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Short‐term study abroad: a transformational approach to global business education

Karen Hallows (School of Management, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)
Paige Porter Wolf (School of Management, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)
Michelle A. Marks (School of Management, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)

Journal of International Education in Business

ISSN: 2046-469X

Publication date: 4 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer an approach to global business education that offers a transformative experience for students and results in greater confidence and expertise.

Design/methodology/approach

A model of global business competence is described, as well as an approach to global business education involving a short‐term study abroad experience. Transformational learning practices were embedded in the course design. Surveys were collected at two different times in the short‐term study abroad course to demonstrate changes in students' confidence and expertise. The first survey was conducted after completing reading assignments and classroom‐based instruction (Time 1) and the second was collected upon returning from the study abroad experience (Time 2).

Findings

Results indicated a significant change in students' perceptions of their global business competence from Time 1 to Time 2, indicating the benefits of the short‐term study abroad experience beyond classroom instruction and readings.

Research limitations/implications

Further clarification regarding the specific short‐term study abroad experiences that had the most impact on student outcomes would further our knowledge of how to design and structure these experiences to maximally enhance global business expertise and effectiveness for business students. In addition, future research may explore longer‐term student outcomes as a result of the short‐term study abroad experience.

Practical implications

Business school faculty and administrators may identify practices described in this study that they could incorporate to enhance their global business education courses or study abroad experiences.

Originality/value

This paper builds on transformational learning and global business literature to provide a practical approach to graduate business education. A framework for defining global business competence and pedagogical design principles that promote transformational learning is offered and may be of interest to business school faculty and administrators.

Keywords

Citation

Hallows, K., Porter Wolf, P. and Marks, M.A. (2011), "Short‐term study abroad: a transformational approach to global business education", Journal of International Education in Business, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 88-111. https://doi.org/10.1108/18363261111189504

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited