International Police Executives Symposium, 2015

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I have returned now from the International Police Executives Symposium (IPES), held at the Ravindra Resort in Pattaya, which we were involved in hosting. It was the 26th meeting of the conference and it seemed to go smoothly and delegates all seemed to be satisfied.

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The Royal Thai Police Band was part of the official delegation from the Royal Thai Police, including VIP guests and keynote speakers.

We offered five presentations from Shinawatra University, which were as follows:

An Analysis of the Language Abilities and Needs of the Thai Tourism Police Force

Tourism is one of Thailand’s most important industries and many millions of visitors arrive each year. Inevitably, a proportion of those visitors will require interactions with the police for one reason or another and a designated Thai tourism police force has been established. In order for successful interaction to take place, communication must be possible and this requires the police officers to have some language skills, since few visitors speak Thai well. However, the Thai educational system is known to be very poor in providing language skills among the young people of the country and so additional training is required for the necessary level to be achieved. This paper reports on quantitative research that explores the needs for language skills among the Thai tourist police and the current level of ability. The gap between the two is identified and suggestions made as to how it can be filled.

Keywords: communication, language ability, language needs, police, Thailand

John Walsh and Wilaiporn Lao-Hakosol, Shinawatra University, Thailand

Gender Relations and Issues in the Thai Police Force

Women are increasingly important members of police forces around the world. Their role is increasingly valued for the provision of emotional labour and because they are less likely to overstep the limits of what is permitted in conflict situations. Yet female police officers remain comparatively low in numbers, in Thailand as well as elsewhere, and face the career constraints of being restricted to a relatively limited rage of specialty positions and departments. This paper reports on a programme of qualitative research with female police officers in various elements of the Thai police force and describes the issues and problems that they face with respect to career progression, work-life balance, gender relations in the workplace and their relationship with the general public. The findings are set in the context of the perceptions of women from other police forces around the world and in other organizations.

Keywords: gender relations, Thailand, women, work-life balance, workplace relations

Lavanchawee Sujarittanonta and John Walsh, Shinawatra University, Thailand

An Assessment of the IT Capabilities of the Thai Police Force

Police work increasingly relies on adequate IT capabilities in terms of investigation, communication, workplace practices and all aspects of organization of information. The increasing need for transparency and accountability in policing is being met by the routinization of the use of IT equipment in the pursuit of duties. Officers also need to be aware of the ways in which people produce and consume media and social media so as to understand the ways in which people communicate with each other, the interaction between such communications and changing legal requirements and the extent to which it is possible and legal to monitor interpersonal communications and those communications which are published on the internet. Developing these capabilities, in terms of technical skills, awareness of the legal framework and the possession of the necessary equipment and its maintenance, is a complex and expensive task and, thus, poses a challenge to public sector organizations during a period of global economic crisis and fierce competition for scarce resources. This paper uses secondary data to identify the nature of IT requirements in contemporary police forces and uses this to estimate the needs within the Thai police force. Primary research is then used to compare the actual availability of these resources and then priorities are suggested for addressing the gaps thereby identified.

Keywords: information technology, social media, Thailand,

Chanya Pokasoowan, Tuaranin Khamrin and John Walsh, Shinawatra University, Thailand

Police Job Profiles and the Police Reform Process

When considering the issue of the reforms necessary to (re)create a police force suitable for the contemporary world, the issue of job profiles or job specifications is a central issue. A job profile is the combination of relevant skills, knowledge, activities and behaviours that a police officer is required to have to fulfill that officer’s duties. Clearly, such a profile will evolve over the course of time, vary according to the specialty involved and need to reflect location-specific conditions. Numerous attempts have been made to define appropriate models for creating profiles, while much effort has been expended on trying to identify the most suitable collection of abilities and competencies required for specific police services. This paper surveys the literature in this regard with a view to identifying salient features for a range of job profiles to be used in the context of Thailand in the current social and technological environment. To do so, it is necessary to provide an analysis of the relevant characteristics of Thai society at the current time and this is also provided. Finally, the paper considers the differences between the ways in which job profiles are currently developed and what the review of the literature and relation with the local environment indicates would be appropriate.

Keywords: job profiles, police, police reform, technology, Thailand

Voradej Chandarasorn and John Walsh, Shinawatra University, Thailand

Police Wages and Workplace Conditions in Southeast Asia

Wages and workplace conditions are important considerations when it comes to attracting high quality personnel into a particular industry. According to the literature, provision of a suitably high level of compensation also has implications for the integrity of individuals. As policing becomes more complex, with greater need for use and understanding of information technology, transnational crime and the greater flows that will be possible under the ASEAN Economic Community, it will be increasingly important to attract and retain highly talented individuals. One of the first steps to understanding the relative attractiveness of police work as a career is to compare wages and workplace conditions not only with other professions in the country but also with the situations in neighbouring countries, since it is evident that there is a positive correlation between salary and the perception of the status inherent within a career. Consequently, this paper examines the various compensation packages available to police officers across a range of ranks and with a variety of job profiles across the Southeast Asian region of ten nations. This analysis is then linked with the perception of police officers in the different states concerned and some implications are drawn from the analysis and recommendations provided.

Keywords: police, Southeast Asia, status, wages

Chanchai Bunchapattanasakda and John Walsh, Shinawatra University, Thailand

Some of the papers actually varied from these published abstracts as my ability to find relevant information meant other subjects became more practicable.

