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Über dieses Buch

This book tackles the latest challenges in education in the business sector, outlining how the students of the future must be taught to adapt to a highly fluid business environment in which their ability to acquire new skills and collaborate with others is more important than possessing facts. Taking its cue from the growing body of theory advocating multi-faceted and often multilingual education, the book focuses on ‘competences’ and collaborative, team-oriented, project-based learning.

Beginning with a set of studies on the differences in individual learning and ways of supporting students, the volume moves on to a collection of papers on learning at the level of the group, which include material on team learning, and the sharing of knowledge in problem-based learning. The editors view these factors in education as an inevitable feature of pedagogy, reflecting the fact that knowledge, and its acquisition, is increasingly collaborative in our working lives, and especially in business. A final section applies the principles developed in the first two parts at an organizational level, evaluating the enormous implications these developments in our ideas about learning have for the educational institutions charged with teaching future generations. Combining research and theory with practical factors in business education and training, the volume provides wide-ranging perspectives on developing best practice in the sector.



Individual Learning


Chapter 1. Cultural Differences in Learning Dispositions

Cultural differences in learning-related dispositions are investigated amongst 7,300 first year students from 81 different nationalities, using the framework of Hofstede (Culture’s consequences: international differences in work-related values. Sage, Beverly Hills, 1980). Comparing levels and intercorrelations of implicit theories of intelligence, effort beliefs, academic motivation, achievement goals, learning styles and approaches, and subject attitudes learns that traditional dichotomies often postulated in learning theories, such as those of surface versus deep learning, intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, self-regulation of learning versus external regulation, and mastery goals versus performance goals, do not manifest in different cultural clusters. In contrast, cluster profiles tend to be rather balanced. Cultural differences in intercorrelations are substantial and again indicate the difficulty of constructing culture-invariant learning theories. One of these differences regards the differentiation of several facets in performance goals and in different aspects of memorisation-based learning processes. Compared to students from other cultures, students of the Confucian culture appear to possess relative undifferentiated conceptions of performance goals and memorisation-based learning processes, what is at odds with contemporary theories of the Chinese learner.
Dirk T. Tempelaar, Bart Rienties, Bas Giesbers, Sybrand Schim van der Loeff

Chapter 2. The Relationship Between Learning Styles and the Effectiveness of VSC Modules in Finance Education

The advent of tablet PCs and electronic ink, combined with video screen capture (VSC) software, provides for an easy and cost-effective recording of both visual and auditory components of the development of a mathematical concept, with very simple technological requirements. The resulting learning module, in addition to providing an oral exposition in real time, can be stopped, started and replayed at any point, providing the learner with the ability to engage the material at a time and speed of their choosing. Given the multiple modalities of learning that VSC modules encapsulate, the question arises as to whether the predominant learning style of a course participant impacts the perceived and actual value of the technology. Employing students from an introductory MBA finance course, the reported use and perceived value of VSC modules, along with actual examination performance, are studied within the context of international versus domestic students, as well as primary learning styles. The results indicate that, possibly due to a lack of familiarity with the language of instruction, international students place less value on in-class instruction and report higher use of the modules. In addition, linguistic and interpersonal learners appear to report greater usage of the modules and higher perceived value, respectively. Although further study is warranted, the results appear to indicate that a significant benefit of VSC modules, for instructing mathematical topics, is in the accompanying synchronous verbal exposition.
Don Cyr

Chapter 3. The Crucial Role of the Supervisor in Supporting Employees’ Use of a Personal Development Plan: An Exploratory Intervention Study

When confronted with an aging population, fast-developing organizations come to realize that the employee’s continuing professional development drives business success. In order to gain competitive advantage, attracting and integrating new highly skilled workers and developing, motivating, and retaining the current workers have become crucial (Noe et al., Human resource management: gaining a competitive advantage, 6th edn, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2008). To support the professional development of their employees to a growing extent, organizations implement personal development plans (PDP). Although the evidence is scare, research results indicate positive effects on reflective learning and performance. However, the effectiveness of PDPs may depend on the presence of supporting process conditions, inherent to using a PDP. One of the supporting conditions often argued upon is the support of a supervisor. In this study, we will research the role of the supervisor in stimulating and guiding the employee’s use of a personal development plan. To research the role of the supervisor, an intervention study was conducted. During the intervention, the supervisors were trained in conducting performance interviews in which the tool takes a central role. The results suggest that employees start to reflect more because of having a supervisor who was enrolled in the training.
Simon Beausaert, Mien Segers, Anniek van den Berge, Jeannette Hommes, Wim Gijselaers

Group Learning


Chapter 4. Bringing Virtual Teams and Cross-Cultural Business Education into the Classroom

This chapter describes the genesis, design, and implementation of an original cross-cultural experiment taught in English using a videoconferencing system connecting the University of Tsukuba’s MBA Program in International Business in Japan and the Grenoble Ecole de Management’s Master in Management Program in France. The course was conducted over several weeks, involving students working in mixed and geographically distributed virtual teams on various exercises and case studies dealing with issues specific to cross-cultural management. First, the evolution of this course over the past 3 years is reviewed. Second, the insightful content of the students’ final assignment on their experience in the classroom and beyond with both faculty and peers is used to assess changes in the course’s features and examine the contribution of such course. Last, concrete recommendations are provided on the course’s institutional support, structure, blended learning, tangible diversity, and cross-cultural learning.
Rémy Magnier-Watanabe, Caroline Benton, Harald Herrig, Olivier Aba

