Beginning this fall, Rotman Commerce students across all three specialist programs will be eligible to enroll in a new focus called Managing in Diverse Economies. This is the first focus that zones in on managerial styles across emerging economies in any business school across Canada. It aims to make students more adaptable in an increasingly globalized world, and equip them with the cultural awareness to tackle management styles and challenges in various countries and contexts. 

“Companies that are more diverse outperform businesses that aren’t – if a company isn’t diverse, they’re actually leaving money on the table,” wrote Wes Hall, founder and chairman, BlackNorth Initiative and Kingsdale Advisors, in a press release posted by Rotman Commerce. 

Developing the Managing in Diverse Economies focus 

“The idea for [the Managing in Diverse Economies focus] was from a conversation initiated between the Associate Director, Academic Services and the Director (at the time) for Rotman Commerce,” wrote a Rotman Commerce spokesperson in an email to The Varsity

The focus was then developed in consultation with faculty from the Rotman School and with Professor Joseph Wong — U of T’s vice-president, international. The Reach Alliance, select alumni of the Rotman School’s graduate and undergraduate programs, and several departments in the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) were also consulted in the formation of the focus. 

“The [Managing in Diverse Economies] focus offers a pathway for Rotman Commerce students to learn about and engage in experiential learning related to business paradigms of management across diverse economies,” wrote the spokesperson. 

The focus will require students to obtain 2.5 credits across various areas, including either Foundational Knowledge of Economics or Political Economy of Inequality and Development, a capstone course in Managing in Diverse Economies, and an elective that complements the essence of the capstone course. A list of eligible electives can be found on the FAS’s calendar

Contributing beyond the classroom 

A key aspect of the focus is the capstone course by the same name, RSM468Y1 — Managing in Diverse Economies, which offers students the unique opportunity to work on a year-long research project. It also includes the possibility of field work in an area of particular interest within African, Caribbean, or Indigenous cultures. This year-long course is designed to allow students to synthesize their learning from the focus and apply their knowledge through an experiential learning project. An application outlining areas of interest is required to participate in this course.  

Through in-class and experiential learning opportunities, the Managing in Diverse Economies focus enables Rotman Commerce students to develop a deeper appreciation of the contributions of diverse cultures to the global economy. 

“[This] will allow for more people to work towards providing these populations with the tools, resources, and support they need to reach their full potential,” says Sarah Wolfe, the director of the Indigenous Innovation Initiative at Grand Challenges, Canada. 

“The global economy requires young professionals who are equipped with the learning outcomes of the Rotman Commerce BCom curriculum, and who can navigate the varied approaches to management across the globe,” wrote the Rotman Commerce spokesperson.