Friday, March 30, 2007

Dedicated to The Rolling Stones

Dedicated to The Rolling Stones

This week I could not believe my students never heard about The Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger! At the same time they are walking around with pins of the Corporate Slave, "Tony the Tiger."
So I am introducing three songs: "Ruby Tuesday", "Under MY Thumb", and "Angie" in case you don't know?

Story of The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are a globally popular English musical group that was part of the "British Invasion" popularization of British pop & rock music in the early 1960s. The band was formed in London in 1962 by Brian Jones, and eventually was led by the songwriting partnership of singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. The group began playing American Blues, R&B and Rock n' Roll, and later ventured into other genres including country, psychedelia, Reggae, and disco. The Stones' image of unkempt and surly youth is one many musicians still emulate. During their 1969 American tour, the Stones were introduced and have often since been referred to as "The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World." The band has released 29 albums of original work and compilations, and has had 37 top-10 singles. In 1989 the Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2004 The Rolling Stones were ranked #4 in Rolling Stone Magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. (Wikipedia)

Ruby Tuesday (The Rolling Stones) =avx4JWKw00Y

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don't matter if it's gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows
She comes and goes

Goodbye, ruby tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you...
Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you its the only way to be
She just can't be chained
To a life where nothings gained
And nothings lost
At such a cost

There's no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams
And you will lose your mind.
Aint life unkind?

Goodbye, ruby tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you...

"Under My Thumb" (The Rolling Stones) =eGxmsI91JVk

Under my thumb
The girl who once had me down
Under my thumb
The girl who once pushed me around
It's down to me
The difference in the clothes she wears
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Ain't it the truth babe?

Under my thumb
The squirmin dog who's just had her day
Under my thumb
A girl who has just changed her ways
It's down to me, yes it is
The way she does just what shes told
Down to me, the change has come
She's under my thumb

Ah, ah, say its alright

Under my thumb
A siamese cat of a girl
Under my thumb
She's the sweetest, hmmm, pet in the world
It's down to me
The way she talks when shes spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
Shes under my thumb
Ah, take it easy babe
It's down to me, oh yeah
The way she talks when shes spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Yeah, it feels alright

Under my thumb
Her eyes are just kept to herself
Under my thumb, well i
I can still look at someone else
It's down to me, oh thats what I said
The way she talks when she's spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb

Say, its alright.
Say its all...Say its all...
Take it easy babe
Take it easy babe
Feels alright
Take it, take it easy babe

"Angie" =-21QK9F1NWc

Angie, angie, when will those clouds all disappear?
Angie, angie, where will it lead us from here?
With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats
You can't say were satisfied
But angie, angie, you cant say we never tried

Angie, you're beautiful, but ain't it time we said good-bye?
Angie, I still love you, remember all those nights we cried?
All the dreams we held so close seemed to all go up in smoke
Let me whisper in your ear:Angie, angie, where will it lead us from here?

Oh, angie, dont you weep, all your kisses still taste sweet
I hate that sadness in your eyes
But angie, angie, aint it time we said good-bye?

With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats
You can't say were satisfied
But angie, I still love you, baby
Everywhere I look I see your eyes
There ain't a woman that comes close to you
Come on baby, dry your eyes

But angie, angie, aint it good to be alive?
Angie, angie, they cant say we never tried

Certificate of Executive Leadership: Cornell University

Certificate of Executive Leadership: Cornell University

This is the first online learning experience I have had and I have to say I feel I learned a lot and at the same time the value of the program of study is hard to distinguish from in class learning as it is identical to the course offerings at Cornell. The instructors were mostly PhDs and the course content was developed by the Johnson School of Management and the Cornell University School of Hotel and Hospitality Management. The credits are also ACE accredited. Overall I would recommend eCornell as an educational provider of distinction to anyone contemplating taking online courses in management or business. It was a manageable roster.

Certificate Information

  • LSM502: Strategic Thinking
    "Analyze your industry and your company to identify opportunities for competitive advantage."
  • LSM503: Scenario Planning
    "Chart a course and optimize your resources when the future is uncertain."
  • LSM506: Executive Decision Making
    "Employ formal decision-making processes to minimize risk and uncertainty."
  • LSM507: Leading Through Creativity
    "Succeed through innovation. Strategies and techniques for generating ideas and for leading creative groups."

The University of Notre Dame's Executive Certificate in Negotiation

As for my next foray I am registered for The University of Notre Dame's Executive Certificate of Negotiation to start in May, 2007.

Course includes:

Negotiation Essentials

Advanced Negotiations

Strategies for Conflict Management

"Students acquire new skills and a new certificate that will serve as important milestones as they complete each course in the track. Students who complete all three courses will earn 4.8 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and receive a total of four certificates – three course certificates and an Executive Certificate in Negotiation – from the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Creativity and Collaboration: Teamwork

Creativity and Collaboration: Teamwork
"How can I bridge cross-cultural challenges to ensure my subordinates will freely discuss their concerns regarding imporvements and give feedback on my management of them?"

I was surprised to see my problem listed as a group collaborative discussion topic and I have to say I substitued "students" with "subordinates" which seemed to attract some mild flak. No matter. It was the best I could come up with to try to sneak it in there for review. A few months ago I got a big "Welcome" poster and just put it up yesterday in my research room. Alcohol? I arrived for an orientation training day last month where an entire flat bed truck delivered case after case of soju, the local firewater. In days gone by rainy days were permissable for professors to crack open 24 cases of half litre bottles of beer in lecture hall. I have been mixing my student groups and pairs to make them less comfortable with each other, meet new people and focus on the leader.

My door is open and my contact details are available for office hours and even lunch appointments. Fear is a factor. A local saying says, "Do not step in the shadow of a teacher." However I have been softening my homework and email assignments with music videos and lyrics from youtube to give more colour to the experience.

The cross-cultural issue is trust. When students trust their teachers in this culture they speak freely. It is difficult to gain trust as a foreigner in this culture. It is a cross-cultural issue. The gains will be better assignments tailoring really and more satisfied students. My feedback is generally quite general. I do often seek it. However responses are often minimal.

I gain much from moderators, senior students, etc. My ratings are generally good. The issue is selecting improvements. I am quite hit and miss. I like the idea of sign language! The more one receives the more one is able to receive in terms of suggestions and collaborative group feedback? Modulated collaboration is not a beast! Certainly good ideas with suggestions submission, selection of a particular problem and further collaborative group comments to explore the issue further are helpful.

Does my organisation block creativity?

Referring back to the characteristics of creative organisations one might easily list that they allow employees to exercise control over their work as far as possible, maintain open lines of communication, transcend boundaries between the organisation and environment, hire diverse people and avoid "cloning", evaluate ideas based on merit rather than the orignator, encourage research, allow risk takers the chance to take risks, delineate creative and productive functions and employ creativity techniques to boost creativity.