Chapter 5. An Evaluation Model for Collaborative Online Courses: The Impact of Knowledge Sharing and Communication Climate

Increasing globalization and changes in the business landscape have pushed the concept of lifelong learning into the center of employee development as companies’ strategic advantage arises from the knowledge and skills of employees. In order to stay competitive in the labor market, and to accommodate the multiple life priorities of family and work, an increasing number of professionals follow (part-time) courses and programs online. Yet, little research has neither focused on the perceived learning and satisfaction of professional learners in this virtual environment nor investigated the factors that contribute to them. Using a mixed method approach, this chapter compares two online courses (one successful, one unsuccessful) provided for professional learners. A model framework is presented to unearth factors that influence perceived learning and satisfaction of professionals in online courses, which results in a strong correlation between creating a positive communication climate, collaborative knowledge sharing, and perceived learning and satisfaction of professionals.
Therese Grohnert, Katerina Bohle Carbonell, Amber Dailey-Hebert, Mien Segers

Chapter 6. MBA Applied Research Projects: Authentic Learning for the Hospitality Industry

This chapter offers a conceptual model of the educational frameworks underlying commissioned capstone projects on an MBA course in International Hospitality Management. Three separate but related concepts underlie the projects discussed: (a) action research (Lewin, J Soc Issues 2(4):34–46, 1946; Revans, The origin and growth of action learning, Blond & Briggs, Ltd., Brickley, 1982; Dickens and Watkins, Manage Learn 30(2):127–140, 1999), (b) problem-based learning (Siok San Tan, Ng, Educ Train 48(6):416–428, 2006; Laughton and Ottewil, Educ Train 40(3):95–101, 1998), and (c) appreciative enquiry (Cooperrider et al, Appreciative inquiry handbook, Lakeshore Communications, Bedford Heights, 2003). These concepts are used to construct a model that looks at the relationship between the industry and academic partners in such ventures.
Peter Juskiw, Lyn Glanz

Chapter 7. Student Experiences of Self-Reflection and Peer Assessment in Providing Authentic Project-Based Learning to Large Class Sizes

Learning in authentic projects is supposed to enhance business graduates knowledge, skills and future employment. However, in programmes with a large number of students, implementing project-based learning and providing helpful guidance, extensive feedback and support by teachers can be cumbersome. Recent research has looked into whether and how self-reflection, peer rating and peer assessment can help learners to reflect on their role within a group and their individual contributions to the project. While peer assessment traditionally is used for grading or marking peers, there is a call for more formative (for learning) assessment and feedback.
Using principles of design-based research, this chapter compares the extent to which two consecutive redesigns, with 106 postgraduate students in hospitality management to cope with larger class sizes involving more individual reflection, peer feedback and evaluation on a frequent biweekly interval, provide perceived enhancement of the student learning experience. The results indicate that the implementation of self-reflection and peer assessment leads to more satisfied students. At the same time, peer assessment for some students and in some groups leads to a degree of stress and conflicts.
Bart Rienties, Anthony Willis, Peter Alcott, Emma Medland

Organisational Learning


Chapter 8. Perspectives and Practice: Facilitating the Learning of the Twenty-First-Century Manager

Using as a case study the redesign of a new stage 1 MBA module at the Open University Business School, this chapter explores the consequences of introducing new pedagogic processes and, in particular, reviews how a dedicated forum for the module's Associate Lecturers helped them to better understand their role in facilitating the learning of their students. Using data from a larger initiative to study the processes of change and innovation in pedagogical design, this chapter focuses on the role of teaching in four main areas of MBA skills development, which underpinned the module’s learning design, namely, practice-based learning, information discernment, skill building in reflective practice and the use of collaborative and independent learning approaches. The findings highlight the similarities amongst AL and student experiences in the first year of the module and how dialogue and collaborative learning helped both groups to negotiate new, practice-based learning experiences.
Kristen Reid, Sarah Robinson, Paul Quintas

Chapter 9. Survival Lessons: Academic Continuity, Business Continuity, and Technology

Business organizations have had to deal with disasters that challenge their ability to maintain or restore business due to disruption or threats to normal operations. Ensuring that “essential functions” and “mission-critical services” continue is critical to organizational survival. Academia has also been affected by similar disruptions, particularly in the past decade; however, there appears to be much less attention to continuity issues although educational closures can last from days to months impacting students, instructors, staff, and the community. Technological developments—such as text alerts, e-learning, and Skype—now offer opportunities for educators to apply lessons from business for academic continuity. Examples in higher education and the literature on organizational continuity provide the basis for the argument that education today necessitates attention to maintaining continual access to teaching and learning—academic continuity—and that much like business continuity processes, technological developments are integral to survival.
Claudine SchWeber
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