HOW CAN I BE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR COUNTRY by runout

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									                                                                            How Can I be Successful

                    HOW CAN I BE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR COUNTRY?

                      E. M. Rodriguez-Falcon, A. Symington* and A. Hodzic

                              Department of Mechanical Engineering
                                * Learning and Teaching Services
                             The University of Sheffield, England, UK

Abstract
This paper presents a study conducted at the University of Sheffield with a class of over 100
Engineering Management students from different disciplines of Engineering, countries of origin,
previous educational backgrounds and levels of work experience. The students were asked to fill in
a two-part questionnaire investigating their perceptions of their native culture, based upon the
Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck Cross Cultural Analysis Framework (Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck, 1961), and
factors that would be required to run a successful Engineering project in their country of origin.
This paper suggests that students‟ cultural perceptions are highly complex and at times
contradictory and that using a participative and student-centred pedagogy to recognise and value
students‟ cultural capital not only enhances their cross-cultural knowledge and skills but leads to
enhanced home/international student integration.


Keywords: multicultural university, international students, internationalisation


Contact author

Elena M. Rodriguez-Falcon
Department of Mechanical Engineering
The University of Sheffield
England, UK

Email: e.m.rodriguez-falcon@sheffield.ac.uk

Tel.   0114 2227797
Fax.   0114 2227890

Biographies

Elena M. Rodriguez-Falcon is a Senior University Teacher specialised in Enterprise Education in
Engineering and Director of Learning and Teaching Development in Inclusive Learning and
Teaching at the University of Sheffield. She has been involved in the Internationalisation project as
Academic Lead since 2006.

Anna Symington graduated in Geography from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Anna is
currently employed as the Internationalisation Project Officer at the University of Sheffield working
to internationalise the learning and teaching experience.

Alma Hodzic is a Senior Lecturer in Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of
Sheffield. One of her teaching modules is Engineering Management presented in this study. Alma
has taught and performed research in the area of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in
Australia and the UK since 1997.


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                                                                             How Can I be Successful

                     HOW CAN I BE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR COUNTRY?

                      E. M. Rodriguez-Falcon, A. Symington* and A. Hodzic

                              Department of Mechanical Engineering
                                * Learning and Teaching Services
                             The University of Sheffield, England, UK

Abstract
This paper presents a study conducted at the University of Sheffield with a class of over 100
Engineering Management students from different disciplines of Engineering, countries of origin,
previous educational backgrounds and levels of work experience. The students were asked to fill in
a two-part questionnaire investigating their perceptions of their native culture, based upon the
Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck Cross Cultural Analysis Framework (Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck, 1961), and
factors that would be required to run a successful Engineering project in their country of origin.
This paper suggests that students‟ cultural perceptions are highly complex and at times
contradictory and that using a participative and student-centred pedagogy to recognise and value
students‟ cultural capital not only enhances their cross-cultural knowledge and skills but leads to
enhanced home/international student integration.

Introduction
The well documented increase in the number of international students in UK Higher Education has
led to a greater recognition over time of the new and difficult challenges such a diverse student
body poses (DeVita and Case, 2003). It has been seen that, despite the increasingly multicultural
environment, cultures do not necessarily mix naturally or readily. Rather, the tendency is to remain
congregated together within cultural comfort zones. Consequently, cultural interactions can become
limited and the „British learning experience‟ becomes, for example, a Chinese experience in
England or a Mexican experience in Wales and similarly the „global learning experience‟ British
students could have the opportunity to experience may not emerge.

Across the UK Higher Education sector it has been noted that very little effort has been invested in
bringing culturally different groups of students together, to expand their understanding of their
complex Higher Education environment, how they may have been conditioned to perceive
multiculturalism, and how others may have been conditioned to perceive them within the
multicultural environment. In such circumstances, socially acceptable and encouraged behaviour
from one culture may be perceived as totally unacceptable in another; for example, social
interaction involving physical contact that is encouraged in some countries may lead to the
embarrassment of a student from a more conservative culture. Clearly, some of these differences
may lead to long-term unresolved tensions and serve as barriers in social interactions and the whole
university learning experience, leading to misinterpretation of the local culture and even influence
personal attitudes toward lecturers and the University.

