World Futures Review September Special Issue: How to Teach Foresight?

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wfra_10_3_coverWorld Futures Review features a special issue for September entitled, Foresight Education! How should business schools incorporate foresight education and other topics are addressed.  Several abstracts are featured below. Please note that the full articles will be free to read for a limited time.

 


 

“Why All Business Schools Should Teach Foresight: Perspectives from More Than a Decade at the University of Notre Dame”

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This article advocates that business schools include a formalized foresight educational experience more widely in their curriculums. As a group charged with educating business leaders of tomorrow, the cultivation of the skill-set and mind-set necessary for anticipating change and positioning organizations for future success and survival should no longer be left to chance. For the past decade, the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame has required all undergraduate students to take a course titled Foresight in Business and Society. During this time, the Mendoza foresight faculty team has gained perspective on the design and value of a futures research learning experience for our students. Five underlying design principles are presented that have shaped the delivery and execution of the course these revolve around: developing great leaders, confronting ambiguous questions, experiential understanding, rigorous exploration, and anticipation as a force for good. As with any design-based perspective, the article concludes with challenges and pitfalls in recognition that the process is not always linear or smooth. But to other educators on this journey, the challenges are manageable and the promise and prospects for students makes it worthwhile.


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Most fields of study have introductory textbooks with the word “principles” in the title: “Principles of Economics,” “Principles of Ecology,” and many others. The principles explained in these textbooks are the core unifying and ordering concepts for their respective fields. They provide a frame of reference for students who are new to the field and taking the first steps toward mastering it. The abundance of “principles” textbooks and long history of the use of core principles in education suggest that a clear set of unifying principles may be a useful way to teach students how to productively think about and understand complex topics. This article identifies and describes a set of core principles for thinking about the future based on a review of more than 50 years of published futures research literature. The ten principles are as follows: The future is (1) plural; (2) possible, plausible, probable, and preferable; (3) open; (4) fuzzy; (5) surprising; (6) not surprising; (7) fast; (8) slow; (9) archetypal; and (10) inbound and outbound. The principles are described and their potential educational use is discussed. Core futures principles may be useful for introducing students of all ages to thinking about and preparing for the future.


“School-Wide Foresight Education: All Together Now!”

Textbooks Desks Tables Classroom GuiyangSchools are better when futures studies are included in the curriculum. This is not common today but can become common with creative and persistent effort. A plan is offered for systematic and sustained promotion in the nation’s K–12 school system. Examples are provided of projects for age appropriate employ throughout K–12 schooling.


World Futures Review (WFR) seeks to encourage and facilitate communication researchers and practitioners in all related fields. WFR relies on its readers to provide the necessary balance through their responses to controversial or one-sided material.

To submit your work to this journal, check out these guidelines!


Future photo attributed to Free Photos

Notre Dame logo attributed to Free Photos.

Idea photo attributed to Free Photos.

Classroom photo attributed to Free Photos.

 

 

 

 

How do Quality of Teaching, Assessment and Feedback Drive Undergraduate Course Satisfaction in UK Business Schools?

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univ[Dylan Sutherland of Durham University Business School, Philip Warwick of Durham University Business School, John Anderson of the University of Northern Iowa, and Mark Learmonth of Durham University Business School recently published an article in the Journal of Management Education. We are pleased to feature their article, “How do Quality of Teaching, Assessment and Feedback Drive Undergraduate Course Satisfaction in UK Business Schools? A Comparative Analysis with Non-Business School Courses using the UK National Student Survey,” and are excited to announce that the article will be free to access on our site for a limited time.  Below they reveal further insights regarding the inspiration behind the research, as well as additional information not included in the final publication.]

JME_72ppiRGB_powerpointOur research aimed to understand the most significant issues which contribute to student satisfaction. We also hoped to identify if there are any differences between students in business schools and those studying other subjects. We were motivated to look at this issue by the importance placed on student satisfaction by UK Higher Education System (many of the university and subject ranking tables place a significant weighting on student satisfaction scores).

