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The objectives of the paper are: (1) to analyse the effects of changing towards a knowledge economy and the development of MBA programmes in selected Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, China; (2) to study how e-commerce applications can be applied to MBA programme studies; (3) to find out what kinds of competitiveness are derived from MBA education with e-commerce facilities; and (4) to conclude lessons learnt from applying e-commerce technology into MBA programmes.

A stakeholders approach has been used to conduct a primary research and a secondary research during the period between April and May 2002. 107 were interviewed, and 174 questionnaires returned.

E-commerce technology has positively affected the rapid growth of MBA programmes, particularly distance learning and online programmes. An e-commerce education model can help to better understand how we can utilize the concepts of supply chain and e-commerce technology in MBA programmes. The supply chain of distance learning and online MBA programmes rely heavily on e-commerce technology. In full-time, part-time, and distance learning MBA programmes, teachers required students to access information from the Internet. Many MBA courses must have university technical support to be successful.

Globalisation of MBA programmes cannot be successful without e-commerce technology. This globalisation knowledge will give MBA graduates a competitive advantage after graduation. In the design of MBA curriculum, teachers must have some knowledge about the technical aspects of e-commerce. In MBA education, speed of information is crucial to students and teachers, and will change their needs and wants.

Online distance learning MBA programme is still unpopular. The combination mode of teaching is dominating the trend in distance learning MBA education. Government regulations on e-commerce can affect information flow, and adversely affect the development of MBA programmes. Security of information is always a concern of the users.