Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gen Y workers expect higher starting salaries than previous year

Gen Y workers expect higher starting salaries than previous year
By Dominique Loh, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 18 March 2009 1252 hrs

SINGAPORE: A recent study has shown that despite the difficult economic conditions, the younger generation is still expecting higher starting salaries than in the previous year.

Commentary: Reminds me of recent survey of Koreans preparing for marriage and their expectations regarding the accrued fortunes of their potential mates?

University graduates are hoping for three per cent more pay, while those from polytechnics want 10 per cent more.

Commentary: All of this during an economic downturn?

The study was carried out by Temasek Polytechnic and human resource consultancy company GMP Group in November and December last year to gauge the perceptions on the work attitude and the expectations of the Generation Y - those borne in 1981 or later.

Commentary: I see. Perhaps the results were somewhat expected?

It involved more than 2,600 participants, including working adults and students in universities and polytechnics.

The study showed differences of perception on the work attitude of the Generation Y workers. While the younger workers felt they were putting long hours at work, their older colleagues and bosses felt they were not putting in enough.

Commentary: How could there be such a wide gap in expectations?

The study also showed differences in expectations between younger workers and their senior colleagues. The Generation Y workers felt their bosses should be caring, inspiring and competent, preferring relationship-oriented leaders. But their managers believed in a more task-oriented approach.

Commentary: They want their bosses to be cuddly teddy bears perhaps?

While both age groups cited career advancement opportunities as a way to retain staff, younger workers also wanted good work-life harmony and good relationships at work.

Their bosses, however, thought that learning and development and good compensation were more important.

Commentary: There appear few cross-over or shared values listed here.

The study suggested that under the current economic conditions, companies should find ways to help employees manage their workload. They should also not neglect the issue of work-life harmony.

Commentary: If the younger people could demonstrate ways to do the same thing more effectively, more efficiently and more cheaply then I am sure the bosses will reward them with better life-work harmony and perhaps higher pay?

GMP said it is advising fresh graduates to expect salaries of as much as 15 per cent lower than in 2007.

Commentary: That would be 25% below their inflated expectations.

Classifying My Research Potential

Classifying My Research Potential

1.Which elements of your research would you consider ‘pure’ and which ‘applied’? Why? If this distinction makes no sense, or has no use, explain why.

Virtually all of my research could be considered pure in the sense that while educationally qualified for my employment as a lecturer/assistant professor of international trade/business little of my teaching actually required my education beyond a BA degree. Completing MIB in 2004 paid for itself in my current role since 2006. However eight and three-quarters certificates later little of my research is actually applied. Perhaps some of my negotiation training is applied.

Reading and learning have been reliable and loyal entertainments for me while instructing students who increasingly dictate English content and skills development at the university level in South Korea. Over the last decade progressively lower net returns on higher studies have possibly engendered a generation of students perhaps less-equipped to meet the progressive challenges of the 21st century than their parents.

Unfortunately for me Koreans are more likely to apply their own research rather than the interpretations of expatriates. When they officially call on foreigners they appear to prefer Ivy Leaguers to bootstrappers. This may be the only way they can often justify listening to the opinions of outsiders to certain nationalist or protectionist political elements who often attempt to stall any local progressive globalizing of collective thought.

2. Which IP regime is most appropriate to your research in regard to its potential for commercialisation? Can you perceive any challenges to the protection of your IP under this regime?

International knowledge relationships and engagement are most appropriate for the potential of my research commercialization as described in, “Knowledge Transfer And Australian Universities And Publicly Funded Research Agencies” (March, 2006) representing consulting, contract research, or education and training contracts or long-term alliances for achieving goals with mutual benefit, curriculum alignments with industry needs, business and communities or student placements and projects in business and community organizations.

Confidentiality for primary and secondary market research as a paid research associate requires signed articles of nondisclosure. For example, terms of agreement under APEC require giving all rights to research to APEC Secretariat. This is not really a challenge to IP protection. Other unpaid assignments such as columns with the Korea Herald or future assignments with Korea Institute of Management Evaluation would not be generated other than at their request either so agreed monetary payments and/or free local publicity are beneficial gains for contributing research.

3. Describe the circumstances in which it would be necessary or reasonable for you to insist on a written confidentiality agreement. If no such circumstances exist, explain why.

One signs confidentiality agreements often as a contractor for provisional research assignments which usually arrive unexpectedly and offer short-term remuneration for local information gathering activities. For example, if one was acting as a senior national consultant with a large NGO and requested or required an assistant or consulting partner to complete either desk or interview research requirements this would be sub-contracting and it would be in best interests to ensure that terms and conditions were as similar or more stringent to original agreement terms of research as possible.

In future, this might become more relevant if and when developing a larger scope of project proposal submissions then requiring confidentiality agreements would be a common request made to research team members.

