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Global Competence: Essential characteristics as perceived by Faculty and Program Heads in International Business Programs at Ontario’s five Institutes of Technology and Advanced Learning

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to understand how global competence was defined by study participants and to identify the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that were perceived as essential to its development as a student learning outcome of International Business Programs. This study focused on faculty teaching in the International Business Programs and the heads who oversee those programs at Ontario's five Institutes of Technology and Advanced Learning (ITALs). This was an exploratory descriptive case study with quantitative and qualitative data collected concurrently from three perspectives: faculty, program heads and relevant documents. The response rate (n=8 of approximately 57 invited) of faculty teaching in these programs, and only one of the five program heads, was disappointingly low. However, the in-depth analysis of a total of 25 course outlines (five of the required courses of each of the five programs), provided a rich source of information on the knowledge, skills and attitudes integral to global competence.Consistent with the literature, I did not find a common definition of global competence, but the term `culture' recurred throughout the definitions presented. The competencies found to be essential to global competence included: discussing/explaining, examining and/or analyzing culture, communication and/or negotiation, describing, assessing and/or analyzing the external environment (political, economic, legal and/or social), developing and evaluating strategies, describing, examining and/or analyzing international trade, comparing, examining and/or evaluating the Canadian perspective, and discussing and describing human rights, ethics and social responsibility, all within the global context. Celebrating diversity was included at the program and institutional level. Three main teaching/learning strategies were employed in the classroom to support the development of global competence: case studies, developing a business and/or marketing plan, and simulations and games. At the program level, study abroad options in various countries were available. Mandatory foreign language study was proposed.Although the findings of this case study are not generalizable, global competence is an area that is of interest to institutions of higher education, and this study may be informative for other colleges and universities interested in exploring global competence as a student learning outcome of internationalization.

Author: Rumeet Billan

Source: University of Toronto - TSpace

Size: 1.75 MB
Last Updated: August 4, 2015