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Article

Marcelo Fernandes

Jonathan Swifts masterpiece, Gulliver’s Travels, considered at first a children’s book, has been for a long time the subject of a debate among philosophers, political

Abstract

Jonathan Swifts masterpiece, Gulliver’s Travels, considered at first a children’s book, has been for a long time the subject of a debate among philosophers, political scientists, and literary critics. Apart from its keen political satire, Gulliver’s Travels approaches in a very non‐standard way interesting socioeconomic topics such as the legal system, political science, and colonisation. Moreover, Swift provides interesting insights about human nature and behaviour when describing the nations visited by Captain Gulliver. This paper examines to what extent economic philosophy can contribute to the understanding of Gulliver’s Travels, and what economists can learn from Swifts extravagant digressions.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article

Robert Phiddian

Written in 1729, Jonathan Swifts satirical essay, A Modest Proposal remains a challenge to the logic of current accounting practices. By shining a harshly sceptical light…

Abstract

Written in 1729, Jonathan Swifts satirical essay, A Modest Proposal remains a challenge to the logic of current accounting practices. By shining a harshly sceptical light on the languages and assumptions of “Political arithmetick” (then a novel intellectual discipline), Swift shows the capacity of this ancestor discourse of modern accounting to blind its users to the reality of the situation they face. Argues that accounting discourse should open itself to “undisciplined” interpretation so as to reduce the risk of being blind to important factors that fully “disciplined” professional activity cannot see. In particular, argues that: a hermeneutic model based on deconstrnctive theories of blindness and insight deserves to be imported into accountancy theory from literary theory; that accountants should attend to satirical modes of writing, such as Swifts Proposal, so as to unsettle and test the assumptions that underpin their professional practice. Consequently, addresses both the history of accountancy and its present habits of interpretation.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 9 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Y.S. Brenner

Plagiarizes Jonathan Swift to produce a tongue‐in‐cheek proposal for the relief of the burden of children to the poor and so create benefits for the state. Claims…

Abstract

Plagiarizes Jonathan Swift to produce a tongue‐in‐cheek proposal for the relief of the burden of children to the poor and so create benefits for the state. Claims satirically that the scheme would solve a number of societal problems.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article

Jonathan S. Swift

Reports exploratory research which examines the relationship between the extent to which executives have a positive attitude towards a foreign culture and the level of…

Abstract

Reports exploratory research which examines the relationship between the extent to which executives have a positive attitude towards a foreign culture and the level of competence they have achieved in that language. Suggests that this was a weak correlation but a much stronger one existed between these two factors within the Spanish market. Cites that cultural liking may be a positive factor in foreign language acquisition but only in some circumstances or cultures and ecnourages further research in this area.

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Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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Article

Jonathan S. Swift, A. Jonathan and W. Smith

Language training has assumed a higher profile over the last fiveyears, yet many employers still appear to lack understanding of theneeds, motivations, and attitudes of…

Abstract

Language training has assumed a higher profile over the last five years, yet many employers still appear to lack understanding of the needs, motivations, and attitudes of staff who undertake a course in a modern language. This study was carried out over a six‐month period (1991‐1992), specifically to obtain data on participant attitudes, and the various positive and negative influences on their linguistic performance. Of greatest interest to industrial trainers is the way in which the findings detail those influences which motivate or demotivate those already working, to learn a foreign language – information which could be invaluable when designing language programmes for specific individuals or job‐functional areas within an organization.

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Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 16 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article

Jonathan S. Swift

An attempt to analyse a number of major problems that executivesfrequently cite as having contributed towards language learningdifficulties. The objective is to highlight…

Abstract

An attempt to analyse a number of major problems that executives frequently cite as having contributed towards language learning difficulties. The objective is to highlight the various work‐related pressures, and psychologically‐demotivating attitudes that prevail amongst too many learners. Identifies five problem areas, and looks at each in detail, suggesting possible strategies for trainers to minimize the influence of these problems.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 17 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article

Leandra Celaya and Jonathan S. Swift

The variety of differences encountered when interacting with people from other cultures can be daunting for foreign nationals operating in another country. Consequently…

Abstract

Purpose

The variety of differences encountered when interacting with people from other cultures can be daunting for foreign nationals operating in another country. Consequently, many companies send their managers on some form of cultural orientation training, before beginning their duties in a foreign country. The problem for companies is: “Which programme to choose?” This paper seeks to examine forms of cross‐cultural training, and assess the relative effectiveness of each.

