Economic strategies in international academic management (Tamara V. Kuprina ,Svetlana M. Minasyan)

Introduction

One of the important tasks in the preparation of a new type of specialists is the development of modern multidimensional consciousness, based on the cross-cultural communication competence.Thus, we can talk about changing the paradigm of education, which, in turn, alters the leading objectives and content of the educational process, the rejection of stereotypes, conservative systems and transition to more dynamic, fl exible structures, responsive to changes in the surrounding of the global space.

Innovations and management of the learning process can be better understood through the review of management theory. One of the objective reasons causing the application of this theory according P. Doyle (1999) is that the commercial organizations are concerned with effective marketing of their services, providing quality products to customers and competing with other similar motivated organizations. The similar situation can be observed in the modern educational system: a set of universities offer their services, trying to meet the demands of students and potential employers. In particular, D.V. Chernilevsky (2002) offers a marketing approach to the organization of training activities, indicating the need to fi nd and implement technologies that would ensure comfortable existence to the future specialist in terms of personal and social development objectives.

Delano et al. (1994) pointed out that innovation in learning of English (or any other language) as a foreign one is a complex change, underlying philosophy of training (learning a foreign language), brought in by direct experience, research data and other means, resulted in restructuring of the pedagogical process in such a way that the new program enhances the language learning process.

 

Theoretical prerequisites for formation of linguistic and communication management strategies

The student group can be viewed as a learning organization. The modern kind of the learning organization is a hypertext-organization. Taking into account the theoretical postulates developed by I. Nonaka, H. Takeuchi, there are three hypertext contexts of the hypertext-organization. First, traditional knowledge (the traditional context) may be present in the system, for example, ready training materials. Second, the project teams provide another context, which allows team members (group of students) consider traditional knowledge from a different perspective. Third, formed by the previous two layers knowledge base (new context), in which it is stored, evaluated from different perspectives and improved.

After analyzing and taking as a basis the theoretical postulates of strategic management and its concept, which enables organizations to achieve their goals in a dynamic, changing uncertain environment and optimally use the existing potential, it is possible to formulate a defi nition of linguistic and communicative management.

Thus, linguistic and communicative management is a strategy for designing the learning process, which has its own mission, vision, culture, goals and tasks, aimed at the development of intercultural communication competence of students through learning a foreign language.

There are basic components of the direction: mission, vision, culture, goals and tasks:

  1. Mission is the formulation of the meaning of the organization existence, in our case, a student group. In this context, the mission is defi ned by the main directions of education and individual development in the country in general and higher education (university), in particular due to the requirements of the international community.
  1. Vision is the attractive and shared by everybody image of desired future of the organization (group). The properly formulated vision should motivate, unite and inspire confi dence.

More clearly the main directions of the mission and vision are determined by such techniques as the SWOT-analysis. This analysis helps to identify strengths (S) and weaknesses (W), opportunities (O) and threats (T) of the organization.

Understanding and assessment of SWOT- analysis helps determine your position correctly, compare with competitors and assess your resources and capabilities and choose the right directionof development. It should be noticed that these categories are not something static, they are fl exible and under certain conditions, weaknesses and threats can be a lever to favorable changes.

  1. Culture is the third component of the strategy. To solve our problems in education, we can say that it is a specially designed teaching strategy (linguistic and communicative management) aimed at changing stereotypical thinking, awareness of cultural differences, development of new value orientations, willingness and ability to life-long learning and thus, adapt to changing environmental conditions, improving the professional intercultural communication competence, and therefore increasing the level of corporate culture of the organization where you work / study.
  1. Goals and tasks provide a link between the macro level of mission and vision, in this case, the mission and vision of the university, the community in general and the operational level of educational activity of the lecturer in the student group. They should unite and motivate students for their implementation, help plan their activities and opportunities.

Developed goals and tasks must meet the SMART criteria. They should be specifi c (S), measurable (M), achievable (A), relevant in the circumstances (R), calculated according to time-framed achievements (T).

Thus, they should be directed to the solution of important issues of the group, meet the mission and vision of the university, require efforts on the part of lecturers and students for their implementation, be realistic and feasible in terms of the availability of resources (educational, methodical and technical support), result-oriented (development of intercultural communication competence), encourage and focus the participation of each person (designing the development plan and the identifi cation of ways to achieve it), be measurable and visible (from the point of view of teaching results).

The logic of the linguistic and communicative management strategies is based on the developing kind of training, as it prepares students for the independent development of knowledge, search for truth, independence in daily life and willingness to life-long learning.

In this context, the coaching tactics for students and students as openers is the most effective way of teaching them. The term “coaching” was introduced into business terminology in the early 1990s in XX century by J. Whitmore, an English businessman and consultant. It means more than just to instruct, train and prepare. In the coaching tactics the individual strategy for success is implemented, resultsare achieved in the area where a person is the most successful and effective. It allows combining both companies’ (University’s) objectives and professional goals of employees (students, teachers).

