Assessing the learning experiences of business students working in cross-cultural virtual teams.

Julia Tyrrell, Sarah Horton-Walsh, Carmela Bosangit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding

Abstract

Operating in global virtual teams (GVTs) has become an established form of working for international organisations, but teaching business students how to maximise their effectiveness in GVTs is a challenge. Using a multi-country student collaboration project, called the X-Culture project, this paper investigates the learning experiences of business students working in virtual teams. The data is part of a post-project evaluation survey, which was completed by over 500 students involved in the project. Responses to an open-ended question allowing students to give their impressions on team performance were extracted from the survey results. These were then coded using NVivo into four key themes, which had emerged from the literature. The results for the first theme, teamwork and student roles, demonstrated that team leadership was an issue although informal leaders emerged to deal with the organisational issues. Responses around the second theme, communication, mainly focussed on the lack of face-to-face communication (although Skype was popular in overcoming this), infrequent communications between team members, and the shortcomings of Facebook for this work. Cultural
aspects was the third theme, with many positive responses from students about the opportunity to learn about different cultures; the final theme focussed on trust, with student feedback indicating initial lack of trust in team members, but recognising the importance of building relationships to ensure team effectiveness. Recommendations are given about the effectiveness of projects such as this in developing experiential learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTARC International Conference 2013 on Learning and Teaching
Subtitle of host publicationInnovation And Transformation in Learning and Teaching
Place of PublicationKuala Lumpur
PublisherTunku Abdul Rahman University College
Pages70-75
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9789670115016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
EventTARC International Conference 2013 on Learning and Teaching: Innovation and Transformation in Learning and Teaching - Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 21 Oct 201322 Oct 2013
http://www.tarc.edu.my/news.jsp?cat_id=56EBCDAD-D3D4-4D3B-8AC4-44CAF115AE1E&fmenuid=63470210-0077-4156-8326-47DE252878A7&news_id=EFC6FA26-9FF4-4800-809F-6087D87724C8

Conference

ConferenceTARC International Conference 2013 on Learning and Teaching
Abbreviated titleTARC 2013
CountryMalaysia
CityKuala Lumpur
Period21/10/1322/10/13
Internet address

Keywords

  • Global virtual teams
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Experiential learning

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