact with other cultures and experts from different knowledge areas to spark new ideas,” shares Kortmann.


Renata Ramirez
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