Title: Standardisation/adaptation of the curriculum - relevance of 'Western' business textbooks for the MENA

Authors: Kamel Fantazy; Nnamdi O. Madichie

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9, Canada ' Centre for Research and Enterprise, London School of Business Management, Dilke House, 1 Malet Street, London WC1E 7JN, UK

Abstract: Research has suggested that the United Arab Emirates is very competitive in the global higher education market. This raises questions as to whether its competitive advantage should be emphasised at the local, as opposed to global content in the instruction curriculum. In other words should the curriculum adhere to global standards or should it be fully adapted to fit the local context? The purpose of this study is to highlight a strand of the debate from the purview of textbooks used in the instruction. While the need to standardise texts in physical sciences may be a no-brainer, the persuasiveness for local content in the social sciences and humanities is quite strong. The results of this study are mixed - while some favour standardised texts, others argue for adaptation to the regional context. Proponents of the latter position, in our view, seem to have given the green light for multinational publishers to pursue regional adaptations.

Keywords: curriculum adaptation; curriculum standardisation; Western textbooks; MENA countries; Middle East; North Africa; business schools; multinational publishers; United Arab Emirates; UAE; higher education; local content; regional adaptations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEM.2015.072434

International Journal of Business and Emerging Markets, 2015 Vol.7 No.4, pp.380 - 395

Received: 06 Oct 2014
Accepted: 26 Feb 2015

Published online: 13 Oct 2015 *

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