Organisations which undermine creativity would micromanage their affairs, stifle communication through all levels of management, reinforce strict boundaries between the organisation and its environment, reinforce cloning, evaluate ideas on point of source only, discourage research activities, squelch and remove risk takers, have no clear understanding of the differences between creative and productive functions, and suspiciously regard creativity and creative techniques as anathema to the goals of the organisation.

The creativity methods described appear not to cost in terms of monetary value. However from an accounting perspective perhaps it is difficult to qualify or quantify their results if training and management effectiveness always comes from costs performance.

Innvovative companies grow. Non-creative companies usually do not survive or succeed for long in free market conditions.

At present my employer allows me to exercise control over my work to a greater degree than any employment previously. My communication extends vertically however I have some lateral communciation within the business departments. Current boundaries between the organization and the environment are improving and it is the largest local employer.There are possibly diverse backgrounds and experiences here however there are very few foreigners. Ideas are somewhat evaluated on merit, however the status of the idea originator is often the norm and explains why negotiation and relationships are so important here. My research activities are encouraged. However distance learning programs are somewhat under-valued. At the same time online learning is gaining ground. The risks I take are usually minimal and focused around making greater demands of my students in terms of homework. Creative and productive functions are perhaps not fully separated in this organization. But I believe such a situation is common for educators. The two often intertwine. It is up to me to learn about and introduce creativity techniques available to increase creativity among my students. My employer is a young institution which has offered me much in terms of development. As I grow my students grow and my employer and its environment also grows. In general the soil is rich and the buds are many.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Book Titles On Order List March 2007

Book Titles: On Order List (March 2007)

Negotiation: Readings, Exercises, and Cases
Starting English for Business
Negotiating a Complex World
Global Links Book 1: English for International Business
Planning for International Business Negotiation
Strategic Negotiation: A Breakthrough 4-Step Process for Effective Business Negotiation
Teach Yourself English for International Business
New International Business English: Communication Skills in English for Business
Field Guide to Negotiation: a Glossary of Essential Tools and Concepts for Today's Manager
Kaplan Success With Business Words: the English Vocabulary Guide for International Students
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Winning Through Negotiation
International Negotiation: a Cross-Cultural Perspective
English for International Business

The Art of the Long View
Organizational Behavior: a Diagnostic Approach
Organizational Decision Making (the Irwin Series in Management and the Behavioral Sciences)
Profiting From Uncertainty-Strategies for Succeed
Judgment in Managerial Decision Making (Wiley Series in Management)
Competing for the Future
Behavior in Organizations
The Creative Attitude
A Technique for Producing Ideas Heads, You Win! : How the Best Companies Think
A Whack on the Side of the Head

Comments On Collaborative Creative Learning

Comments On Collaborative Creative Learning

I have learned in a diverse group experience that diverse methods of framing the questions are useful because the creative methods described such as connective questions, innovative imitation, learning about something else, creative role models, mental conscious and unconscious time, and questioning everything will provide more examples of diverse methods which will then provide real time examples for practice in future. Collaborative group work implies that it is easier to grasp new ideas by observing and practicing diverse methods simultaneously to grasp the different directions required. I do not think this can be done alone. Certainly time management would often determine the successfuly application of different methods especially curtailed under periods of constraints.

The task felt easier a second time around while the methods introduced such as locksmiths, lists, proverbs, expanding the question and SCAMPER appear slightly more complex. At the same time familiarity sometimes breeds comfort. A second possibility illustrates that one may become more adaptable and interested in applying concepts of managerial creativity the more one immerses oneself in the practical application of the precepts introduced here. In addition the collaborative mode is already introduced and the second round is a functional substitution exercise within the same parameters of the first attempt. So the setting is quite familiar and the tasks are varied. These are methods generally accepted which encourage cognitive adult learning.

Friday, March 23, 2007

How much creativity is enough?

How much creativity is enough?

Is there an optimal level of creativity for a person to have?

Perhaps there is no optimal level of creativity but I liked the poem about the red roses and green leaves. In a managerial situation one must perhaps develop competencies to ensure that the optimal level of creative freedom of employees or subordinates is matched by tasks which maximize their development and output of creative strengths. This would require developing an awareness of creativity which would inspire others to develop their own optimal levels.

Is it possible to be “too creative?”

Depending on the needs and goals of an organisation there might be times when creativity can be excessive especially if it detracts from profits and effectiveness. It really depends on the situation doesn't it? Accountants are not supposed to be very creative with their calculations data and must be held to strict standards and requirements. However advertising campaign organizers might have much liberal freedom to think up newer and better ways to build a mousetrap.

Is it true, or a myth, that creative people can be difficult to manage?

If their creativity conflicts with effective performance of certain tasks this might indicate a difficulty in management. Social dynamics however often single out members as being the same or different and among certain learning styles where some might dominate depending on specific technical fields. The odd one out might often be difficult to handle if one does not have a flexible core group of individuals. Then one does often have a mob which often singles out creative ideas for deletion rather than development out of hysterical self-censorship issues related to low-risk tolerances for change or creativity.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cross-cultural Complexity and Complex Decision-making

How does working cross-culturally add a layer of complexity to already complex decisions?

Cross-cultural work makes for an unfamilar environment with often difficult to frame problems especially if one is trying to fit concepts of decision-making from an individualist as functional basis of communal involvement. According to the late anthropologist Clyde Klulkhohn, "People typically feel their own cultural beliefs and practices are normal and natural, and those of others to be strange, or even inferior- abnormal."

This is often an unending challenge in cross-cultural workplaces. Furthermore the longer the expatriation period the more pronounced are the instances of opportunities for greater self-awareness perhaps which provide new insights especially where one is given the opportunity to approach the possibility that, "...we must learn to understand the 'out-of-awareness' aspects of communication. We must never assume that we are fully aware of what we communicate to someone else. There exists in the world today tremendous distortions in meaning as men try to communicate with one another." (Hall:1959, p. 29). This is only magnified in cross-cultural environments.

How has this altered your decision-making experiences?

Often I am forced to simply dispel the illusion of anticipation in preparing to make decisions. Thus the distance perhaps between the stages of a decision overwhelmingly rely upon the pareta principles. In many developing nations it perhaps at times appears that 20% of the labour does constitute 80% of the work required.

Especially I at times take great strides in attempting to understand how to adapt to what often appears to be zero lead time. However in all aspects time is not always a relative factor across cultures. The lenses of constraints are dependent upon tolerance and organisational constraints can often appear excessive from the outside observer. However active listening as described is useful. Especially when the listening is cultural. This often prescribes the "letting go" of paradigms and listening, if you can find a track, for heuristics.

For example in Arabia a watch may simply be a beautiful ornament. In working for local contracts even the simple task of a permission slip for a visit to the dentist could take two weeks. In Korea, sudden swerves in strategy can often appear to arise at any time. One must have a flexible portfolio of options especially in teaching materials to specify the current flavour of the moment.

