• The influences of capital development strategies choice on international management students' collaborative knowledge creation: Turkey and Ecuador

      Mikhaylov, Natalie S.; Fierro, Isidro; Beaumont, Ellen S.; Suleyman Sah University; UEES; The University of Derby (International Academy of Technology, Education and Development, 2016-03)
      The paper presents the first phase of international (four countries) study that explores the influence of social capital and personal learning networks (PLN) development approaches used by international management students in multicultural learning environments and the types of social and academic networks they develop on their collaborative knowledge and cross-cultural competence development, in particular, on their preparation for international careers. A comparative analysis is conducted within four international programs (in Turkey, Ecuador, UK and US) that offer international education in English language for local and international students. The paper presents the preliminary results of a comparison in two locations – Turkey and Ecuador. The study applies the concepts of collaborative knowledge development, social capital and social networks. The study uses constructivist grounded theory [1] to uncover the process of social capital and collaborative knowledge creation. Based on the data, collected through semi-structured interviews, and analyzed through dımensıonal analysis [2]; [3], the study develops a process model, which takes into account the core social identity of the learner, as well as the existing and emergent social personal learning ties, built on social capital. An additional goal of the study is to uncover the overlapping social and personal learning networks international and local students participate in and develop, to trace the knowledge sharing routes and to pinpoint knowledge creation hubs in these networks. As the result of the study, recommendations are developed for higher educational institutions (HEIs) and multinational enterprises (MNEs) regarding the steps they can take to promote collaborative and cross-cultural knowledge creation among their members. The connectivism theory of social learning [4] suggests loose and pragmatic ties appropriate to knowledge sharing and creation in the interconnected networked social reality of the 21st century as they combine social and informational resources that operate in a chaotic environment and recognize rather than create patterns of meaning. While we are not proposing any final theoretical models at this point, it is likely that the learners who are engaged in multi-dimensional and loosely connected PLNs characterized by multiple networks consisted of weak ties and who utilize problem solving models of knowledge creation are more likely to become cross/interculturally competent and are more likely to be prepared for global careers. However, the preliminary findings show that international students lack the skills and desire to create functional PLNs and tend to engage in multiple binding networks characterized by strong emotional bonds but limited knowledge creation. While is it premature at this stage to suggest any specific steps that IHEIs and other multicultural learning environments might take to encourage social and technological networking among international students and other members of academic environment, some tentative recommendations are presented.