Some recent studies carried out in the USA arrived at the disappointing conclusion that an
international university in a multicultural society still does not necessarily provide students with an
essential aspect of their education: enhancement of cross-cultural skills, understanding and
knowledge of different cultures and perceptions (Bruch et al., 2007). It has been seen that
underlying tensions which can lead to misinterpretation of many issues during the life spent at the
university persist for many students. Bruch et al. discussed three of the most prevalent themes that
arose from their study involving 406 students:




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    (i)     Affirmative action. The concept of affirmative action represents the impossibility or
            possibility of value judgements which are impartial to group norms, power and
            privilege. It appeared from 37% of comments on this view that students believed that
            multiculturalism was good and diversity appreciated; however, at the same time they
            contradicted their view by associating the minority with privilege. A great majority of
            students were white (89%), however some of them still perceived that minorities had
            better chances of securing a place at college. Other students reflected on
            multiculturalism as a positive (somewhat utopian) idea; however, they did not want to
            focus on the issue, rather remain dedicated to their studies. For others, the presence of
            diversity indicated that exceptions were being made for minorities to allow them to enter
            the college, and those minorities were perceived as less dedicated than some other
            potential students who might have taken their place instead. Obviously, such
            representation of minorities makes it difficult to appreciate educational multicultural
            effects on a wider society i.e. including different perspectives. Such incorporation of
            diversity rather leads to creation of negative stereotypes in a society where students
            focus on a few examples to justify their exclusive attitudes.
    (ii)    Reverse discrimination. This extreme view which appears to be a consequence of
            multiculturalism, embodies ideas that white people (or the local population), men and
            those marked as privileged by social status are unfairly demonised and their opinions are
            deliberately less valued. Their representatives will argue for the abolishment of
            privileges which are given to minorities for better inclusion into society, and under the
            wing of „equal rights to all‟ will tend to diminish the perceived importance of their social
            group and focus on the values (privileges) which they feel have been taken away from
            them.
    (iii)   Uncomplicated Pluralism, a version of pluralism and „diversity celebration‟ which
            encourages desegregation rather than group equality. Students who expressed their
            views in this light were very accepting of other cultures and wanted to participate in the
            learning process which involved diverse opinions. However, they failed to address the
            existence of power and privilege and chose to ignore those issues, which seemed to
            leave such problems intacta and allow them to persist unchallenged in the society.

It appeared from the study that perceptions did not in fact reflect reality due to the strong
competition inherent in all aspects of the process of education (e.g. competition for places, grades,
promotion, and tenure). However, the reality of strong competition and a limited number of
available places to achieve desired goals seemed to evoke views that we are not all equal, which in
turn creates distrust among members of the student population.

The authors of the study reflected on previous work indicating ways of positively influencing
multiculturalism in education (Nelson et al., 2005; Zúñiga et al., 2005) by introducing new values
such as transformations in programming and in learning goals. However, it appeared that students‟
mixed feelings towards multiculturalism, especially those of resistance towards it, were simply
displaced by the emphasis on educational accomplishment.

While analysing the perceptions from their study, Bruch et al. concluded that multiculturalism
means different things to different people in different contexts. Their views can be summarised as
follows:

   For the critical education researchers, multiculturalism focuses on the relationships among and
    between knowledge, power and identity (Giroux 1994; McLaren and Farahmandpur 2005;
    Rhoads and Valadez 1996),
   Other higher education researchers multiculturalism embodies previously ignored contributions
    from minorities thus expanding the existing tradition of knowledge,


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    In liberal perspectives, multiculturalism embodies political power to bring previously excluded
     individual perspectives into dominant conventions (Guerrero 1996; Torres 1998; McCarthy
     1995), and
    In popular culture, multiculturalism may carry negative associations which indicate corruption
     of existing values (Auster 1990; D‟Souza 1997; Kimball 2003; McWhorter 2002; Schmidt
     1997).