We found that good teaching remains the most important driver of satisfaction, along with being well-organised (smooth running courses are very important to students). We also detected a noticeable tendency among business students to instrumentalism. That is, they focus on results and achieving those results, like a good job at the end of the course, rather than studying for the love of the subject. We think instrumentalism is different to adopting a strategic learning style, because of this emphasis on the end result. We finish the article by considering the implications of this work. With increasing tuition fees and the imperative of getting a good job at the end of the course, it seems likely that a wider range of students will adopt an instrumental approach in the future. Business students may be the forerunners.

 

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Lecture Hall Photo attributed to Free-Photos (CC)

How are Management Educators Helping Students to Prepare For Turbulent Times Ahead?

[Professors Lisa Anderson of the University of Liverpool, Paul Hibbert of the University of St Andrews, Katy Mason of Lancaster University Management School, and Christine Rivers of the University of Surrey recently published a research article in the Journal of Management Education which is entitled “Management Education in Turbulent Times”. We are delighted to welcome them as contributors, and their article will be free to read for a limited time. Below they reveal the inspiration behind their research.]

JME_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this work?

We are all heavily involved with and committed to the British Academy of Management’s Management Education and Knowledge project. The MKE project is an academy-wide initiative that aims to raise the profile, standing and quality of research into management knowledge, knowing, education and learning. This was a great opportunity to put together a set of papers that addressed some of the key issues that are being faced by management educators and business schools and to learn about the ways in which academics are encouraging management students to learn about and deal with the turbulent times currently faced by organisations and managers. We wanted to discover new ideas that were out there both in terms of framing and addressing the issues.

Were there any specific external events—political, social, or economic—that influenced your decision to pursue this research?

Yes! We were struck by the critical commentaries of Higher Education, examining the costs associated with it and the profit to be made by it. There is also a new regime of regulation of teaching and graduate outcomes in the UK that is forcing universities and business schools to examine their ‘offer’ to students and this means that we may view our work through a different set of lenses. We aimed to prompt an examination of how management education can make a difference against the backdrop of our turbulent times, characterised by extreme political views that are creating division and acrimony, the widening gap between rich and poor and the instability of our natural environment. Issues such as the election of President Trump, the Brexit vote and the Syrian refugee crisis had an impact on our decision to work together on this.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

We hope that our editorial and the papers in the section will encourage management scholars to consider the way in which they teach their students about our changing times and management’s place and responsibility within them. The question we initially posed was, As educators, what should we be doing, and helping future managers learn how to do, to deal with turbulent times? We strongly believe that societal change can be driven through impactful research and teaching in business schools, by using management theory to understand the nature of turbulence, develop new curricula and ways of teaching and learning and to develop adaptive, reflexive and resilient managers who can engage with knowledge to find new ways of framing and addressing the wicked problems of our time. We realise this is all quite aspirational but we think that can all sometimes get too focused in on the detail of our teaching and forget the wider purpose of what we do. We hope our contribution encourages colleagues to think about how their practice can change the way managers think and interact with society and to be aware of the impact we might have.

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Using Simulation to Teach Social Justice and Disability Ethics in Business Communication

[We’re pleased to welcome guest editor Dr. Sushil Oswal of the University of Washington and author Dr. Stephanie Wheeler of the University of Central Florida. Dr. Wheeler recently published an article in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly entitled “Harry Potter and the First Order of Business: Using Simulation to Teach Social Justice and Disability Ethics in Business Communication,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Wheeler speaks with Dr. Oswol regarding motivations and challenges of this research]

BCQ_72ppiRGB_powerpoint.jpgWe are here with Dr. Stephanie K. Wheeler who is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Central Florida where she researches Cultural Rhetoric, Pop Rhetorics of Harry Potter and Lady Gaga, Disability Studies, Rhetoric of Eugenics, and Civic Engagement and activism among Faculty and Students. She is the author of “Legacies of Colonialism: Toward a Borderland Dialogue between Indigenous and Disability Rhetorics”. Dr. Wheeler just published a fascinating article, “Harry Potter and the First Order of Business”, about the use of simulations in her college communication course for the Sage journal, Business and Professional Communication Quarterly.

