Academic returnees knowledge transfer in Vietnamese public universities
Truong Thuy, Van (2017)
Truong Thuy, Van
MDP in Research and Innovation in Higher Education
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In the trend of international education, many graduates have earned a degree from international education programs and returned to work in their home countries. This study explores the institutional factors affecting the process of transferring knowledge from international education to local workplace, taking the case of Vietnamese academic returnees in public universities. The study employs the qualitative approach and institutional theory to understand this phenomenon. Data from interviews of 16 academic returnees show that only a limited amount of their explicit and tacit knowledge earnt abroad could be transferred to their colleagues at home institutions in teaching and research activities, mainly via informal, ad-hoc situations. At the core of the research, it is found that a combination of policies and regulations, especially human resource policies, constrains academic returnees knowledge transfer. Other factors emerged from the receiving end include the strong values of hierarchy, clearly defined role between academics and upper managers, the mixture of values of individuality and collectivity. The cognitive structure of the group also greatly affects the knowledge transfer process, including the lack of shared mindsets, traditional ways of thinking and doing, perception about criticism and perception about returnees. These factors interact with each other and altogether indirectly affect the knowledge transfer process through directly impacting the receiving group s ability to learn and use new knowledge and the ability to cooperate, and the motivation of the academic returnees to transfer knowledge.