However in Korea, terms of legal enforcement and local laws do not often correspond on a global level with many other nations’ and thus the personal relationship and reliability of any and all contractors or subcontractors in terms of confidentiality would be perhaps of greater importance than the terms of research itself. This is the ethical grey area of international business in that ethical people are positioned in every nation globally and it is in the interests of effective project managers to have the skills to quickly find and identify them when needed.

4. What is your definition of ‘commercialisation’, and how does this definition fit with your research agenda?

My personal definition of commercialisation would be to maximize my return on knowledge base and support benefits while working in Korea specifically or abroad generally. Successful commercialisation of my primary and secondary research skills would see me completing at least one and perhaps two local research projects a year with the modest goal of matching my current income or a doubling of that income earned over a period of eight months full-time work with four months paid holidays with concurrent four months durations of paid research contracts on the side.

The topics of such research are as wide as the scope of international trade or business itself or as narrow as my particular capacities in international business planning, global supply chain logistics, international trade research, or cross-cultural management behaviour/quality management policies.

If such a goal could be sustained over a period of the following three years this would provide me with a substantial track record in project research globally and would assist self-financing or supplement scholarship studies under any of a number of possible PhD programs in the field of IB research. Short research contracts would provide for example, “part-time jobs” required to sustain any PhD student during full-time studies. My network is decidedly sparse in this regard.

Countries Pursuing FTAs as Part of Economic Recovery Effort

Countries Pursuing FTAs as Part of Economic Recovery Effort
(World Trade Interactive)

Even as concerns continue to mount that the global economic downturn will spawn a rash of protectionist measures, some countries are heading the other direction. Press reports this week indicate that free trade agreements are continuing to move forward around the globe, driven by the conviction that expanding trade will help economic recovery efforts rather than hinder them.

Chile and India have agreed to begin talks on a bilateral FTA, although it is unclear when those negotiations are expected to begin. According to press reports, the FTA would build on a preferential trade agreement the two countries implemented in 2007 under which 98% of Chilean exports to India and 91% of Indian exports to Chile are granted duty preferences. According to International Trade Daily, the FTA will cover “trade in goods, services, and investment as well as more ambitious cuts in tariffs on a larger list of goods.”

Chile already has dozens of FTAs in place, and President Michelle Bachelet said now is not the time to forsake that approach. “The way out of the [global economic] crisis is not via protectionist measures,” a Reuters article quoted her as saying. “We have a chance to show with India that the key to maintaining output in the real sector lies in encouraging free flows of goods rather than restricting them.”

Korea and Peru launched FTA talks in Seoul March 16. According to China’s Xinhua news service, the pact is expected to cover goods, services, investment, e-commerce, telecommunication and intellectual property. Korea is also close to wrapping up FTA talks with the European Union and recently agreed to pursue FTAs with Australia and New Zealand.

The Journal of Commerce reports that Japan and Peru will meet next week to discuss the possibility of a bilateral FTA. The proposed deal “would eliminate import tariffs on almost all products traded between the two countries,” the article said. Two-way trade is currently skewed in favor of Peru, which shipped over $2 billion worth of commodities to Japan in 2007.

Guatemala, Panama, Colombia.
According to Guatemala News, Guatemala has concluded FTA negotiations with Panama and Colombia. The Panama agreement is expected to take effect June 30, while the Colombia pact must first be approved by that country’s Constitutional Court.

Commentary: This list makes it appear that whatever the Koreans are doing wrong regarding FTAs must be measured compared to whatever they are doing right. Who is the stick in the mud over the Canada-Korea FTA? It appears Korea is square-dancing with a number of other partners? Which might indicate negotiations in good faith?

Would this be an example of why Canadians think Americans are idiots?

"I'm just disgusted," said Toronto resident Gabby Herczeg, 55, after seeing the clip. "Quite frankly, it's Canadians who've been protecting American lives by fighting in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan."

In the line of duty: Canada's casualties

Canada gives South Korea a deadline to open their borders

Canada gives South Korea a deadline to open their borders
Monday, March 23, 2009, 4:34 PM

by Bob Meyer

Canada has drawn the line with South Korea; reopen the border to Canadian beef or else. South Korea has banned Canadian beef ever since BSE was first found in Canada in 2003 and the Canadians say that is enough. Ag Minister Gerry Ritz flew to Seoul to deliver the message personally so "nothing was lost in translation.” Ritz told Reuters if the South Koreans want to remain honorable in the eyes of the world they must live up to WTO requirements. They have given the Koreans until the end of March to work this out or Canada will initiate WTO challenge procedures plus Ritz says there will be no Free Trade Agreement between the two countries until the beef issue is resolved.

