Background to this project

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I am starting this project with about 180 UIAM undergraduate students that will take my courses. About 130 undergraduate students will take introduction to management (MGT2010) and 50 undergraduate students will take Organizational Behaviour (MGT4110). I will probably have another 30 or 40 postgraduate students who will take Organizational Behaviour (MGT6610). We will start, God willing, on the 15th December 2010. I will ask my students to listen to at least 1 religious talk every week. At the end of each session, I will ask them to assess whether they feel happier or less happy than before.

Before they start listening to these talks, they will receive a detailed (6 pages) hand out which includes the why of the project, the how of the project and a (short) literature review on the notion of happiness in the OB literature. My basic premises are:

a) People are happy because they are satisfied with what they have. They do not want more than what they have.
b) The more people know about Islam, the more they will appreciate what God has given them.

In terms of my lit review, I would like to say thank you to Fred Luthans, whose 2011 textbook on OB includes a chapter on "positive psychology". Reading that chapter was one of the catalysts for this project. Anyway, for me, the interesting 'twist' in this project is that I am using Albert Bandura as my theoretical framework. Apart from points a) and b), I am assuming that self-efficacy (i.e. the belief that Islam is an easy religion) and outcome expectancy (i.e. by being a good Muslim, I will be happy) are very important in determining whether somebody tries to improve himself or herself as a Muslim and - ultimately - becomes happy or not.

Readers may wonder. What will be the outcome of this project? Frankly, I am not quite sure. I suspect that one semester is too short to make a significant difference to their long-term level of happiness. However, I have learned one thing about doing research over the years. Often, the best thing to do is simply try it out. After the first batch of students have handed their report, I can get a better feel on the whole matter and how to progress.

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ariz azali December 16, 2010 at 10:51 AM

i came late to your class at 15th DEC. but, its a very good skill of teaching, when you apply your aikido skill as analogy to our study. hope ur project success. Insya-Allah.

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