Coping with cultural differences: the development of generic capabilities in logistics graduates

Christopherson, G 2005, Coping with cultural differences: the development of generic capabilities in logistics graduates, Professional Doctorate, Education, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Coping with cultural differences: the development of generic capabilities in logistics graduates
Author(s) Christopherson, G
Year 2005
Abstract This thesis investigates development of generic capabilities in an RMIT undergraduate logistics degree program. Generic capabilities are those general graduate attributes that are not specifically discipline-focused, examples being communication and teamwork skills. A major research objective of this thesis is the extent to which graduates perceived that generic capabilities were developed in their RMIT logistics undergraduate program, specifically in a cross-cultural context spanning a range of organisations differing in size and ownership structure. The thesis involves two studies. In Study 1 managers from eight organisations, ranging in size from multi-national to small public and private (family-owned) companies were interviewed to develop a series of qualitative organisational case studies using grounded theory methodology. Study 2 is a quantitative survey of 31 Australian and 25 Asian (Singapore and Hong Kong) logistic graduates from 1996 to 2002. In Study 1, generic capabilities rankings in different organisations varied, depending on whether managers being interviewed were operational or human resource management specialists, but there was general agreement that communication, problem-solving, initiative and enterprise, and teamwork skills were highest priority. Study 2 results indicate that the views of both Asian and Australian graduates are in line with the management rankings, and are consistent with those reported by Australian and OECD government and industry research organisations. Both graduate groups agree that generic capabilities are covered in the RMIT logistic program, but ratings are generally in an 'adequate' to 'good' range, with no outstanding features. Although cultural diversity in the student body is seen as a major benefit, there are little data indicating a high level of Australian and Asian student networking, and a number of respondents are critical of a lack of international focus in the present program. A major issue is a n eed for more emphasis on presentation and problem-solving skills so graduates are able to carry through a project from initiation to completion.
Degree Professional Doctorate
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) Physical distribution of goods - Study and teaching
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Created: Mon, 29 Nov 2010, 16:09:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
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