Creating Value in Transnational Higher Education: The Role of Stakeholder Management
Academy of Management Learning & Education;Dec2010, Vol. 9 Issue 4, p701
This essay illustrates the opportunities and tensions associated with delivering transnational higher education (TNHE) services through a collaborative educational alliance between a Chinese and an Australian university in a global environment in which the interests of stakeholders are constantly shifting. Stakeholders in this alliance include the university partners, the two faculties delivering the program, and the Chinese government and industry that share concerns about the practical skills of business graduates entering diverse industry sectors that are experiencing unprecedented growth and related skill shortages. Student stakeholders have increased freedom to choose and plan careers while competing for roles that demand practical skills and adaptive mind-sets. As stakeholders, Chinese parents are also exerting differing levels of influence over career choices of graduates. In this environment the definition, refinement, and alignment of the value proposition for respective stakeholders is central to the transnational higher education partnership model. We identify certain benefits and challenges of collaborative partnership, explain why and how value creation for stakeholders might feature as a central tenet of our respective and shared business models, and describe academic challenges in creating appropriate value for stakeholders. Our conclusions have implications for ongoing review of quality assurance frameworks and for research around relationship and culture building, to generate value creating and sustainable models of transnational higher education.