Management 'Knowledge Transfer' in the Former Yugoslavia: Vagaries, False Assumptions and the Need for Congruence

Dr Svetlana Cicmil,
Dr. Martin Upchurch
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In this paper, we report on the experiences with development of a collaborative initiative between a UN governed educational institution in the Balkans Region, and a team of academics from a British University in the period 2002-2004. The collaboration has essentially been based on a provision of business and management courses in a variety of subject areas on local postgraduate programmes and to groups of senior officials and managers across the region. This reflective evaluation of experiences of the founding members of the team can provide unique insights into challenges associated with management knowledge transfer from the West to the troubled economies of Southern Europe, and at a more general level, illuminate lessons learnt that can be relevant to other similar educational ventures that involve parties form distinct economic, cultural and historical backgrounds. The conceptual framework embodies the theoretical concepts of unbounded systems thinking, and associated multiple-perspectives method of knowledge creation, transfer and communication. The evaluation of experiences is supported by empirical material collected through interviews with representatives of the key parties to this initiative — educators, the local education establishment, the course participants, and the employers. The findings capture the vagaries, unsolved issues, problematic assumptions related to the design process and conduct of the management knowledge transfer initiatives, and recommendations focus on the need to focus on congruence among multiple and often conflicting perspectives embedded in this intellectual process.

Keywords: Management Education, Knowledge Transfer, The Balkans Region
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Transferring Management Knowledge from the West to the Balkans

Dr Svetlana Cicmil

Senior Lecturer, Dept of Operations and Information Management Bristol Business School , University of the West of England

BSc (Civ. Eng) from the University of Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia (1985) MBA from De Montfort University Leicester (1995) Ph. D. De Montfort University Leicester (2003) Worked internationally on construction projects as member of design and project management teams (1985-1991); free-lance consultant in management in Europe and Asia (1991-1994); research and teaching associate at Leicester Business School (1995-97) senior lecturer at Bristol Business School (1997-to date); and Director of Research Unit in Operations and Information Management (2001-to date). Actively researches and publishes in the fields of project management, management knowledge transfer, management skills and reflective practice.

Dr. Martin Upchurch

Reader in Employment Studies, --

Ref: D05P0113