Multicultural, virtual work places: Opportunities and challenges for LIS educators

M. Sarrafzadeh, K. Williamson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The article discusses a trial undertaken in a LIS education program to help prepare students from different cultural backgrounds to work in virtual, multicultural work places. The focus of the trial was developing teamwork, which may now involve global, multicultural and virtual components, for which students need to be prepared, given work place changes of recent years. The trial took place in a school of information studies at a large, multi-campus rural university in Australia. The lecturer grouped students from an off-shore campus, with a different cultural background, with local students to work online on a group assignment. Evaluation involved an anonymous, web-based survey after all group assignments were completed. The survey explored the experiences of students regarding their group work in multicultural teams. The findings highlight the challenges of group work in fully online environments. They include language and cultural diversity, time zone spread and lack of face-to-face communication. Some of these challenges are likely to be replicated in the work place where multicultural team work is involved. Some of these challenges are likely to be replicated in the work place where multicultural team work is involved. Some suggestions to overcome these challenges are included at the end of the article.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)89-102
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Information Science and Management
    Volume10
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Australia
    • LIS educators
    • Team work
    • Virtual multicultural work places

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