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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2022

Kosheek Sewchurran, Lester Merlin Davids, Jennifer McDonogh and Camille Meyer

In the African context of business practice, the authors face two interrelated challenges. First, executives need to deal strategically and sustainably with growing levels of…

Abstract

Purpose

In the African context of business practice, the authors face two interrelated challenges. First, executives need to deal strategically and sustainably with growing levels of inequality, under-employment and declining levels of wellness and safety. Second, executive development needs to develop virtues to help executives to address these problems. This paper aims to articulate an integrated, sustainable business education approach that aims to prepare executives to practice integrative thinking while simultaneously cultivating virtues that enhance their lives, thereby enabling them to make ongoing sustainable impacts to their worlds.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a mixed method analysis including both quantitative and qualitative data from student course feedback evaluations from Business Model Innovation (BMI) and Phronesis Development Practice courses run over four consecutive years between 2018 and 2021 at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business as part of the Executive Masters of Business Administration degree.

Findings

The program’s pedagogical approach integrates a philosophical habituation process with a core course on BMI practice. This philosophical integration is one in which there is a sustainable focus on cultivating specific “process” and “practice” virtues which foster awareness amongst executives of their everyday mundane skilful coping in the world. This leads to candidates becoming attuned to ways, in which they can strive for more authenticity and to step into newer ways of being, that allow them to reflect their values and evolve cultural practices.

Originality/value

As the first business school in Africa to base a BMI course on the affordances of the phenomenon of being-in-the-world and a philosophical habituation process, the authors hope to inspire more business schools to adopt holistic, sustainable approaches to executive development that goes beyond the competence paradigm.

Details

Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-469X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Kosheek Sewchurran

The primary purpose of this paper is to present an alternative approach to educate information systems project practitioners. An alternative to the prescriptive, model based…

1094

Abstract

Purpose

The primary purpose of this paper is to present an alternative approach to educate information systems project practitioners. An alternative to the prescriptive, model based, instrumental approaches is sought. The alternative approach presented in this paper focuses largely on imparting a discourse to equip students with an understanding of how communication occurs, how competences are acquired, and how to understand the influences of power and agency on themselves and others in a typical information systems project context.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual approach is followed. First, Heidegger's ideas are used to demonstrate the flaws inherent in assumptions that claim we interact in project management contexts in rational, and instrumental ways. Second, the paper argues that Cockburn's concepts, which are traditionally used as a theoretical lens to understand agile software development practices, are a good approximate to Heidegger's concepts to impart reflexive learning skills. Finally, the concept of a discourse is used to package the instrumental tools, reflexive learning skills and related concepts to understand communication, and the acquisition of competence.

Findings

There are many parallels that can be drawn between the dilemmas, which face the project management community, and the ideological debates about agile versus monolithic approaches, for which the software development community is infamous. Additionally, Heidegger's motivation for defining the fundamental ontology of dasein is similar to the motivation given by the research community to understand actual project experiences.

Research limitations/implications

This approach has only been tried at one institution thus far; hence, there are only two semesters of teaching experiences at one institution on which to reflect.

Practical implications

The paper advances the dilemma related to project practitioner education to a point where action can be taken. Educators can use the ideas presented in this paper to revive undergraduate project management education programs both in information systems and other disciplines.

Originality/value

The original value is two‐fold. First, there is a presentation of an alternative approach to educate information systems project practitioners that holds the promise of making the experience more true to life; thereby, rendering the experience more fulfilling for the practitioner. Second, the paper uses Heidegger's fundamental ontology to show the consequence of imparting the ideals of instrumentality rationality in a true to life manner. This discussion highlights some of the effects contemporary educational approaches have on retarding competence and competency development.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Kosheek Sewchurran, Derek Smith and Dewald Roode

The paper aims to paper an overview of a completed doctoral thesis which pursued the development of underlying theory (ontology) to give coherence to research in the information…

1190

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to paper an overview of a completed doctoral thesis which pursued the development of underlying theory (ontology) to give coherence to research in the information systems (IS) project management space.

Design/methodology/approach

As a result of the considerable concern about a lack of underlying theory in project management the author has chosen to investigate the development of underlying theory to serve as a regional ontology to give debates undertaken to improve IS project management coherence. The thesis is a critical interpretive a priori effort. In the pursuit of the goal of developing a regional ontology, the notions, concepts and theories related to existentialism and social construction were investigated. These were investigated because the research literature places considerable emphasis on the need to understand as‐lived project experiences.

Findings

One of the significant outcomes that results from this research is the development of a proposed regional ontology. This was achieved by fusing the theories of Heidegger's Dasein, Bourdieu's “Theory of practice” and Maturana and Varela's “Theory of living systems”. The regional ontology is a consolidation of the various concepts defined by these researchers. These theories complement each other to give rise to a relational model of social construction which also has related phenomenological, existential and biological perspectives.

Practical implications

The proposed ontology was interpreted using the popular alternatives that have recently emerged alongside the established best practices such as project management body of knowledge. The perspectives of complex, responsive processes of relating, the temporary organisation, agility and organisational becoming were reviewed using the regional ontology. The interpretation process illustrated that the regional ontology is able to provide a more fundamental and coherent context to subsume and delimit these emerging new frames.

Originality/value

The thesis also discusses the researcher's view of contemporary project management practice that accords with the regional ontology principles. Through argument and the contemporary context of IS project management practice that was sketched, the principles of the regional ontology are illuminated. Through this process it was possible to claim that established best practice modes of education should not exist in isolation but should instead be situated within a wider analogical context that embraces the values of learning, becoming and innovating.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Derek H.T. Walker

331

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Content available
Article
Publication date: 18 April 2022

Ivo Matser, Satu Teerikangas and Mollie Painter

Abstract

Details

Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-469X

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