Participant centred learning in management education: The case for learning in Turkey

Andrews S., Wasti Pamuksuz S. N.

11th Annual Euromed Academy of Business (EMAB) Conference, Valletta, Malta, 12 - 14 September 2018, pp.1494-1496

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Valletta
  • Country: Malta
  • Page Numbers: pp.1494-1496


PARTICIPANT CENTRED LEARNING IN MANAGEMENT EDUCATION: THE CASE FOR LEARNING IN TURKEY Andrews, Scott1 ; Wasti, S. Nazli2 1Worcester Business School, University of Worcester, Worcester, United Kingdom 2Department of Business Administration, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey ABSTRACT Current research into participant centred learning (PCL) has identified that management education is often criticized for being "repositories of multiple frameworks that are not tightly integrated and are aging rapidly" (Mahoney & McGahan, 2007, p. 86). Others have voiced concerns with regard to the lack of effectiveness of strategic management education (Jarzabkowski & Kaplan, 2015; Porter & McKibbin, 1988; Mintzberg & Gosling, 2002). This has led to increasingly frequent calls for more relevant and practically applicable management education (e.g., Bower, 2008; Mintzberg, 2004; Greiner, Bhambri & Cummings, 2003; Rynes, Bartunek & Daft, 2001; Starkey & Madan, 2001). Furthermore, teaching and learning approaches that might work in one educational context may be far more problematic in other contexts (Catalo, Antheaume & Howayda, 2015) and so knowledge transfer has to take the local context into account. Whilst there is a growing bank of knowledge in the field of the use of case methodologies in management education in Turkey, the aim of this research have been to identify opportunities and barriers to learning in this particular geographical and cultural context. According to the Turkish Ministry of Development 10th Development Plan (2014-2018), one of the main goals of the education system must be to raise individuals with a sense of entrepreneurship and innovation. The plan further suggests that the harmony between the education system and the labour market will be enhanced by equipping people with skills and competences with a lifelong learning perspective by internalizing the entrepreneurship culture. This culture is to be developed by programmes at all levels of the education system to enhance the quality of existing entrepreneurship programs. Many support programmes for business managers and entrepreneurs exist in Turkey, including various modes of managerial training. However, these programmes primarily focus on teaching actual or potential entrepreneurs the functional areas of business, be it marketing, finance, or strategy, without exactly customizing the topics to the entrepreneur’s own situation. PCL methods allow the entrepreneur and/or future business managers to learn and investigate within their own context, making the learning more relevant and directly applicable than general theoretical principles. Hence the students’ capability of “learning to learn” is enhanced, promoting chances of future organisational survival. This aspect of PCL makes it a valuable addition to curriculum development, tools of 11th Annual Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business 1495 Research Advancements in National and ISSN: 2547-8516 Global Business Theory and Practice ISBN: 978-9963-711-67-3 delivery, and adult learning research and applications developed within Faculties of Education in Turkey. This study presents the results of a study of a convenience sample of over 200 Turkish academics and graduate students who have participated in one or more workshops on teaching with case studies or writing case studies, conducted across Turkey over the time period of February 2016 to November 2017. These higher education scholars represent business schools, university-based technoparks, and other related institutions having a desire to develop their PCL methodologies, totalling about 80 organizations located across all regions of Turkey. The data were collected through an online survey that was announced after each workshop, so the data collection was fully voluntary. The survey included both open and closed questions to provide data to determine potential trends in the adoption and adaptation of the case method in management education, and the barriers and resistors to change, in contrast to more traditional methods of classroom delivery. According to the preliminary results, some of the key positive attributes of the case method in the Turkish classroom as depicted by the qualitative answers to the survey include:  The dynamism that cases bring to courses, both for students and instructors  Making clear links between theory and practice  The opportunities to ‘jump into the shoes’ of the entrepreneur or the professional  Its capacity for practice based learning  The opportunities provided to solve real life problems  Contribution to analytical thinking  Enhancing decision making skills  Promoting and fostering interest and participation in the class However, some of the most frequently noted barriers to case development in Turkey include:  They push students to adopt in-depth analytically approaches which are often unfamiliar to the learner  Difficulties in establishing the collaborative links with firms from which to extract case data  Lack of experience – on the part of both students and teachers  There are very limited good cases which focus on Turkey  Lack of willingness of students to prepare for a case discussion prior to the class  Students tend to prefer a more directed approach. The findings demonstrate that there are significant pockets of research in Turkey that are already exploring some of these concepts and methodologies. However, this research also notes a reticence for change in management education, and an unwillingness on the part of the student and the tutor, to 11th Annual Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business 1496 Research Advancements in National and ISSN: 2547-8516 Global Business Theory and Practice ISBN: 978-9963-711-67-3 embrace the principles of PCL in the classroom, citing longstanding cultural traditions of directive learning that continue to provide barriers to the adoption of more PCL-type approaches. Future work will entail building on the exploratory phase of the study to generate theoretical foundations of effective classroom usage of the case study method in management and entrepreneurship education for the Turkish context. The cultural factor in the Turkish education system that encourages a controlled ‘spoonfeeding’ approach to teaching may be in part due to the power distance in the Turkish society (students versus instructors), and also the cultural tendency towards uncertainty avoidance. In order to tackle such deep set issues, one can conduct a series of experiments in classroom settings in order to identify whether teaching style, salience of the case topic to the audience, group versus individual work, prior preparation, length and type of case study, etc. would aid in overcoming the inertia and resistance towards the case study approach that may be faced in a typical Turkish classroom setting. The next steps of the study aim to lead to testable hypotheses regarding various dimensions of effective teaching and learning with the case study approach toward PCL for future and present managers and entrepreneurs in Turkey. Keywords: participant centred learning, case method, higher education, Turkey REFERENCES Bower, J. L. (2008). The Teaching of Strategy: From General Manager to Analyst and Back Again? Journal of Management Inquiry, 17(4), 269-275. Catalo, M., Antheaume, N., Howayda, I., (2015) Transferring Methods to Teach Business Administration from one Cultural Context to Another, Future Business Journal, 1(1-2), 51-64. Greiner, L. E., Bhambri, A., Cummings, T. G. (2003). Searching for a strategy to teach strategy, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 2(4), 402-420. Jarzabkowski P., Kaplan, S. (2015), Strategy tools‐in‐use: A framework for understanding “technologies of rationality” in practice, Strategic Management Journal, 36(4), 537-558. Mahoney, J. T., McGahan, A. M. (2007). The field of strategic management within the evolving science of strategic organization, Strategic Organization, 5(1), 79-99. Mintzberg, H., Gosling, J. (2002). Educating managers beyond borders. 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