To be successful and competent in today’s global economy requires leaders who are effective in situations characterized by diversity and flux. Eighteen leaders who participated in short-term study abroad (STSA) trip(s) as undergraduates at a midsize Midwestern university shared their perceptions on the ways in which their STSA experiences prepared them to lead today’s diverse workforce. Through in-depth qualitative interviews, participants revealed how their exposure to diversity during their STSA trips opened their minds and eyes to new perspectives and ways of thinking. Interviewees indicated that these STSA experiences prepared and developed them in such a way that in their current roles as leaders, they prefer to surround themselves with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Collaborating with multicultural and diverse individuals and leveraging the strengths of every team member yields greater productivity and more creative results than what would have been achieved or accomplished from teams of like-minded individuals. Though the leaders said they may have eventually reached similar conclusions, they would not be where they are today if they had not had the STSA experience.
Additionally, the immersion in a foreign culture during their STSA trips equipped them with confidence, which has translated into their willingness to take more risks as leaders and to not shy away from uncertainty. Being in unfamiliar situations with people they did not know or understand created in them a desire to listen well and take time to understand others’ perspectives. The complexity they faced in a foreign culture forced them to develop critical thinking, problem-solving skills, flexibility, and adaptability in order to effectively navigate the challenges they encountered. As a result, those experiences and the learning they gained have equipped them to lead in today’s volatile marketplace. NVivo software was utilized for the analysis of data.
|Advisor:||Ludden, LaVerne L.|
|Commitee:||Barnes, Joanne, Johnson, Richard Boyd|
|School:||Indiana Wesleyan University|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Cultural immersion, Leadership, Short-term study abroad|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be