It often appears the content and context relevancy of information and its effective use has a very short shelf life. Any information is better than none eveen a scrap of data in some cases is more than many possess. Risk and uncertainty appear often as the comfort zones as change might be the only constant. It often appears many decisions are unprogrammed even when they would better to be or vice versa as quite a paradox to observe. What constitutes traditional cultures from a cross-cultural perspective often appears in the business world as highly vertical and narrow authoritarian streams of unidirection.

However during a break between classes yesterday as I reposed on a bench under the only cast shadow I could find in the spring afternoon sun a senior lecturer of leadership actually a retired general from the ROK Armed Forces gently wandered up to my perch. For the next seven minutes I was able to bounce of these course materials off of his acquired mind. He seemed extremely surprised that I would have any interest in his field. He was also surprised I remembered meeting him about six months ago. So time constraints are mentioned by Hall as being probably the most determinant factors especially in cultural perceived notions surrounding time.

So I would suggest that time issues are probably the most difficult aspects of decision making differences which I have encountered. I would describe Arabia as having a, "hurry up and wait" philosophy and Korea as having a, "hurry up, trip and hurry up again" philosophy. These are both very difficult and challenging to ameliorate from a western concept of time making in management decisions. Also very difficult to communciate such matters as the relevance decreases with the degree of internationalisation of a company, group or community.

Hall, E.T.(1959, 1981) The Silent Language, Anchor Books.
Kluckhohn, C.(1952) Mirror for Man, McGraw Hill.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What Are the Steps to Obtain Unbiased Data?

What Are the Steps to Obtain Unbiased Data?

Unbiased data is possibly extremely difficult to collect. Yet according to Evans & Lindsay one must consider data as always subject to error and that while it may be considered valid data if it measures what was originally intended then how reliable it is often is dependent upon the quality of measuring instruments. As is apparent the human instrument is often knowledge rich and quality poor. Considering oneself as a flawed instrument would be a good first step to improving an awareness of information bias.

An example of my own information bias. I have my facts wrong here.

For example, a measuring instrument such as the oxygen management systems and pressurization systems on the Helios commercial flight which crashed a few years ago were ineffectively operating and producing the wrong results on oxygen content and pressurization reading "normal" when cirumstances were far from the case. Relying on faulty instruments data measurement impacted upon pilot performance resulting in great fatal errors.
The truth is that the instruments and all the warnings in the cockpit were providing 100% correct information, unfortunately the pilots were either, incapacitated or not capable of interpreting them correctly or had ignored them because they did not trust them, as has happened in many aircraft accidents. The accident report says so too. I just wanted to correct the analysis as I have also spent almost 30 years flying for the airlines.
Feroze Khan, Vice President at Stratford University
Evans & Lindsay further recommend that the validity and reliabilty of a company's ability to collect data be regularly audited externally or with cross-functional teams or through standardized input or automatic data templates or formats. This would ensure consistent framing to confirm or disconfirm whether data internally or externally generated actually results in improved corporate performance.

Many businesses according to their research appear to mismanage the representational sharing of data resulting in the effects of silos in the organisational structure which further undermines growth and leadership performance.

This suggests that the practice of making decisions collectively often requires the construction of a decision tree to determine the variables and as one step towards overcoming bias. While trees attempt to integrate subjectivity to minimize it this does not eliminate it. The difficulty of making decisions based on good data is aligned in the decision tree as an attempt to gain the input of as many decision-makers as are necessary for the possible nature of the problem or character to be easily discussed. Obviously an open information environment is necessary to maintain an interest in eliminating bias.

Myers-Briggs was employed in one learning program I took part in in 2003 related to adult education. I fail to recall my particular score but I am aware that the purpose of such tests are to allow individuals to explore the various learner activated or instructional strengths of character which are lacking in one's own result. When one is able to energize a sense of empathy, understanding and the evolutionary divergences in character strengths which easily rely on each other then one begins the steps necessary to perhaps a greater understanding and value for the input and collaboration of individuals with varying learning and instructional strengths.

Growing an awareness of the Vroom-Yetton model should assist in developing a greater awareness of collective data bias. Particularly reassuring is the categorization of decision processes which combined with the four outcomes (decision quality, decision commitment, efficiency and team development) imply a reliance upon mixed scanning even in the construction of the tree. As one seeks to practice exploring options particularly to yes/no questions one is perhaps attempting to concurrently measure the degree of acceptance of a possible decision or its acceptability and at the same time increasingly structuring the process to maximize collaborative input.

In such cases where one seeks to resolve a group decision through concensus one must hope to build it by increasing the probability that a group decision may reduce the level of information bias and in such cases confirm the adage that, "two (or more) minds are better than one." While some may be able to do this independently which implies two-mindedness, even learning about the actual sources of bias themselves is enlightening.

Thus, "no man is an island" also comes to mind. Search for the self. Awareness of the source(s) of bias is an obvious first step to future prevention.

Evans, J.R. & Lindsay, W.M. (2002) The Management and Control of Quality, Fifth Edition, South Western, Thomson Learning, USA.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Non, je ne regrette rien

Non, je ne regrette rien
Musique: Marc Heyalautres interprètes: Nicole Martin
Non ! Rien de rien
Non ! Je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien qu'on m'a fait
Ni le mal tout ça m'est bien égal !
Non ! Rien de rien
Non !Je ne regrette rien
C'est payé, balayé, oublié
Je me fous du passé !
Avec mes souvenirs
J'ai allumé le feu
Mes chagrins, mes plaisirs
Je n'ai plus besoin d'eux !
Balayées les amours
Et tous leurs trémolos
Balayés pour toujours
Je repars à zéro

Non ! Rien de rien
Non ! Je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien, qu'on m'a fait
Ni le mal, tout ça m'est bien égal !

Non ! Rien de rien
Non ! Je ne regrette rien
Car ma vie, car mes joies
Aujourd'hui, ça commence avec toi !

