GMA is an international association of academic professionals engaged in management education, research and technical assistance, with the objective of rendering consulting services to companies and organizations searching for a competitive edge in an increasingly global economy.
The association provides advice, research and technical assistance in management development and effective strategies to profit and not-for-profit organizations.
GMA is the abbreviated word for IFAS (Istituto di Formazione alle Attività di Sviluppo) of GMA (Gabriele Morello and Associates), a company founded in Palermo in order to carry out:
- management development programs,
- research projects,
- technical assistance to private and public companies which aim at improving their organizational efficiency and competitive position.
GMA’s head offices are located in Viale F.Scaduto 6/D, 90144 Palermo, Italy (phone/fax: + 39 091347142, email: email@example.com). The company has an office in Amsterdam and maintains regional operations in almost all European countries, in USA, Canada, Japan, South Africa, South America, China, India, Algeria, Israel and Cuba.
Its flexible structure and personal links allow the association to plan, organize and control management education activities, as well as research and consulting projects at local, international and global level.
In order to achieve its objectives, the GMA network is made up of an international group of experts drawn from the upper echelons of academic and professional organizations. Initially Gabriele Morello’s associates were: Dr. Pieter J. D. Drenth, prof. of organizational psychology at the Free University, Amsterdam; Dr. Donald L. Pardew, prof. of management sciences at Columbia University, New York; Dr. Takeshi Kikuchi, prof. of marketing at the Science University, Tokyo and John Rice, prof. of operations research at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. In 2005 the concept of ‘Associates’ was enlarged to include other representatives and senior experts in charge of GMA projects. At present, these Associates are: Rodolfo Arencibia Figueroa, Istituto de Ecologia y Sistematica de Cuba, La Habana; Mohammed Bahloul, director IDRH, Oran, Algeria; Francesco Guadalupi, finance and control expert, Palermo; Rodolfo Helg, professor of international economics, Università Bocconi, Milano; Paul Schellschmidt, strategic planning consultant, Stuttgart; Susanne Tesselaar, communication expert, Amsterdam; Ven Venkatesan, professor of marketing, Rhode Island University, US.
The enlargement of the group has called for a new organizational structure, based on the matrix concept: on one side the experts in charge of the functional aspects of the firm (production, marketing, control and finance, organization and human resources, strategies), on the other side the geographic location of GMA activities.
Examples of assignments carried out by GMA include:
- Management education.
Courses and seminars designed and conducted for top managers as well as for middle-level managers, both in the private and in the public sectors. All areas of management education have been covered by GMA experts in their assignments: production management and logistics, marketing and market research, human resources and organizational change, cost accounting, budgeting and finance, business policy and strategic planning. In conducting educational activities, GMA experts stress ‘praxeology’ – the science of doing and problem-solving, rather than of ‘only’ rational decision-making.
Research projects have been carried out on: marketing issues, such as product/market strategies, planning and implementations for goods and services; trends and scenarios; evaluating and predicting market implications of long- and mid-term economic and socio-cultural change; market potential and competitive analysis; country of origin – marketing implications of labelling a product as ‘made in’ a particular country; modes of entry and negotiations with possible partners in Western and Eastern European countries, Japan and Pacific Basin countries, China and India; studies on time perception and attitude toward time; product studies, distribution, pricing and promotion of consumer and industrial goods and services; management and sponsoring of the arts, sports and cultural events; planning, analysis and control of quantitative and qualitative research designs and methodological advice on research projects; multinational research, studies of cross-cultural transfers and adaptation of goods and services to local needs. ITC and intelligence systems; translating facts and figures into marketing plans and strategic action. The most recent research activities of GMA are centred on Time and Temporalities studies, and on the internationalization process of the firm, i.e. helping companies to move from local markets to international and global ones.
- Technical assistance.
Technical assistance has been rendered to companies of various sizes, concerning the strategies, implementation and control of their plans and activities. The topics indicated above have also been object of technical assistance in the implementation phase. GMA is based on the principle that marketing any product or services involves an integrated system of people, products and processes. GMA looks at problems from an integrated approach and devotes a multi-disciplinary team of experts to each project it undertakes. It recognises that all companies and problems present unique challenges and circumstances, and that these characteristics must be addressed and defined through close cooperation with the firm. The company forms a partnership with its clients and guides projects with clear, thorough plans for achieving the research objectives. Methodological approaches and techniques are selected, that emphasize and support the link between research data and market-oriented action plans.
Some of the companies for which GMA has conducted educational activities, research projects and technical assistance, are:
- Istituto Commercio Estero (ICE), Italy
- Regione Siciliana and various ministries (assessorati), Italy
- NMB Postbank, The Netherlands
- Foreign Trade Agency – Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Netherlands
- European Vinyls Co. (EVC), The Netherlands
- World Lottery Association (WLA), Switzerland
- Stabburet a/s, Norway
- Chase Manhattan Bank, USA
- NedBank, South Africa
- The South Africa Breweries, South Africa
- Nissan Motor Co., Japan
- Dentsu Advertising, Japan
- Shiseido, Japan
- Nestlè, Australia
In addition to projects implemented for the above-mentioned companies, the members of GMA have conducted seminars and have organised public meetings (seminars, conferences, study tours, etc) in almost all European countries and in other regions of the world.