Cultural diversity: impact on the doctoral candidate-supervisor relationship

Malan, Renee and Erwee, Ronel and van Rensburg, Henriette and Danaher, Patrick (2012) Cultural diversity: impact on the doctoral candidate-supervisor relationship. International Journal of Organisational Behaviour, 17 (1). pp. 1-14.

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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 exploratory 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 due to the acculturation of postgraduate students into the university culture. 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: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright. This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Management and Marketing
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2012 12:50
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2015 02:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: cross-cultural misunderstanding; cultural diversity; doctoral candidate-supervisor relationship; Hofstede; university culture
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200204 Cultural Theory
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology

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