The international university provides enormous complexity whenever one single value needs to be
normalised and made „equal for all‟. Although Bruch et al. focused on perceptions of power and
privilege in the multicultural Higher Education environment, those findings contain information of
utmost importance to all multicultural universities. There are numerous factors which influence the
learning experience in a multicultural HE institution, and we propose and discuss some that we have
encountered during our academic experience:

1.    The host country: the experience of a multicultural university will depend on the environment.
      Adjusting to local cultural values will vary between universities for example in rural England,
      in Singapore or a city campus in USA, to name but a few. Even within one country, the UK
      for example, the learning experience at a HE institution in London will vary from the
      experience at The University in Sheffield. The influencing factors involve wider social
      parameters such as the wider presence of ethnic groups, living expenses and crime rate. The
      variation in these parameters will strongly influence not only the learning experience, but also
      the selection process before applying to study.
2.    The host university: students from different cultures will find it easier to mix in a dedicated
      campus environment rather than in a city where the student population can more easily
      segregate in restaurants, pubs and other designated social places. The social dynamics will be
      influenced by the university facilities and availability of commonly shared social
      environments. Most international universities have established prayer rooms, cuisine with
      internationally accepted meals, social clubs and inclusive curriculum; however, there is a
      shortage of „shared space‟ not related to departments and libraries where students would be
      encouraged to socialise and perhaps debate about their differences.
3.    International politics between students‟ countries of origin and the host country. This
      involves crises such as war, terrorism acts, misrepresentation of their countries in the local
      media, protests against their countries, environmental catastrophes and so on. International
      students may find that their deep cultural values and sense of integrity have been disrespected
      by the lack of empathy for the suffering of their nation. On the other hand, the local students
      may feel that international students impose their self-inflicted problems on the local society
      and may resist receiving such information, sometimes even taking extreme views of the
      situation. Mismanaged feedback from other students in such extreme circumstances may
      results in a significant problem for international students, and vice versa. So far, there are no
      systems in place to prevent such problems from occurring, or to manage them once they
      occur.
4.    Cultural values, which may stretch from one end of a spectrum to the other. A student from
      an emotionally open environment will encounter difficulties while studying in a culture of
      privacy. Students from countries where kissing, touching and hugging is socially acceptable
      behaviour among friends will need to dial down their tendencies quickly, in order to avoid
      being labelled as „different‟. Students from Europe will be quite happy to give negative views
      of the issues they dislike and they might find a silent response, often leaving them in a
      vacuum and misunderstanding of the situation. Many such situations are attributed to personal
      traits rather than cultural values, and might drive international students back into their comfort
      zone, a place where they can meet people of the same culture.
5.    Relationships between academic staff members and students. In some universities in the UK,
      personal tutors are assigned to small groups of students who they meet on weekly basis.


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     Discussions of private issues, problems, educational challenges and future career all take place
     in an open environment and students become able to quickly adapt to a new environment.
     However, if international students culturally do not share problems, especially financial
     problems, with other people, such communication is halted and it is not fulfilling its stated
     purpose. Also, there are issues in gender perceptions, and a male student might find it
     problematic to open to a female lecturer or vice versa. It is here that the relationship has to be
     forged and tailored by a skilled lecturer, and such training is not offered readily by
     universities. In addition, a great majority of universities do not offer personal tutorials and
     therefore, dedicated time to resolving issues is limited to counselling services which are most
     often than not overbooked.
6.   The nature of the subject which is being studied. Whilst students in the Social Sciences, Arts
     and Humanities actively and continuously engage in understanding human values and have
     open discussions and debates about social and cultural issues as a part of their studies,
     students in Pure Science and Engineering mainly engage with learning about natural laws and
     external scientific concepts which direct their focus towards the external world and its
     exploration. The former group of students will expose more passion and will show creativity
     in the way of accepting new values, whereas the latter group will tend to remain working in
     the frame of rational mind, leaving out „non-priority‟ thinking which tends to engage them
     with self-investigation and bring them closer to their deep, inherent human values. It is
     unlikely that a conflict will appear in the sphere of rationally minded teamwork, where
     students from all backgrounds acknowledge their merits in understanding scientific concepts
     and tend to avoid personal issues. However, this is also a place where prejudices are safely
     buried from exposure and can go unnoticed for a long time before surfacing in a surprise
     situation.

