BUSINESS MANAGEMENT: DIDACTICS THROUGH A GRAPHICAL CONTEXT. A PRELIMINARY INNOVATIVE PROPOSAL
Universitat de Girona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Graphical context, defined as a set of graphical elements that surrounds and explains concepts, is a powerful tool for didactics. Nowadays, new technologies offer a wide range of possibilities to cope with present needs, and graphic software has allowed a new paradigm to develop. Business management is a dynamic subject to start with. Didactics follow historical tradition so change comes with difficulty even if a new graphical proposal demonstrates its advantages. This paper deals with it providing a scheme and showing examples.
A graphical context has to have three features: broadness, intuitiveness and coherence. First, it has to be broader than the subject it covers. So, the graphic context of business management has to use the same graphic symbols as project management (PM) or financial management. This paper not only shows how the PM moves from its triangle to other geometric figures (polygons and/or polyhedrons) but also brings a complete economic and financial analysis in a graphical context with its geometric symbols (rectangle, triangle, star) as economic magnitudes and arrows as relationships (percentage, ratios). Second, a graphical context has to be intuitive. There are global symbols (for example, an arrow indicates direction, the degree of thickness shows importance) but other symbols have to follow intuition (for example, time runs from left to right). Third, all graphical elements have to be coherent so there are no misunderstandings: follow traffic lights (red, orange and green), use regular stars for results as economic profit and write the same abbreviation for each magnitude. Established symbols and standard graphs are well accepted. If so, symbolic physical properties with graphical power can be added (movement, leverage).
The present paper provides different topics of graphical context in business management didactics, taking into account that they comply with one or two features to achieve excellence with all three. First, a broad overview of graphical context in project management that has not only been used by the author as a professor of PM at the University of Girona, but also introduced at an international congress (XIII International Congress on Project Engineering, Badajoz 2009), followed by economic and financial analyses with coherent graphical context. So a graphical arithmetic symbolism (addition, percentage) is proposed; its formulas and mathematical properties within the graph are shown. Second, an example of intuitive graphical context with balloons can be seen from the structural analysis of competitive forces developed by Michael Porter. Finally, a 3D organization chart is daringly proposed.
Keywords: business management, graphical context, project management.