Thursday, September 30, 2010

International Gallop

Glad to follow your digressions and I agreeably gallop ahead following your lead as I pick sandstone shards out of my flanks and hindquarters.

I agree with you regarding the need for improved personal and system/policy relationships building in the internationalizing of research systems and the effects of global integration of best practices. So far while it doesn't appear to be as effective as it could be I think you are correct that working with people from different countries, cultures and why not say disciplines is about the only way to realize what in and out group thinking or "group think" may be in its comforts, its limitations and how it influences our decisions.

As in your experiences with Singaporean students in Perth my own undergraduate school in Canada also had a large Asian and Singaporean student body while I was there with a regular annual Asian Banquet. One of my closest classmates from that period Mel Kheng from Upper Serangoon Road is about the most non-conformist I have yet to meet and is now probably somewhere between Orchard Road and Kangiqsualujjuaq in Northern Quebec with his sled dogs. He moves from job to job like a nomad. We pondered the means to cracking Dr. Eagles' codes of rhetoric considered appropriate to The Faerie Queene together in 16th century literature. He was the only Singaporean there at Acadia at the time not to follow the commerce stream.

I sometimes wonder if my absence from this program would be more welcome than my critical analysis? I do apologize for lengthy posts however I would willingly shorten my appraisals in our readings thus far if I were to find any greater examples of the questions I pose considering improvement. I agree the sphere of international collaboration may be more challenging than those found closer to home. But I do not lose hope in its benefits I think Australia's record of integration rates of international students is commendable not only as a source of income but also apparently as a source for new ideas and perspectives on old problems and possible solutions not only in the budgetary and income-based necessities of international education.

Aren't international collaborations also a means to finding equitable choices and contingency and rewards based incentives to motivate researchers which otherwise would never be explored? Why shouldn't this be a profit making enterprise at the same time as it is for the mind?

It is a paradox not only that some of the first cross-cultural research was used to fight and win wars in Japan (courtesy of Navaho Code Speak and Clyde Kluckhohn with the US Army) and an internal corporate audit of multinational subsidiaries by IBM as the world's premier global company (Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions). National researchers in Australia bemoan the loss of the tax payer generated income once more easily provided not only by corporations limited in scope and growth funds without growing internationally but now noticeably reduced due to globalized transnational migration of many formerly nation-based outsourced industrial productions.

Why have multinationals been able to fully utilize these principles of cross cultural management in the commercial sphere where most shareholders prevent much moral hazard from managerial influence through incentives while many Australian educational institutions appear to not only discourage commercial approaches to collaborative research as Cutler does but at the same time develop courses such as this?

I find there appears as much conflict of interest in this sphere of research commercialization as there is consensus. It is hard to fathom what the real debate is about given the numerous global business benchmarks available to prove that cross-cultural management is a viable industry. Emulation by research organisations should be a possible goal one perhaps requiring greater organisational transparency as has been the case in the multinational finance and accounting of the world's most innovative businesses. Without leadership in this area I fear the majority of strategic measures available in the business world may be useless in the academic one. While I agree that researchers should be encouraged to convene with international peers without resolving this prior issue it may mostly devolve into budget consuming meet and greet events without a proper system of rewards and incentives to collaboration?

I did read in the past that the improvements in the Australian higher educational research policy and systems of twenty and twenty-five years ago came about through forensic assessment of global competitor nations in the style of quality awards evaluation and teams of multidisciplinary researchers from Australia going abroad as small groups with specific tasks to perform and learn from their peers in competitor nations to inform policies and systems planning. Why not just do this again? Didn't it work in the past? I'm sure it wouldn't cost 3 billion dollars.

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