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  • 1.
    Galan, Nataliya
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration.
    Khodabandehloo, Akbar
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration.
    Learning with LinkedIn: Students' perceptions of incorporating subject-related blogging in an international marketing course2016In: Interactive Technology and Smart Education, ISSN 1741-5659, E-ISSN 1758-8510, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 166-183Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose This paper aims to report the results of implementation of blogging within a LinkedIn discussion group in an international marketing course for a multicultural group of students focusing on the students' perceptions of the subject-related blogging. Design/methodology/approach: This study adopts a qualitative approach; data have been collected through online observations of the students' activity in a LinkedIn discussion group and structured interviews with volunteers after the completion of the course.Findings The results indicate the students' positive attitudes towards blogging in LinkedIn. Blogging perceptibly contributed to the students' acquisition of knowledge in the subject area, development of multicultural awareness and writing skills and improvement of critical thinking. In most cases, this type of activity had an impact on the development of the students' creativity and personal expression. Some patterns are only identified for subgroups of students with a certain cultural background (Chinese, Asian, German-speaking and European students).Research limitations/implicationsThe results of this qualitative study are specific for a particular setting (a small international class of students) and a certain type of assignment (in terms of its structure and instructor involvement).Originality/valueThis study contributes to the growing body of literature on using social media-based assignments in business education by generating a better understanding of how participants in a multicultural group perceive the process of experiential learning while blogging in a LinkedIn discussion group.

  • 2.
    Galan, Nataliya
    et al.
    University West, Department of Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration.
    Khodabandehloo, Akbar
    University West, Department of Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration.
    Use of Social Media Based Assignments in Teaching International Marketing: Results and Reflections2015In: Proceedings of Cross-Cultural Business Conference 2015, 21-22 May, School of Management, University of Applied Sciences of Upper Austria, Steyr Campus: Intercultural Perspectives in Global Business and Human Resource Management; Global (B2B) Marketing, Sales Management and Service Innovation; Higher Education Research; Informatics, Communication & Media / [ed] Margarethe Uberwimmer et al., Aachen: Shaker Verlag, 2015, p. 233-242Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper describes the implementation of a social media based assignment (blogging in a LinkedIn discussion group) within an international marketing course for an international group of students and presents the students’ perceptions of the assignment. The results indicate that the students had very positive attitudes towards blogging within the online discussion group and perceived it as a more interesting and more effective activity than traditional written assignments. LinkedIn blogging perceptibly contributed to the students’ acquisition of knowledge in the subject area, development of multicultural awareness and writing skills, improvement of critical thinking, reasoning, analysis and interpretation. In most cases this type of activity had an impact on the development of the students’ creativity and personal expression. Some patterns (as an increased motivation to work harder while learning, feeling of comfort/discomfort in the online learning environment) are only identified for a subgroup of Chinese students.

    Key words: Social media, LinkedIn, Blogs, International Marketing, Experiential learning

  • 3.
    Khodabandehloo, Akbar
    University West, Department of Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration.
    Networking for regional development: A case study2014In: EuroMed Journal of Business, ISSN 1450-2194, E-ISSN 1758-888X, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 149-163Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to study how actors in a network for regional development perceive the network by addressing the questions of what characterizes a network for regional development and why the actors participate in such a network. Design/methodology/approach - The study focussed on using networking for regional development in Sweden, utilizing a qualitative method with a hermeneutic approach. Findings - Regional development requires the inclusion of a participatory multi-actor process, involving a diversity of societal stakeholders. A network for regional development entails hierarchy, and may be characterized by dominance. The informal character of networks for regional development creates vagueness, and might lead to unclear results, in the end affecting the function of the network. Leadership is crucial for the outcome of networks for regional development, but leadership is challenging in the absence of formal decision making and a controlling structure. Research limitations/implications - As this was an intra-case study, generalization of the findings and conducting a cross-case analysis were not feasible. Practical implications - The attributes of a network for regional development, i.e. hierarchy and dominance, constitute problems that need to be solved. The informal character of a network may create vagueness, making it difficult to produce tangible results. Hence it is vital to discuss results from different angles. An effective network requires a process leader who promotes trust and mutuality, and pushes the network in the desired direction. Originality/value - The present paper integrated research on network for regional development with general network theory, offering a better understanding of a topic in which research is relatively limited.

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