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Managing ambiguity: A critical reflection on a truly global learning experience

Wolf, K. and Archer, C. (2013) Managing ambiguity: A critical reflection on a truly global learning experience. In: Teaching and Learning Forum 2013: Design, develop, evaluate - The core of the learning environment, 7 - 8 February 2013, Murdoch University, Murdoch, W.A



Almost four decades ago internationally renowned academic and author on business and management Henry Mintzberg (1976) argued that the ability to manage and even embrace "ambiguity" and complex environments is a key to a successful career in business. This level of complexity has not decreased in today's business environments. However, ambiguity is not only difficult to teach in a traditional classroom environment, uncertainty and lack of structure are also not particularly popular with students.

This paper provides insight into the benefits and associated challenges of an international communications challenge, run across five continents in cooperation with twelve universities in twelve different countries. The authors conclude that experiential learning opportunities like this real life client project may not necessarily be popular amongst the wider student cohort. However, they provide a number of benefits, in particular in the context of capstone units that set out to prepare business students for a diverse career in an increasingly global, multicultural and complex field.

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