Dancing to different tunes: the challenge of cultural diversity in the doctoral candidate-supervisor relationship

Malan, Renee and Erwee, Ronel and van Rensburg, Henriette and Danaher, Patrick (2011) Dancing to different tunes: the challenge of cultural diversity in the doctoral candidate-supervisor relationship. In: 3rd Biennial Conference on Postgraduate Supervision (CHAE 2011): Promoting a Culture of Postgraduate Scholarship , 18-21 Apr 2011, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

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A number of aspects influencing the relationship between the doctoral candidate and the supervisor have been identified as impacting on the success of postgraduate research supervision but the influence of the cultural diversity of doctoral candidates and supervisors on this relationship has not been addressed. Australian universities attract a large percentage of international doctoral candidates and many of these candidates relocate to Australia for the duration of their candidature and have to face the challenges of settling temporarily in a foreign country and working closely with a supervisor from a different cultural background. Through a comparative case study approach, this study investigated the influence of cultural dimensions on the doctoral candidate-supervisor relationship. Qualitative data obtained through interviews with six cases from various cultural clusters were analysed and compared based on four dimensions of national culture values (Hofstede, 2001). The findings suggest that cultural diversity impacts significantly on the social environment of doctoral candidates, but there is no significant impact on the supervisory relationship. Cultural diversity is identified as a potential factor influencing the doctoral candidate–supervisor relationship and this study suggests the development of measures to ensure that cultural misunderstandings in the supervisory relationship are avoided.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - No Department
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2014 01:33
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2017 00:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: cross-cultural misunderstanding; cultural diversity; doctoral candidate-supervisor relationship; Hofstede; university culture; academic supervision; mentoring; doctorates; communication
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130302 Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education
13 Education > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20373

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