Publications of Koles, B.
Who is portrayed in Second Life: Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? The extent of congruence between real life and virtual identity
Virtual social environments opened the door to individual experiences that may not be feasible or possible in real physical settings; in turn bringing to question the applicability of certain more traditional theories to digital environments. Addressing some of this gap in the available literature, in the current study, we compare virtual and real life identities simultaneously, as well as explore the impact of selfconsciousness on virtual identity. Our results indicate that while some of the overall trends are similar between identities constructed in the physical world and those constructed in virtual settings, different identity elements and dimensions tend to be emphasized to different degrees. Furthermore, we find evidence for the role of private in addition to public self-consciousness as influencing virtual existence. In other words, in addition to the general emphasis concerning the role of socially influenced external elements in the formulation of virtual identities, the current study highlights the importance of more internalized and individual level attitudes and perceptions, including one’s inner thoughts, emotions, and perspectives. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Facebook usage patterns and school attitudes
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore teenagers' and young adults' use of social networking sites (SNS), in light of certain personal, social and educational outcomes and attitudes. Design/methodology/approach – Data were gathered on the basis of surveys, and were analyzed through a series of multivariate models. Findings – It was found that participants' reasons and motivations for online presence varied as a function of gender and age. Different degrees of Facebook usage were linked with different school-related attitudes. More specifically, more extensive usage was associated with more negative school and peer attitudes; more so for females and for college students. Furthermore, greater reliance on online interactions for social and emotional support was found disadvantageous for college students, while neutral or in some cases beneficial for high school students. Research limitations/implications – Gender and educational level appear to be important factors explaining some of the variation in school-related attitudes, and thus should be explored separately. Practical implications – The differential impact of online presence on school attitudes for college and high school students highlights the need for teachers and student advisors to be sensitive to such transitional groups. Social implications – The authors found that more popular students, those often viewed as “opinion leaders”, tended to show more negative school outcomes than less popular students in general; a relevant point for organizations. Originality/value – Facebook usage and school-related attitudes were observed simultaneously in high school and college populations studying in Budapest, Hungary.
Virtual Customers behind Avatars: The Relationship between Virtual Identity and Virtual Consumption in Second Life
This paper examines the relationship between virtual identity and virtual consumption in Second Life. More specifically, we investigate the tendency to link the virtual world to reality through the concept of identity, and explore the role consumption and business endeavors play in this process. Information was obtained from comments posted on four Second Life forums, focusing on the general themes of virtual avatars, aspects of business activities, and their mutual impact on each other. Qualitative narrative research analysis was employed. From our results, three distinct categories emerged on the basis of residents’ immersion to Second Life; 1) purely virtual, 2) mixed, and 3) realist. We highlight particular characteristics associated with each of these clusters, with suggestions aiming to capture the various demands and preferences of each corresponding group. In terms of business activities, residents appeared quite demanding, identifying high quality products and professional services as the basis for business success in virtual settings. The business approaches most likely identified to lead to success or failure associated with certain businesses confirm that online environments differ substantially from physical and real world markets, with trust being a particularly sensitive issue in these anonym and fully disembodied contexts. Further implications for organizations and scholars are discussed.
Can statistics be fun? The benefits of incorporating research elements into MBA courses
Abstract: Quantitative methods and statistics are key components in higher education. Despite various attempts and carefully designed textbooks, statistics courses are often considered to be number-crunching subjects with limited applicability to real life. Particularly at the MBA level, a form of segregation is quite apparent; namely, students have difficulties applying their statistical knowledge in everyday business scenarios. We present a particular educational methodology that has proven to be successful in immersing participants in the process of data collection and analysis, via giving them first-hand experience at an organization. A further important element of our approach lays in the collaboration with external organizations, which in turn enhances networking and supports the exposure of students to management level problems, highlighting the practical relevance of statistics courses. Finally, the recommended methodology is flexible enough in that it can build on the particular research interests of faculty members, thereby reducing the trade-offs between teaching and research.
Changes and Trends in Cross-Cultural Management Courses: Theory and Reality
Most current business and management programs tend to incorporate aspects and trends associated with cross-cultural management into their curriculum. However, there is considerable variation in content and in approach. In today’s global economy, there is little debate among scholars and professionals concerning the increasing role of the ‘global manager’; one that deals with different individuals, workgroups and employees, having diverse cultural backgrounds. Hence, awareness of cultural variations in group dynamics becomes a necessity for successful managers. This paper reviews recent studies of cross-cultural management, and emphasizes the need to avoid the stereotyping of nationalities on the mere basis of nation-wide cultural studies. While these studies provide excellent introductions, business reality and particularly the influences of the business environment tend to be considerably stronger than the cultural heritage itself. Furthermore, views indicating fairly static cultural heritage may be misleading, as illustrated by the example of the GLOBE studies in Hungary. In light of these complexities, we provide guidelines based on our practice for incorporating business simulations in graduate as well as undergraduate cross-cultural management courses. The paper is targeting both graduate and undergraduate educators and program developers, and discusses both theoretical and practical approaches.
Integrative Methods in International Management Education
Globalization impacts all firms and institutions operating in a marketplace, where interactions across cultures and continents are increasingly commonplace. Businesses and organizations expect their employees to be able to interact with members of other cultures, and function well in multicultural team projects. These trends present challenges for universities; in response to which many institutions began to internationalize their curricula. In this current paper, we examine some of the challenges inherent throughout this internationalization process, identify relevant models to assist in the operational steps to be taken by institutions, and propose some practices and specific elements that have direct relevance and impact for academic as well as professional audiences. We emphasize the value of integrative approaches, as well as the crucial importance of cultivating a global mindset, in order to assist educators and institutions in their efforts to provide students a more competitive and appropriate preparation for a global marketplace . Keywords: cross-cultural management, cross-cultural education, multicultural education, international management, business simulation, curricular internationalizations, global mindset
Teacher-child relationships in prekindergarten: The influences of child and teacher characteristics
The purpose of the current study was to investigate child and teacher characteristics associated with closeness and conflict in prekindergarten teacher–child relationships. Child gender and temperament were significantly associated with closeness and conflict. Specifically, higher levels of shyness correlated with closer relationships for boys than for girls. Additionally, higher levels of child anger were associated with more conflicted relationships for boys and less conflicted relationships for girls. An association was also found between frequency of teacher–child interactions and relationship conflict. Children who had more interactions with teachers had more conflicted relationships. Implications for teacher education and professional development are discussed.