Collaborative Learning among South African MBA Students

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Bashir Amanjee
Teresa Carmichael


The purpose of this study was to explore how learning amongst South African MBA students could be enhanced through collaborative learning.
Collaborative learning groups are established in MBA programmes to build team-working skills, which will enhance the employability of MBA
graduates and foster good performance in workplace settings. However, it had been observed that not all students agreed that this outcome
materialized, although schools advised that the syndicate groups created by the school were the ideal vehicle for learning, where interaction and debate could flourish. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were used to gather qualitative data from a purposively selected sample of 13 current MBA students from accredited business schools in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Data were analyzed through coding, classifying and mapping of transcripts. The key insight was that “learning” (i.e. “conent”) did not emerge as an objective, either overtly or covertly. Students were adamant that their goal was to submit an assignment and learn something about teams in the process. Business schools should re-evaluate their assumptions about effective group learning, and modify the assessments to maximize both team effectiveness and learning. Students need to embrace opportunities to facilitate their own group processes (including diversity management and dealing effectively with conflict) to achieve their goals. 


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How to Cite
Amanjee, B., & Carmichael, T. (2015). Collaborative Learning among South African MBA Students. Alternation Journal, 22(1), 114-138. Retrieved from
Author Biographies

Bashir Amanjee, University of the Witwatersrand

Teresa Carmichael, University of the Witwatersrand