Oswal: What motivated you to pursue this Harry Potter research?

Wheeler: When I was first struggling to find a way to make my first semester of teaching Introduction to Business and Professional Communication meaningful and interesting to my students, I had a chance conversation with a close friend who was designing a zombie simulation for her class. It occurred to me that I might find a way to do the same for Harry Potter. Multiple attempts and years later, I think I figured it out.

Oswal: So, what was the answer?

Wheeler: My BPCQ manuscript was motivated by the question of how to honor our own interests and meet students where they are outside of the classroom with their own interests, while at the same time meeting their educational needs inside of the classroom? Furthermore, how can we ensure a balance between the two?

Oswal: What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research? Were there any surprising findings?

Wheeler: The most challenging part of writing this piece was coming face to face with my failures in my earlier classes where I attempted the simulation. In fact, the first few attempts at the class were unmitigated disasters. I always had a small group of students—probably committed Harry Potter fans–who really enjoyed it, but by and large my classes were, to put it nicely, not interested in the simulation. I talk about this a little bit in the manuscript, but I think that there is one main factor that went into it: I didn’t go “all-in” with the simulation. That is, I didn’t quite have the confidence to pull off that the simulation would work, and when it didn’t, students weren’t able to understand the consequences of their writing choices. Thus, the most surprising thing that came out of this paper was my realization that the research could not have been done had I always been successful in the way I had hoped, and so much of its success depended on taking some major risks and my own belief in it that it was really working. And then, I also found out that I could not keep this newly-gained confidence to myself; I had to share it with my class by being overtly enthusiastic about the Universe of Harry Potter. Once my class could sense this enthusiasm, even the strangers to Harry Potter were willing to get their feet wet with this simulation.

Oswal: Let’s say that some of our readers are still sitting on the fence and want a pedagogical justification: what reasons can you give them to try this simulation out in their classes?

Wheeler: Given the practical focus of business communication pedagogy in particular and communication teaching in general, instructors are always looking for ways to connect with their students in different ways; what else would be more interesting for students than the Universe of Harry Potter in a required course?

Oswal: Instructors might also like to know more about what your thoughts are on Harry Potter at this time since you continue to improve this class simulation. What ideas did not make it into your published manuscript that you would like to share with us?

Wheeler: My overall approach to teaching Business and Professional Communication is to think about the ways that language reflects, sustains, and resists oppressive power structures, especially (and most importantly) when it is seen to be devoid of any cultural influence or impact, like in technical documents. One way I emphasized this in the course I describe in my manuscript is to regard writing as a eugenic technology, having the capability of writing bodies in and out of existence to fit whatever power structure it was serving. This is why a Harry Potter simulation made so much sense to me: to really look at the impact of how our beloved characters are brought to existence by J. K. Rawling through writing and just as easily eliminated by the same stroke of a pen can really illuminate the power and responsibility that comes with writing and becoming a writer.

Oswal: Do you have any additional materials on this project that instructors might find useful if they wanted to develop a Harry Potter course for their business and professional communication curriculum?

Wheeler: I had to remove some more detailed appendices, which can be found at my website, http://www.stephaniewheeler.wordpress.com and readers are most welcome to review them.

Oswal: Thanks for talking to me about this fascinating communication project and I hope that our readers find this Harry Potter simulation as enticing as you and I found talking about it.

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Collaboration via Twitter? Lessons from a Marketing Classroom

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[We’re pleased to welcome authors Dr. Alexandra K. Abney of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Laurel A. Cook of West Virginia University, Alexa K. Fox of the University of Akron, and Jennifer Stevens of the University of Toledo. They recently published an article in the Journal of Marketing Education entitled “Intercollegiate Social Media Education Ecosystem,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Cook recounts the motivations and innovations of this research:]

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What motivated you to pursue this research?

