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    The problem with apply western theories that don’t fit

    Globalisation pushes each individual to keep up with the immense innovation globally. In order to do that, they will need substantial theoretical foundations that are in line with their core values. However, most developing nations lack theories that are established by their own scholars.

    In social sciences, by leveraging theories from other nations is out of element due to the misalignment of cultural values; also, the discrepancy occurs for a business setting that is opposite of the theory’s original setting.

    Many fail to thrive in today’s race of development of globalisation because of the unsuitable theories used to drive change. It has been observed that many PhD students on every major continent fail to create a scholarly influence on their fields of business in their nation because of their detachment from the world.

    In the many journal articles and dissertations reviewed from developing regions, most are merely evaluating present theories from the West, while neglecting cultural or situational impacts.

    As such, the circumstance reflects a need for a systematic exploration of the educational landscape. While these perspectives are not necessarily relevant to all developing countries, the general characteristics are somewhat undeviating.

    Three main causes fuelling this circumstance and they include (1) a rigid hierarchy (2) flawed research methodologies (3) lack of systems and critical thinking.

    A rigid hierarchy in non-western institutions meant that even students in graduate schools are only taught to test present theories; thereby leaving them with no room to question whether a theory is applicable in their respective setting. As such, these individuals fail to establish a critical mind for theories.

    In addition, many PhD students with high academic positions in universities lack the relevant knowledge in research methodology. These individuals also continue to nurture their students using inappropriate research methodologies. Moreover, most are being taught quantitative research methodology only, which can only test existing theories. Grounded theory method in qualitative research is hardly understood as a way to create theories that are fundamental to lead the nation.

    Two critical thought processes a PhD should have are systems thinking and critical thinking. However, neither can be found in the today’s system of education in most regions. Only some universities have a course on the topic.

    Students are taught to regurgitate the theories, but fail to understand the application. Without being able to understand how the systems function, most can only see what is in front of them, which are given theories from foreign countries.

    For a country to be an economic powerhouse, one will require bold and innovative leaders. Their ability to think will be dependent on the theories enclosed in their education. PhD students are meant to be thought leaders with strong scholarly competencies. However, many educational systems in various developing countries fail to agree on this notion.

    Educational institutions need aspiring leaders to develop new systems of education that rectify the issues of rigid hierarchy, flawed research methodologies, and lack of systems and critical thinking.

    Whether you are an educator or someone exploring education, you will need to begin by asking the right questions to overcome the traditional judgment. Also, if you are an education leader, propose theory development with an adequate understanding of its cultural and environmental influences. Such attempts develop the new ideas that change systems and nations.

    Source: University World News

    Participating in the upcoming QS-MAPLE 2019 under the theme of “Promoting Research in the Middle East and Africa” from 22-25 April 2019 in Dubai, UAE.

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