Corporate Policy Peculiarities of Higher Professional Educational Institutions Necessitating Educational Space Modernization
The subject of study in the given paper is the processes of corporate culture formation viewed as a social and cultural phenomenon under the conditions of higher professional education modernization. The objects of study are two higher educational institutions in Siberian Federal district: Tomsk Polytechnic University and Omsk State Pedagogic University. The given universities operate in the same territory, and they are cooperating in some scientific projects. The authors put forward the idea that in the given higher educational institutions, the corporate culture was formed on the intuitive, accidental basis. The local regulatory acts reflecting corporate values are not always based upon purpose-oriented monitoring of internal and external environment of the universities. On the base of analysis of theoretical approaches to determining the basic notions and processes within the studied phenomenon as well as on the base of local regulatory acts analysis, SWOT analysis, the authors distinguish a number of contradictions in the approaches towards corporate culture formation, develop recommendations to eliminate them.
Keywords: Culturecorporate policymodernizationeducational environmenteducational organization
Global policy, affecting everything, as well as the educational system form certain challenges to be reacted at by the educational organizations as subjects of educational relations. First of all, the higher educational institutions are concerned as they are not only becoming the bases for obtaining higher education but also turning into independent subjects, innovative sites, centers for developing new scientific directions, sites for realization of international cooperation programs. This requires that the higher educational institutions form their own development strategy where much attention should be paid to organization culture, professional ethics, as well as consideration of the multiculturalism factor with preservation and formation of their own traditions within the educational environment being formed.
Due to the given facts, studying corporate culture is playing more and more important role as it determines not only successful structural or systemic changes, but also the very presence of the higher education infrastructure and the implemented system of management allowing standing and promoting one’s own cultural and social specific character, building integrated symbolic and axiological in-house space.
Let us note that the corporate culture of a higher educational institution involves the administration of the company, academic teaching staff and students.
At the same time, in spite of the scientists’ recognition of the corporate culture importance for the efficient functioning of organizations, the problem of finding efficient mechanisms of its development is still relevant.
Due to this, the higher educational institution acquires special importance by completing complex diagnostics with specification of the level constituent of the data gathering process which allows taking the current and the desirable states of the subjects of the educational process into consideration.
Analysis of scientific works on the given problem allowed formulating relevance of the given research work as well as revealing the theoretical aspects of such notions as globalization, educational space, corporate culture.
Within the study, we applied the synergetic approach allowing considering the corporate culture of higher educational institutions as part of educational space being in the continuous dynamic progress influenced by external and internal factors. To consider the notion of corporate culture, we applied social-cultural and communicative approaches (Akhiezer, Erasov, Mol, Rakitov, Sorokin).
The choice of this or that method is determined by the objectives of the culture study and resources at the disposal of the researcher as some methods require significant time and financial input. That is why, in the paper, we apply methods of PEST and SWOT analysis allowing more objective judgment about the state of the corporate culture of higher educational institutions with consideration of various factors influencing formation and development of the given notion.
Estimation of the quality of local regulatory acts and analysis of the approaches towards legal regulation of the elements of the higher educational institutions corporate culture had been of much significance in the process of research.
The term “globalization” determines a wide range of events and trends: development of ideologies, intense struggle for establishing a global order; intermittent growth of the number and the influence of international organizations. (Levitt, Krasner, Badiand other).
In recent years, the scientists more and more often turn to the idea of educational space when solving pedagogic, organizational and management tasks. The term “educational space” became a discussed ategory of pedagogic not only among the scientists (Vilensky, Ginetsiansky, Konev, Meshcheryakova, Panov, Slobodchikov, Shendrik, Frumin, Elkonin and other).
Different aspects of corporate culture were studied by G. Becker, P. Drucker, K. Cameron, R. Karlgaard, T. Peters, A. Toffler, P. Ulrich, F. Fukuyama, E. Schein.
The term “organizational culture” appeared in the scientific literature in the 1960s in management and defined the atmosphere of human relations, moral environment in the company (Hofstede, 1997). In the late 1970s-early 1980s, its synonym “corporate culture” appeared.
In the modern science, there are enough definitions of corporate culture. In general, the given definitions can be presented according to two approaches. The first approach reflects the notion of corporate culture as of an attribute of the organization and as an integrity of behaviors, symbols, rituals, myths, traditions, etc. which correspond to the values inherent to the organization (shared by its workers), transferred as “life experience” of the organization, reflecting its individuality and determining its self-perception and its perception of other companies in the social and material medium. The second approach considers the corporate culture as what the organization is, how it realizes its mission inside and outside or, in other words, it reflects the organization’s mode of existence. From the practical point of view, the choice of this or that definition determines the methods of influencing the corporate culture, ways of changing and developing it (Cameron, & Quinn, 1999).
When analyzing various approaches, let us emphasize that the studied term became a real revolution in the management having formed a new managerial concept according to which people are the main capital of the company and, being united into a cultural unity, they make the company successful.
We understand corporate (organizational) culture as “an integrity of collective basic understanding acquired by the organization when solving the problems of adaptation to new external realities and internal integration, which efficiency appears to be enough to consider it valuable and transfer to the new members of the organization as a proper system of perception and solution of the mentioned problems.
Thus, the corporate (organizational) culture is an extremely complex phenomenon which changes require much time and effort of both management and workers of the organization. The management of the organization plays the crucial role in this process as, on the one hand, they are closest to external environment and stay attuned to its changes, and, on the other hand, they form the mission, the strategy and the objectives of the organization (Pushnykh, 2002).
Within a university, the students, the teaching stuff, the university management, the service stuff are the corporate culture bearers as they incorporate the ideas of the values, norms, traditions of the educational institution. It allows distinguishing the factor of value impact upon the students and the workers of the higher educational institution, studying the process of their formation and getting introduced to them, perhaps, estimating the degree of corporate culture correlation of the students and of the workers of the higher educational institution.
Let us consider the specific features of the corporate culture of Tomsk Polytechnic University and Omsk State Pedagogic University.
Tomsk Polytechnic University has a strong corporate culture formed during more than a century of the university history. This culture is virtually a non-monetary one. Relations with industry, commercialcontractsandothermeansofobtainingextramoneyhavealwaysbeenwelcomeandwereasignificantmeansindevelopingthefacilities and resources of the university, but they have never been paid so much attention as they are now (Loshchilova et al., 2015). Reforms in the Russian higher school are transforming Russian higher educational institutions from the non-monetary organizations into organizations combining non-monetary and monetary approaches in their activities.
This transformation touches upon the very essence of the university existence, i.e. its corporate culture which has been undergoing dramatic changes during the recent years. The process of corporate culture changing cannot be recognized as satisfactory because it may result in such dramatic changes that will lead to degeneration of the university (Prokopenko, & Selevich, 2016).
In this context, the task of realization and adoption of the basic elements of the university corporate culture by the majority of university students and workers becomes especially important. To become recognizable in the international educational community, the corporate culture of TPU must be described in terms of a corresponding topical area. To develop the corporate culture of the university, it is important that every person – from applicants to the rector – clearly understand this culture in one and the same way. That is why the first task in realization of the goal-oriented program will be studying and describing the corporate culture of the higher educational institution. Thentheprojectswillbedeterminedandrealizedtodevelopthecorporateculturein all spheres of university activities including development of the culture of teaching and educating students; development of scientific research culture; development of the culture of the educational process and scientific research operation; improvement of the students and teaching stuff behavior and lifestyle culture; improvement of social and psychological relations in the university; ensuring correspondence of the organizational structure and methods of managing the university to its corporate culture (Pushnykh, 2002).
