PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to identify the influence of cultural differences on the design and management of two franchise programs and one joint degree program run by a Chinese university in partnership with a British university and a French university. The cross-cultural challenges and the differences in the strategies taken by the managers in both types of program to deal with such challenges are analyzed. The frameworks for such strategies are also proposed.Design/methodology/approachA case study approach was used for the analysis. Participatory observation and interview were adopted to collect information in combination with the written reports on the programs. The interviewees included managers, faculty members, and students. Thematic analysis was conducted to find out the common themes from the coded data.FindingsFor franchise programs, the British university takes a “collaborating” strategy focusing on globalization, which is combined with the “compromising” strategy of the Chinese partner university focusing on localization. Both parties keep their different styles of management and combine them into one new management mode. By contrast, in the joint degree program, the French management mode can be described as a “collaborating” strategy toward the management of the Chinese students and curriculum, while the Chinese managers are seeking to progressively “accommodate” the needs of the French students.Originality/valueFew studies in the current literature are targeted at the cultural influences on the design and management of transnational higher education (TNHE) programs as well as the proper management strategies to deal with such cultural differences. The result of this study will provide useful advice for researchers and practitioners in cross-cultural management of TNHE programs.
International Journal of Educational Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 12, 2018
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