Commentary: Whatever. I think I know how this will be received from the Korean end of the stick. Whenever I play chess with my students they always refuse to admit defeat even if all they have left is the King. Canada, I am certain there are more productive ways to go about this. If not the beef then the car export issue? Who is really ruling the issues-based squabble? Why can't Canada and Korea just be friends?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Short Review of "Universities as the Main Drivers..."

Short Review of, "Governments and Universities as the Main Drivers of Enhanced Australian University Research Commercialisation Capability" (Harman and Harman, 2004)

This article reviews the current methods and practices of research commercialisation in the world generally and Australia specifically. The authors note there are many programs and departments involved with varying degrees of coherence and support systems. First the process of commercialisation is defined as transforming new discoveries and inventions into saleable products or services under a market orientation. That transfer of knowledge depends upon ability to know or do something, technical-specific skills or information and movement of technologies or skills and abilities from one unit of organisational management to another.

Specifically I am most interested in the facet of consulting and contracted industry research drivers as this is the most applicable to my current position and network of available options. However these drivers are diverse and relate most closely to the business-government-university partnerships described by Meyer as "triple helix" of knowledge transfer. For example, Harman and Harman describe instances of top down transfer dampeners found in Swedish university management systems which are described as discouraging commercialisation projects at the academic level as contrasted to American concepts of bottom-up management which easily describes market-based successes or failures.

For example, one might observe a top down approach at various facets of Swedish business and industry as well as social and community organisation which might to an outside observor appear to stifle developments. However if observation of historical record is made, Sweden's top-down approach may support the tightly-knit and concensus-based social organisation of that nation which is a unique approach perhaps to various Nordic cultures. Selective and government mandated specific sectors receive targeted support resulting in selective and national profile successes.

At the same time, concensus may be more difficult to achieve as in the US and may provide more competitive based incentives for a bottom-up approach to succeed, one of the most obvious being a larger proportional population which then provides more segmentary choices and diversity and more diverse marketability opportunities as one might compare the US continental share of stars in the night sky as even geographically bigger than that of comparably tiny Sweden. One achieves what one can in a small and limited market. If one were to assume that for good commercial research concepts there was always sufficient research resource funding them one would expect sources would be more numerous and diverse in larger nations.

The authors note the importance of scientific entrepreneurship, however as may or may not be known, despite organisational impediments, entrepreneurs often provide tangible examples of intangible skills being acquired or developed far from classrooms, formal learning or even experience. It makes the subject challenging to teach or qualify. Instead, they express the multiple levels and kinds of seeds-bearing programs such as early funding options, institutional environments, research links between university and industry, and the possible overlaps between funded resources and redeemable marketable research. The pharmaceutical and medical industries are cited as significant seed-funds providers obviously in return for IP controls and limitations.

The US model of common law is cited as an example of current global practices whereby it is expected that an employer may be entitled to IP ownership of any research conducted by a full-time employee either in academic or business contexts. That this common law concept is carried to various developed nations in terms of shared property ownership appears fairly clear however as most common law terms, variability would exist in interpretation with or without explicitly expressed contractual terms or expressions either limiting or expanding IP controls by employers. In any case variability in expressed IP contracts would provide a case by case set of competitiveness factors themselves. The more researchers might learn about the gaps and limitiations in boiler-plated agreements, the more independent and stakeholder-designed the IP contractual agreements might be in future. Under such conditions a researcher might best pursue concepts of negotiation as a study in itself to best protect personal best interests which yield win-win scenarios and contingency planning in terms of funding research and/or retaining some equitable or acceptable control over shared profits and results.

The authors note that clearly 58% of Australian university incomes are derived simply from local and/or international student tuitions and that research incomes remain low by comparison. As this study was in 2004 it would be interesting to highlight those institutions which derive higher percentages than the average from
research income at the present time to benchmark their best practices for local adjustments in process management at other institutions. For example, alternate sources of income in the US, Canada and Europe, such as returns on endowment funds and gifts must be extremely challenged this year where global investments and stock trading volumes are being seen at nearly 50% below the previous year. At the same time, record drops in international student enrollments must also be occurring which might provide catch 22 operational funding challenges.

Description of operational challenges include: patent and copyright processing, adequate staff allocations, the low comparative revenue generation at 3-5% of university income from research and the modularity or flexibility versus rigidity in the organisational administration of grants and contracts process. The authors exemplify University of Sydney's comprehensive multi- and cross-departmental research and liaison offices whereby other institutions have begun to modularize similar services as even component-based manunfacturing has done the same at production levels in many global factories.

Harman and Harman conclude that while many Australian universities display world-class research drivers, systems and results, they do not always singularly follow top-down or bottom-up approaches to knowledge transfer and research commercialisation. Government programs usefulness across many state and federal levels initiatives are found to provide mixed returns and most institutions implement profit sharing agreements among staff and academics responsible for the research. This would then be a major competitiveness factor for without the proper framework, incentives and rewards growing a research percentage income at many universities would appear challenging.