Bringing multicultural awareness into curricula is a true challenge and the participation of all
students, not just the international, is required if we are to succeed. The development of
intercultural understanding is a complex process involving many layers of awareness. Ramburuth
(2000) argues that understanding and acknowledging similarities and differences is the first step,
taking action to address issues of difference is the next step. Otten (2000) goes further by arguing
that cross-cultural learning does not automatically occur whenever people meet (even for extended
or intense periods of time) but that through acknowledgement of diversity people can be encouraged
to learn, through dialogue, about their differences and similarities. Effective intercultural encounters
that foster sensitive learning require a personal, intimate and empathic approach (Trahar, 2007).
The „real life‟ experience of cultural diversity, intercultural encounters, exchange of intercultural
knowledge, nevertheless, remains an effective and involving form of learning.

Case study: students teaching students

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield has attempted to use
students‟ cultural capital to develop, enhance and transform their understanding and knowledge of
working in international projects.

The study of peoples‟ cultural capital has been discussed in many different contexts including
psychology, sociology, educational development (in the context of internationalisation of the
curriculum) and others. Cultural capital has been defined as the knowledge that enables an
individual to interpret various cultural codes (Soroka, 2006). However, several authors have been
critical of the exceedingly narrow interpretation of cultural capital as simply consisting of 'beaux
arts' participation, and have suggested that cultural capital should be seen as learning and teaching
content and delivery which draws on and rewards the knowledge base, skills and experience of
students (Crook, 1997; De Graaf et al., 2000; Farkas, 2003; Ganzeboom, 1982; Lareau and
Weininger, 2003; Schoorman, 2000; Sullivan, 2001). Suggestions such as these have led


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Universities to seek new pedagogies and understandings of culture and to adopt „teaching processes
designed to assist all students to learn about and understand the international contexts of studies‟
(Leask, 1999, p.3).

The Faculty of Engineering, comprised of 8 departments, has a very large number of international
students, varying from 30% in some departments to more than 50% in others such Electronic and
Electrical Engineering. In their third year, students across the Faculty take a module „Engineering
Management‟, in which one of the topics discussed is the management of international projects.

A key learning outcome of this topic is the understanding that one of the success selection factors to
work in an international project is the students‟ experience and understanding of working with
cultures other than their own (Gray and Larson, 2007, p.496).

In order to meet this learning outcome, the approach taken to the subject was as follows:

1. Guest lecture on the topic (a pragmatic approach due to the large number of students)
2. Use of case studies to illustrate the topic
3. Use of personal, culturally-related anecdotes from the lecturer and from the students
4. Acknowledgement of diversity (as shown in Table 1) and multiculturalism; all 33 countries‟
   flags were displayed (Figure 1) and students were thanked for their participation in their own
   language (Figure 2)
5. Interactive exercise that included a survey, which is the basis for this paper.

The interactive exercise: using students’ cultural capital

Students were asked the following questions in a short questionnaire:
1. Country of Origin (including the language spoken)
2. One thing one must do and must not do in order to be successful in their country
3. Plot their perception of their country of origin against the Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck Cross-Cultural
   Framework (Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck, 1961).

One hundred responses were received. Twenty three countries were identified in the survey with
twenty nine languages spoken. The students had the opportunity to share their thoughts in class and
speak freely about the issues that foreigners need to consider in order to integrate successfully and
manage a project in one of these twenty three countries. Finally, the knowledge gathered from the
students was collated into a „peer teaching guide‟ (Tables A1 and A2) from students to students.
The guide was distributed to Engineering Management students and others and the response has
been highly positive.

