Developing Cultural Competence: Challenges and Best Practices in Higher Education

Developing Cultural Competence: Challenges and Best Practices in Higher Education

Erika Cornelius Smith (Nichols College, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJMSE.2019070101

Abstract

The growing popularity of short-term study abroad and faculty-led immersion offer scholars and educators a new opportunity to study the impact of cross-cultural experiential learning practices on fostering cross-cultural competency among business students. Rising foreign direct investment, international trade, the growing significance of emerging markets, and other socio-political elements of globalization are reshaping 21st century business practices. Pedagogies of business education, including sales and marketing education, must adapt to these changes and provide an emphasis on cross-cultural understanding and its impact on business decision making, along with fostering skills for cultural sensitivity. This article will review two relevant theoretical frameworks, transformative learning theory, and experiential learning theory, which describe the processes by which students develop intercultural competence, particularly with respect to faculty-led, short-term study immersion programs. It will outline a series of best practices for designing, measuring, and implementing such programs in higher education and conclude with brief recommendations for future research.

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