Creative Thinking Tools Link

My knowledge transfer course provided this link to creative thinking tools. What a cool collection! Might be useful in several teaching and learning concepts.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Brazilian GDP Grows 5.1% in 2008

Brazilian GDP Grows 5.1% in 2008
(Industry Week – Agence France-Presse)

However GDP for 2009 is predicted to be just 1.8%

Reaching 2.9 trillion reals (US$1.25 trillion), Brazil's gross domestic product grew by 5.1% in 2008, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said on March 10. GDP per capita grew by four percent during the one-year period to stand at 15,240 reals (US$ 6,590), the IBGE said. The investment rate grew 19% last year and was the highest since the IBGE began calculating it in 2000.

The figures showed that Brazil was enjoying strong growth for much of last year, but that the global financial crisis that broke wide open in September sharply put the brakes on that. Brazil's GDP fell 3.6% in the fourth quarter of last year from the previous quarter, the largest such decline since 1996.

Economists expect Brazil's GDP growth for this year will be just 1.8%.

Although there were signs the economy's slide was stabilizing, numbers were still down dramatically. Industrial output in January slumped a record 17.2% compared to the same month last year. Car production has picked up this year, but was still lower than before the crisis, and sales remained just about flat despite $3.5 billion in state incentives for consumers.

Commentary: Do we get to wait until 2010 to find out how 2009 is doing? Or should we all begin sobbing like Hong Kong HSBC commentators?

Teach Management on the beautiful island of Grenada!

Position: Assistant/Associate Professor of Management

Qualifications: Earned doctorate or equivalent with an emphasis in
management or related field. A background in international human
resource management, negotiation, team building, organizational
communication or services management is required. Good presentation
skills and the potential for research excellence are critical. Previous
teaching experience and background in experiential pedagogy are
desirable. Industry experience is a plus.


1. Teach undergraduate courses in management. Specific assignments are
flexible. The courses may be a subset of the following courses: Human
resource management, conflict & negotiation, organizational
communications, leadership, cross-cultural management, hospitality
services management, Operations management, entrepreneurship,
organizational behavior, business ethics, Emerging Issues in Management
And strategic management.

2. May be called on to develop and teach additional graduate level

3. Conduct quality research.

4. Supervise undergraduate independent study, as well as academic
advising of students.

5. Serve on department and university committees.

6. Collaborate with faculty across the University to build unique and
innovative discovery and learning programs.

Salary: Commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Closing Date: March 30, 2009 or until filled.

Effective Date: August 2009


Applicants should send a letter of application summarizing their
qualifications for the position, a curriculum vita, samples of scholarly
work, evidence of teaching effectiveness and the names of three
references to:

Dr. Reccia Charles, Program Coordinator
Department of Business
Rcharles1@ sgu.edu

Short Review of "Rethinking Australian Innovation" (Gillies)

Short Review of "Rethinking Australian Innovation" (Gillies) Professor Malcolm Gillies, President, Council of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, 17 August 2005 -Canberra, National Press Club Address

I recall during attendance of graduate studies at UOW in Australia more than a few social scientists had mentioned that many Australian PhDs eventually migrate to the US for long-term employment and/or research incentives due to higher returns on the innovation investments made there. UOW appeared to see resolution of out-migration of academics in the attraction of Indian and Chinese in-bound migrants to replace them on a cycle of perhaps shorter-term contracts and incentives as well as perhaps national costs savings when comparing the losses in out bound migration.

This transcript reminds me of the theoretical divide between social sciences and technology in terms of innovation. Gillies asks the question, "Is it the ideas and technology that transfer, or is it the people who are the best agents for that transfer?" Hypothetically it could and should be both. Global integration of technology such as the internet could not have taken place if the people who use it and operate it did not move around enough to install and apply it where it is now fairly common place.

I agree with Professor Gillies' assessment that new processes, and new management systems should be cross-functionalizing skills and abilities from disparate research realms with new technologies which more quickly integrate ideas not only to determine the best ones but to generate ones which have yet to be considered or applied.

He describes scientific skill shortages in a similar way to those described in Canada. However whoever is compiling the list of shortages never appears to adequately advertise or even indicate where those jobs are available either quickly enough to permit re-training or clear identification of opportunities which require applicants. His suggestion that incentives be reset is a valid and commendable one.
I would say national HR shchemas should gather more current research to provide students with better information which ensures their training will match jobs available in their fields of study upon graduation.

Many social sciences graduates perhaps the majority of them never get the opportunity to functionalize their skills in their subject areas in actual working environments. At the same time, the costs of their educations often cause them to take responsiblities more comparable to those skills required of merely highschool graduates. At the same time governments in many developed countries mistakenly mis-evaluate the actual economic clout of creative arts and entertainment industries in calculating whether or not social sciences graduates are actually participating and thus not wasting their skills attained.

While Gillies describes less than 10% of national research funding actually researches and develops social sciences innovations it would be interesting to survey the actual real populations of Australia and other OECD nations percentages of social sciences graduates who actually particiate in technology-based businesses and research already. I am certain that indirectly they represent a larger than anticipated proportion of technology-based business successes if we are evaluating based on people skills and relationship building. Particularly in filling the gaps in business knowledge, market analysis and supervisory assistance which technologists simply lack through having little to no business or management training as described by Meyer in my previous review.

In his description of 0.8 % of GDP spent in Australia on R&D Gillies fails to question if whether similar nations such as Canada provide much higher actual percentages especially when a company like Northern Telecom (currently in bankruptcy protection) is said to represent as much 50% of total national R&D in Canada? Could the problem also be linked to that with discouraged regulations related to lowered levels of vertical integration or local content restrictions among OECD nations also pehraps indicated by an outflux of academics from all of these nations to the US? Is the US not only where a large proportion of global head offices reside but also conducting a lion's share of global research and development?

His description of "empowerment of talent" as in the case of Singapore provides a good benchmark model for OECD nations everywhere to meet or beat the US competition in terms of incubator financial support, business networks, tax breaks and incentives and so on. However it would be tough to beat in market research development. So should not the Australian perspective not focus on redirecting its research aims by networking its efforts for example with growing BRIC nations?

Would it not then be somewhat beneficial for government to support business and university innovation programs not only through identifying key developments but also providing greater research and employment incentives to business graduates, for example, willing to assist technologists on teams-based learning projects similar to cellular manufacturing processes under operational contract terms and goals?

Overall the transcript is informative and emphasizes scope for real discussion on the terms of innovation drivers in Australia for today and hopefully tomorrow.

Short Review of "Academic Entrepreneurs or Entrepreneurial Academics?" (Meyer)

Short Review of "Academic Entrepreneurs or Entrepreneurial Academics? Research based Ventures and Public Support Mechanisms" (Martin Meyer)

Meyer published this article during my first year of graduate studies in 2003 when I was shuffling back and forth to Dubai many evenings a week at an entrepreneurial university's offshore campus. Other than that I had never heard of Wollongong. Dubai's annual educational expo has no doubt expanded in size due to Dubai's groundbreaking development of the Knowledge Village concept whereby several more entrepreneurial universities and colleges have set up shop there as well as similar undertakings in nearby Qatar.

In Australia itself I began to hear of something which does not yet appear to have taken off in Canada. Namely this would be the triple helix model of knowledge production, or government-university-business developments which Meyer discusses in this article. He compares spin-offs from private business to university incubated developments to attempt to clarify the comparative strengths and weaknesses of each origin.

He relies on data collected within the last ten to twenty years or so first citing a French study which highlighted the importance of the entrepreneurial ability to develop multiple linkages between large varieties of business sectors in relation incubator success. Meyer also descibes mixed conclusions over the necessity of growth orientation particularly regarding the priorities of academic inspired innovation and development targets especially when the orignator remains fully employed perhaps as a professor. Further he notes that many start up firms over-rely on technological factors and under-develop business management skills.

Meyer's research indicated as of 2003 that the vast majority of business start-ups are heavily endorsed by corporations rather than academia and that the greatest of support services for such developments remains funding support. His case study findings indicated that the largest proportion of successful incubators rely ona wide and diverse network of inter-connected business relationships with contrasts illustrated in two basic forms of start-up.

The first is described as an incubator heavily reliant on grants from public research funds, with moderate growth, insubstantial business training or advisement and a token list of business support networks. The second is described as possessing strong IPO launches and ATP financing assistance with business savvy board of directors and supervisory planners which ensure high business incubation network support and concurrent high growth. Finally Meyer concludes that the more business analysis training and experience that technologists receive favourbaly impacts the success of their incubator start up efforts.

The mystery and allure of the Asian woman?

What happens when you put all your eggs in one basket?

May we rely upon the wisdom of the ages...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Summary of Daniel: 1989-2009

A Summary of Daniel: 1989-2009

First I finished my BA in English Literature in 1994 from Acadia University which is 10 minutes down the road from my hometown in New Minas, Nova Scotia Canada which is a small village in the Annapolis Valley. My parents each come from two neighbouring provinces, mom is from Northern New Brunswick which is French Acadian and wood-cutting and lumberjack country and Dad comes from Prince Edward Island which is Irish potato farm country. My parents and younger brother still live in New Minas and I visit about once every 1.5 years.

