The research team of the Graduate School of Management SPbU (GSOM SPbU) and the Faculty of Foreign Language SPBU have studied the principles of interdisciplinary approaches to teaching at the boundaries of language and profile disciplines in the sphere of business and management. The practical outcome of the research is development of the methodology of the integrated course “Language of Professional Communication”, aimed to form an interdisciplinary communicative competence for master’s degree program students at GSOM SPBU.
The study was carried out by a multidisciplinary research team consisting of Head of Languages for Business and Management Department SPbU Elena Orlova (project manager); Associate Professor of Languages for Business and Management Department SPbU Tatiana Martynova; Associate Professor of Department of Public Administration, GSOM SPbU Evgeny Gilenko; Professor, Marketing Department GSOM SPbU Vitally Cherenkov; Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration, GSOM SPbU Natalia Drozdova, Associate Professor of Languages for Business and Management Department SPbU Vladimir Bondar and Head of the English language for Psychologists Department, SPbU Elena Kitava. The study was carried out under the SPbU grant (ID: 60419425).
At the present moment the methodology of discipline knowledge integration in the sphere of the humanities and social sciences, particularly in the field of language disciplines and profile business disciplines, remains to be understudied. The project participants view language as a tool of cross-cultural communication, while attaching great significance to communication problems of participants of interdisciplinary projects and emphasizing complexity in perception of another, unwonted subject paradigm, acceptance of new theories, approaches and attitudes as a result of disciplinary boundary spanning. The language of professional communication is the language of interdisciplinary or cross-functional communication, which emerges at the boundaries of meanings possessed by representatives of various academic or professional groups. More often than not, problems that arise in the course of communication among the participants of an interdisciplinary/cross-cultural team become especially acute in those conditions when experts are collaboratively working on solutions to complex tasks which require engagement of various competences and professional expertise.
The focus of the research lies in the study of an interdisciplinary communicative competence, which is formed during the study of the language of professional communication in interdisciplinary and cross-functional teams; the research findings make it possible to expand the language educational agenda in a business school and develop new integrated courses.
The aim, main objectives and interim results of the research were presented on November 17, 2020 at the online Joint Symposium “How to bridge research and teaching in the field of “Language-sensitive International Business” which was organized and conducted by the representatives of the research team jointly with the European Research Group on management and language (Group d’Etudes Management et Langage) within the framework of the 7th international conference “Emerging Markets Conference-2020” GSOM, SPbU. The Symposium included a round table discussion on the topic of the project: “Language sensitivity in business education: a dialog across multiple boundaries”, which was moderated by a participant of the research team T.A. Martynova. During the talk given at the Symposium, the project lead E.V. Orlova presented the research investigation carried out by the team of experts in the fields of language, communication, business, marketing, quantitative research methods and machine learning. The talk touched upon the issue of topicality of an interdisciplinary approach in business education and in development of integrated courses. Such an integrated course will be demonstrated by an example of the course “Language of professional communication” designed and developed within the framework of the research.
Experts from 12 countries of the world: scholars in the filed of language, international business, cross-cultural communication, management, including postgraduate students of GSOM SPbU, took part in the discussion of the research.
Based on the results of the symposium, on December 29, 2020 the website of GSOM SPbU published an interview with the representatives of the research team entitled “It is the ability to choose what, to whom and how to say that success and safety of communication depend on”.