BLIC Workshop in Reykjavik, Iceland

Dr Paul Forrester, Senior Teaching Fellow in Enterprise and Management at Keele Management School participated in a workshop in Reykjavik, Iceland, planning for a virtual teamwork exercise for next year's Year 3 module in Comparative Business Cultures. The workshop took place at the beginning of May and included partner participants from DHBW in Germany, Reykjavik University, Iceland and University of Finance and Administration, Prague, Czech Republic. The workshop and all expenses was fully funded by the state government of Baden-Württemberg in Germany, who are keen to promote international cooperation and the enhancement of the student experience.

The 2018-19 academic year will be the second consecutive year KMS students studying Comparative Business Cultures have worked with counterparts at our German Erasmus partner university, Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg (DHBW) in Villingen-Schwenningen as part of the Blended Learning International Cooperation (BLIC) programme to promote international partnerships between universities around the world.

Twenty KMS teams worked closely with DHBW students throughout semester one of the current academic year, whereby DHBW student teams were the clients, and KMS teams were their consultants. The German student teams develop business plans as part of their studies and identify a country for market entry for their selected product or service. The KMS teams produce a “cultural analysis” report for their German clients to inform them of potential cultural consequences they might expect to face in entering the market and setting up in their chosen country. This year the collaboration has been extended to include students in Iceland and the Czech Republic, who will provide more general PESTEL analyses (political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal).

This collaboration provides the opportunity for some truly innovative teaching and learning and Dr Paul Forrester reports "This combination of theory learned in lectures combined with virtual and cross-cultural group work in tutorials not only reinforces principles and concepts, but also provided students with skills in analysis, consulting, client relationship management and virtual working - competencies they will require in employment in today's world beyond their university studies."

It is planned to hold next year's BLIC workshop at Keele University, in May 2019.