My first jobs were babysitting and lawn mowing and in 1989 I stayed with my sister for the summer in Ottawa which is Canada's capital city and had my first full-time summer job as a dishwasher/kitchen helper at a Yacht Club. I did it again with the same chefs the next summer at a continental restaurant.

While studying in Nova Scotia I worked as a lobster grader and shipper/packer and cook in a small village near my home town on the Bay of Fundy a very beautiful place. I met many tourists and met my first Koreans there. In 1993 I left my parents home and moved to Kingston Ontario where my sister had moved with the intention of working west to Vancouver and then to teach English in Japan as one of my classmates had done. I hitchhiked and backpacked mostly with truck-drivers across Canada and took two slow weeks in 1994. It is a beautiful country. Then I worked and lived in Vancouver first as a night shipper and receiver truck driver of live seafood airfreight deliveries and then as a care giver in a Catholic home for the mentally handicapped called L'Arche or The Arc.

Then in 1996 I received an offer to teach in a hagwon in Samchonpo where I taught for two years. It is very beautiful there and I still have many friends there. In 1998 I moved to work at Inje University in Kimhae and stayed there for two years. Then I studied CELTA (ESL Cambridge Certificate) in Seoul at Yonsei so I could move to The United Arab Emirates. I had read it was a good place to live and work in Arabia. In 2000 I began working at Abu Dhabi Naval College (on Saadiyat) in the capital city of the UAE. My students were naval officer cadets being trained to navigate small warships. The job was easy and difficult. It is very hot in summer. I travelled to many countries nearby such as Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, Turkey on many months of holidays.

Then I began studying Master's of International Business in Dubai with The University of Wollongong. I had a small Honda compact car and would drive back and forth to night classes many days of the week for my first semester. Then I quit my job, took six months holidays in Canada and finished MIB in 2004 by increasing courses during the final two semesters in Australia. I finished one semester early.

In Australia I had a telephone interview to teach at Kwandong University in Gangneung, Gangwondo. However I also took interviews in Singapore but the job conditions were not great. So I lived in Yang Yang for one year and it is very beautiful so I read many books on general topics. I like Singapore and wouldn't mind living there also and nearly took a three year contract job offer from the Ministry of Education to become an English Literature Morals and Ethics teacher. However the salary was too low. I did not accept. Also I was looking for a job to teach international business.

So by surprise I received interview and job offer here at Daejin University in 2006. The same year I began more studies first in Certificate of Executive Leadership from Cornell University then also completing Executive Certificate in Negotiation and Conflict Management from The University of Notre Dame in 2008. At the same time I was playing bass guitar nearly every weekend in a rock band in Hongdae and Itaewon.

I felt sad but I had to quit my band. Last summer I did two comparative market research projects while on holiday in Sri Lanka (which I love) and Thailand (which I like) and completed another Certificate in Export Management in 2008 from an American international trade specialist named John R. Jagoe which took a year. Then I completed another Certificate in International Trade from Concordia University in Canada last month which also took just over a year.

This past holiday I was reading a lot about logistics and food supply chain because I was asked to join a proposal group for APEC to do a research study on ways to lower Korea's food customer prices. The project would have paid for all of my studies since 2003. So I read about a 1000 pages of research papers and about four hundred pages of international trade law course to finish my last course of Concordia certificate four weeks ahead of schedule.

The proposal however failed. So instead of feeling sad I decided to improve my research skills and decided to apply to Queensland University of Technology's Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation last month. They accepted me to the program two weeks after the deadline. It will take about two years however three to five hours of study a week is easy. So I am now studying knowledge transfer.

For the last five years I have been studying about 15-20 hours a week. Non-stop. But I LOVE learning.

Betty Kim Strikes Again

Betty Kim Strikes Again

Dear Betty Kim,

For whatever reason I don't want to argue over your breaking your appointment with me. I am a student of international business which includes expertise in cross-cultural management behaviour. During my studies I was introduced to concepts of cultural differences which have been widely accepted as useful in understanding individual motivations or choices of members of one culture to members of another culture.

From my experience the Hofstede model is useful in respect to differences in dating culture, as Geert Hofstede, a leading researcher of cross-cultural management, has adapted five variables and used them to compare and contrast cultural values from country to country.

These five variables are:

PDI Power Distance Index - differences in respect to communication with authority ("the boss")
IDV Individualism - tendancy to make decisions alone or due to influence of group
MAS Masculinity - level of womens freedoms or equality to men
UAI Uncertainty Avoidance Index - comfort with new or unknown circumstances
LTO Long-Term Orientation - state of being present or future thinking

Canadian and Korean culture can be examined however it must be emphasized that other cross-cultural researchers such as Fons Trompennars and Charles Hampden Turner suggest cultural orientations are "hard-wired" during the early childhood years and despite future cultural exchanges after that point cultural values are believed impossible to be changed by living in or experiencing other cultures. Ha Choong Chang a Korean economist resident in the UK however notes that one hundred years ago nations such as Japan and Germany were perceived as lazy and indolent (as well as Korean) but that over the following decades changes occurred which made these cultures produce exactly the opposite current stereotypes and perhaps differences in cultural orientations. Ha however dismisses cross-cultural research as being irrelevant.

