David C. Trott, doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration, an Assistant Professor at Ming Chuan University, has 32 years of classroom teaching experience as well as various administrative roles. His doctoral research entitled “Spiritual Well-Being of Workers” is purportedly the first empirical research study that focused upon ‘spirituality’ in everyday work endeavours. He is considered a pioneer in the workplace spirituality movement. Not many people supported him at his beginning as a PhD student to start such project on spirituality.
He is also passionate about the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). Dr. Trott has academic expertise in the areas of both childhood education (pedagogy) as well as adult education (andragogy). His research and writing focus on management education in general and multi-modal teaching methods in particular. During his career, he was actively involved with the Academy of Management (AOM) where he served in key leadership roles during the founding years of the Management, Spirituality and Religion (MSR) Division.
The discussion started with the question: “If you had the opportunity to create a ‘spiritually healthy organization’ what would be the five values you would emphasize the most?” To answer this question students were asked to draw their hands on a piece of paper and fill each finger with a value that is perceived with healthy organizations. This brainstorming activity gave a clear picture to the students to understand the concept of “spiritually healthy organizations”.
Dr. Trott provided valuable advice to students that he personally applies in his life that helped him to overcome challenges at work. One of them is to write a personal statement that will remind them who they are, what they are doing here and what their vision is. Another advice to those who are on the stage of writing research paper is whatever one’s research topic is to make sure they are passionate about it, and that it is of novelty and interest. This was exemplified by his own personal experience, as Prof. Trott is the first scholar to write a doctoral thesis on the topic, and his research ideas were met with a health amount of sarcasm and reservation. Over the years he has proved them wrong and workplace spirituality is now an established field of thought with a special interest group at the Academy of Management.
The second part of the session was related to self-leadership. Here Professor Trott introduced the “internal” concept of “self-leadership” control systems, particularly from the boundary that separates “self” and “other-than-self”. Three simple, efficacious self-leadership strategies were highlighted, namely self-dialogue (inner voice), mental images (symbolic, imaginary, ordinary efforts), and a set of guiding “spiritual” values. Dr. Trott laid forth the benefits of “self-leadership” consisting of enhanced mental performance, heightened positive affective states, job satisfaction, and increased self-efficacy expectations. At the end of the second part, Dr. Trott highlighted that self-leadership requires shifting from external-to-internal human resource management (HRM) and advised students on self-leadership theory literature.
Q&A Part: Q1: How can spiritual wellness programs help sufferers of PTSD reintegrate with society, their places of employment, and with their families? A1: Art therapy is used as an option. As an example, art therapists care for people with cancer who survive 20 years, rape victims, people who were on a war zones. How can you help the professions, not only parents, whose every day job is to help children with cancer? I have tremendous respect for art therapists. You can find lots of literature research being done in this area.
Q2: What is the difference between emotional health and mental health? A2: I am not involved with emotional IQ and it is not my expertise. What I work on is spirituality at work place. What you find is that for example you take emotion of stress, many people consider stress as negative, as distress, they care about stress reduction, stress management. Mental health is trying to manage two types of stress: distress and eustress. Eustress is another word to enthusiasm. Mental health is something to do with reframing things, for example I don’t use the word “problem”, instead I use “opportunity”. It is the way you reframe things.
Q3: My master thesis is also on workplace spirituality but it is talking about being a spiritual person means being open, giving and loving. Is it the same with your work? A3: Your research is about being open, giving and loving, right. Yes, then it is all the same. You reminded me when I always tell my students at the end of semester when they graduate from my class, and when they leave the class, they leave the class taking this spirituality must be all glow, flow and wonderfulness. Because many of our most spiritually strengthening is thanks to our life that happens to suffer pain, hard learnt lessons. So please do not get confused that talking about spirituality is only a good staff, there is also a dark side and this leads to traumatic stress ties.
Upon attending the session given by Dr. Trott, some students expressed interesting points they found as important implications:
Professor Trott did not connect his lecture to any particular religion, other than to say that the values of spirituality are quite universal and transcend religion. It struck me as quite profound when he demonstrated the commonality between people across different cultures through spiritual values. This is something that I have also observed throughout my life, though I have never really articulated it. The implications of his research could make quite an impact on global society.
