Designing Technology Skills Education Programs to Raise Emotional Maturity of Participants: A Proposed Framework

Dr. Rachna Kumar
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Several reports on the profile of information technology and systems (IST) professionals have indicated the lack of people-oriented skills among them. In addition, interviews with several corporate and human resource executives indicated that the skill they most desired among information system hires was people orientation and social skills. Promoting these competencies and skills among IST students is especially critical because IST roles involve a large amount of interaction with user managers, end-users and functional departments and success of projects depends crucially on joint teams and the ability to understand cues, undocumented policies and sometimes non-vocalized user needs. People skills and social competence are often loosely termed “communication” and this paper investigates deeper into the components, antecedents and precedents of this requirement.

This paper reports on a framework to guide the design of information systems and technology courses which train participants with content skills and simultaneously train them with people skills and social skills. The design framework utilizes work done in the field of emotional maturity and emotional intelligence by Daniel Goleman and proposes a taxonomy of skills and competencies which should guide all training and education courses in the area of technology and systems. The paper also illustrates the implementation of the framework in undergraduate and graduate courses and results achieved and tested. Results indicate that integrating IST education and training with mechanisms that foster emotional maturity in the participants has the potential to promote several behavioral increments including people skills, social skills and communication skills.

Keywords: Technology Education, Emotional Maturity, Social Skills, IST Professionals, People Skills
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Rachna Kumar

Professor, Information Systems and Technology
Business and Management Division
California School of Business and Organizational Studies, Alliant International University


Dr. Kumar is a Professor of Information Systems and Technology at Alliant International University in San Diego, California. She has a PhD in Information Systems from Stern School of Business at New York University, New York. She specializes in software productivity measures, transfer of information systems skills in bi-national contexts, computer mediated technology environments, and online education. She has published widely in these subject areas in reputed journals and conferences. Dr. Kumar has consulted for several high tech firms in US, Mexico and India. She is also a founder of GlobalMind: Center for Strategic Consulting at the United States International College of Business. This center trains and consults for organizations on topics related to technology and strategy in global contexts. Dr. Kumar is an active member of the academic community as journal and conference reviewer, as member of advisory panels, and as member of editors panels.

Prior to Alliant International University, Dr. Kumar has been a faculty member at California State University at San Marcos, University of Texas at Austin, and New York University at New York.

Ref: T06P0219