Social capital development strategy and collaborative knowledge creation in higher education: the UK and Turkey

Conference item

Mikhaylov, Natalie S., Beaumont, Ellen S. and Fierro, Isidro 2016. Social capital development strategy and collaborative knowledge creation in higher education: the UK and Turkey. International Academy of Technology, Education and Development.
AuthorsMikhaylov, Natalie S., Beaumont, Ellen S. and Fierro, Isidro

The paper presents the second phase of international (four countries) study that explores the influence of social capital and personal learning networks (PLN) development approaches utilized by international students in multicultural learning environment and the types of the social and academic networks they develop on their collaborative knowledge development, in particular, on their preparation for international careers. A comparative analysis is conducted within three international programs (in Turkey, Ecuador, and the UK) that offer international education in English language for local and international students. The paper presents the preliminary results of a comparison in two locations – Turkey and UK. The study applies the concepts of collaborative knowledge development, social capital, and social networks. The study uses constructivist grounded theory, in particular, dimensional analysis to uncover the process of social capital and collaborative knowledge creation. Based on the data, collected through semi-structured interviews, and analyzed through dımensıonal analysis, the study has developed a process model, which takes into account the core social identity of the learner, as well as the existing and emergent social, personal learning ties, built on social capital. An additional goal of the study is to uncover the overlapping social and personal learning networks International and local students participate in and develop, to trace the knowledge sharing routes and to pinpoint knowledge creation hubs in these networks. As the result of the study, recommendations are developed for higher educational institutions (HEIs) and multinational enterprises (MNEs) regarding the steps they can take to promote collaborative and cross-cultural knowledge creation among their members. While we are not proposing any hypotheses or theoretical models until the completion of the continuous comparison analysis process, it is likely that the learners who are engaged in multi-dimensional and loosely connected PLN characterized by multiple networks consisted of weak ties and who utilize problem-solving models of knowledge creation are more likely to become cross/interculturally competent and are more likely to be prepared for global careers. However, the preliminary findings show that international students lack skills and desire to create functional PLN and tend to engage in multiple binding networks characterized by strong emotional bonds but limited knowledge creation. While is it premature at this stage to suggest any specific steps that IHEIs and other multicultural learning environments might take to encourage social and technological networking among international students and other members of the academic environment, some tentative recommendations are presented. The first part of the research was conducted in Turkey and Ecuador in the summer and fall of 2015 and the second part is in the spring of 2106 in UK and Turkey. Data is collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews, conducted in person and through Skype. The participants are volunteer students, both local and international, enrolled in the undergraduate programs in the participating HEIs. As the study is using Grounded Theory Method (GTM), the sampling of the interview participants is driven by theoretical developments.

KeywordsSocial capital; Personal learning networks (PLN); Collaborative learning; Networking development; Knowledge development; International students; Higher education
JournalProceedings of the 9th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
PublisherInternational Academy of Technology, Education and Development
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Web address (URL)
File Access Level
File Access Level
Publication datesNov 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Dec 2016, 09:05
ContributorsUniversity of Liverpool, University of Derby and Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo
Permalink -

Download files

ICERI2016 Proceedings.pdf
File access level: Open

File access level: Open

  • 4
    total views
  • 1
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as