As Professor Trott mentioned in his lecture, society and the business world are improving upon wellness practices involving mental and emotional health, but there is still a huge gap concerning spiritual wellness. People may be mentally and emotionally healthy, but that does not necessarily mean that they are good people. I think that if people developed their spiritual well-being it would have a strong positive effect on the business world.
In conclusion, most students found Dr. Trott’s topic interesting. For some of them it was the first time to hear of such a concept, for others it helped develop their own ideas and it presents something that a number of students might want to apply in their own research. What students grasped from this lecture is that despite all people come from different nationalities, cultures and have different personalities, what unites them is similarity of values that they share.
【CM】Guten Tag! College sister school DHBW visits Taiwan
During November 10 to 23, the College of Management, National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) hosted a two-week program for its sister school, Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg/Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW). DHBW is the first higher education institution in Germany that combines on-the-job training and academic studies. Students study theories in classes for three months, and then gain three months of on-the-job training at the university's partner companies, highlighting the thorough integration of theory and practice
The program was opened by Director Chien-Yuan Sher of the International Relations Office, College of Management who specially prepared souvenirs, including Taiwanese ka-tsi bags and thermos bottles for DHBW faculty and students. The souvenirs are not only Taiwanese style but also environmentally friendly. The two-week program was based on cross-cultural and Taiwanese business environments. First, Prof. Kim-Choy Chung, a Malaysian teacher from IBMBA & GHRM MBA gave the first lecture of the event. Prof. Chung showed up with a Chinese traditional red jacket and played a chopstick game with students, emphasizing the differences between Taiwanese and Western cultures and allowing students to understand the difficulties and breakthroughs in cross-cultural management.
Then, Prof. Chuei-Ling Shin from the Department of Political Economy introduced the development of democracy in Taiwan and the development and current situation of Taiwan's political economy, and through group discussions, the German students were allowed to interact and exchange with Taiwanese students and share their opinions with one another. In addition, the college also arranged Chinese classes for the German students to learn basic Chinese greetings, self-introduction, and how to buy things in mandarin. As a result, the students could actually walk out of the classroom and introduce themselves to the Taiwanese students on campus, as well as use simple Chinese terms to buy things from stores.
The College arranged for the students to visit Taiwan Specialty Bolt and Screw, Inc. to learn about the development of foreign companies in Taiwan. The students were also arranged to visit a local company, Sheh Fung Screw Co., Ltd. to understand how Taiwanese companies go global, and for the students to compare the different corporate cultures of foreign and Taiwanese businesses in the same industry. Further, the students also visited the Children Are Us Foundation and the sheltered stores. The students also dined at the restaurant run by the Foundation to experience the operation of the restaurant.
Besides professional exchanges, cultural exchanges were also a major focus of the program. Almost all German students visited Taiwan for the first time, and many even visited Asia for the first time in their life. At the opening ceremony, the College of Management specially invited Kaohsiung Municipal Siaogang Junior High School to perform the Electric-Techno Neon Gods. All the German students were wowed by the performance and found the performance extremely interesting. They also put on the performers’ costumes to experience the traditional culture of Taiwan.
The DHBW also visited Ma Yu Shan Foods–Red Barn Factory to allow them to experience the making of flours. During the weekend, the College took everybody to stay overnight at the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium to get to know the creatures under the sea, enjoy the scenery of Kenting South Bay, and visit Rinari Tribe, Wutai, Pingtung to learn more about the aboriginal culture and taste the tribal cuisine. The event had allowed the visitors to truly experience the beauty of Taiwan through literally visiting the mountain and the sea.
Both the teachers and students from DHBW were impressed by the activities organized during the two-week visit, breaking many of their established impressions of Asian countries. Taiwan’s cultural diversity, democracy and freedom, as well as convenience of life made a huge impression on the German students. Taiwan’s enthusiasm and security also made the German students say that Taiwan is the place to visit for foreigners visiting Asia for the first time, and they also commented that they would definitely want to return to Taiwan again in the future.
【GHRM】Traditional Chinese Furniture with Modern Designs – Woody Chic
On November 22, students from the courses: ‘Production and Operation Management’, ‘Organizational Politics’ and ‘Business Ethics and Social Responsibility’ (43 students in total) - taught by Dr. Ryan Brading, visited Woody Chic Company. This furniture company is located at the outskirts of Tainan City. Students observed how a 1) Taiwanese furniture company has been able to mix traditional Chinese furniture designs with modern looks; 2) how traditional manufacturing techniques are still implemented; and 3) how Supply Chain activities work in this industry.
Students received a warm welcome by Mr. John Chiang (the son of the business owner), manager of the ‘Furniture Manufacturing Eco-Museum in Tainan’. Apart from the Woody Chic factory and showroom, there is a furniture museum at this site. Mr. Chiang organized an excellent tour around the museum, factory and showroom - for NSYSU students.
The museum consists of pieces that reflect the history of the furniture of Taiwan: during different periods such as the Ming Dynasty, Japanese colonization and modern Taiwan. Students observed various styles of furniture. Each piece tells a fascinating story from Taiwan’s past.
During the visit, Mr. Chiang demonstrated how traditional hardwood crafting techniques are used in order to produce high-quality Woody Chic furniture. The technique of not using nails or screws - but traditional Chinese craftmanship techniques - makes their products unique.
Woody Chic put a lot of emphasize on quality; from the selection of timber which is rosewood to the finished product. The furniture is carefully handcrafted and tailored made by highly skilled craftsmen.
The trip helped students better comprehend how manufacturing processes work, what the Supply Chain means, and see another perspective about Taiwanese culture. And furthermore, how a Taiwanese business is trying to expand internationally.
Judy Li, class 106 of IBMBA National Sun Yat-Sen University, had just completed the ACT Global Program in this year. “The greatest reward of the journey is to witness the growth of myself, and making friends all around the world enlarges my friendzone as well ’’ she said. Here are the abstract of the experience that Judy shared:
Motivation and expectation for the ACT program: I first found the information of ACT Global Program when I was preparing for applying IBMBA, and I had huge interest in this program. Back in college, I did not have any experience of studying abroad, so I looked forward to visiting different countries across 3 continentals, while at the same time, experiencing various cultures and understanding distinct educational systems. Additionally, ACT Global Program also provided German courses, which I’ve been learning since college, so while I am studying business courses, I could at the same time practice my German.
The remarkable things in terms of academic aspects during ACT program: In Canada UVIC: The proactiveness of foreign students surprises me, and they are all eager to voice out their ideas. The way that lectures carried out is mostly by group discussion, so that we could always came up with new ideas. In Taiwan NSYSU: I had a strong impression toward company visits, because unlike my previous anticipation, some traditional industries are trying very hard to transform themselves. Furthermore, the course of Innovation and Entrepreneurship gave us lots of opportunities to develop our creativity, and to see our ideas being executed in the real company that are cooperating with us. In Austria JKU: Consulting courses are the main focus in JKU, so we have deeper interaction with local companies, in ways such as meetings and discussions with executives of the company. Therefore, I profoundly and personally assimilate myself into the European business environment.
The unforgettable experiences in terms of cultural aspects during ACT program: In Canada: The city which our school is located, Victoria, has lots of wild animals, such as deer, raccoon. Every time when going to school or heading school, there always some surprises to encounter different animals. In Taiwan: The experience of going to KTV and riding scooters fascinate our foreign classmates, and the culture of garbage trucks surprise them the most. When they first heard the music of garbage trucks, some of my classmates are excitedly rushing out trying to buy ice cream. In Austria: Austria is a country that speaks German, so I could improve my German ability very fast. On the other hand, what impresses me the most is that countries are close to each other in Europe, and the flight tickets are often incredibly cheap, so we actually traveled a lot and experienced different cultures.
What are the challenges or difficulties you encountered during ACT program? I would say cross-culture communication and cooperation is the hardest part. The composition of our team members is diversified, so we need to make sure that we have efficient communication during each meeting in order to complete every teamwork. Plus, during interaction with teammates, sometimes if you do not express your ideas clearly or your teammate is too aggressive, you will often be neglected.
