PLANNING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A PHD PROGRAM IN ALMATY:

AN EXAMPLE OF THE TECHNOLOGY OF PARTICIPATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuart Umpleby

Department of Management Science

The George Washington University

Washington, DC 20052

Umpleby@gwu.edu

 

and

 

Anar Umurzakova

Faculty of Management and Business

Al-Farabi Kazakh State National University

Almaty, Kazakhstan

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 11, 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

A report on an exercise conducted in the Faculty of Management and Business

Al-Farabi Kazakh State National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan

June 6-10, 2005

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

On June 10, 2005,  Stuart Umpleby  and Anar Umurzakova conducted a demonstration of the Participatory Strategic Planning procedure developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs.  The participants were faculty members and students in the Faculty of Management and Business at Al-Farabi Kazakh State National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Participatory Strategic Planning (PSP) process involves five steps:

  1. Operating Vision
  2. Underlying Contradictions
  3. Strategic Directions

4.      Systematic Actions

  1. Implementation Timeline

 

Each step of the PSP process uses the Consensus Workshop method. This method entails five steps:

  1. Context
  2. Brainstorm
  3. Cluster
  4. Name
  5. Resolve

 

About 20 faculty members and students participated in the exercise.  The introduction and explanations were provided by Stuart Umpleby, translated into Russian by Anar Umurzakova.  The elements of the brainstorming activity were mostly in Russian with some in English.  The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate group facilitation methods, to learn what faculty members and students are thinking about the implementation of the PhD program, to encourage the participants to use participatory methods for improving the performance of organizations in Kazakhstan, and to begin doing research on the use of these methods in Kazakhstan.  The vision had already been created from June 6-9 and earlier in the form of a proposal for a PhD program in Management and Business.  Only two one-hour sessions were available for facilitated discussion, so we decided to focus on contradictions and strategies.

 

The focus question was, How can we successfully implement the PhD program in management and business at Al-Farabi Kazakh State National University.

 

When a planning exercise is conducted with a business or government agency, usually it is conducted during a weekend, often in a "retreat" setting, when there is more time.  Ideally people from outside the organization are also involved particularly during the final parts of the planning activity.  These people can relate their experiences with similar problems, suggest alternative actions, and provide sources of needed materials or skills.  In addition outside observers may be impressed with the planning exercise and decide to conduct one in their organizations.

 

 

RESULTS OF THE PLANNING EXERCISE IN ALMATY

 

CONTRADICTIONS

 

DIFFICULT ACCESS TO INFORMATION

Expensive Internet

Lack of information support

Insufficient information

Lack of modernization

Difficult access to information

Old literature

Old technology

Insufficient information

Lack of new information

 

INSUFFICIENT FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Too little money

Financial problems

Insufficient amount of money

No funding for trips to attend conferences

Inadequate finance

Lack of funding

Lack of money

 

INSUFFICIENT FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR FACULTY

Lack of social support from government

Faculty often work two jobs

Low faculty salaries

Insufficient time to write proposals

Many hours in the classroom

Insufficient conditions to work on PhD program

 

INSUFFICIENT LANGUAGE TRAINING

Lack of English skills

Undeveloped foreign language skills

Lack of knowledge in foreign language

Not enough English courses

Expensive language training

Low number of good and affordable English courses

 

LITTLE PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

Currently low faculty participation in decision-making

Lack of confidence that change will bring benefits

Fear of change

Soviet mentality

Old thinking

 

INEFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT

No transparency

Ineffective management structure

Corruption

Lack of support from government

 

STATE CONTROL OF FINANCES

Only one source of money

Very limited ability to control financial resources

Uncertainty about annual financial resources

State control of financial resources

 

STRATEGIES

 

ACHIEVE TRANSPARENCY OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Transparency of decision-making

Publish the financial reports

Report on the results on spent money

Participation of Faculty in allocation of financial resources

Create a committee to be in charge of transparency of financial activities

Create a fund for endowments and grants received

 

CREATE FIND RAISING ACTIVITIES

Hire people to work on endowments

Create a group to work with Alumni (endowments)

Search for financial sources such as international grants and governmental projects

Create university’s own budget

Organize effective way of getting money

 

JOINT ACTION (GOVERNMENT + NGO + BUSINESSES)

Advisory board of people from business and government

Joint action: government + NGO + universities + businesses

Creation of public relations department at the university

 

FIND MORE SUPPORT FOR ENGLISH

Make English courses widely available

Make language training affordable

Motivate alumni of USG programs to train the groups at the university

 

IMPROVE MOTIVATION

High salaries for faculty

Encourage interest from the government side

 

DEVELOP TECHNOLOGIES

Create cheap Internet

Develop technological base of the university

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Umpleby, S.,  Medvedeva, T. and Oyler, A. “The Technology of Participation as a Means of Improving Universities in Transitional Economies,”  World Futures, Vol. 6, Nos. 1-2, pp. 129-136.

 

Umpleby, S. and  Oyler, A.  “A Global Strategy for Human Development:  The Work of the Institute of Cultural Affairs,”  Proceedings of the annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, Crete, Greece, July 7-11, 2003.