THE EFFECT OF CULTURE ON EDUCATIONAL METHODOLOGIES IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PROGRAMS: AN APPLICATION TO THE IMBA PROGRAM
As the world becomes global, there are growing needs and opportunities for intercultural exchanges in learning processes. In the context of the Spanish University Strategy for 2015, one of the most important objectives is to increase internationalisation through international postgraduate courses (Spanish Ministry of Education, 2010). Intercultural teaching capabilities are now becoming necessary for better achievement perceived service quality among international students. In the area of business studies, research on pedagogical issues is needed in order to provide recommendations and group management implications. For instance, a challenge for international business programs is dealing with intercultural members’ teamwork, skill very highly demanded by European companies. Consequently, research regarding the relationship between students’ cultural value orientation and the level of satisfaction towards educational methodologies (i.e. attitude about teamwork versus individual work) is sparse in the context of international business programs in higher education. The aim of this research is to analyze how cultural differences along the Hofstede dimensions of individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term/short-term orientation influence the international students’ perceptions towards working in teams. The academic context chosen for this paper refers to the international academic experience of the International Master in Business Administration, iMBA at Universitat de Valencia (Spain). Student profile is varied (different nationalities, ages and academic training) and they interact and exchange experiences. Results and recommendations are particularly relevant to educators teaching courses in a culturally diverse classroom.