Education for Workplace Diversity: What Universities and Enterprises Can Do to Facilitate Intercultural Learning in Work Placements Abroad

By Gabriele Abermann and Maria Tabuenca-Cuevas.

Published by Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing

Format Price
Book: Electronic $US15.00
Hardback $US60.00
Paperback $US40.00

DOI: 10.18848/978-1-61229-857-3/CGP

Do you think that communicating across cultural boundaries is a necessary skill in today's globalized economy? Do you believe that immersion in another culture automatically means becoming interculturally competent? Have you ever wondered why students sometimes come back from their placement abroad with negative stereotypes confirmed? What can universities do to ensure that students develop these skills? If these are issues you want to address, then reading this book may help you in finding relevant answers.

This book provides a theory-based insight on why intercultural competence acquisition does not happen automatically when a student is exposed to a different organizational and host country culture environment, but requires well-designed intervention measures. The chapters present a comprehensive, but scalable support structure for students on work placements abroad based on the outcomes of the university-enterprise cooperation project SKILL2E. In this project seven universities and five enterprises from Austria, Finland, Spain, Romania, Turkey, the UK and the US have collaborated in designing a framework that supports intercultural learning for students on work placements abroad. These intervention measures include pre-departure training to raise awareness regarding sensitive issues in different organizational and host country cultures, guided reflection during and after the placement to trigger deeper learning, a model for cultural mentoring, and an evaluation concept to measure the effectiveness of the interventions in order to continuously improve. Real examples demonstrate how universities can prepare graduates for the networked workplace of tomorrow and how enterprises can integrate and benefit from the innovation and productivity potential of diversity.

Book: Electronic (PDF File; 9.571MB). Hardback (Book: Print (Hardback)). Paperback (Book: Print (Paperback)). Published by Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing.

Dr. Gabriele Abermann

Senior Lecturer, Information Technology and Systems Management, Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Salzburg, Austria

Dr. Abermann is senior lecturer for social skills and intercultural communication at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. She has served as vice rector for teaching and internationalization and director of international relations. Dr. Abermann has extensive teaching experience in Austria and abroad. She has coordinated the university-enterprise cooperation project, SKILL2E, which aimed at enhancing the intercultural competence acquisition of students on transnational placements and intensifying the dialogue between universities and enterprises. As one of the Austrian national experts for the European Higher Education Area, she has advised universities across all sectors on the implementation of Bologna Reform issues such as student-centered learning or internationalization.

Maria Tabuenca-Cuevas

Lecturer, Education, Universidad Católica de Murcia, Murcia, Spain

Dr. Tabuenca-Cuevas holds a PhD in education research in language and literature and has twenty years of teaching experience in Spain and abroad. Dr. Tabuenca-Cuevas is currently a lecturer at the Universidad Católica de Murcia. She has participated on several European projects in project management and international placements. She has coordinated the Spanish participation of the university-enterprise cooperation project SKILL2E, where she acted as the educational expert in designing the pre-departure training concept. She has participated in conferences and published articles in the areas of language acquisition and the development of intercultural competence.

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