Design/methodology/approach

Potential participants were identified using a stratified random sample of companies that do business in Mexico. Individuals received a personal e‐mail, requesting their participation in the research. Those who agreed to participate completed a questionnaire and cultural understanding survey online.

Findings

The data showed that meetings with experienced international staff were the most common type of training. The second was lecture training. Behaviour modification methods and field experiences were the methods that were the greatest help to US managers in understanding Mexican culture. Analysis of the data would seem to support the idea that there must be factors other than training that influence a US managers understanding of Mexican culture. A possible explanation is the level of psychic distance between the cultures of those involved in the interaction.

Research limitations/implications

Some respondents felt that the scenarios were somewhat generalised and did not account for regional differences in Mexico, or for the great degree of cultural convergence that is occurring between the USA and Mexico, especially along the border between the two countries. However, another respondent uses very similar scenarios in her consulting and training practice. It appears, therefore, that the debates regarding generalised national cultures are as evident among business people as they are among academics.

Practical implications

Companies should use meetings with experienced expatriates as a central part of their training programme. Field experience, despite its obvious resource implications, should be considered as a key element of training for those preparing to work in Mexico. Companies should place greater emphasis on cross‐cultural skills for expatriates, both in terms of their initial selection, and their subsequent training. There is also the issue of the length of time spent in training: 20 of the 29 participants surveyed either had no training, or had less than one week's training. Companies that claim to take the issue seriously must be prepared to devote a correspondingly serious level of resources to the issue.

Originality/value

The paper shows how companies should look at cultural training not in terms of time‐limited, task‐specific, discrete chunks, but should seek to develop programmes that aim to educate the whole person.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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Article

Jonathan S. Swift and James Wallace

This study aims to examine a German multinational that uses English as the common corporate language (CCL) for internal communications with its international…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine a German multinational that uses English as the common corporate language (CCL) for internal communications with its international subsidiaries/agencies. It examines use of English within the workplace, and problems/opportunities it presents to those who use it.

Design/methodology

The questionnaire was piloted with a German employee on placement in the UK. The e‐mail questionnaire was then used to collect data from a random sample of 10 per cent (142) of respondents in non‐English‐speaking countries, using the company database.

Findings

CCL is supported by employees and English is used widely: a total of 90 per cent of respondents need to speak English for their job, and wish to continue English training – a virtuous circle of instrumental motivation. Varying levels of fluency create problems in meetings, and dissuade some from contributing. Whilst most wish to continue their English training, few currently take lessons.

Practical implications

In meetings, use handouts, and remind those with greater fluency to speak more slowly, and not use colloquialisms/idioms. Language audit is needed, to allow a more targeted training programme, based on levels of competence. Conversation classes with native English speakers: for higher levels of competence, focus on slang expressions, idioms and colloquialisms. Job rotation in English‐speaking countries – on return, employees help with language classes and cultural briefings. Selective recruitment across the company's global network.

Originality/value

The study examines many aspects of CCL use, and as such, should provide a useful indicator of areas that other researchers might like to examine in greater detail in future.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Abstract

Details

Satire, Comedy and Mental Health: Coping with the Limits of Critique
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-666-2

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Article

Jonathan S. Swift

Examines the role of foreign language ability in internationalmarketing. Suggests that the importance of language is more than muchrecent language‐oriented literature…

Abstract

Examines the role of foreign language ability in international marketing. Suggests that the importance of language is more than much recent language‐oriented literature would have us believe. Looks at how and why language can become a barrier to communication, and then details the uses of a foreign language in marketing operations. Concludes by suggesting that language is the key to achieving market “closeness”, and it is for this reason that it is important.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 25 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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