There are so many ways that technology can enhance our lives. Social media is a great example. Specifically, Twitter allows us to connect with people around the globe and we sought to expand this connectivity into our classrooms. We [the authors] knew each other and we were each trying various ways to bring social media into the classroom. However, we also knew our students may never have the chance to interact with one another, given our geographical dispersion. In response, our intercollegiate Twitter collaboration was initiated. As we continued to see success with this project in the classroom, we thought it would be a great opportunity to analyze the linguistic content of the tweets and capture student perceptions of the project to share the project with our fellow marketing educators. We strongly encourage JME readers to join us to offer the benefits we describe in our paper to more marketing students.

Were there any specific external events—political, social, or economic—that influenced your decision to pursue this research?

For marketers, the Super Bowl is a time to witness top marketing and advertising trends in action. Over the last few years (i.e., prior to the development of this project), live tweeting to discuss ads during the Super Bowl had become a popular practice with marketers around the world. As marketing educators, we [the authors] often participated in these live tweeting events. These experiences allowed us to interact not only with other marketing faculty, but with marketing practitioners and brands as well. As a group, we joined together with the hopes of bringing a similar experience into the classroom for our students through our novel intercollegiate Twitter project. Each week we created questions within the collaboration that centered around marketing hot topics and other current events (i.e. Olympics, etc.). We then measured the impact of this project in terms of student learning perceptions and linguistic analyses. This project has been so successful, it has continued each semester thereafter!

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

Our research offers insight into how students can use technology engage with one another beyond the walls of the classroom. In doing so, we offer an ecosystem for collaboration among students who are unlikely to interact in other settings, broadening their educational horizons and understanding of the global business landscape, all while building important communication skills. With our innovative social media education ecosystem (SMEE) we were able to (1) develop and reinforce class concepts; (2) improve learning perceptions and behavioral intent; (3) increase the reach of students’ marketing-related discussions; (4) develop professional identities and communication skills; and (5) grow each student’s network through connections with peers and marketing professionals in the United States.

What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?

Technological advances will continue to be an important part of our society. The challenge will always be understanding how such advances can be used effectively and for the betterment of our society. We encourage researchers to examine how the power we have at our fingertips can be used to foster unique relationships and spread knowledge across our very interconnected world.

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Social Media Photo attributed to Free-Photos (CC)

 

 

To B or not to B? The Journey of “Coding Autism” Toward the B Corp Certification

Professors Maria Ballesteros-Sola, Morgan Stickney, and Yvette Trejo of
California State University, Channel Islands recently published a case study in the Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy which is entitled “To B or not to B? The Journey of “Coding Autism” Toward the B Corp Certification.” We are pleased to welcome them as contributors and excited to announce that the case study will be free to access on our site for a limited time. Below they reveal the inspiration behind the research, as well as advice for future researchers.

EEX_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

While the B-Corp certification has existed for more than ten years, there are only a handful of published teaching cases that deal with the certification, its meaning, challenges and implications in different organizational contexts. I am also interested in understanding how hybrid organizations operate and deal with a priori conflicting logics and goals, so when I learned about Oliver Thornton and his start-up Coding Austin, I realized I had a case that combined two of my key research interests.

I reached out to Oliver and he was very receptive and excited about the collaboration. Oliver was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of two. His brother was also diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Oliver’s and his parents’ effort put him on the path to success. He graduated with a Business Degree from CLU, joined his family’s real estate firm and started Coding Autism.

At some point, he considered the B-Corp certification to signal how Coding Autism was mission-driven; but was this certification the right choice at this early stage? Our readers will have to read the case to learn more (no spoilers here!). I am excited to offer this case to business schools around the world so students can be engaged in meaningful discussions about the B-Corp certification, the challenges of living with autism and even the broader role of business in society.