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Review of Mieville’s Embassytown

Far, far away and a long time in the future, space travel has enabled humanity to spread throughout the cosmos and come into contact with all kinds of unusual manifestations of alien life. Few aliens, however, are as unusual as the Ariekei, who have formed a complex society based on a dualistic form of language that they call, well, Language. Language differs from ordinary language in requiring two component parts which must be spoken simultaneously: fortunately for the Ariekei themselves, they each have two speaking orifices which can be used for this purpose.

Read the full review here.

Business Research Methods: Cultural Issues

Globalization brings about the integration of different markets involved in production and consumption and that means, for our purposes, different types of people are likely to become customers of a given good or service. When research is involved, therefore, it is increasingly likely that it will involve cross-cultural issues in one way or another.

Read the full article here.

Tourism Education at the Tertiary Level and Competitive Advantage: A Comparison between Thailand and Malaysia

Announcing: Thitthongkam, Thavorn and John Walsh, “Tourism Education at the Tertiary Level and Competitive Advantage: A Comparison between Thailand and Malaysia,” Journal of Education and Vocational Research, Vol.1, No.1 (April, 2011), pp.26-35, available at: http://www.ifrnd.org/JEVR/1(1)%20Apr%202011/Tourism%20Education_at%20the%20Tertiary%20Level.pdf.

Abstract:

Language plays an imperative role in business as a means and a source of power. It is particularly important in the tourism industry when international customers may be unable to communicate directly with service providers in the receiving country, and this has a direct effect on the level of satisfaction that they enjoy during their experience. To address this issue, countries attempt to various degrees to manage their labour markets so as to produce a number of graduates from secondary and tertiary level educational institutions commensurate with the demand from the sector. However, this is quite a young industry at the global level, and it is not clear to what extent the number and quality of such graduates with international language ability will be required. This paper studies the comparative extent of such education at the tertiary level of individuals in both Thailand and Malaysia. It aims to compare the number and variety of people being trained in the tourism and hospitality industry and the extent to which languages are being taught. Results show that there is something of a disconnection between the languages provided and the languages that tourists desire in terms of their mother tongue. Those tourists who can speak English or Chinese may receive service support in those languages, while those who cannot may be disappointed.

Keywords:  Tourism education, competitiveness, Language, Tourism in Thailand, Tourism in Malaysia

 

The Roles of Foreign Languages in Business Administration

Announcing:

Thitthongkam, Thavorn, John Walsh and Chanchai Bunchapttanasakda, “The Roles of Foreign Languages in Business Administration,” Journal of Management Research, Vol.3, No.1 (2011), pp.1-15, available at: http://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/jmr/article/view/509/393.

Abstract:

This paper explores the roles of foreign language in business administration, investigates managerial perspectives and studies the problems of foreign language usage in communication to discover modes of developing employee’s foreign language ability and to investigate the students’ opinions concerning the roles of foreign languages in business administration in Thailand. In-depth, face-to-face qualitative interviews were employed. The results indicated that foreign languages play significant roles in import and export companies. In the managers’ point of view, foreign languages are very important to their businesses, especially for communication with customers, other companies and suppliers. The problems in some companies might happen because of differences between customers. The problems also come from both senders and receivers who lack knowledge of foreign languages. The informants stated that organizations should invite professional trainers to help improve foreign language skills in vocabulary and conversation in particular.

Improving Competitiveness of the Thai Tourism Industry: Tourism Educational Department Perspectives

Announcing:

Thitthongkam, Thavorn and John Walsh, “Improving Competitiveness of the Thai Tourism Industry: Tourism Educational Department Perspectives,” paper presented at the 4th International Colloquium on Business and Management (Bangkok: January, 2011).

Abstract:

This study aims to investigate the perspectives of tourism department heads to current tourism education in Thailand, to inspect the positive and negative experiences in dealing with tourism education curriculum, to explore the possible ways to improve tourism education curriculum, and to discover how tourism industry establishes and maintains competitiveness. In-depth face-to-face qualitative interviews were conducted with 32 tourism educational department heads. The Snowball technique was employed. A semi-structured interview form in English was created as a research tool by the researchers. The results of the study revealed that tourism education in Thailand needs to focus on foreign language skills. Tourism curriculum needs to be reviewed. Various factors to be considered when developing tourism education curriculum were also pointed out. The factor of foreign language helps in the competitiveness of tourism industry to a significant extent. Decision makers in tourism industry are required to recognize the requirements of the market, courses to provide in the curriculum, the lecturers to teach, and realise what prospective employees want to study. Moreover, tourism industry product suppliers and marketers might cooperate in establishing and maintaining competitiveness to help make the country a preferred tourist destination by providing opportunities to internship students. Language is one of the crucial aspects in the course of action of developing and maintaining international tourists. Based on the research findings, it is recommended that the government should manage all the efforts to develop and promote tourism education since the strength of the tourism industry is also the driver of tourism education.

Language Roles in Communication in Tourism Industry

Announcing:

Thitthongkam, Thavorn, John Walsh and Chanchai Bunchapttanasakda, “Language Roles in Communication in Tourism Industry,” Res Manageria, Vol.1, No.1 (December, 2010), pp.65-75, available at: http://www.assobp.org/Manageria/?wicket:interface=:2::::.

Abstract:

 Language plays a crucial role in communication. It supports employees to work successfully in tour  companies. However, there are some problems in the communication. International tourists have to have techniques to overcome the language barriers. Based on the study, it is recommended that organizations should set their plan to develop their people to have excellent language skills in communication with other corporations and international tourists. The paper illustrates that people can improve language talent for communication by training and practicing.

KeywordsLanguage roles, Tour company, International tourists, Language training, Language for communication.