Cultural Studies in Business syllabi: a great responsibility, experience and opportunity
The 6 Universities involved in the CSB project developed, during the last semester 2019 and the first semester 2020, short experimental Pilot Courses titled "CULTURAL STUDIES in BUSINESS PILOT COURSE" which constituted a new curriculum offered for students of transversal disciplines and faculties.
Prof. Enriko Ceko, Lecturer at the Economics and Social Sciences Faculty at Wisdom University College of Tirana (Albania) tells his experience about the preparation of the syllabi and modules of the CSB course for students of Wisdom University College analyzing the objectives and the main topics of the pilot course.
As per the agreed agenda of the CSB Project, the 4th Transnational Meeting took place at Wisdom University College Tirana (Albania) during 17-18/01/2020. On this event, on the first day of the meeting was presented the CSB Pilot Course.
For me, as the main contributor of the syllabus, it was a great responsibility, a new great experience and another opportunity. After about 30 years experience on lecturing combined with economic and business consultancy, preparing several syllabuses mainly on economic and managerial subjects, preparing the syllabi for Cultural Studies in Business was a real challenge, keeping in mind, a syllabi that works not only for Wisdom College, nor not only for Albanian audience, but for CSB project partners too.
Cultural Studies in Business is a new discipline. It comes under new conditions created under the aspect of globalization and a new economy where almost all disciplines, even those more strict and rigid, are under reevaluation, from the most serious passionate researchers and academics.
As the previous collaborators of the project, like Prof. Emanuela Ferreri, etc, mentioned in their articles, the foundation of cultural studies is the work of Birmingham University colleagues of early 1970’s, and its descendants which has served as a model and example for our work related to the cultural studies on business, while the world economic thoughts at the historical and scientific aspect, helped me personally to prepare a syllabi where a combination of economic, financial management, ethics, history of economic thoughts, what we foresee for the future, especially under the special and unique circumstances like Covid – 19, have been taken into the consideration.
The module of the CSB subject for Wisdom University College, second year of Business Management Bachelor students, has been included at the second semester, as an elective course with 4 credits, with 45 hours in classroom, 30 hours lectures and 15 hours seminars, as well as with 58 hours individual studies. As per the code of ethics, throughout their studies in Cultural Studies in Business students are characterized by principles of ethics and morality, demonstrating integrity, honesty and confidence in every element of the learning process as part of their lifelong journey. Students are committed to learning as much as possible, to succeed in order to receive an honorable and fair assessment in this subject. Compromising the integrity, honor, morals and principles of student values by copying, manipulating course assignments, intermediate and final exams, plagiarism of all forms and modes, and violating the University College “Wisdom” Student’s Code of Ethics, are punishable by repeating the whole process of development of this course, intermediate tests, course assignment and final exam of this course too.
This course will provide to the second year bachelor students with basic knowledge and skills in the field of cultural studies in business, which are a part of the social, human and economic sciences and stands between the disciplines of economic, social and human sciences. This course introduces to the students basic concepts of development, economics, the relationship between the individual and society in the context of economic and social relations, the nature and content of daily life relationships, etc, aiming at providing students with knowledge that allows a full training in the field of economics, development, political, economic and social relations in general, business culture included too.
The objectives of the course until the end of the course studies are: 1) building knowledge in cultural studies in business; 2) building skills in the field of cultural studies in business, 3) demonstrating competence in interpreting terminology of cultural studies in business.
Main topics of the CSB discipline are related to:
1) the nature and content of cultural studies on business;
2) the genealogy of economic thought;
3) idealism vs materialism, etatism, beyond the captivity of illusions;
4) the global political economy;
5) alternative economics;
6) modern technology, abstraction and society (of political, economic and social spectacle); 7) economic anthropology and economic sociology;
8) general systems theory;
9) ethics for a sustainable economy;
10) processing of human information;
11) knowledge economy;
12) the dimensions of social cohesion that support business and economic development;
13) indicators of quality of life and cultural studies in business;
14) beyond today.
Preparing materials for students and other interested audience, results now at the end of the pilot course in a prospective book on Cultural Studies on Business, which shall be ready for next academic year, a book which was a challenge for me, not to much on the aspect of writing, which in fact I enjoy to much between several activities I follow in my life, but on the aspect of collecting and combining the last developments of issues I listed as topics into the syllabi, which especially under the Covid 19 situation has been difficult, adding here even the Albanian earthquake of 26th November. Both these geophysical and biological, health and sanitary events, with a great reflection into the economic life of Albanians and world population, considered as economic shocks, have given a new perspective for writers of economic issues all around the world, and in such circumstances they have given their indication into my CSB lectures too, reflected to the CSB book I have prepared for such course too.
As per the Covid 19 situation, only two first weeks (lectures) have been organised as normal into the class, while the rest, other 13 lectures have been handled online. 4 – 5 lectures have been handled by my colleagues Edita Bregu and Ajla Ngjeliu, while two online intermediate tests, a final online exam and their home work have been handled by me. A final classroom exame has been foreseen during the September 2020, as per the ministerial order, under the Covid 19 circumstances, after which, all students will be evaluated and certificates of the course shall be distributed.
I am fully confident, all students shall have excellent exam results, since their commitment and intermediate tests results have been extraordinary. They loved the subject, spreading their thoughts about it to other students too.
For me personally, preparing Cultural Studies in Business syllabi, presenting it to CSB project partners, organizing the pilot course for University College Wisdom students, has been a great responsibility, a great new experience and a new challenge and a new opportunity, this because is a new subject for most of higher education organizations around the world, under faster changes into the political, economical and cultural world arena.
I strongly believe Cultural Studies in Business has a bright future, not only as a discipline, but even for an academic program.
Article written by Prof. Enriko Ceko, Lecturer at the Economics and Social Sciences Faculty at Wisdom University College of Tirana (Albania). Lecturer on the behalf of the CSB Pilot Course, core activity of the Erasmus Plus K203 Project "Cultural Studies in Business".