Ne me quitte pas
Paroles et Musique: Jacques Brel 1959

Ne me quitte pas

Il faut oublier
Tout peut s'oublier
Qui s'enfuit déjà

Oublier le temps

Des malentendus

Et le temps perdu

A savoir comment
Oublier ces heures

Qui tuaient parfois

A coups de pourquoi

Le cœur du bonheur

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Moi je t'offrirai
Des perles de pluie

Venues de pays

Où il ne pleut pas

Je creuserai la terre

Jusqu'après ma mort

Pour couvrir ton corps

D'or et de lumière

Je ferai un domaine

Où l'amour sera roi

Où l'amour sera loi

Où tu seras reine

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas
Je t'inventerai

Des mots insensés

Que tu comprendras

Je te parlerai

De ces amants-là

Qui ont vu deux fois

Leurs cœurs s'embraser

Je te raconterai

L'histoire de ce roi

Mort de n'avoir pas

Pu te rencontrer

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

On a vu souvent

Rejaillir le feu

D'un ancien volcan

Qu'on croyait trop vieux

Il est paraît-il

Des terres brûlées

Donnant plus de blé

Qu'un meilleur avril

Et quand vient le soir

Pour qu'un ciel flamboie

Le rouge et le noir

Ne s'épousent-ils pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Je ne vais plus pleurer

Je ne vais plus parler

Je me cacherai là

A te regarder

Danser et sourire

Et à t'écouter

Chanter et puis rire

Laisse-moi devenir

L'ombre de ton ombre

L'ombre de ta main

L'ombre de ton chien

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Korean Higher Education Industry: Success Factors and Core Competencies

Korean Higher Education Industry: Success Factors and Core Competencies

Scenario A (Nomads Anonymous):

Nomads Anonymous provides ubiquitous learning options with fewer students thus lower tuitions-based profits, smaller class sizes create difficult to foster collaborative environment which has too few consumers to justify new m-learning products development in test market. Most regional campuses close as online portals and virtual learning become only way to educate profitably but not at a cutting edge global leadership position. Entire labour and support industries wiped out. Artificial intelligence often represents only classmate in virtual learning environment.

KSFs for Scenario A:

Ability to test, market and support technical advances in m-learning beyond current scope of online learning to include new cell-phone technology.

This will be particularly difficult necessitating dynamic increases in cross-disciplinary and intra-institutional collaborative research similar to the Educause Project in the USA becoming a focus of higher education research in Korea. Falling birth rates are already provoking several colleges and universities to increase scholarships funding but similar research focus increases are also necessary. Unless the ratio of research to tuition-based income can be increased such advances will be difficult to achieve. President of The Population Research Institute, Joseph D'Agostino questions, “How do you sustain a society where more and more people are past retirement age and fewer and fewer people are of working age?” (Groening, 2007). While projected applications relevant to cell-phone educational ubiquity currently stand at three to five years in the USA such changes may take longer in Korea due to a climate of uncertainty and estimates that with 27% fewer 18 year olds as of 2006 than 20 years ago enrollments fell at 20% of universities and 95% of junior colleges as of 2005 with nearly one third of all colleges expected to close within the next three years (Brender, 2006).

Capability to source and supply savvy educators able to deliver courses through new and advancing technological methods outside of traditional classroom delivery.

While the focus of m-learning appears to first engage learning swarms techniques other new methods will appear which challenge generations of instructors unfamiliar with new educational delivery formats which will necessitate increases in retraining and reskilling particularly of educators. Mergers and realignments will provide many educators willing to retrain but at the same time undermine efforts to introduce new m-learning tools for possible lack of employment options. As m-learning will require fewer bricks and mortar assets anyway such educators might often be working from home thus reducing the costs of delivery which could prove competitive to industry leaders particularly in reallocation of operating resources to further advancing new non-traditional learning paradigms. As of 2005 the national legislature apparently endowed over USD 2 billion to a seven year training program called “Brain Korea 21” intended to meet technology development needs (Brender, 2006).

Adapting foreign technology for local student consumers ahead of and in advance of international competitors to secure student market basis.

The wide influx of global media based translation has allowed entire information networks such as cable TV to inundate local consumption patterns along with global import of associated advertised products and services. There is no reason to believe that access and usage of m-learning and virtual learning environments will not be a similar diversion from national education programs. Local competitors will have to contend with increasing rates of educational change as advances in technology originating from other markets race to supply a locally adjusted product or service. As a result some success can be measured in terms of increasing international student enrollments which provides lead time for marketing m-learning options in similar foreign markets in future. There were 22,600 foreigners enrolled in South Korean universities as of 2006 showing an increase over five times the figures of 2000 of which nearly 65% are Chinese students with a concurrent doubling in the numbers of foreign professors yet far behind OECD averages of foreign student populations at 6.4% compared to Korea’s 0.2% (Kang, 2006). To counter educational services sales locally by global providers such rates should be increased dramatically.

Able to provide consumer driven learning programs matching target markets of falling first entry student enrollment and increases in mature worker retraining and reskilling.

The opportunities for retraining and reskilling of local mature workers will increase dramatically and as a result perhaps offset the dropping average entry student enrollments which will be beneficial in terms of local market profiling, target consumer tailoring and local business partnerships to provide necessary education to fulfill a need for more technologically competent workforces. Such provisions of new mature students entry may be more accessible through government regulatory proposals which include the abolishment of national universities exam entrance requirements which would place more emphasis on interviews rather than test scores (Brender, 2006). However aside from increases in online learning it does not appear yet evident to planners and decision-makers that a revolutionary scale of mature student retraining is indeed necessary and could perhaps reveal a highly lucrative and mitigating enterprise in terms of reducing costs and needs for government funded research which might be better spent subsidizing mature student enrollments to determine competitive advancement of m-learning programs at local institutional providers already being readied to become less government influenced and more corporate profits minded.

Core Competencies for Scenario A:

Educational innovation and learning programs cycled continuously with new product updates similar to current new cell-phone features and sales cycles which increasingly become shorter over time.

If nanotechnology in any way effects the development of m-learning techniques then Korea may be taking a long-term scenarios process already as reports indicate The South Korean Ministry of Science and Technology aims to take third place following The United States and Japan to develop incubators and research centres with the aim of standardization of technologies in a ten year plan leading to 2015 (Asia Pulse, 2005).

Manage brand among hundreds of competitors to consistently remain in awareness as frequency or reach possibly requires higher bursting and flighting cycles to a busier client.

Fast virtual and online service system to reach the customer sooner than the competition.

Continuous updates and revamp of technology service to ensure first provider entry of new features in educational software and virtual m-learning programs to match new capabilities in cell-phone or u-business applications.

Ability to transnationalize services to capture foreign competitors markets in particular north-east Asia.

Scenario C (Digital Guinea Pigs):

Digital Guinea Pigs as educational sector becomes incubator for the global m-learning environment. Fast innovation cycles and potential for market research expands m-learning dramatically along with joint-ventures, burgeoning FDI and business cross-over applications turns Korea into regional technological hub of north-east Asia. Profits from enrollments tuition, research, and development put universities in a highly sustainable creative growth market drawing local and foreign students alike. Korean universities begin taking over entire Chinese market.

KSFs for Scenario C:

Ability to develop and research Korean learning programs most effective for Korean learners and perhaps out of local online gaming research.

Consumption of online gaming at present is a successful first product entry which has taken advantage of current youth culture interests and comfort with technology. Harnessing current consumer openness will be useful for developing suitable educational m-learning tools to match their general competencies in the virtual world. However aspects of production, usage, and application of knowledge are considered lower than in for example The Netherlands with similar rates of digitalization and internet connectivity (Park, Heung & Leydesdorff, 2005: 3). In addition weakness is apparent through measurement of triple helix models to examine university, industry and government linkages. This further indicates that a collapse in the industry heavily affected the synergies locally and negatively influenced integration and rates of government and university coauthored research in Korea which has also not increased as quickly in comparison. Finally also evident in patent records is a Korean overlap between inventor and assignee versus greater co-inventors and co-assignees in The Netherlands. This perhaps indicates the difficulties in transferring strength in one sector such as online gaming to perhaps more lucrative educational m-learning programs with similar integrative requirements.

Capability to synergize business links between local educational, business and venture capital stakeholders to grow and incubate globalized virtual learning environments.

The advancement of Korean online gaming to global markets only emphasizes the opportunities available to conducting a similar local services platform of planning, doing, checking, and acting to experimentally develop similar m-learning tools which may only enhance the current environment of online virtual world gaming which is proving innovative, globally competitive and transferable across cultures and consumer groups. To some extent the local experience has been moderately successful especially in terms of developing universities and online degree programs such as Open Cyber University, Sookmyung Cyber Education Center, Seoul National University’s virtual programs and the Open Cyber University (Jung, 2002).

Real classroom environment easily maintained to fashion grandfathering of programming software and technology to penetrate foreign but less technologically reliant educational markets.

This would be the most essential benefit of easily monitoring and controlling the rate of adaptations and mix of traditional versus m-learning or virtual learning to provide a well-spring of long-term research and planning within which scenarios data might be more easily evaluated and by which lead time may be maximized to include a series of upgrade options which layer the technological advances with perhaps a more transitional learning curve which could prove more highly saleable locally and internationally as gradual change is often more preferable than rapid in terms of consumer acceptance and providing the production cycles necessary to maximize earnings and ROE. Several virtual learning programs exist but foreshadow similar start-up and development issues for m-learning as, “policymakers and educators in South Korea continue to grapple with issues of quality management, capacity building, cost-savings, open access, and the appropriateness of the instructional model for adult learners” (Tinio, 2003:14).

Vibrant experimental learning centers with diverse methods matching the diversity of learning styles accessible to all age ranges and inventories.

This aspect would ensure that the innovations and creativity of local educational consumers played a large role in developing a transparent and easily transferable service management system which incorporates best practices systematically and includes in depth consultations with appropriate market segments, service concepts, service delivery systems, personnel, clients, and appropriate refining of technological and service supports which positively impact brand images as well as a superior set of principles which embody an appropriate corporate culture and philosophy (Normann, 1984:21-22).

Core Competencies for Scenario C:

First entrant advantages

Developed in terms of patentee rights and competitive product or service positioning in terms of viable global m-learning technology would appear possible to achieve particularly if government, business and universities linkages can be strengthened in particular by increasing research cooperation and patentee co-invention and co-assignment. However as aspiration is for third place it might prove difficult to inspire a lead position in the market. However with increasing birth rates all things would be easier in particular tax base, enrollment gains, and more easily endowed research programs due to a larger consumer market.

Customer loyalty programs growing through record of lead innovator position in m-learning developments and successful results in job placement and employment or redeployment to new work sectors for returning mature students.

Obviously this would need to provide unquestionable results in terms of success of m-learning currently difficult to assess due to previously mentioned areas of weakness including ability to construct and deliver appropriate learning content indicates possible inability to observe the opportunities inherent in developing such competencies. However mitigated by the fact that new student entrants would not be in short supply it would offer more lead time and research opportunities to design and deliver m-learning adult education. Furthermore the customers themselves would probably present higher levels of learning motivation and consequently garner greater success for their efforts as well as be able to maintain either full-time or as is increasingly seen flexiblized working environments which would make reskilling all the more convenient with similar time/budget programs.

Deployment of new m-learning options programs and services to sell to the competition nationally and internationally which will require excellent cross-functional and cross-border linkages in global environment to capture markets (for example become the Microsoft of m-learning environment).

This would calculate that as soon as a viable m-learning platform is available it may follow the pattern of prolific growth in technologies such as personal computers, laptops and internet/wireless access to information and could prove results such as current military learning programs being released which stimulate innovations and reorientations of product to consumer educational markets. Thus the first five to ten years would appear crucial time frames within which to enter the service development in m-learning. Following this early period market leader candidates would perhaps come to quickly dominate with one platform or another absorbing competitors and amassing large knowledge base and research assets from patentee holding rights and customer loyalty programs. For example, Microsoft could easily become the next Encyclopedia Britannica without dynamic scenarios planning.

Robust KSFs and CCs:

There appear seemingly more cross-overs between these two scenarios than were initially anticipated. Evidence suggests that the contraction of birth-rates not only specifies but increases the level of urgency concerning evolution of learning technology which up to this point has been evolving with little centralized standardization either through university, government and private linkages or considering the impacts upon which the scale of efforts must increase to account for appropriate adult learning programs to replace lost revenue. In the instance of an increasing birth rate the emphasis appears to offer more opportunities for progressive development thus more lead time to plan and prepare for similar changes over a shorter time frame. In addition increasing birth rate mitigates many of the actual adult learning needs if not by adding perhaps a decade of actual retirement age to projected workforce.

Necessarily robust are research and development which not only increases linkages between stakeholders but also maximizes productivity in an already highly digitized environment. The necessary steps through which educators must adapt are also quite robust. It would appear that some advantages to a falling birth rate include reallocation of resources from physical assets to technology development. At the same time a secure enrollment future would allow institutions the lead time to better test and market their products especially if the goals are to provide the third most robust nanotechnologies in the world such aims might also require three times the efforts to streamline and modernize the concept of higher learning in the Korean context.

How many of the above KSFs and CCs does my organization possess or lack?

Daejin University has little ability to test, market or research new m-learning technologies at present however a new Techno Park to incubate local projects is currently under development. Educators are at the moment providing at least 25% of courses through online learning however this might not be standard across departments and highlights a weakness of vision which could require greater attention in future. It will be difficult to train educators in m-learning techniques without having some solid programs in place which test the methodology. At present it appears the university has few mature students however its capacities are to some extent limited by governmental regulations which may change in future. The university does not appear to be adapting foreign technologies for use locally at this time. Most learning programs appear quite Korean in nature. The university has received awards for its customer service orientation however it has yet to develop a large pool of foreign students. Given its provincial location on the suburbs or Seoul it is difficult to source local business linkages however the Techno Park will apparently be co-sponsored with Samsung and Kia among other chaebol units. Daejin University would probably reveal technological competencies above the national average however perhaps below the top ten universities mostly located in Seoul. Experimental learning is not unfamiliar to Koreans. However the higher education sector is often critically described as not providing work skills competent employees by local businesses often proceeding to spend additional time and money to fully train new hires. This claim would not be made against Daejin University particularly but the entire higher educations sector generally with few exceptions.

