The purpose of this paper is to evaluate cultural experience as a learning strategy for developing international managers.
Using an integrated framework, two quantitative studies, based on empirical methodology, are conducted. Study 1, with an undergraduate sample situated in the Asia Pacific, aimed to examine the relationship between cultural experience and intercultural capability (IC), an original theoretical construct representing the critical factors of international managers. Study 2, employing a more culturally experienced postgraduate sample from Ireland, sought to confirm the findings from study 1 and further test the relationship of cultural experience with the factor of cultural adaptation.
Results identify a U-curve relationship of cultural experience and cultural adaptation for inexperienced students (study 1). A more linear, but less significant relationship between the above two with a maximum level of adaptation for more experienced students was found in study 2. This implies that there is a relationship between cultural experience and IC, within the limitations of the sample. However, whilst cultural experience is a major variable in developing IC, findings are that universities and industry training managers need to use a blended learning approach when developing international managers, hence, combining cultural experience (experiential learning) with didactic methods.
This is an original theoretical construct representing the critical factors of international managers.
Townsend, P., Regan, P. and Li, L.L. (2015), "Developing international managers: the contribution of cultural experience to learning", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 234-251. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-03-2014-0042
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