What are your self-improvements after ACT program? Apart from improvements of my languages’ abilities, I also learned how to take care of myself outside of my comfort zone. In addition, due to different cultural impacts, I found out that I could analyze things through multiple perspectives. For instance, I was used to stuck in minor things and trouble myself, but after participating in ACT Global Program, I realized that the world is much bigger than I thought, and actually, my ability is far beyond my imagination as well. Having these experiences enabled me to analyze problems or challenges in various angles, and to see things in other people’s shoes.
How does the experience of ACT program assist you in your current occupation? The experiences of ACT Global Program help me during the interviews of job seeking. During ACT, we need to present and express our opinions almost on a daily basis, so it really strengthens my oral expression during interviews.
How would you advise students who look forward to joining ACT program? ACT Global Program has many group discussion and pre-course reading materials, so make sure your English ability is at certain level so that you won’t be too stressed during the program. Secondly, I would be great if you start to learn some basic German before joining ACT Global Program. Last but not least, be open-minded to embrace the world, and don’t be shy to start a conversation to make friends all around the world.
【Interview】New Faculty: Professor David Andersson (International Program)
This year we have a new faculty member joined GHRM English MBA Program – Professor David Andersson. We are glad to introduce him to those who haven’t met or taken his classes yet.
Dr. Andersson says it is difficult for him to say where he is from, as he who grew up in three different countries and has lived in five more as an adult. He was born in the small town of Vanersborg in Sweden, but Tainan, Taiwan is the place where he has lived the longest - 10 years. What is more interesting – Professor Andersson’s disciplinary background is equally complicated: his first degree was in statistics and PhD was in urban and regional planning, but he has been teaching mostly economics and management courses. “So let's just say that I'm a European who has spent 25 years in Asia. Eurasian?” – concludes Dr. Andersson.
We were glad to hear when Professor David said that southern Taiwan and NSYSU particularly are the best places for him: “I'm finally old enough to know what I like. And I like Taiwan, particularly southern Taiwan! I think it's not a coincidence that Taiwan was recently ranked as the best country for expats. It's just a good place to live in so many different ways: the climate in this part of Taiwan is better than anywhere else in Asia; people are friendly; the food is good; it's relatively affordable; the health care system is top-notch; it's one of the few liberal democracies in this part of the world and the list goes on…
"I can only compare NSYSU with the other 6 universities I have worked for and the 3 universities at which I studied. What I like most is the autonomy given to faculty in terms of their research direction and teaching content. While this is generally similar to research universities in the U.S., it is much less common in other parts of the world, especially regarding teaching. In many places, there are standardized syllabi, compulsory assessment methods and so on and so forth, which makes it much less interesting to teach if you have ideas that go beyond popular textbooks. But then of course there is also the location. It's simply the best location for a campus anywhere. It's equally close to the sea, a nature reserve, and the downtown area of a major city. I can't think of anyplace anywhere else with that combination of locational attributes. "
"Interestingly, this is my third time with NSYSU. I was an adjunct professor here for one semester back in 2006, then I was a full-time professor from 2008 to 2012, and now I'm back again since August 2019. It was and remains my favorite university. Nice colleagues, a supportive environment and a superb natural setting all play a part.”
David’s impression about NSYSU students and relationships with other Universities seems to be very warm and encouraging: “Students are students, although NSYSU students tend to be a bit better motivated than the global average. What really stands out, however, is the way that NSYSU acts as a bridge between Taiwan and two of the world's most interesting regions. On the one hand, the European connection is surprisingly strong. For example, there are exchange agreements with four Swedish universities, including my own alma mater. NSYSU also has particularly strong connections to France, the Netherlands, and Austria. On the other hand, NSYSU serves as a gateway to the ASEAN countries, with lots of southeast Asians students, including relatively distant ones such as Indonesia. This is fitting, since Kaohsiung is probably the economic node outside of ASEAN that has the best access to that region. For example, Kaohsiung is less than 300 km from the nearest town in the Philippines, and both Manila and Hanoi can be reached in about 2 hours by air.”