Discussion

Several interesting trends emerge from Table A1 which serve to highlight the diversity of
perceptions at both a collective and individual level. There are a number of instances where
students‟ perceptions of their cultures do not coincide with those that would be expected given the
cultural norms in those countries (indicated through underlining). For example, it would seem
contrary to many peoples‟ perceptions to find Sri Lanka categorised as dominating nature or PR
China described as an individualist society. Table A2 appears to be fairly consistent in the advice
offered regarding interpersonal interactions, personal space, and adherence to laws, attitudes and
work practices. However, there are also some elements which may appear contradictory from some
perspectives for example in advocating taking bribes but never showing disrespect to religious (i.e.
moral) values.



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These contradictions highlight that it would be a challenge to establish a common ground where all
parties‟ ethics could be equally valued, for example, in the cultural context of an individually
oriented, law abiding society. In terms of education, it also stresses the difficulties in developing a
multicultural learning environment. As with the findings of Bruch el al, students in this study had
mixed feelings towards multiculturalism and cross-cultural interaction. However, the lecture and
„peer guide‟ provided to the group put an emphasis on educational and professional
accomplishment as done by Bruch et al. This emphasis appeared to resonate with students who later
went on to say “The lecture topic was really interesting and is definitely going to help me after I
graduate”

The exercise and peer guide, which was run in the third year of the students‟ degree, appears to
have been effective in raising awareness about cross-cultural knowledge and skills and their
importance in their careers. It is, however, unclear whether the exercise leads to enhancing
home/international student integration.

The authors believe that preconditioning students to learn in a multicultural environment must be
done from early in their HE learning experience. Consequently, the authors suggest that a shorter
version of the lecture should be re-run in the induction week to first year students as the outcome of
this study. The knowledge we gained from the third year students involved in this study will lead to
the restructuring of the induction week. The multicultural awareness session will be used as a tool
and the newly arrived students will be introduced to the concepts of Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck Cross
Cultural Framework Analysis. The tool will serve to prevent misunderstanding, open students'
minds to the character of their differences and to enable them to understand that their differences
are the characteristics of their respective cultures and as such may not be personal attitudes.

Interest about the „multicultural peer guide‟ is growing and colleagues from different parts of the
University of Sheffield are planning to implement this exercise in their departments. The learning
acquired from these further studies will be integrated with the initial guide. It is intended to further
disseminate the guide to other students and staff. At the moment, a few students who are about to
graduate have requested a copy of the guide to use as preparation before they join multicultural
companies.

Conclusion

In recent years, the University of Sheffield has begun to take on the challenge of embedding
internationalisation in the curriculum and pedagogy rather than through recruitment or infusion.
Clifford and Joseph (2005) argued that Internationalisation of the Curriculum (IoC) is a tool to help
students develop global perspectives and cross-cultural capability in order to be able to perform,
professionally and socially, in a multicultural environment.

The exercise conducted at the University of Sheffield, where a hundred engineering students were
surveyed on factors to be successful in their countries of origin („must do‟ and „must not do‟),
aimed to recreate this personal, intimate and empathic exchange of information. The knowledge
gathered from students was then provided to students as a peer teaching guide. Using students‟
cultural capital as a teaching method to enhance cross-cultural skills and consequently improving
home student cross-cultural capability and home/international-international student integration has
been explored in the literature Schoorman (2000).

Students who took part in the exercise explored these issues and discussed the guide between
themselves. A student in further correspondence said: „The lecture content and guide is applicable
to life, not just engineering, and I believe that it was a useful experience for everyone involved,
especially for people intending to travel/work abroad. With the obvious exception of the


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international students, I have found many of my peers to be irritatingly closed minded on the
subject of the-world-outside-England, but feel that it's helped prepare us for cultural shocks which
will be evident in most work places and has taught us understanding.’

The tool appears to have had a positive impact on enhancing or at the very least, raising awareness
of the benefit of acquiring cross-cultural skills and consequently cross-cultural capability, especially
in home students. It is, however, unclear at this stage whether the guide helps develop
home/international-international student integration.

