The Role of Critical Thinking in Multicultural Management Programs

  • Abstract:

    Using my experience from lecturing maritime law to multicultural BSc and MSc classes, domestically as well as internationally, I will discuss problems related to teaching critical thinking in multicultural classes. Management and managers already influences Europe in almost every field of expertise and discipline. Thus, it is important critically reviewing how managers are educated. I suggest a balanced multidisciplinary approach in order to improve the level of critical thinking within management programs, finally reflecting upon whether European higher education will succeed in distributing necessary resources if to approve. There are literary hundreds of managements programs and thousands of lecturers, but are their programs managed in order to achieve critical thinking? Critical thinking may have its nuances, reflecting variety of academic disciplines, where some agree logic reasoning plays an important part others that one must involve feelings in order to grasp or interpret, understand and have critical reflections upon reality. I conduct a literature review and ask how and if European higher education achieve a learning outcome in their management programs where the average student really have the skills of critical thinking. Teaching and lecturing management students in law, i.e. students in BSc and MSc programs aiming at management more than law and legal norms of behavior, faces the general pedagogic problem of making the subject of relevance and of weight to the students’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Today we have a system of mass education and BSc and MSc classes with students recruited internationally and embraced politically in Europe. This may indeed be a pillar of securing not only Europe’s future and democratic development. However, it adds to the complexity of teaching and if to succeed in educating a new multicultural class of managers able to be critical one may indeed ask if all the knowledge, skills and learning outcomes put into programs are buzz- word-outcomes of the Bologna process or real improvements of studying. One may add; most program managers and lecturers certainly do their best, but being critical, is this good enough?