Exploring Best Practices in Cross-Cultural Learning

Born in the Balkans, distinguished international scholar Srdan Zdravkovic, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing, is from a country that no longer exists. This personal awareness of constant change informs his teaching. “Trying new things isn’t an option,” he says. “It’s a must.”

Zdravkovic’s research interests include cross-cultural consumer behavior and country of origin. His findings have been published in numerous journals including Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of International Marketing, International Business Review, Journal of Global Marketing, and Thunderbird International Business Review.

Faculty Innovation Grants enabled Zdravkovic’s participation in international conferences where he joined colleagues to explore, identify, and hone best practices associated with teaching cross-cultural topics to International Business students.

With his first grant, he assigned his International Marketing students to cross-cultural teams, each charged with developing a marketing plan for an overseas company – real or simulated. Because these students had just returned from studying and living abroad, he expected them to easily navigate the uncertainties associated with working in foreign business environments.

“The truth was not quite so simple,” Zdravkovic recalls. As students became immersed in the project, they discovered how much more there was to learn. “There are always … problems that will emerge.”

With the most recent grant, he is assessing the value of a semester-long business strategy simulation game, including an exploration of how it affects students’ learning and preparation for employment.

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