New teacher prepares HIM for an international future

News | by Ramon van Doorn

June 29, 2021 † Ron Tuninga was recently hired as a lecturer in International Business at HAN. With his professorship, he wants to prepare both students and companies for a world that is becoming increasingly international due to technology.

Ron Tuninga during his public lesson on HIM.

A first for HIM: A speaker was installed for the first time during a full English-language public lesson. Ron Tuninga was appointed Associate Professor of International Business, part of the International School of Business (ISB) at Gelderland University of Applied Sciences. After receiving his Ph.D. in Philadelphia, Tuninga has taught on five continents. According to HAN director Bridget Kievits, he is therefore the right person to understand the importance of international citizenship further development at the university.

According to Arjan Keunen, Academy Director of ISB, Tuninga will even have a fundamental role throughout the region. “Education leads to research, which in turn leads to new education; a teacher is important for connecting researchers and teachers in the region. International Business is especially important in our region, as we are of course close to Germany, our largest trading partner. In addition, our region is shrinking demographically, so international workers will be important for our future. ”

An international company gets meaning from the culture

The future lecturer himself explains what International Business entails in his public lesson. “It is about markets, which are determined by three moving factors: commodities, behavior and meaning. Resources and behavior are discussed more often here, but meaning is just as important. Oil is an example of a commodity that has been in the ground for as long as we have been here, but it only really gained importance in the 19th century. Then it came on the market because we knew what we could do with it and had the technology to do it. “

Meaning also depends on culture and rights, Tuninga explains, and this is where the international aspect comes in. “The importance varies from country to country, which is an important factor for international business. In America you can buy weapons on every corner, but not in the Netherlands. There are also big differences within the EU that need to be resolved in advance. ” It is easy to do with car parts, while according to Tuninga there has never been a European standard for foods such as sausage, jam and mayonnaise. “Because it could not be found. The meaning was too dependent on the individual culture for it.”

According to Tuninga, international business can prepare young professionals to handle international companies and employees. “It is necessary because the market is global and everyone works differently. Professionals must be able to deal with these differences, and this is certainly necessary for a country like the Netherlands and therefore for the EU in general. ”

Companies need to keep an eye on international trends

According to Tuninga, there are also a number of trends in international business, and research into these is important in educating the professionals of the future as up-to-date as possible. “Climate change and energy change are one such trend. Companies can look at it negatively, but it also offers a lot of opportunities and possibilities. They have to believe in it, so they have to deal with it positively.”

Another trend is the emergence of various technological changes in business, Tuninga explains. “Artificial intelligence, digital transformation and automation. People may be afraid of this, but people in the sixteenth century were also afraid of grain mills, which increased productivity by three thousand percent. This has brought us the golden age with all the great economic benefits and shows that disruptive innovation can be good for companies in an international environment. ”

The technology can actually help solve problems related to ecological sustainability, Tuninga explains. His public lesson can also be taken online, which he considers a good example of sustainable internationalization. “Continuing to fly around the world is not sustainable, and the pandemic has shown us that there is another way to do it.”

Internationalization can take place online

The technology is also used extensively in the Global Citizenship project, where Ingrid van Rompay-Bartels from HAN works with Carol Scovotti from Wisconsin to understand cultural differences. Dutch students are teamed up with students from the United States to work together on projects. “What we are trying to achieve with this is inclusive education for all,” says Van Rompay-Bartels. “Young people who cannot study in the United States can still network online.”

One of the students who followed this path remarked that she mainly soft values have learned; to work together, communicate, be open to other cultures and think about one’s own culture. Of course, problems also arise when working with people on the other side of the earth, which teaches students adaptability and flexibility. According to Tuninga, this form can therefore contribute to sustainable internationalization.

International sometimes leads to benefits locally

Learning from and with other cultures is also reflected in the tendency towards inclusion and diversity that Tuninga is working on. “It is to our own advantage to eliminate inequality in the world,” he says, “because one can learn a lot from other cultures. Poor people often have to think creatively in order to survive, and this can lead to innovation. Companies that often skip poorer countries because there are no customers there should go there anyway. Then they can offer employment, and they will probably get new ideas in return. ”

This principle is also known as Global Business Development. Glocal is a contraction of globally and locally, so it basically means that something affects both on a large scale and on a small scale. The Tuninga Lectorate will be very aware of this under the heading international entrepreneurship.

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