I continue to find it relevant as I believe all of my Canadian cultural traits remain alive and well no matter how long I live and work in Korea or Asia in general. So the following table illustrates Canadian-Korean cultural differences.

(Source http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_dimensions.php?culture1=14&culture2=82)

According to the table these general tendancies can be concluded, which do not equal stereotypes as they are based on statistical research. Canadians are 20% more friendly with the boss than Koreans. Canadians are 60% more individual-minded than Koreans. Women have 10% greater equity with men in Canada. Koreans have about 35% higher fear of uncertainty than Canadians. Canadians are 50% less likely to be thinking of the future results of their actions than Koreans.

The results can be further interpreted to express a Canadian man's perspective on date setting, terms of dating, and possible results of breaking a date with a Canadian man at the last minute without reasonable notice or explanation in relationship to a Korean woman. The following interpretation is made on a general anecdotal experience.

If the Korean woman is the "authority figure" and the Canadian man is the "employee" or "subservient or inferior cultural element" then even from initial contact a Canadian man is perhaps perceived as 20% more friendly than expected or required. According to the Peter Principle (whereby excellence of character may itself be a negative determinant) his friendliness is categorized as unacceptable and not in harmony with Korean culture thus highly suspect and suggests increased likelihood of being dismissed or fired by a Korean female authority figure out of friendliness factor alone. A Canadian male through extention of offer of friendship is then rewarded with a 20% lower level of friendliness than expected as a tenet of basic concepts of reciprocity in Canadian cultural terms.

A Canadian man is then 60% more individualistic than a Korean woman. So out of ten Korean women a Canadian man might perhaps meet as few as four who display anything other than repetitive traits displayed by other members of the cultural group perhaps observable as culturally identical (though individual Korean women) who might display thoughts and actions similar only to each other and not individualistic in any observable way. So perhaps out of a sample of ten dates made with ten Korean women, perhaps as many as six will break the date with regularity and predictable frequency.

Conversely in relationship with a Canadian man, a Korean woman might experience 10% higher freedom of choice or equity with a Canadian man than a Korean one. However this benefit would be highly effected by a negative correlation of 35% higher level of uncertainty avoidance for a Korean woman than a Canadian man. For example, a Korean woman might be expected to display a 35% higher likelihood of breaking dates than a Canadian man would be culturally expected to anticipate of, for example, Canadian women in his own original habitat. Unless he had already made dates with the last five, for then he might expect a higher likelihood that the next four would all keep their dates. Which would then be followed by a future six date breakers to follow such a pattern if dates were made with absolute regular frequency over a specific time.

As a final focus of orientation to time, a Canadian man is perhaps 50% less likely to be thinking of any future relationship beyond the first broken date than a Korean woman after a date has been broken by her. While she may be expecting a Canadian man to easily understand such date-breaking behaviour he may simply prefer to consider it bad manners or an example of cultural communitarianism (as displayed in the last six similar date breakers) and move on to the next woman in the sequential series over time and the next possible broken or unbroken date. The likelihood in that case that any date he makes with a Korean woman would be kept is then set and maintained at 40% chance of success. But only for the four next dates following the previous six when the pattern would be repeated into perhaps infinity.

This also implies cultural differences in relation to context. In low context cultures, such as Korea, the reasons for breaking a date are less likely to require explanation, as in, in such cultures more is left unexplained because more is generally understood implicitly without being said. So the less one says the more is actually understood. By contrast, in high context cultures, such as Canada, where agreed date making is not commensurate to breaking dates without actual reasonable or understandable explanations, which are generally required to ensure the relationship is maintained on a mutually respectful level, lack of explanation implies lack of interest in developing or maintaining any form of relationship. In such a case, the less is more concept is not amenable to high contextiality or future date setting. Especially if it was to be the first date.

Which explains my reasons for not wanting to argue and perhaps not wanting to date any more Korean women. It appears being a Canadian male attempting to date a Korean female is a statistically consistent and constant significant handicap. Despite these cultural differences, rest assured Miss Betty Kim, out of ten Korean women you are statistically one of six who breaks dates and not one of four who keeps them due to statistical and culturally-based fear of uncertainty. As I prefer a woman to successfully face her fears and display uncharacteristic fearlessness in terms of Korean culture and in terms of making and keeping dates with me, I hope you understand if I do not write or call again?

