Does a cross-cultural peer-to-peer mentoring experience influence students’ cross-cultural adaptability?

Adams, K 2019, Does a cross-cultural peer-to-peer mentoring experience influence students’ cross-cultural adaptability?, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Does a cross-cultural peer-to-peer mentoring experience influence students’ cross-cultural adaptability?
Author(s) Adams, K
Year 2019
Abstract Universities continue to seek ways to respond to the demands of employers to produce graduates whose skills extend beyond discipline-specific knowledge - skills that enable them to apply that knowledge and adapt to various work environments. In response to the changing globalised work environment graduates are faced with, the focus on cross-cultural skills and adaptability is becoming increasingly important. From a business and university perspective, the findings in this study contributed to the increasing discourse on how graduates gain necessary cross-cultural skills if they (like the majority of current Australian students) do not participate in an off-shore academic experience.

This thesis investigated the effectiveness of participation in a cross-cultural peer-to-peer mentoring experience and whether this enhanced students' cross-cultural adaptability. In seeking to develop students' cross-cultural skills, this study proposed a new conceptual model and revealed factors such as demographics, socio-economic, external and internal international experiences that can be employed as a segmentation framework to advance a more targeted approach to cross-cultural experiences.

The study utilised a quasi-experimental methodology with quantitative data analysis, using questionnaires based on the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI™). Background information was added to the 50 CCAI™ questions to derive the International Experience Cross-Cultural Adaptability (IECCA) measurement instrument. Multiple mixed-methods analysis of variance ANOVAs were employed with post hoc tests, and repeated measures MANCOVAs, which determined the impact of the cross-cultural peer-to-peer mentoring experience on students' cross-cultural adaptability and the impact of covariates. Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) resulted in the identification of new cross-cultural factors; Enjoyment, Tolerance, Personal Values, and Valuing Others which guided the analysis and provided a unique application for future research and development.

Findings suggested that using indirect approaches to improve students' cross-cultural adaptability, such as cross-cultural mentoring, was insufficient. Rather, universities will need to use resources to directly engage students and improve their cross-cultural skills. Specific demographic and psychographic factors had a significant influence on student cross-cultural adaptability as measured by the new cultural dimensions developed in the thesis, providing guidance to the university sector.

This study advanced existing literature through the unique development of the IECCA measurement instrument and the proposed ETPV conceptual model and demonstrated their potential to be used in higher education pedagogy. These could include analysing the effect of international internships on cross-cultural adaptability, which is currently an under-researched area.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Economics, Finance and Marketing
Subjects Higher Education
Keyword(s) employability
peer to peer mentoring
quasi experiment
cross cultural adaptability
quantitative research
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Created: Mon, 30 Mar 2020, 15:57:10 EST by Keely Chapman
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