A central tenet of the UNSW approach to graduate capabilities is that all UNSW programs aspire to develop globally focused graduates who are rigorous scholars, capable of leadership and professional practice in an international community. Graduates of UNSW are expected to be “global citizens who are:
- capable of applying their discipline in local, national and international contexts;
- culturally aware and capable of respecting diversity and acting in socially just/responsible ways;
- capable of acting in environmentally responsible ways”.
These capabilities include not only knowledge and skills; they also represent dispositions or ways of thinking and behaving. As such, they present their own challenges for assessment, and all the more so when they are being assessed as an embedded element within the diverse contexts of disciplinary knowledge and skills.
MGMT 2106: Developing cultural literacy and positioning discipline knowledge in intercultural and international contexts
Ricardo Flores, ASB firstname.lastname@example.org
MGMT 2106--Comparative Management Systems is an introductory course surveying ‘management systems’ across the world. The course builds upon a generic framework helping students to think about different relevant aspects of contexts (e.g., national level institutions) that affect how management is practised globally. In particular, it explores key differences among the practices of management in North America, Oceania, West Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa & some Muslim nations.
In addition to focusing on this ‘discipline-specific’ knowledge this course seeks to develop cosmopolitan perspectives and cross-cultural competences by focusing on the experience of the students. The opportunity for experiencing the foreign is created and reinforced weekly by a sole focus on tasks intensely linked to the work of each student in a (purposely created) culturally diverse group. Following precepts of the action learning theory, students face:
- First-hand experience with their own team (i.e., teams are required to reflect on their experiences) and a set of activities is linked to those reflections with the objective of creating personal understandings on how to ‘become’ a better cross-cultural teammate and/or leader;
- Others’ experiences after observing and evaluating the performance of others (i.e., audience ‘learns’ from ‘seeing how others perform’, including open discussion with the audience of the team leading the tutorial on what they have learned and what challenges they faced in working on the assigned task);
- Audience’s evaluations (via clickers) and personalized feedback on individual and team performance (i.e., they experience the diversity of opinions and expectations from a culturally diverse audience).
Assessment example: Country Report
In most weekly tutorial classes (i.e., specifically tutorials classes from week 4 to week 10) an assigned team of students (Please check the country assigned to your team) will present their applicationof the generic framework discussed on lectures (for a region) to a specific country. A debate open to the whole audience will follow this team’s presentation. In preparing for this debate, those students that are not presenting are expected to prepare their own analysis of this country and compare their assessment with their home country (i.e., country chosen in the background form). You are required to submit ONE of these individual analyses in the form of a formal business report. This report must be submitted through Blackboard/Turnitin site (due the week of your choice up to date TBN). Students are required to submit only one report (i.e., one country) for the whole semester. The length of the report CANNOT exceed two pages (font size 12). All other aspects of the formatting the report should follow the format guidelines. In writing this report, I would recommend that, at minimum, you address the following issues:
- What are the common and divergent aspects of the institutional environments of the two contexts? (i.e., country under study vs. your country). What are the unique and common ‘functional’ aspects of the practice of management in the two contexts being compared? (i.e., country under study vs. your country)
- What would all of these mean for you as a manager if suddenly you have to move there to work? (Here, at minimum, you need to compare your management style/preferences with the specific knowledge you just uncovered about this foreign context; what kind of things would you do differently than in your country?