Cultural Factors Affecting Knowledge Sharing in Curriculum Development: A Business Faculty at a Syrian University

Cultural Factors Affecting Knowledge Sharing in Curriculum Development: A Business Faculty at a Syrian University

Author: 
Omar K. Abed
Program of study: 
D.M./IST
Abstract: 
The qualitative inquiry research study explored the effects of cultural factors on knowledge creation during curriculum development and knowledge sharing activities among teams of culturally diverse academicians at a business faculty in a Syrian university. The purpose of the study was to have a better understanding of the perceptions and experiences of cultural factors effects on knowledge creation. Data collection was through open-ended questions. Population for the study consisted of 43 individuals employed at the business faculty of a Syrian university located in Daraa, Syria, with a sample size of 13 academicians responding. Data analysis was a bottom-up process with data immersion for interpretation, grouping of passages into themes, integrating themes, and constructing a description of the meanings of participants’ perceptions and experiences within the context of the business faculty at a Syrian university. Results of the study included four themes representative of the participant responses: (a) academic design, (b) cultural diversity, (c) cultural dimensions, and (d) leadership and teamwork. The cultural dimensions theme included four sub-themes: individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity. Conclusions of the study indicated cultural factors negatively affected knowledge created during curriculum development and knowledge sharing activities. Understanding cultural factors effects on knowledge creation, applying reflective cultural awareness training, and promoting free interaction through transformational leadership will continue to meet the needs of diverse learners. Using on-going research to study and apply new perspectives and understandings of cultural factors effects will ensure that leaders will continue to be challenged as creative and diverse facilitators.
Dedication: 
This study is dedicated to my mother, father, and wife. Their support, encouragement, and patience got me this far. Also, God’s grace gave me the spiritual guidance that brought me the peace of mind and soul needed to drive me so far.
Acknowledgements: 
I acknowledge and thank my chair, Dr. Joseph Avella, for his guidance, motivation, and patience through this long journey. I am also thankful for Dr. Mark Kass’s and Dr. Martin Gunnell’s valuable insights and perspectives.