Peer-reviewed field-based teaching cases present a fantastic opportunity to establish theoretical linkages between an organizational challenge or dilemma and different frameworks in the existing literature. As a qualitative researcher, I found myself navigating between research cases and teaching cases, since the research case facilitates the generation of theory, then it gets affirmed and integrated into a teaching case. It is a beautiful virtuous circle.

What advice would you give?

For new scholars interested in teaching case writing, I encourage them to check out the Paul R. Lawrence (PLR) Fellowship. http://caseresearchfoundation.org/fellowship
As a PLR Fellow in 2016, I was sponsored to attend the North American Case Research Association annual conference, where I was mentored, trained and guided to take my case writing to the next level. SAGE is sponsoring the Fellowship this year, so we are very thankful for that.

Finally, I am also the co-editor for a new SAGE Case Mini-Series on Social Impact, and accordingly, I would like to encourage all authors interested to consider submitting a teaching case for our new series. http://sk.sagepub.com/socialimpactseries . We welcome teaching cases that explore not only successful social impact enterprises, but also those that provide opportunities to learn from failures.

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Change CAN Happen in Academia: The Story of Organizational Research Methods

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Dr. Herman Aguinis of George Washington University, Ravi S. Ramani of Purdue University Northwest, and Isabel Villamor of George Washington University. They recently published an article in Organizational Research Methods entitled “The First 20 Years of Organizational Research Methods: Trajectory, Impact, and Predictions for the Future” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they reflect on the growth of Organizational Research Methods and possible future directions for the journal.

ORM_72ppiRGB_powerpointA common viewpoint is that change and innovation is difficult and very slow in academia. If they occur at all, changes are long-drawn and unlikely to alter the status quo substantially. The story of Organizational Research Methods (ORM) proves otherwise. ORM, a journal that is just 20 years old, has become one of the most-cited and influential journals in management, business, and applied psychology. How did this happen? And, having achieved so much success so quickly, what does the future of ORM, and methodology more generally, look like?

Our article published in ORM titled “The First 20 Years of Organizational Research Methods: Trajectory, Impact, and Predictions for the Future” answers these questions and more. In two decades, this journal devoted to methodology has fulfilled its dual role and mission of serving as an outlet in which methodologists can publish their best work and where substantive researchers can learn about new methodological developments as well as recommendations on how to address important methodological challenges. From its adoption of a legitimization strategy through strategic partnerships, to growing pains as it sought to balance quantitative vs. qualitative and micro vs. macro topics, to the challenges of breaking into lists of “A-journals,” and finally, to questions about its future, our analysis shows that in many ways, the story of ORM is the story of a successful disruptive new venture in one of the oldest and most traditional industries: academia. We analyze the story of this new venture, as evidenced by editorials, published articles, and the composition of senior editorial teams to understand what specific steps allowed it to succeed. We also highlight innovations introduced by ORM that separated it from other journals, and the researchers whose contributions fueled this rise. Finally, we discuss the implications of ORM’s journey for its future and the future of research methodology as it moves from a growth phase to maturity in its organizational life-cycle.

We believe that our article explicating the trajectory, impact, and possible future directions for ORM and methodology more generally will be useful for management researchers in a number of ways. The information regarding methodological advancements published in ORM will help substantive researchers sharpen their toolkits and discover novel ways of addressing important research questions. It will also help universities, professional organizations, and faculty involved in doctoral education improve the rigor and breadth of training provided to future scholars. Our article can also be a reference to these newcomers as they learn where to go to find accurate answers to most of the methodological questions they may encounter during their formative years. In addition, illustrating the impact of the numerous how-to’s and best-practice articles published in ORM may aid academics who wish to avoid engaging in questionable research practices (QRPs) which damage the credibility and impact of our research. Finally, by showcasing ORM’s trajectory, our article may be of use to the editors and senior editorial teams of both new journals, as well as those interested in improving the impact and influence of their existing publication.

We look forward to hearing the reactions to our article and hope that it will serve as a catalyst further enhance the quality of ORM, and more broadly, methodology in management, business, applied psychology, and related fields.

To read more examples of high impact articles from ORM see this list:

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