Let us note that studying and developing corporate culture will be completed in various ways with application of the following key mechanisms:
-mechanism of participation – maximum wide engaging workers of the university in solution of important problems;
-mechanism of symbolic control – ocular demonstration of the things which are important for the university;
-mechanism of mutual understanding – maximum openness of vertical information flows.
Let us distinguish the basic features reflecting the specifics of the corporate culture of Omsk State Pedagogic University as of dynamically developing educational organization of Siberian Federal District.
First of all, Omsk State Pedagogic University is situatedat the border territory of Kazakhstan which explains dynamic development of relations with higher educational institutions of the given state within the agreements between Omsk region and border territories of Kazakhstan, realization of academic mobility programs for students and teachers;
Second, the higher educational institution pursues the policy of formation of the positive image of the teacher’s profession and increasing the interest in it;
Third, the higher educational institution is forming multicultural space as a certain percentage of the students are students from other countries including Kazakhstan, Singapore, China for whom the university must create conditions for integration into the social and cultural space.
Under the conditions of continuing modernization of higher professional education, the quality of regulatory activities in educational, professional space of the higher educational institution are of great importance for the university development and determining its place in the rating of regional and Russian educational institutions. Under the quality of regulatory activities we understand the quality of local regulatory acts and the processes regulated by them.
Since 2014, the university has been actively working on development of strategy papers associated with realization of innovative processes. It is worth noting that Russian higher educational institutions apply different approaches to legal regulation of professional ethics and corporate culture issues. In Omsk State Pedagogic University, the problem of corporate culture formation and development is considered as part of managing the university.
In the context of development and regulation of the corporate culture in OmSPU, the most important papers are: Strategy of OmSPU development, approved in 2014 and the Codex of Professional Ethics of Teachers (Approved by the Rector’s act on 04.04.2014).
In the strategy of OmSPU development, the authors formulate the mission of the university and its main strategic goals including the tasks for corporate culture formation and development. They also formulate corporate values making the basis of university corporate culture development including:
- personality (workers and students are considered to be the main value of the university, which achieves its goals due to their creative and scientific potential development);
- knowledge (it is considered as an absolute value with emphasis on the knowledge which is relevant for modern society);
- quality (formation of professional skills and business acumen in students, thus, encouraging their maximal adaptation to the multi-segment market);
- responsibility (creating the conditions for the possibility of maximum contribution into the university development by the workers and the students in combination with social responsibility for their participation in the university life);
- working for the future (development, growth, a continuous way of self-improvement and development of scientific innovative thought – the way of life of university students and teachers);
- freedom (freedom for building one’s future and achievement of the goals is a necessity).
In our opinion, a specific feature of the corporate culture of Omsk State Pedagogic University corporate culture is viewing the image of the teacher as part of the university corporate culture. In the strategy of OmSPU development, the given feature is reflected in goal 3 and task 3.4. “Goal 3. CreatingapositiveimageofthePedagogicUniversityasofsocially-orientedhigher educational institution contributing to creating the positive image of Omsk region for the purpose of increasing its attractiveness for prospective students and employers, creating favorable conditions for developing personal potential of the students, post-graduate students, teachers and other workers”. “Task 3.4. Developing a positive image of the teachers of OMSPU, popularization of scientific and pedagogical knowledge, presentation of scientific achievements of the academic stuff of OmSPU in the region”. (Program of strategic development of the federal state budgetary educational institution of higher professional education “Omsk State Pedagogic University” for 2013-2018, Omsk, 2013).
Special attention is required by the analysis of teachers’ professional ethics code. The norms of the code have advisory character and reflect the social and professional requirements for the personality and professional skills of the teacher, which is especially important under the conditions of professional standards introduction (Portnyagina, & Loshchilova, 2016).
Itistheinterrelationbetweentheeducationalmediumandthegoalsofstudent’sprofessionalformationasfutureteacherwithsimultaneousconfirmationofrequirementsonfollowingtheprofessionalethicsstandardsbytheworkingteachersofthe university, incorporating the given norms in to the social and cultural space of the university, considering them as a whole within corporate policy, which, in our opinion, reflects the peculiarities of Omsk State Pedagogic University in corporate policy formation.