In the context of our research coaching is a tactics, promoting the implementation of training and development, and, consequently, improvement of intercultural communication competence and professional skills of the trainees on the basis of a complementary lecturers and students’ interaction

The lecturer does not simply transmit knowledge but organizes the search process, activating the students’ thinking. The lecturer is open to perception and discussion of different points of presented in the form of a report, dispute, argument, dialogue, commentary. He/she helps to see the depth and novelty in traditional, jointly formulating hypotheses and generalizations in the context. The uniqueness of the tactics is that it does not consider any solutions the best and most correct but creates the conditions in which the trainees themselves determine the best ways of solving problems. The time suitable for the start of training is the beginning of a new project, the key moment of a career.

The tactics is based on the proposition that education and management cycles are similar and include the following: 1) people learn when they want to learn and when face the need to solve problems; 2) training is a social cooperation process; 3) training as behavioral change begins when we receive signals about the expected result followed by the action; 4) training often redefi nes what is already known.

Emotionally-valuable style of linguistic and communicative management strategy implementation

Due to the fact that the coaching tactics is complex and consists of several complementary styles, we also use several learning styles. The dominant of our tactics is an emotionally-valuable learning style (I.Yu.Kalugina, A.K.Markova, A.Ya.Nikonova, L.M.Fridman), which involves cooperation (cooperative learning) and joint activities in the learning process (action learning). We join them in emotional and valuable style of cooperative action learning.

Emotionally-valuable learning style provides personal inclusion of students in the educational process at the level of empathic understanding and value-semantic perception of educational materialand the image of the lecturer — coach. The process is based on the synergy that promotes the simultaneous development at the individual, organizational and business levels.

The components of cooperative action learning style are the elements of the operational and strategic management, project teams, group dynamics, problem solving and decision-making processes. This style presumes that the lecturers have empathic abilities, ability to organize training dialogically, which is possible only when they are emotionally open and have interest in the subject matter. Besides, the training effectiveness increases if the relationship between the lecturer – coach and students based on the emotional and trust communication, cooperation and mutual respect. Thus, the lecturer’s behavior can be traced by following lines: 1) introduction of value-semantic information; 2) focus on the emotional and personal way of attitude to educational information and interaction with students; 3) selection of developmental tasks and creation the situation of assessment, mutual assessment and self-assessment in the educational process.

Assessment of impact of emotionally-valuable learning style

Lecturer-coaches focus on the adequate planning of the educational process and training results, knowledge assessment and skills of all students. They work quickly, often changing the types of work and teaching methods in the classroom and practicing collective discussion by focusing on the essence of the subject matter; taking into account the individual characteristics of students, their vital experience, specifi city of their needs and capabilities.

The emotionally-valuable style effectively develops creative thinking of students and their emotional and moral sphere; stimulates self-refl ection and self-knowledge, discovering creative abilities and valuable attitude to the world; teaches emotional and dialogical style of communication, cooperation and mutual respect, recognition of the intrinsic value of a person.

The assessment of success (results) of development can be performed on the following parameters:on the human level (the student), team (group) and program. The assessment can be at a different time: immediate results – at the end of each lesson; intermediate – in the middle of the program; outcome of the program – at the end of the program.

Thus, at the fi rst phase of the project the lecturer-coach orients trainees, transfers meaningful information about the learning goals and tasks. At the second stage they start working on a project-oriented problem. At the third stage the trainees defi ne, diagnose, analyze and examine professional problems in cross-cultural environment.

Conclusion

In modern conditions, when it is necessary to develop your own practice, acquire your own experience in the international open space, some academic approaches are not enough. Organizational development should be focused on the involvement of students in the search of their own solutions of problems and survival in a competitive environment.

In this situation, the emotionally valuable cooperative action learning style becomes especially important. Firstly, it helps to “play” a variety of life situations, try different ways to solve problems, prepares both for individual and team (group) working, thus cultivating tolerance, fl exibility of thinking, the ability to manage emotions, fi nd compromise solutions to problems. Secondly, the lecturer-coach can concentrate on monitoring and management of the activities of the trainees and design future training and development of groups.

Successful organizational and behavioral changes in learning can contribute to social changes.

Therefore, the aim of the innovation program is to prepare self-managed, creative and confident students who can develop their

cognitive abilities and apply them in the real world, extending their consciousness, perception of the world and thereby

contributing to the cooperation both in intra and intercultural community.

In addition, as Underhill (1992) determines, “the atmosphere of understanding, trust and mutual commitments can contribute to

risk-taking and discoveries”, that is important for the professional activity of students.

References

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See more: How universities can teach their students to respect different cultures

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