How are task reflexivity and intercultural sensitivity related to the academic performance of MBA students?

Joanne Lyubovnikova, Uwe Napiersky, Panos Vlachopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Higher education in business school environments is increasingly focused on how to best equip students with the skills necessary for leadership in the global workplace. This paper examines the impact of two particularly important cognitive capabilities - task reflexivity and intercultural sensitivity, on academic performance in an MBA programme. It was hypothesised that in an intercultural learning environment, task reflexivity would be associated with higher academic performance, and that this relationship would be mediated via intercultural sensitivity. Questionnaire data from 77 MBA students was analysed alongside academic performance. Results demonstrated that task reflexivity was indirectly related to academic performance through intercultural sensitivity. These findings suggest that engagement in task reflexivity enables students to develop greater levels of intercultural sensitivity, allowing them to reap the positive effects of diversity in their peer group for their own learning and performance. Limitations and practical implications of the research for professional practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1694-1714
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number9
Early online date8 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Studies in Higher Education on 2014, available online:


  • task reflexivity
  • MBA students
  • business schools
  • academic performance
  • intercultural sensitivity


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