Title

Impact of industry guest speakers on business students' perceptions of employability skills development

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

I P Publishing Ltd

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

School

School of Business

RAS ID

15811

Comments

This article was originally published as: Riebe, L. M., Sibson, R. D., Roepen, D. , & Meakins, K. R. (2013). Impact of industry guest speakers on business students' perceptions of employability skills development. Industry and Higher Education, 27(1), 55-66. Original article available here

Abstract

This study provides insights into the perceptions and expectations of Australian undergraduate business students (n=150) regarding the incorporation of guest speakers into the curriculum of a leadership unit focused on employability skills development. The authors adopted a mixed methods approach. A survey was conducted, with quantitative results analysed using SPSS allowing comparison of mean values between items and the identification of any statistical difference by student demographics. A thematic approach using inductive coding was applied to analyse the qualitative responses to open-ended questions. The results indicate that an appropriately briefed, qualified, interesting and engaging guest speaker plays an important role in active learning by exposing students to the 'real world' of the workplace and can reinforce the significance of key employability skills for future career success. The results also indicate that students' experience of guest speakers may be influenced by cultural factors and learning styles, with differences between the perceptions and expectations of domestic and international students with regard to certain factors. The paper has practical implications for those organizing the implementation of guest speaker programmes in HEIs and for the guest speakers themselves. This study provides insights into the perceptions and expectations of Australian undergraduate business students (n=150) regarding the incorporation of guest speakers into the curriculum of a leadership unit focused on employability skills development. The authors adopted a mixed methods approach. A survey was conducted, with quantitative results analysed using SPSS allowing comparison of mean values between items and the identification of any statistical difference by student demographics. A thematic approach using inductive coding was applied to analyse the qualitative responses to open-ended questions. The results indicate that an appropriately briefed, qualified, interesting and engaging guest speaker plays an important role in active learning by exposing students to the 'real world' of the workplace and can reinforce the significance of key employability skills for future career success. The results also indicate that students' experience of guest speakers may be influenced by cultural factors and learning styles, with differences between the perceptions and expectations of domestic and international students with regard to certain factors. The paper has practical implications for those organizing the implementation of guest speaker programmes in HEIs and for the guest speakers themselves.

DOI

10.5367/ihe.2013.0140

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