Now Professor Andersson teaches the following subjects: “World Economy”, “Cross-cultural Management” and “European Markets”. These are all new courses for him, and he enjoys them all. In general, Dr. Andersson likes courses that combine elements from several of the disciplines that jointly provide the theoretical foundation for more applied business-related topics: “The most important disciplines in this context would be economics, psychology and sociology” – he explains.
When asked a question about Chinese speaking ability, Professor gave motivating and joyful answer: “I can have a conversation in Chinese, as long as it deals with everyday stuff like food or movies or the weather. But don't ask me to explain the meaning of heteroskedasticity in Chinese! I'm not very good at reading Chinese characters. Street signs are OK, except when they are not. My advice to those who want to learn Chinese would be to focus on spoken Chinese, which is relatively straightforward. The pronunciation can be challenging (the four tones), but the grammar is the easiest part of Chinese (it's like the opposite of German or Russian).”
Dr. Andersson concludes his interview with his favorite saying: "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." In other words, don't plan too much. Something else will always come up. This could refer to all sorts of unanticipated people, jobs, passions or obstacles. While this is a quote from a John Lennon song, its first known appearance was in a Reader's Digest article in the 1950s.”
December 20, 2019- The International Programs Office arranged Christmas Party. The event was opened for everyone but students from ACT, JKU, IBMBA and GHRM Departments were not charged for the entrance. The event was held at the “Holiday Garden” Hotel, which kindly agreed to provide a hall for the celebration and assisted in organizing the celebration. The host of the event was Zhanna Samodurova (President of Student Association). The total number of people who attended the party was about 100 people, including not only students, but also faculty members. Professor Kim Chung with his family joined the celebration as well. The event lasted from 21.00 - 23.00.
During the party, guests were offered food and drinks. The Student Association was also responsible for the entertainment and music program. Prizes were awarded in small competitions where students demonstrated their skills in dexterity, attentiveness and creativity. Remco Peters (former President of Student Association) kindly agreed to hold the games. The name of the first game is “Musical Chairs”. The idea of the game was to put 6 chairs together in a circle, tight to each other, backs inward. In front of the chairs are 7 people. They turn in one direction and, upon the command of Remco, begin to march around the chairs. Suddenly, the music stops. All players must quickly take their places. Since there are only 6 chairs, and there are 7 people, one of them remains without a seat and leaves the game. At the same time, one chair is put out of the circle (the other chairs move), and the game continues. After each time when music stops, the number of players decreases. When two players and one chair remain, the final stage of the game is held. The one who takes this chair wins. Second games that guests played calls “Blow with all your might”. In order to participate in this game there were 3 teams with 5 people. They had to blow a ping pong ball through a series of cups filled with water. The team that will do it faster than anyone else win. Finally, the last where students took part calls “Pop balloon without hands”. In the middle of the hall was a chair and two people had to pop the balloon without hands while one of them was sitting on that chair. At the end of the game students had to decide which team was the best by giving the loudest applauses.
Justine Pura (former Vice President of Student Association) helped to organize music, thus students enjoyed dancing and singing in the middle of the party.
Moreover, performances were held during the event. Laura (Vice President of Student Association) organized the performances of a special guest from Taipei, who arrived at the party to sing and to please all the guests. Additionally, Linh Trang Vu (Vice President of Student Association) prepared a dance performance that opened the event officially.
Thereby, during the event, students were able to chat with each other, participate in various games and win prizes. This holiday helped to unite students and make new friends from ACT and JKU Program. Guests were delighted to have a Christmas in The International Programs family.
【Speech】The changing nature of consumer animosity and cosmopolitanism among young, individualistic consumers in emerging Asia: evidence from China.（1/8）
Time:2020/01/08(Wed) 12:10-13:00 Venue:Room 3038, College of Management, NSYSU Topic:The changing nature of consumer animosity and cosmopolitanism among young, individualistic consumers in emerging Asia: evidence from China. Speaker:Han, Choong-Min/professor, division of business administration, Hanyang University Sign up：https://forms.gle/BH92bunUft87pnxv8