University of Turku (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 7536-7544
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
The paper explores the role of faculty and peer mentoring in cultural knowledge and expertise development of the students in international business education. A comparative analysis of the knowledge development process was conducted within four undergraduate programs in international management education in Finland, the Czech Republic (two programs) and in Ecuador. The study examined the expertise development process, in particular the role of the feedback provided by peer and faculty members through formal and informal interactions, and its influence on the student development of cultural knowledge and cross-cultural competence. The study applies the concept of cultural knowledge development (Holden 2002) and expertise development (Ericsson et al. 1993 and Ericsson 1996) learning approach.

Based on the data, collected through semi-structured interviews and participant observation and analyzed using the constructivist Grounded Theory Method (GTM) (Charmaz 2006, Kools et al. 1996), the paper presents a cultural expertise development process model, which takes into account the core social identity of the mentor and the learner (Bandura 1977 and Vygotsky 1978), as well as the existing and emergent social ties, built on social capital. The paper provides tentative recommendations (subject for further research) for the steps that educational institutions can take to promote an educational environment conductive for cross-cultural and intercultural knowledge exchange. The recommendations of the study can assist international higher educational institutions (IHEIs) in promotion of cultural awareness, knowledge creation and intercultural competence of their local and international students, as well as in the evaluation of the international exchange programs of their educational partners and thus to improve their students’ experience in study abroad programs.
Cultural knowledge development, multicultural learning environment, mentoring, expertise development, business education.