How might my organization acquire the KSFs and CCs that it currently lacks?

Hopefully the university strategic planning group is able to devise scenarios similar to those described here which attempt to anticipate the outcomes of inter-related uncertainties of higher development of ubiquitous learning and m-learning technologies. These new techniques will perhaps revolutionize the traditional learning environment whether the birth rate rises or falls. The essential concentration of speed or rate of change whether it is market driven or whether it is planned development will determine the successful institutions existing through the next five years.

The best methods by which to develop great fluency in these KSFs and CCs would include better coordination with government and business to secure cooperative research and an awareness of thee opportunities required not only to develop skills in m-learning but to acquire and maintain not only the next generation of digitized students but also past generations of mature learners. The urgency with which the university itself is able to relinquish traditional learning technologies, mindsets and embrace the interconnectedness and new realities of globalized and cutting edge learning techniques will ensure a continued customer base and successful achievements of future graduates which should foster greater loyalty and student motivations. It is a difficult task to which Koreans have often challenged and surprised not only themselves but also their competitors.


Anonymous (2005) “South Korea Aims to be Among Top Three Nanotech Countries by 2015”, Asia Pulse, November 16, 2005, Meridian Institute (Nanotechnology and Development News), Washington, D.C. and Dillon, CO. [Accessed: March 4, 2007]

Brender, A. (2006) “South Korea Overhauls Higher Education: Government and university officials clash over the future of universities”, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vol. 52, Iss. 28, March 17, 2006, Washington, D.C. [Accessed: March 4, 2007]

Groening, C. (2007) “South Korea new leader in demographic decline”, One News Now,
January 24, 2007, American Family News Network, USA.
[Accessed: March 4, 2007]

Kang, S.W. (2006) ”22,600 Foreigners Studying Here”, The Korea Times, September 4, 2006, The Korea Times Company, Seoul, Korea. [Accessed: March 4, 2007]

Jung, I.S. (2002)”Korea: Virtual University Trial Project”, TechNoLogica, Vol. 4, Is. 2, April-June, 2002, Knowledge Enterprise Inc., Vienna, Virginia, USA. [Accessed: March 4, 2007]

Park, H.W., Heung, D.H. & Leydesdorff, L. (2005) “Indicators for the Knowledge-based Economy: A comparison between South Korea and The Netherlands”, Online Research Papers, The University of Amsterdam, Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen (FMG) [Accessed: March 4, 2007]

Tinio, V.L. (2003) “ICT in Education”, e-Primers for the Information Economy, Society and Polity, United Nations Development Programme Bureau for Development Policy, e-ASEAN Task Force, Asian Development Taskforce, Bangkok, Thailand. [Accessed: March 4, 2007]

What is difficult about developing scenarios?

What is difficult about developing scenarios?

While I am not working in total isolation as I have consulted a few times generally with my head of department it is interesting that many I have spoken with seem surprised that I am distinctly interested in the topic of strategic management generally as my primary function is teaching international trade. Personally I find it liberating to occupy a space in the body and have the opportunity to examine the head.

I learned a lot from the research but I realized on reflection that even all the research can be spot on, just like a review of statistical or accounting data one can only account for a degree of certainty at this very moment and even that depends on interpretive variables, quality of input data and so on like NPV or one more expert who enters into the discussion or one more piece of relevant data.Thus trends may in fact become uncertain, certain may become trend, uncertain may become more uncertain, trend may become more trendful, or less, or any degree or shade of weak to strong or vice versa depending on input data.Again it reinforces that one could put everything in and still miss or be blinded by confirmation bias. There is always a wide array of possible outcomes or resources that may be missed, amended or inaccurate due to dynamic changes in the business environment for example stock market plunges.

Which aspects of the process might become easierfollowing this practice?

I think that the terms of selective attention as described by Percy, Rossiter and Elliot in Strategic Advertising Management(2001) comes into play as a method of discerning quality data relevant to the exercise of scenarios planning in particular in picking up the pieces of trend and uncertainties and tying it all together in an attractive package. Therefore if one is actively seeking out new ideas according to the terms of selective attention they will be perhaps easier to find or more apparently forthcoming.

Which aspects of scenarios planning might become more difficult?

If this practice project itself were extended to a full-scale team based effort as described by some the engendering of value to a non-exclusive effort would prove difficult to achieve in many organisations. One book I read recently by Fisher, Kopelman & Schnieder addresses negotiations strategies and includes the insistence that those appointed to negotiation for example opposing numbers in various disputes mirror entrenched viewpoints. There need to be clearly delineated opportunities for brainstorming sessions where and when no idea or viewpoint is critically analyzed but simply voiced to empower the creation of new ideas. Effectively organisations also need to provoke free discussion sessions where the variance between official and unofficial viewpoints, visions and necessarily competitive directions or rank are not at issue.These authors conceed that the least healthy working environments actually provoke thinkers, doers, and planners to self-censor their contributions in group discussion contexts. So regardless of the number or colour of the hats in such cases everyone is already trying to think of ideas which everyone else will accept. Under such cases there might be little colour in the contributions.

Beyond Machiavelli: Tools for Coping with Conflict by Roger Fisher, Elizabeth Kopelman, Andrea Kupfer SchneiderPenguin Books (1994)

How might you structure a scenario planning project to ensure that the scenarios developed are as relevant and as predictive as possible?
I think it would be best to attempt to learn more about scenarios group functions to understand more about data collection methods and the effectiveness of scenarios planning. Certainly the ideals of sharing data are the benefits which the organisation is said to gain such as greater facility in organisational IQ and collective intelligence. This would be the spirit to engage with and any attempt to deconstruct fixed viewpoints on the usefulness of debate especially across functions and ranks would be positive. At the point where local Koreans and foreigners interact strategically there has been development in recent years such as at Samsung and Hyundai where junior executives from western countries have joined teams to add varying perspectives. However Korea is to some degree a top-down culture so it is very hard to have anything to contribute without being specifically requested probably not unlike many organisations. As far as I have read many face similar challenges in their workplaces globally regardless of culture.

In such situations perhaps the MBI model easily applicable to cross-cultural business contexts could also be employed cross-functionally within a strictly hierarchical organisation requiring bridging models. MBI being "Map/Bridge/Integrate" through which different levels of an organisation might be able to employ identification of their differences first (map), engage communication such as preparing, decentering, and recentering (bridge) and then (integrate) manage differences to build participation, resolve conflicts and attempt to build new ideas together (Lane, Distefano & Mazanevski, 2000:58).It would appear that different cultures exist not only in different nations but perhaps in different parts of a business requiring bridging activities leading to more effective collaboration.

Lane,H.W., Distefano, J.J. & Mazanevski, M.L.(2000) International Management Behaviour, Fourth Edition, Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA.

