17 Aug

At present, the professionals from different fields typically work in multi-professional teams, companies and business environments. The problem is that they have developed different terminological thesauruses and overvaluation of their profession, which may obstruct the effective multi-professional communication and coordination. Concretely, this may lead to misunderstanding, disrespect and confrontation among the different professionals; difficult adaptation; underestimation of the functions of professionals from external fields and even their appropriation; task overload, etc. This may obstruct the effectiveness of every professional, educational or research team.

Metaphorically, this lower level of multi-professional coordination is like ‘Tower of Babel’, where different professionals understand only their own language. The professional orientation on this level is based only on one’s own professional experience in a concrete field.

For example, a manager with educational degree and experience only in a narrow technical field rejected a recruiter’s recommendation against a certain candidate selection without any explanation. Despite a discussion about the expected issues, the manager appointed the candidate and then the problems followed. The condition-focused problem analysis showed that, in this case, the manager and the candidate work in a narrow technical field with specific technical standards and terminology. On the other side, professionals from the recruitment field use terminology, which is close to the natural languages. This may easily lead to the conclusion – “I understand, therefore I can”. The issue is that, apart from the superficial understanding of the terms, there should be a deeper understanding of the professional requirements and the possible issues within the organisation and the business environment.

Therefore, the effective coordination depends on a broader professional orientation about the common and particular professional frames. In the broadest sense, every professional sphere develops on two unified levels – education and practice. The development of general professional orientation should be a part of the education and management programmes. The professional education system includes the professional and academic education centres like the universities as well as their information bases – the academic libraries. Presently, they have global web-based multi-professional services. The professional social networking site LinkedIn provides a similar service for global professional communication.

The multi-profile academic libraries categorise the leading professional, educational and scientific literature of all technological, social and natural branches. Therefore, the academic libraries ensure the broadest multi-professional orientation.  

Metaphorically, the upper level of multi-professional coordination is like ‘Academic Library’, where professionals can upgrade the broadest professional orientation about common and particular professional frames and functions. This professional orientation is based on general conceptual models of multi-professional coordination.

The general conceptual models present the broadest general orientation about common properties or correlations and relevant evidence. In this category are also the general problem insights and analyses as well as the problem-orienting images or schemas for quick problem orientation, such as components of the present article. 

In general, all professional practices are developed in a multi-professional social environment but the needs for coordination vary. The professionals who perform individual or similar practices do not have a permanent need and responsibility for external coordination with professionals of different fields. The problems occur when they start working in multi-professional teams or organisations with requirements for coordination. In this case, the lower level of communication and coordination of the type ‘Tower of Babel’ should not be acceptable.

That’s why the professional education and strategic management need to develop general conceptual models of effective multi-professional coordination of all professional units – professionals, teams, organisations and branches. The development of upper level of multi-professional coordination of the type ‘Academic Library’ depends on the development of education and management programs which introduce general conceptual models, standards and rules. As a whole, the ‘Academic Library’ is a symbol of the broadest professional orientation, and also of the global professional development from the ancient secret crafts to the present education-based professional practices with global standards. 

In this line of thoughts, it is very important to answer the question - What type is our level of multi-professional coordination - ‘Tower of Babel’ or ‘Academic Library’?

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