Cultural Values and Communication Online: Chinese and Southeast Asian Students in a Taiwan International MBA Class

By Warden, Clyde A.; Chen, Judy F. et al. | Business Communication Quarterly, June 2005 | Go to article overview

Cultural Values and Communication Online: Chinese and Southeast Asian Students in a Taiwan International MBA Class


Warden, Clyde A., Chen, Judy F., Caskey, D'Arcy, Business Communication Quarterly


Whereas many researchers have examined differences in values and behavior between Westerners and Asians, fewer have investigated differences within Asian cultural groups. A recent government initiative in Taiwan to encourage international education has led to the development of an international MBA program at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan; both Chinese and Southeast Asian students participate in the program. They exhibit different behaviors in their classes, particularly in their postings in online discussion boards. For reasons that can be partly explained by the students' responses on a Chinese-Value Survey, Chinese students tend to post fewer messages than Southeast Asians, and both groups post fewer messages than Westerners in the classes under study. instructors in multicultural classes have to consider such differences when they design assignments and set expectations for students in online discussions.

Keywords: Chinese values; cultural differences in online behavior; differences in Chinese and Southeast Asian MBA students

**********

DIFFERENCES IN VALUES between Westerners and Asians have been analyzed by many researchers (Hall, 1976; Hofstede, 1980, 1997; Triandis, 2004). Nevertheless, differences also exist within Asian cultural groups, differences often not recognized from a Western perspective. A recent initiative by Taiwan's government to encourage international education gave us, at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Tainan, the opportunity to study differences in cultural values between Chinese and Southeast Asian students. This article reports on one research project that analyzed the impact of those values on student participation in an online portion of two MBA classes.

THE IMBA PROGRAM AT NCKU

The recent government initiative was a major contributor to the development of our international MBA (IMBA) program. NCKU is a well known and highly ranked university within Taiwan and internationally. The IMBA program was inaugurated in July 2003 with a limited yearly enrollment of 55 students, with 25 of those slots reserved for local Taiwan students. Although Taiwan universities have always accepted applicants from overseas, with large numbers of overseas Chinese traditionally applying, non-Chinese-speaking foreign students entering Taiwan face the often insurmountable problem of language. Even though textbooks written in English are often used, lectures in Taiwan are given in Mandarin Chinese, which non-Chinese-speaking students find difficult, especially the technical vocabulary used at the MBA level.

With the launch of the IMBA, for the first time a Taiwan business program has specifically reserved space for foreign applicants to ensure a multicultural classroom setting. In the context of Taiwan's diplomatic isolation by the People's Republic of China, this, and other similar programs, is an attempt at directly creating business and social relations with other countries. Although anyone can apply, accepted foreign students are mostly from member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Local Asian MBA programs are common and are offered at all top universities, along with executive MBA (EMBA) programs; both tend to focus on local business issues and are taught exclusively in local languages. Exceptions include the use of English in classes offered at some business schools in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. With existing MBA, executive MBA, and international management programs within the College of Business, NCKU was able to draw on resources and experience to create the new program that differed from previous offerings by holding class lectures completely in English and emphasizing an international perspective. Locally applying students were required to pass a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score, and international professors were actively recruited for teaching. The result was a program set in a Chinese cultural environment, but the emphasis within the program was on Western MBA approaches taught in English. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Cultural Values and Communication Online: Chinese and Southeast Asian Students in a Taiwan International MBA Class
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.