Industry Scenarios: Korean Higher Education Sector

Industry Scenarios: Korean Higher Education Sector

Uncertainty 1: Will design modifications functionalize mobility in education?
Uncertainty 2: Will the Korean birth rate continue to decline?
Outcome W: Mobility in education increases
Outcome X: Mobility in education does not increase
Outcome Y: Korean birth rate declines
Outcome Z: Korean birth rate increases

Scenario A: (W x Y) Nomads Anonymous provides ubiquitous learning options with fewer students thus lower tuitions-based profits, smaller class sizes create difficult to foster collaborative environment which has too few consumers to justify new m-learning products development in test market. Most regional campuses close as online portals and virtual learning become only way to educate profitably but not at a cutting edge global leadership position. Entire labour and support industries wiped out. Artificial intelligence often only classmate.

Scenario B: (X x Y) The Empty Nest grips regional universities and colleges first as enrollments dry up, mass closures and mergers ensue. Gaping maw in educational options causes regulatory changes as foreign online learning agents take over the local market eventually dominating the sector. Aging workforce demands better retraining programs and research to increase robotics to maintain minimum standard of living for workers in excess of 85 age range with tuitions based funding unavailable. Local employment options reduced to call centers; scores of PhDs become rag pickers.
Scenario C: (W x Z) Digital Guinea Pigs as educational sector becomes incubator for the global m-learning environment. Fast innovation cycles and potential for market research expands m-learning dramatically along with joint-ventures, burgeoning FDI and business cross-over applications turns Korea into regional technological hub of north-east Asia. Profits from enrollments tuition, research, and development put universities in a highly sustainable creative growth market drawing local and foreign students alike. Korean universities begin taking over entire Chinese market.
Scenario D: (X x Z)Slow Boat to China as Korea lags further and further behind m-learning innovations students remain interested in SMS texts and online role playing games geared for learning outside of class. Innovation and creativity wither on the launch pad as regional competitors China and Japan surge ahead in ubiquitous learning eventually drawing Korean students out of local universities and directly to offshore campus programs where their learning and competitiveness are better rewarded elsewhere as increasingly they become permanent immigrants for export. Korea reverts to hermit kingdom status with brain drain.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Key Uncertainties (Revised) in the Korean Higher Education Industry

Key Uncertainties (Revised) in the Korean Higher Education Industry


Q: Will local governments gain more freedom and autonomy? A: Medium no.

Given the tendency of Korean political reforms to coincide with financial crises such as the IMF bailouts of 1997 public pressure may help to redefine democracy but only from a central leadership role and only perhaps if voter sentiment can be kindled to perceive candidates who are serious about putting local policies in the hands of local administrations. However the current administration has proven reform minded and one of the leading candidates for next President is described as dynamic and innovative.

Q: Will the topic of chaebol reforms again become the focus of political reforms?
A: Medium yes.

The recent conviction of Hyundai Motors Chairman Chung Mong Koo portends that 2007 truly is a period of change in the relationship between family managed corporations and implies a movement towards greater transparency not only to reduce the “Korean discount” for increased FDI but also to reorient local perspectives on the terms of stakeholder interests. However the conviction is under appeal thus the rap could become a slap and could prove political intransigence.


Q: Will employment retraining gain an important position in the educational sector?
A: Medium yes.

Koreans spend more per capita upon educating their children than any other OECD nation. If the choice is made for them by the employment sector Koreans will naturally need to reskill and retrain. However if this comes at the expense of their children’s competitiveness they are more likely to sacrifice their own earning potentials for those of the next generation thus the trend adequately depicts reality in some ways to suggest that is already the case. There may be evidence to suggest a growing trend in mature students’ applications to university programs. Success or failure of retraining programs may depend upon duration, location, and cost factors.

Q: Will the US economy improve?
A: Medium yes.

Current Federal Reserve Board Chairman Dr. Ben S. Bernanke has yet to perhaps prove his skills on the swizzle stick of fiscal responsibilities to a global investor audience. While currency fluctuations do not appear to rely heavily upon speculators interests the overarching market forces at present suggest that US consumers might push for alternative fuels and thus minimize production costs over the next five years in terms of global oil consumption. However continued over-reliance on short-term consumer debt could perpetuate a great bursting of the real estate markets which would be incredibly devastating. However the globe’s most prolific monetary unit, of which there may be no accurate accounting of its actual total currency in circulation is also the globe’s most pernicious net debtor of loans in its own funds and as a most ravenous consumer of capital goods (thanks to Leontieff's Principle) the US economy continues to careen through the wilds of international balances of payments repeatedly disproving the collective theories of market economics and seemingly exempt from displaying any serious fiscal reforms-minded fuss. It is possible an economic belt-tightening event could be ongoing.


Q: Will hallyu and Korean cultural exports continue to gain ground? A: Weak yes.

Asian experts suggest that the hallyu wave is set to reduce demand due to its own success.
Recommendations include greater development of foreign partners, and a long term perspective to creating global distribution channels with the prediction that, “If not, hallyu can last no longer than five years” (Park, C.A., 2005). Due to popularity regional costs for Korean cultural products have sky-rocketed. Perhaps the next great wave will originate in Mongolia (again). It remains to be seen whether or not the cultural industry will organize its global distribution prior to a new regional fad possibly taking its place.

Q: Will Korean nationalism continue to grow? A: Medium no.

It is felt that the youth of Korea due to high unemployment rates and a growing sense of national self-determinism contribute to a new paradigm understanding of post Korean War, post Cold War status quos in which North Korea is often perceived not as an aggressor or evil enemy but a pathetic victim of the politics of imperialist powers. However possible changes in demographics, technologies, and economic uncertainties along with the view that with age experience grows and with experience thus wisdom knows these proponents of anti-Americanism, anti-free trade and anti-foreign influences will overcome possible ignorance concerning the real issues surrounding the North which is the incredible costs inherent in any reunification strategies. However a similar trend took place post-war in Imperial Japan predicated by the trade barriers of the Great Depression. Korean nationalism could perceivably grow under conditions of severe curtailment of export growth due to the possibility of renewed global trade barriers.


Q: Will the Korean birth rate continue to decline? A: Medium yes.

