An Intercultural Comparison of Management Values among Business School Students and Teachers

By Ennulo, Jaan; Turnpuu, Lembit | Trames, December 2001 | Go to article overview

An Intercultural Comparison of Management Values among Business School Students and Teachers


Ennulo, Jaan, Turnpuu, Lembit, Trames


1. Research setting

The problem examined in this study is the lack of objective information about the values representing management consciousness of the business students, as well as the regularity of its formation. The objective of the study is to examine the dynamics of management values in order to work out specific proposals for influencing the values of business students during the vocational adaptation stage at the university. Moreover, the study aims at supporting their orientation towards the European market culture.

In the research, we proceeded from the hypotheses that the integration of scientific-theoretical consciousness and self-consciousness is of conclusive importance for the development of professional management consciousness; that the formation of management consciousness depends on both objective and subjective internal and external factors; and that the frequency of management value types varies in different cultures.

The domain of this study is the formation process of management values of Estonian business students during their vocational adaptation stage at the university. The study regards the respondents' perceptions of the theoretical foundations of management consciousness. It includes measurements of management values of Estonian, Latvian, Russian, Finnish, American, and French business students. The study also develops typologies of management values of business students.

The contribution of this study is to identify and raise the problem for the first time, obtain measurement results and comparative information about Latvian, Finnish, Russian, French, American and Estonian business students.

The practical relevance of the study lies in the fact that it provides actual assessment of the development of the students' management consciousness. This is instrumental for the universities in setting goals for the training of professional managers.

2. Previous research and methods of this study

According to available scientific literature, values have been studied comparatively often. The studied values have been predominantly instrumental, as well as end-values (Rokeach 1973).

According to Rokeach's value system, comparative analyses of the values of Estonian, USA and Canadian managers have been carried out (Tasa et al. 1991).

The values of Estonian, Finnish and Swedish students have also been compared by using Schwartz' research methods (Verkasalo et al. 1994). The study showed, among other things, that business students held values related to achievements, power and pleasure in higher regard than students of the humanities.

The research carried out at the Estonian Business School (EBS) into management values represented by business leaders and business students is a novel and promising course of study, to which the current work aims to offer a modest contribution. Our questionnaire includes 10 areas of evaluating management values (descriptors), each comprising nine evaluation objects (values).

These 10 groups are as follows:

* Business ideological values

* Leadership ideological values Social values

* Personal values

* Speciality-related values

* Professional values

* Cultural values

* Values related to the mode of life

* Organisational-legal values

* Ethical values

The evaluation objects appear on the questionnaire in random order to avoid possible speculative orientation by the respondents. The grading scale has 7 points:

7 indicates utmost relevance;

6 major relevance;

5 great relevance;

4 relevance;

3 some relevance;

2 little relevance; and

1 irrelevance.

Consequently, the grading scale was balanced, but non-linear. Linear correlation does not therefore produce reliable outcome on that scale.

3. Main groups of value orientation related to management consciousness

The differences between the studied persons and assessments to single values turned out to be quite remarkable. …

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