St. John’s and Lebanese American University Graduate Students Work in Virtual Teams on International Business Strategies and Policies for MENA Region Organizations

By Abraham Stefanidis, Ph.D.

November 2, 2022

In collaboration with Dr. Grace K. Dagher from Adnan Kassar School of Business, Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon, I implemented a Global Online Learning Exchange (GOLE) project in my graduate International Management course. 

Graduate students from St. John’s University and Lebanese American University worked in virtual cross-cultural teams to select an organization from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and analyze its business strategy and policy. The students interviewed executives of the selected organization and acted as consultants to its top management team. The duration of the project was seven weeks. 

Adnan Kassar School of Business, Lebanese American University in Beirut
Adnan Kassar School of Business, Lebanese American University in Beirut

Based on their collaborative research, the students presented their findings in project reports, prepared video presentations, engaged in classroom discussions, and submitted peer-review evaluations regarding their teamwork. Beyond assessing factors that influence international business activities and decision-making processes in the MENA region, the student teams crafted organizational strategies and policies that aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The virtual learning exchange enhanced students’ skills regarding global online virtual teamwork and benefitted their cross-cultural competency.

The learning outcomes focused on the understanding of the relationship between national-level and organizational-level cultures, emphasizing decision-making within the context of sustainable global management strategies. The GOLE project’s objectives, activities, and outcomes have been in congruence with St. John’s University’s mission as a Catholic, Vincentian, Metropolitan, and Global academic institution.