Academic journal article Management : Journal of Contemporary Management Issues

A Comparative Study of Pula (Croatia) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) Business Students' Behavior Patterns

Academic journal article Management : Journal of Contemporary Management Issues

A Comparative Study of Pula (Croatia) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) Business Students' Behavior Patterns

Article excerpt

Knowledge and behavior patterns are connected, and the results of learning can be measured through behavior. This study compares the behavior patterns of college students in the field of business in Ljubljana and Pula. Although no significant differences were expected, the study showed that Ljubljana students have a characteristic cognitive orientation and prefer using ideas rather than written rules in their work. Their decision-making is oriented toward long-term efficiency and long-term effectiveness, rather than short-term efficiency and short-term effectiveness, and their communication is indecisive and unreliable. Their behavior pattern is somewhat unstable, changing over time. In contrast, the Pula students' cognitive patterns are oriented toward ideas that they shape themselves. Their behavior inclines toward rules and their conscientious application, and their work is oriented toward short-term efficiency and long-term effectiveness, rather than short-term effectiveness and long-term efficiency. Their communication is reliable and they check statements in advance. The average behavior pattern of Pula students is very stable, with no particular variations between the sexes or years. The differences may be due to social circumstances, education styles, and perhaps tradition.

Received: 23. 06. 2006.

Accepted: 4. 11. 2006.

Original scientific paper

UDC: 65.012.4 (497.4) (497.5)

1. PROBLEM

1.1. Knowledge and its influence on behavior

Knowledge is something that has always interested people. Everyone would like to know everything, and everyone has felt and feels the need to know something. When organizations ask themselves what kind of people they need, they always think about the knowledge of future employees. Knowledge has attained such breadth that in everyday conversation it even replaces other human qualities. One can, therefore, easily find requirements such as "knows how to solve problems creatively" and so on. Knowledge does not deserve such emphasis and such generalized importance. The idea behind the term "knowledge" often hides the expectation that people will react and behave in appropriate manners. Knowledge is not enough to yield an appropriate reaction or behavior. People must know how, be able, and want to react appropriately in a situation at work. This means that we must not only know, but also be capable and motivated at the same time.

Together with other qualities, knowledge therefore acquires its final value and "worth" only when it is used appropriately at work. Knowledge is of no advantage to us if we cannot or do not use it. In this case, knowledge is more a warehouse of assorted (sometimes even applicable) information that cannot be implemented. People with this kind of knowledge know a great deal and feel a need for their knowledge to be respected. Of course, they cannot receive this respect on the basis of their accomplishments and they feel the need for a bit of pride because this is the only way they can convince the people around them that they are worth something. This quality - that knowledge is implemented and shown only in the second phase, in a non-direct manner after one's education is complete - suggests the idea that learning for the sake of knowledge cannot be useful. However, learning for the sake of successful work is, in any case, more applicable for many organizations.

It has been a very long time since the first schools appeared that sought to systematically teach people to do what they would later be doing in organizations. The establishment of academic programs was primarily based on the systematization of jobs, or job descriptions. Everything that was necessary for a particular job was called a profession and it was, therefore, possible to fashion a catalog of knowledge that the candidate could master in order to do the work of his profession. Some jobs remain relatively stable today, which means that the tasks are very strictly prescribed, and in this situation, it is not difficult to design a corresponding academic program. …

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