Academic journal article The Journal of Developing Areas

Developing Leadership Curriculum for Business Education Program in Asia

Academic journal article The Journal of Developing Areas

Developing Leadership Curriculum for Business Education Program in Asia

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

There is an argument of 'leadership crisis' in many parts of the world and that requires an increased focus in terms of quality of leadership education in all areas of society (Hay 2012, Manpower 2011, Hall, 2010; Leshnower, 2008 ). Several authors believe that the role of modern business higher education (HE) plays an important part to resolve the leadership skills crisis (i.e. Lowe and Gardner, 2000; Baldwin, 2011; Hodgkinson, 2006; Healey, 2008). The focus of HE in this domain also presents great challenges to those who are responsible for developing leadership curriculum in the HE context (Nygaard, Højlt & Hermans, 2008; Svensson & Wihlborg, 2010). Indeed, it was suggested in the literature that business schools have long struggled with the issue of teaching leadership and designing appropriate curriculum that helps graduates to become competent leaders (i.e. Cunliffe, 2009; Hay & Hodgkinson, 2006; Spralls III, Garver, Divine, & Trotz, 2010; Mayo et al, 2012; Thune & Welle-Strand, 2005).

Curriculum is the key to success in business education (Mayo et al, 2012). Although it has been repeatedly argued in the literature that business educators should incorporate a variety of learning and teaching methods in order to maintain students' motivation and attention thus addressing different learning styles as well as modernising leadership knowledge (e.g. Barrows & Johan, 2008; Boyd & Murphrey, 2002), curriculum design in leadership education (Barnett & Coate, 2005) is not yet considered to be a properly formulated reflective practice of knowledge. Given the recent development of leadership theories and concepts over the past decade where literature in business education has more than doubled (Yukl, 2012; Grint, 2010), business schools are under pressure in response to the theoretical and conceptual development in leadership education.

This current study explores the perceptions of students in the transnational business education program towards leadership curriculum components in a leading Australian university. More specifically, the current study presented students' perception on effective ways of teaching a leadership course in the transnational education context.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Due to the growth of transnational education programs, international business schools are currently dealing with new learning and teaching issues among students in the transnational program. Diversity can form attitudes towards different approaches of teaching and learning in business. There have been continuing research interests in this area (Komarraju, Karau, Schmeck, and Avdic 2011). Previous studies in this area (i.e. Vermunt and Verloop, 2000) confirmed that learning in higher education can depend upon a student's cultural background. Scholars in transnational education (Entwistle 2009; Richardson 2000) tried to shed some lights on issues such as learning approaches, teaching strategies, and cultural diversity. Some issues such as relationship among students' cultural backgrounds, views, motives and learning strategies (Vermunt and Verloop, 2000), cultures and approaches in learning methods (Enwistle and McCune, 2004), or culture and pattern of learning (Marambe, Vermunt and Boshuizen, 2011) have been confirmed as key points in the context of a relationship between diversity and education in various contexts.

The design of diversity in leadership curriculum and choice of content tends to work on different assumptions about the audiences and prevalent business norms (Stewart, Crary & Humberd, 2012). It is confirmed that business curriculum that acknowledges diversity among learners and promote them to learn in various contexts and methods will stimulate their intellectual development (Young & Davis-Russell, 2002). Undergraduate students can be intolerant of difference because they often hold a rather narrow view of the world -what some call "rigid dualism", wherein all matters are perceived as either right or wrong (Stewart, Crary & Humberd, 2012). …

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