A preference for male children is a common cultural trait among East Asians and Koreans are no exception. Thus it is a significant factor in demographics which requires further influence of government and civil organizations to stimulate population policymakers. Research indicates that, “child sex determination and sex-selective abortion were available and affordable to South Korean households as early as the late 1970s before the unbalanced sex ratio became widely recognized as a social problem” (Lee & Paik, 2005:19). It also represented a peak period in abortion rates of male and female fetuses. Noticeable over the last decade are mobile vans which patrol regional rural areas emblazoned with banners and bullhorns advertising “Vietnamese virgins” or the like from developing south-east Asian nations as suitable international marriage partners. The rural Korean agricultural population has also seen some of the most rapid and present declines in locally available women for marriage to bachelor farmers or low-skilled, low income single men. Such areas also provide some of the highest rates of aging in Gangwon and Cholla Provinces for example women once locally available have relocated to the cities to take advantage of increases in more competitive rates for employment and the higher earning potentials of suitable urban males as marriage partners. International marriages have increased from 1.2 % as of 1990 to 13.6% of national totals in 2005; foreign brides have represented only 0.2% and 9.9% of those statistics (Kim, J., 2007: 12) which provokes a claim that a, “continuing decline of fertility below the replacement rate since 1983 is accompanied by…changes in …various aspects of fertility including…delay in marriage and childbearing, an increase in…childlessness and (a) movement toward…gender equity at birth” (Ibid., 2007: 24). Additional externalities claim the cost of having a child in 2005 amounted to 124% of the rate of GDP per person in Korea and that this greatest impediment to increasing birth rates locally is a concern over cost absorption. At the same time, increasing immigration rates and tax rates would mitigate the costs to raising children especially if a platform for competition will positively affect perceived rankings in global living standards which many Koreans observe in evaluating the success of an export market focus. A shift in policy could take place which might prove quite innovative and creative despite a perception that Koreans are not particularly good at either.

Q: Will the proportion of older Korean workers continue to increase?
A: Medium yes.

Per capita GNP as of 2004 stood at USD 14, 462 which represents a total governmental tax income not currently exceeding 20% to provide for social welfare programs and national pension benefits of which many recipients total incomes often provide lower than actual living costs (Kim, J.S., 2007). In addition, citizens requiring social assistance have increased four fold since 1995 of which the majority are elderly recipients who remain at home representing 26% of national social support and 29% of total rural clients in a ratio which represents 2.7% of the total Korean population and a rate approximately ten times higher than comparative Japanese statistics supplemented by a ratio of total elderly approaching 8.4% living in below subsistence poverty. Concurrently such increases in aging and elderly pension disbursements cause concern that the National Pension will go bankrupt much sooner than a previously anticipated date of destruction as of 2050. Concurrently 36% of the elderly are supported financially by their children and a further 69% of that total or 40% of the entire retired population already continues to earn an income from some form of work just to maintain a minimum poverty line existence. While the vast majority continues to live independently nursing care facilities have mushroomed in local terms from 18 in 1990 to 341 in 2004. Incredibly it is further noted that elderly over the age of eighty already represent income from work which accounts for 47.7% of their earnings and only 74.6% of these totals receive any form of support from their children. A final note regards the costs of securing minimum social welfare which will only be multiplied exponentially in the event of possible impending reunification outlays if Germany actually does serve as a reasonable cost benefit model for the Korean case. The dynamism of the Korean economy predicates a difficulty and uncertainty to anticipate policy changes. Therefore the possibility exists that a radical transformation of immigration policy could take place to rescue the aged and infirm from perpetual work-life cycles.


Question: Will cell-phone technology continue to increase in ubiquity?
Answer: Medium yes.

Predictions of miniaturization made within the last decade not only by Bill Gates but also observers of Japanese electronics research and development indicate that the next possible revolution is the epitome in terms of electronics as described by an acolyte of Educause that, “cell phones will be the Swiss Army knives of the next century”(Livingston, 2004). However there also exists a strong anti-complexity movement in many countries towards a simplification of life-style or an “un-plugging” which could derail the success of continued increases in technological ubiquity.

Q: Will design modifications functionalize mobility in education? A: Medium yes.

Termed “m-learning” new frameworks for sharing virtual data are increasingly available globally at any connection hub in space and time which the American National Science Foundation has termed, “cyberinfrastructure.” An emergent trend called “learning swarms” or the ability to distribute cooperative operations effectively through which learning participants are able to fade and disperse into routine lifestyles and then converge suddenly by prearranged synchronizations and share information on particular targets is already in practice at institutions such as MIT, Dartmouth University and American University (Alexander, 2004: 32). According to the Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy online education has developed exponentially to meet current high demands among a student public who often define their sense of style and fashion through mobile technology. E-learning in its basic form grew by 10% year on year in 2006 where private and corporate sectors exceeded public demand with incremental increases of 63% in the number of companies delivering online educational services since 2005. Additional growth in employment provided 19.1% increases in workforce (Yonhap News, 2007). The majority of higher education institutions being private reflects a continued increase in internet learning which should provoke a similar emergent trend in transition to m-learning within two to three years which support cell-phones superseding a need for lap top computers especially if full-sized light projected and data sensitive keyboards and displays become commonplace (The Horizon Report, 2007: 15). However government educational funding shifts and possible increases in new competitive entrants to the higher educational market will possibly drastically reduce tuition-earnings income necessary for institutions to research and develop viable m-learning options.


Alexander, B. (2004) “Going Nomadic: Mobile Learning in Higher Education”, Educause Review, September/October 2004, Educause Learning Initiative, Washington, D.C., pp. 28-35. [Accessed: February 26, 2007]

Anonymous (2007) The Horizon Report: 2007 Edition, New Media Consortium, Educause Learning Initiative, Austin, Texas, Boulder, Colorado. [Accessed: February 26, 2007]

Anonymous (2007) “S. Korean online education market expands sharply in 2006”, Yonhap News, January 10, 2007, Yonhap News Agency, Seoul, Korea [Accessed: February 26, 2007]

Kim, J. H. (2007) “Recent Fertility Decline and Its Implication for Population Policy in Korea”, International Symposium on Social Policy in Asia, January 31, 2007, Public Economics Group, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan.
[Accessed: February 26, 2007]

Kim, J.S. (2007) “The New Strategies of Welfare and Labour for the Ageing Society in the ROK”, International Symposium on Social Policy in Asia, January 31, 2007, Public Economics Group, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan. [Accessed: February 26, 2007]

Kim, J.Y. (2006) "Pan-Korean Nationalism, Anti-Great Power-ism and U.S.-South Korean Relations", Policy Forum Online, 06-01A: January 4th, 2006, Nautilus Institute, San Francisco and Melbourne.
[Accessed: February 26, 2007]

Lee, J.M. & Paik, M.H. (2005) “Sex Preferences and Fertility in South Korea during the Year of the Horse”, Demography, Volume 43, Number 2, May 2006, Population Association of America, Silver Spring, MD, pp. 269-292. [Accessed: February 26, 2007]

Livingston, A. (2004) “Smart Phones and Other Mobile Devices: The Swiss Army Knives of the 21st Century”, Educause Quarterly, No. 2, 2004, Educause Learning Initiative, Washington, D.C., pp. 46-52.

Park, C.A. (2005) “Is 'Hallyu' a One-Way Street?”, The Korea Times, April 21, 2005, The Korea Times Company, Seoul, Korea.
[Accessed: February 26, 2007]