Other issues discussed earlier, also still remain; collective cultural perception arises further
complexity from students‟ different personalities and differences in individual perceptions, which
may vary more between students in one culture than between students from different cultures. The
experience of the multicultural university will depend on the environment as well as the
international politics between students‟ countries of origin and the host country. Cultural values
which may stretch from one end of a spectrum to another and the nature of the subject which is
being studied also have a great impact in cross-cultural interactions. And last but not least the
relationship between academic staff members and students requires further work.

Below this level of collective cultural perception, further complexity arises from students‟ different
personalities and differences in individual perceptions, which may vary more between students in
one culture than between students from different cultures. Before it is possible to attempt any
assessment of the influence that cultural values may have on the learning outcomes, we need to
understand these multiple lenses; mirrors of self-perceptions that members of any population use to
observe their world, people around them, their expectations, and the feedback that they receive from
the environment. What a lecturer may perceive in a 230 students‟ class of Engineering
Management are around 25 nationalities, three age groups, heterosexuals and homosexuals,
religious people and atheists, to name a few social classifications. This analysis is important in
establishing that lecturers actually do not involve themselves in a process of teaching a
homogeneous body of minds, but a highly diverse community of people who might perceive each
other through very different and diverse value structures.

Appendix A: study findings


                                           Insert (Table A1)

                                           Insert (Table A2)

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List of Tables

Table 1: Engineering Management module cohort composition

Table A1: Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck Cross Cultural Framework Analysis is used to assess the cultural
values in terms of Relationship to Nature, Time Orientation, Activity Orientation, Nature of People
and Relationship between People in a specific country.

Table A2: Qualitative analysis of students‟ origins and perceptions about what „Must be done‟ and
„Must not be done‟ in their society. This study was used to assess to the two borders of their
collective social values. The results are summarised from a larger number of responses.


List of Figures

Figure 1: Flags representing all students‟ nationalities

Figure 2: “Thanks”




                                     TABLES AND FIGURES



                   Table 1: Engineering Management module cohort composition


                              Student composition and backgrounds
                          228    students
                          35% international students
                          33     countries
                          37     different languages spoken in the
                                 classroom




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  Table A1: Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck Cross Cultural Framework Analysis is used to assess the cultural
  values in terms of Relationship to Nature, Time Orientation, Activity Orientation, Nature of People
  and Relationship between People in a specific country.

   Values         Domination                               Harmony                                  Subjugation

                                                      Australia, Bangladesh,
                                                     Botswana, China, Finland,
                   Brunei, France,
Relationship     Kenya, Singapore,
                                                      Germany, India, Japan,                          Hong Kong
 to Nature                                           Malaysia, Mexico, Oman,                        SAR/PRC China
                Sri Lanka, UK, USA
                                                      Portugal, Spain/Basque
                                                             Country


                        Past                                  Present                                    Future


                                                     Bangladesh, Brunei, China,
                                                     Finland, France, Germany,
                                                       Hong Kong SAR/PRC
   Time            Botswana, Iran
                                                        China, Japan, Kenya,
                                                                                  South Africa
                                                                                                    Australia, India,
Orientation                                          Malaysia, Mexico, Oman,                          Singapore
                                                      Portugal, Spain/Basque
                                                      Country, Sri Lanka, UK,
                                                                USA


                       Being                                   Doing                                  Controlling


                                                      Bangladesh, Botswana,
                  Finland, Japan,                    China, France, Malaysia,
 Activity         Kenya, Mexico,                       Oman, South Africa,        Australia, Iran
                                                                                                    Brunei, Germany,
                                         India
Orientation                                                                                            Singapore
                     Portugal                        Spain/Basque Country, Sri
                                                         Lanka, UK, USA


                       Good                                    Evil                                      Mixed

                                                                                                       Bangladesh,
                                                                                                    Botswana, Brunei,
                  Australia, China,
                                                                                                    France, Germany,
 Nature of        Finland, Mexico,
                                          Iran                                                        India, Japan,
  People          Oman, Portugal,
                                                                                                    Kenya, Malaysia,
                     Singapore
                                                                                                    South Africa, Sri
                                                                                                    Lanka, UK, USA

                   Individualist                              Group                                   Hierarchical


Relationships     China, Finland,
                                                     Australia, Brunei, India,                        Bangladesh,
                 France, Germany,     Spain/Basque
   Among         Kenya, Singapore,      Country
                                                     Malaysia, Mexico, Oman,                         Botswana, Iran,
                                                       Portugal, Sri Lanka                               Japan
   People            UK, USA



  Key:
  Bold – over 5 students in sample
  Underlined – indicates students‟ perception of those cultures does not reflect the norm of those
  societies.




