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CSB Pilot Course at the University of Split - A great team work experience of the Croatian partner

Prof. Dario Miočević, Prof. Nikša Alfirević, Prof. Ivana Bilić, Prof. Paško Burnać and Teaching Assistant Antonija Kvasina, from the University of Split, Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism (Croatia) give an overview of the further implemented activities in CSB pilot course at Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism of the University of Split.


As Prof. Dario Miočević previously stated in his article ‘An overview of the CSB Pilot Course at University of Split - Online teaching during COVID-19’, the CSB Pilot Course is being conducted online for 21 enrolled students. The course started with a series of lectures on contemporary and alternative economics concepts, given by Prof. Paško Burnać and afterwards students had lectures related to formal institutions and business systems, given by Prof. Dario Miočević.

The CSB course continues on. Students have so far also attended the lecture on the topic Culture and business systems’, streamed live by Prof. Nikša Alfirević via Zoom application, where they learnt about management styles around the world. They were acquainted with how to identify optimal business systems according to a specific cultural environment, as well as how to manage cultural differences in various business environments. Later on, they participated in practical exercises, given by Antonija Kvasina, Teaching Assistant in the CSB pilot course, that involved various tasks on the topic How to analyze different cultures?. Students had to take three different approaches when analyzing different cultures from the aspects of various elements of management and business styles (such as authority and decision making, management objectives and aspirations, communication styles, formality and tempo, P-time vs. M-time, negotiation emphasis and marketing orientation). They used the Hofstede’s approach to make a comparison of culture dimensions between Croatia and the country they come from and gave a brief reflection regarding the similarities/dissimilarities between the cultures using 6 dimensions across various elements of management and business styles.

They also used the approach of Prof. Gelfand and gave a critical review by answering the questions: 'What is better: Tight culture or Loose culture?'. And lastly, they used the approach of Prof. Trompenaars. By focusing on a dimension Universalism vs. Particularism, they participated in short social experiment related to The Car Dilemma – the story "The car and the pedestrian". After lectures and exercises, students received feedback on the assignments.

After on, students attended lecture on the topic Consumer culture and socio-cultural identities’, streamed live by Prof. Dario Miočević. They participated in the practical exercises where they had to do a group assignment regarding Social identification and disidentification at the same time: Is it possible? where they had to explain how social influence from others can impact our consumption decisions by using examples from consumer practice and explain how does the concept of "optimal distinctiveness" works as a mechanism. Furthermore, they participated in the forum discussion: ‘Brands and politics - should corporate brands intervene in political/social issues?’ where they had to take a stand on two issues: ‘Big corporations should take a stand on political and social issues even when this hurts their financial performance.’ vs. ‘Big corporations should stand aside in political and social conflicts.’ and ‘Consumers are born with ideology and brands just conform to this.’ vs. ‘Brands can shape consumer's ideology.’ This time, they have received feedback on assignments in a form of a video.

In the next couple of weeks, students will participate in the lectures on the topic ‘Sociology of Consumption’ which will be given by teaching assistant, Antonija Kvasina and after that, Prof. Ivana Bilić and Prof. Nikša Alfirević will give the lectures on the topics ‘Social responsibility in business’, ‘Business ethics’ and ‘Cross-cultural communication’. Stay tuned and continue to follow CSB blog to learn more about these upcoming lectures.

To conclude, we believe, even though we found ourselves in a rather difficult social situation, that our students are doing a great job. We are applying different types of learning (forum discussions, group tasks or individual assignments) and trying to keep online the CSB Pilot Course as interactive as possible. Moreover, students have just completed their first midterm exam and we are looking forward to seeing good results connected with their participation to "Cultural Studies in Business" Erasmus Plus K203 Project of which we, as lecturers and them, as students, are both beneficiaries and "European learners"!