Perceptions on Industry Placements: An Exploratory Study of Academics in Malaysia

By Roberto Bergami, Annamarie Schuller and Jason Cheok.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In recent times, the role and relevance of university education in contemporary society has been challenged by governments and industry alike. There is an increasing expectation that the curriculum will be reshaped with more practically oriented teaching and learning practices, in order to produce employer-ready graduates that can ‘hit the ground running’ on entering the workforce. In aligning the curriculum towards industry’s demands, it is likely that the academic will need to spend some time in industry, with a host firm, to gain additional discipline-specific knowledge and skills for use in the classroom. To achieve this, academics need a professional development scheme, such as an industry placement program, that enables them to partner with industry. Under an industry placement program, the academic is seconded to industry for an agreed period of time to perform predetermined functions. Considerable mutual benefits should result from this type of activity, including an enhanced student learning experience and the development of a community of practice between industry, academics, students and universities that may be a powerful long-term educational long term resource. This paper reports on the result of an exploratory study undertaken with business discipline academics at a Malaysian university. This study aims to gather academics’ perceptions on the value of industry placements, and the results are tested against a theoretical model and considered in the context of the development of a community of practice, capacity building, and recent Australian government educational initiatives that may also be appropriate for the Malaysian academic community.

Keywords: Industry Placement, Capacity Building, Community of Practice, Teacher Professional Development, Community Engagement, Action Learning, Action Research

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 10, Issue 11, pp.73-92. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.061MB).

Dr. Roberto Bergami

Senior Lecturer (Practice of International Trade) and Associate Researcher, Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives, School of Economics and Finance, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Roberto has over twenty years experience in the manufacturing industry, primarily within the pharmaceutical sector. He has held a number of roles in finance, sales, marketing, customer service and logistics, all with an international focus. Roberto's teaching spans over 20 years with experience in Higher Education, TAFE and private education providers. A full time member of staff at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, since 1998, Roberto has a Master in Education and Master of Business by Research (Applied Economics) and is currently undertaking his Ph. D. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance and Associate Researcher of the Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives. Roberto has maintained his involvement with industry through a number of peak associations where he enjoys various grades of senior level membership. In 2002 Roberto received the State of Victoria Quarantine Award for his efforts in educating students in quarantine matters. Roberto’s main areas of research interests in international trade focus on government regulations, delivery terms (Incoterms), international payment terms and market entry barriers. His other research interests include the development of communities of practice, online teaching and online communities, migration from Emilia-Romagna (Italy) to Australia and teenage/youth dialect.

Annamarie Schuller

Lecturer, Centre for Advanced Business Studies (Business and Management), Chisholm Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Annamarie has been teaching business subjects in the VET sector since 1994. Her main areas of teaching specialisation include: Law, Management, Marketing, HR Management, OH&S. She has a Bachelor of Education from Melbourne University and is currently pursuing a Master of Education by Research at Monash University. Annamarie's prior industry experience spans approximately 17 years within the transport, education, pharmaceutical and food industries. She held a number of roles including customer service, marketing, and management roles. Annamarie’s main area of academic research interest centers around teaching and learning practices, communities of practice, and teacher placement in industry. Annamarie is an Associate Researcher of the Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.

Jason Cheok

Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Sunway University, Malaysia

Mr. Jason Cheok (JC) is a Senior Lecturer in the Australian University Program at Sunway University . He holds an MBA from Golden Gate University, USA and a BA from Guelph University, Canada. He is currently pursuing his PhD with Victoria University (Australia). Prior to lecturing, he held managerial positions in both US and Malaysian companies. This includes Charles Schwab Investment Company, The Pacific Electricity and Gas, Company in California and Standard Chartered Bank in Kuala Lumpur. His responsibility in the global companies covers the area of marketing, business development and training.


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