                                                                                                                  12
                                                                                     How Can I be Successful
Table A2: Qualitative analysis of students‟ origins and perceptions about what „Must be done‟ and „Must not
be done‟ in their society. This study was used to assess to the two borders of their collective social values.
The results are summarised from a larger number of responses.

  Country           Must do                                            Must not do
  Australia         Socialise with workmates                           Work too hard causing others to look bad
  Bangladesh        Make connections                                   Be emotional
  Botswana          Being polite
  Brunei            Offering to treat colleagues during coffee         Not to disrespect those who are not
  Darussalam        break, etc.                                        involved in the project , and not show
                                                                       arrogance in presence of senior staff
  China             Aims, Goals, Arguments in meetings, toast in       Do not forget to take the plan to a meeting
                    dinner
  Finland           Drink vodka, be modest                             Get too drunk and be arrogant
  France            Communicate well and turn up on time               Being late
  Germany           Punctual, hardworking, precise, accuracy           Be rude, blame us because of our past, be
                                                                       lazy
  Hong Kong         Be on time, work hard, invite colleagues to        Work during public holidays, be lazy or go
  SAR/PRC           dinner and serve roast pork                        to temple without providing donation
  China
  India             Bribe, make political connections, have            Do not play with cultural values, be racist
                    patience                                           or show disrespect to religious values
  Iran              Respect older and senior, shake hands, have        Do not blow your nose in front of other
                    long lunch breaks. Keep very down to earth,        people
                    show extra respect to women but no body
                    contact
  Japan             Greetings, bowing. Introduce yourself properly     Being rude to others
                    at first time, exchange business cards
  Kenya             Be powerful and have good links to                 Be lenient with team; or let government
                    government officials                               interfere with finance

  Malaysia          Be modest and friendly, accept bribes, co-         Do not do physical interaction with
                    operate, create close networks, invite people to   opposite sexes, do not mistreat workers, be
                    your home                                          rude or disrespect cultures and religion, be
                                                                       racist or lazy
  Mexico            Make friends and ask about personal things         Put pressure on people – a bit of
                                                                       encouragement and it will be done
  Oman              Make good relations with people, respect           Disobey senior orders, have a lone life,
                    religion and culture                               criticise religion or culture
  Portugal          Be friendly and give your employees good food      Never be bossy or arrogant

  Singapore         Good proposal and sufficient capital               Ignore the personal relationships in the
                                                                       society
  South Africa      Be motivated – encourage others to work to a       Be dominant – by imposing your will on
                    single goal, treat all people as individuals       others
  Spain/Basque      One must be pleasant with workers and be           Ask how much money people earn or be
  Country           concerned about their social life (organising      impatient (lateness is accepted). Never be
                    diaries, parties, go out with them, etc.)          selfish.
  Sri Lanka         Should have the right contacts especially with     Better not expect cold weather
                    government organisation
  UK (England,      Abide by the laws, be a good leader, be            Never be rude, complain, controversial, set
  Wales,            adaptable, confident and efficient, organised,     in your ways, discriminative, late,
  Scotland,         prepared and punctual, communicate well and        antisocial, work less than others, stuck in
  Northern          make profit. Show wide cultural knowledge.         the past.
  Ireland)          Understanding of differences in native UK
                    cultures is important.
  United States     Be open-minded to ideas and stay on task. Get      Take over a group project and implement
  of America        it done on time.                                   only your main ideas.


                                                                                                                 13
                                                     How Can I be Successful




Figure 1: Flags representing all students‟ nationalities




                 Figure 2: “Thanks”




                                                                         14

								
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