A study in Britain and France of the development of cross-cultural in-house sales training using distance learning.
The thesis is concerned with cross-cultural distance learning in two countries: Great Britain and France. Taking the example of in-house sales training, it argues that it is possible to develop courses for use in two or more countries of differing culture and language. Two courses were developed by the researcher. Both were essentially print-based distance-learning courses designed to help salespeople achieve a better understanding of their customers. One used a quantitative, the other qualitative approach. One considered the concept of the return on investment and the other, for which a video support was also developed, considered the analysis of a customer's needs. Part 1 of the thesis considers differences in the training context between France and Britain followed by a review of the learning process with reference to distance learning. Part 2 looks at the choice of training medium course design and evaluation and sets out the methodology adopted, including problems encountered in this type of fieldwork. Part 3 analyses the data and draws conclusions from the findings, before offering a series of guidelines for those concerned with the development of cross-cultural in-house training courses. The results of the field tests on the two courses were analysed in relation to the socio-cultural, educational and experiential background of the learners as well as their preferred learning styles. The thesis argues that it is possible to develop effective in-house sales training courses to be used in two cultures and identifies key considerations which need to be taken into account when carrying out this type of work.