GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE CHANGE: DEVELOPING A COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND REFLECTION STRATEGY IN EXECUTIVE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
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The shortage of globally focused strategic thinkers and business professionals, who can understand and adapt to multiple thinking perspectives in the globalized markets, limit China's engagement in global business opportunities. To cope with this challenge, Chinese business schools initiated the international executive professional development (IEPD) programs, which attempts a complex transformation process with interactions between the learner and the field learning experiences. With the focus on professional development through experience, the literature review shows that the interactions between concrete experiences (environment) and meaning construction process (function) in an experiential learning cycle are essential to the personal changes in mindsets and behaviors (Kolb & Kolb, 2005). Based on Lewin’s (1947) field experience framework, a needs assessment on a 2014 IEPD-U.S. program, organized by Peking University, revealed two key issues in the learning experiences and collaborative reflection in the IEPD program. The assessment findings inform the direction of enhancing the meaning construction process with the emphasis on collaborative learning and reflection in the student learning community. Drawing on the multidisciplinary theories and needs assessment findings, the intervention strategy research defines the global perspective change with the critical reflection model and the developmental model for managing paradox (Holt & Seki, 2012; Kember, McKay, Sinclair, & Wong, 2008). A three-stage reflective learning strategy is framed, meaning self-reflection before the learning program, collaborative sharing and reflection with technology innovation during the program, and the follow-up reflective practice after the program. As an examination of the reflection learning strategy, the intervention was conducted in a 2015 IEPD-U.S. program. The program evaluation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the blended reflection learning strategy in improving the IEPD program design and accelerating business executives’ global perspective development. The findings indicate that overseas field learning experiences cannot turn into solid value until the learners internalize the experiences with personal meaning construction through continuous reflective learning before, during, and after the IEPD program.