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

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Abstract

The article discusses a trial undertaken in a LIS education program tohelp prepare students from different cultural backgrounds to work invirtual, multicultural work places. The focus of the trial was developingteamwork, 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 lecturergrouped 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 groupassignments 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 lackof face-to-face communication. Some of these challenges are likely to bereplicated 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

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