Nevertheless when forming the university strategy, the given factors were not taken into consideration during monitoring, and many processes, although demonstrating their efficiency, are being spontaneous (Schein, 2012).
Within the comparative analysis of the corporate politics of higher educational institutions, the authors applied the method of SWOT analysis. Application of SWOT analysis allowed formulating a number of advantages and possible threats in development of corporate policy of Tomsk Polytechnic and Omsk State Pedagogic Universities. They are presented in Table
As a result of the completed study the authors came to a number of conclusions:
1. The processes of regulation of the corporate culture of the compared higher educational institutions reflect different approaches. In Tomsk Polytechnic university, the corporate culture is viewed as an independent medium, a phenomenon requiring independent understanding, monitoring. That is why at the level of local regulatory acts, the corporate culture is reflected in the independent regulatory act.
2. In Omsk State Pedagogic University, the corporate culture is viewed as part of strategic development of the university in general. That is why, the norms regulating corporate culture of the university are included into the parts of the general strategy of the university. They are not given as separate chapters but included into the text of the given paper.
3. A specific feature of the corporate culture in Tomsk Polytechnic University is formation of a new managerial concept according to which people are the main capital of the company, and, being united into a cultural unity, they make the company successful. Within the university, the students, the teaching stuff, the university management, the service stuff are the corporate culture bearers as they incorporate the ideas of the values, norms, traditions of the educational institution, additionally complicating the study of the corporate culture of the university due to the peculiarities of its structure, specific features of the set goals and tasks, special social role influencing the stakeholders of the given culture.
4. A specific feature of the corporate culture of Omsk State Pedagogic University is the special paper regulating the professional ethics of the teacher. The given approach reflects university specifics – profession of a teacher, participation in the government policy aimed at forming positive image of a teacher.
The authors also mark a number of general contradictions in regulation of the corporate policy of universities between:
1. mainly traditional perception of corporate culture expressed in material terms through symbols, attributes and multi-dimensional expression of culture in the life of the organization;
2. insufficient knowledge of University corporate culture aspects as compared to the general amount of works in this field, reveals the prospective potential and describes the method of conducting the study of the organization profile;
3. underestimation of the importance of the corporate culture role for students’ activities resulting in underestimation of one of the most important elements of the university life and reducing the efficiency of changes;
4. necessity of developing the mechanism for realization of the desired organization profile and the absence of proved method for conducting this process in a higher educational institution.
In this context, it is necessary to suggest the following ways of the corporate culture developing for the universities under consideration.
Conducting task-oriented monitoring of corporate culture as part of social and cultural educational space of higher educational institutions. Monitoring should allow estimating the degree of university corporate culture development, show the processes from the point of chaotic and systematic character of certain events within the considered phenomenon:
Withinthemonitoringcompleteanalysisandestimationofthechosenfactorsintheworkandstudies (teachers and students accordingly) which have direct influence upon the efficiency of the educational institution.
Completeanalysisofthesocialandpsychologicalclimateoftheeducationalenvironmentbothofthetraining (for the students) and professional one (for the academic staff).
Estimation of external symbols of higher educational institutions, attributes (degree of students and teachers’ associating the university with the given symbols).
Develop a sophisticated strategy for university corporate culture development with consideration of the obtained results.
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20 July 2017
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Loshchilova, M. A., Portnyagina, E. V., & Vaychuk, M. S. (2017). Corporate Policy Peculiarities of Higher Professional Educational Institutions Necessitating Educational Space Modernization. In K. Anna Yurevna, A. Igor Borisovich, W. Martin de Jong, & M. Nikita Vladimirovich (Eds.), Responsible Research and Innovation, vol 26. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 565-572). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.07.02.72