Assessing the Efficacy of Experiential Learning in a Multicultural Environment


  • Kenneth O. Morse


Experiential learning theory posits that it is through performance, reflection and repetition that skills are developed. But, does experiential learning “deliver” on its promise in an increasingly multicultural management environment? A test of this proposition, conducted over a one year period with fourth year (senior) undergraduate management students would seem to indicate that such is not the case. This paper describes that test in a multicultural environment where eighty percent of the participants are products of a western cultural background, but the remaining twenty percent bring a wide range of alternate cultural baggage to the learning process. Simple statistical analysis leads to the conclusion that, while critical analysis and problem solving training through experiential exercises are marginally effective in the western cultural context, such techniques are less effective without the traditional western cultural foundation.