I'll wait for you to make a date with me without further communication following the intrinsic low context model that less is more. Then perhaps I'll break that date in the interest of extending your understanding and experience of cultural differences. However due to my higher level of friendliness to your possible higher authority in such matters I would probably not break it. However due to your higher level of cultural uncertainty I wouldn't expect it.

Daniel Costello

Thursday, March 12, 2009

EU Says S.Korea Trade Talks at 'Crucial' Point

EU Says S.Korea Trade Talks at 'Crucial' Point

EU negotiations with South Korea on a sweeping free trade pact have entered a final crunch period, with talks due to resume later this month, a European Commission spokesman said Friday. "After two years of negotiations, we are at a crucial point and close to closing the deal," an EU spokesman said. "With a little bit more negotiation and the right political will we will be able to complete this."

After a delay of several weeks, chief negotiators are now due to make a final push in an eighth round of talks on March 22-23 in Korea before negotiations move up to ministerial level to conclude.

Commentary: I'm glad to see the EU is making progress with Korean after two years whereas Canada has bogged down and seen decline in trade over the last nearly decade of negotiations with Korea on an FTA.

The pact would go farther than all other free trade agreements the European Union has, scrapping tariffs on 97% of trade between Europe and South Korea within five years of entering into force.

Commentary: Would these include scrapping Uruguray Round trade subsidies in import and export agricultural products or effective ratitification of Doha Round?

European car makers called for a halt in the negotiations last month, arguing the European Union risked getting too little from South Korea in return for granting it full access to European markets. The BusinessEurope employers association wrote to EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton this week voicing the concerns of some sectors that Seoul would be able to keep a duty drawback scheme indefinitely. Under such a scheme, Korean car manufacturers are refunded for duties paid on cheap imported parts from China when they build cars for the European market.

Commentary: Koreans appear adept at keeping their trading partners on their toes!

A European Commission source said on condition of anonymity that the auto sector was one of three industries on which important progress had been made along with pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics. However, the commission source was "doubtful" that the duty drawback issue could be solved by the chief negotiators because the Koreans were insisting on keeping it.

Commentary: Would this align with certain principles and concepts of concessions or compromise which are never intended to be made without mutual give and take?

Despite the opposition of European car makers, the source said that "not a single member state has said that it would not be a good idea to conclude an agreement," while acknowledging that "a number had expressed concerns."

Commentary: I am sure concerns are expressed however it is clear the media does not intend to highlight which member states have done so? How very communitarian of them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Review of Accounting Gets Radical...

Reading, "Accounting Gets Radical The green-eyeshade gang isn't measuring what really matters to investors. Some far-out thinkers plan to change that." by Thomas A. Stewart from April 16, 2001 (Fortune) in hindsight lack of clarity and "off the books" accounting methods have dealt a serious blow to global liquidity at this time. Knowledge-based or intellectual assets valuations have only become a recent occurance in the last decade or so.

I am uncertain if one can rely upon Greenspan's opinions on the topic as at one time he recommended several dubious banking institutions during the junk bond era according to Edward Chancellor in "Devil Take the Hindmost : A History of Financial Speculation." Even Arthur Anderson is still seen as a reputable resource with no reference to impending Enron inspired doom.

This text makes a brief description of accounting principles which need be evaluated for a modern day rehabilitation of the act and art of accounting described as the interplay between working capital, fixed assets, and investments. Our current markets have obliterated these principles of accounting to establish tangible value.

1. Working capital: Due to ongoing uncertainty working capital appears globally low at this time as we are liquidity poor.

2. Fixed assets: Long the investment vehicle of the masses, with depressed housing prices so go falling commercial real-estate values, shuttered investment banks, big box stores and retail or commercial construction.

3. Value investments: In a falling market traditional concepts of value are being challenged.

Intellectual capital may be the only sound investment at this time. Perhaps for many companies measuring intangibles may be all they have left to develop in the near future?

Regarding Creative Commons

Regarding Creative Commons

Creative commons attracted me a few years ago with the Connexions website operated by Rice University. It is also said that most international trade desk research may be conducted online. Copyright-free materials may however lack relevancy, timeliness, or veracity.

At the same time Cambridge University Press Korea editors have encouraged me to submit a prospectus for a book on international trade correspondence for lower intermediate students as it may be an unserviced local content niche. In that case I would eagerly seek copyright protection to commercialize original work. It would need to provide future value or enough profit to at least pay for its distribution. One acts in one's own best interests regarding creative commons.

I am of a mixed opinion regarding the net benefits of copyrights and their disadvantages for poorer nations overall as a result of reading Ha-Joon Chang's opinions on the topic in, Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism (2008).

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

QUT TVC 60 sec Philosophy

It all makes sense to me except the purple monster?