Friendship and relationships in virtual and intercultural learning: Internationalising the business curriculum

Author/s: Joanna Crossman, Sarbari Bordia

Edition: Volume 51, Number 2, July 2011

Summary: Graduates need to be prepared for working in global organisations that increasingly rely on virtual, culturally diverse teams. This paper reports on a qualitative research study concerned with the perceptions of university business students who collaborated on a virtual and international project to learn about intercultural communication. The findings indicated that participants capitalised on the opportunity the project presented to find friends and to negotiate and deepen relationships. In addition, the analysis revealed that social interaction also characterised and influenced the learning experience itself and had implications for engagement. The paper concludes that the subjectivities of social interaction are powerfully embedded in the learning process and may play a part in engagement. Second, the project was perceived as a valuable way of preparing students for workplaces where developing intercultural communication skills and online, culturally diverse team relationships are required.

Keywords: intercultural communication, relationships, social interaction, online, teams

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This article is part of AJAL, Volume 51_2. The entire volume is available in .pdf for purchase here.

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