Since the purpose of this thesis indicates our interest in exploring a specific phenome-non, to understand why it is occurring, and what affect it may have; a qualitative ap-proach has been chosen (Jacobsen, 2002). This allows a more open way of investigating different aspects as the information found steers the research rather than our own inter-ests (Jacobsen, 2002). A quantitative approach was also considered as statistics on part-time employment of students would have proven beneficial to include. However, the only statistical data found from Svenskt Näringsliv (Hylander, 2009) refers only to Swedish students, and thus did not provide enough support to carry out a triangular analysis. A similar study concerning international students would have been useful and served as supportive information in a comparison to our interview findings, however no such data could be found. This indicates the lack of previous research in this area and resulted in the use of a purely qualitative method.
Personal interviews with carefully selected respondents were conducted using open-ended questions; giving the respondents the opportunity to freely express their thoughts and feelings. Each was chosen due to their elevated position in their respective organi-zation and were all considered to be knowledgeable sources. This proved important as it provided the information needed to fully comprehend the topic and study a subject that has been relatively untouched.
Naturally, there are both positive and negative aspects to this method (Jacobsen, 2002). On the positive side respondents’ answers are not limited as they could be asked to elaborate on their answers through follow-up questions and were permitted to provide personal opinions. This led to results containing specific details, uniqueness, and under-standing (Jacobsen, 2002). The negative aspect of this type of qualitative method is the authors’ proximity to the research. Given the time and resource restrictions, the inter-views conducted were few in number but attentions were focused on the most relevant participants.
In order to link the research questions to the current situation in Jönköping, a case study was selected. JIBS was deliberately chosen due to the authors’ ability to access infor-mation, the fact it is a private HEI with an international focus, and it is located in a rela-tively small city. Its international spirit is more noticeable and the potential of it affect-ing the city greater. Due to the specific situation at JIBS, it is an interesting and relevant real life example worth studying, and it provides sufficient results for an investigation. Investigating one way JIBS affects and contributes to Jönköping, will be of interest to all stakeholders involved.
A case study is an “empirical enquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within real life context, especially when boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident’’ (Yin, 1994, p.13). It is normally used when trying to under-stand a phenomenon, why, and how it occurs especially when individuals’ own percep-tions of the situation are considered important (Williamson, 2002). The research ques-tion aims to expand an area of knowledge that is a relatively unstudied, therefore a case study was the correct choice. Furthermore, while limitations exist in focusing on a sin-gle case study it allowed more extensive descriptions and understanding of the current situation in Jönköping. While the research questions are specifically focused on JIBS and Jönköping, the information gathered and conclusions made are also relevant and may be applied to other universities around the world. As exchanges of university stu-dents are seen worldwide the integration of international students and university and city collaboration is an important issue and deserves consideration.
Choosing the appropriate data collection method for the study was significant in obtain-ing relevant, accurate, and credible findings. As stated in the introduction, the topic covered in this thesis is broad in nature and there are various parameters to consider making the use of specific models or theories unsuitable for this study. The secondary data, collected through a literature study, is therefore compiled in a way that links to-gether many different areas of knowledge that provides a clear understanding of the subject and creates a base to compare with the empirical findings. This was achieved through maintaining the same three headings through the presentation of the research. Primary data can be found in the findings of the interviews conducted, while secondary sources included data that had already been collected from previous research, such as journal articles, can be found throughout the thesis (Harrell & Bradley, 2009).
When writing a thesis and conducting a case study about a relatively unknown phenom-enon, it is important to read extensive literature on the subject (Williamson, 2002). The literature was selected from known academic sources, relevant authors, and journals that were peer-reviewed by other researchers by using handbooks and search engines Scopus and Google Scholar. Research was conducted on the wide occurrence of the internation-alization of higher education, then the narrower topic and trend of part-time employ-ment for students, and finally focused on how the university may affect a city. The top-ics of study were limited to these few areas to enable an investigation of the root of the issues and to obtain a comprehensive understanding of a rather broad subject, and in this way provide a significant analysis of the findings.
The empirical findings have been collected through several interviews in an attempt to deepen the understanding of international students’ role in Jönköping and their contribu-tions to the city through part-time employment. In order to achieve this, respondents were selected from several departments within the University as well as from Jönköping Municipality. Insight provided from these sources allowed the distinction of similar and contradictory views from various angles adding to the analysis of the current situation. Additionally, open-ended questions were administered to current and former interna-tional students at JIBS that have participated or currently partake in part-time employ-ment. This was done to develop the knowledge and bring forward any issues that may have been overlooked. Their responses can be found in Appendix 1 as they serve merely as supportive data and are not a key feature in the findings. Contact was also made with the employment center (Arbetsförmedlingen) in Jönköping in order to gain a general perspective from employers; however, no one was available to answer any questions.
1.2 Problem Specification
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Case Study: Jönköping International Business School
2 Frame of Reference
2.1 University Contribution to the City
2.2 Student Integration into the City
2.3 Collaboration between the City and University
3.1 Qualitative Method
3.2 Case Study
3.3 Data Collection
4 Empirical Findings
4.1 University Contribution to the City
4.2 Student Integration into the City
4.3 Collaboration between the City and University
5.1 University Contribution to the City
5.2 Student Integration into the City
5.3 Collaboration between the City and University
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International Students Integration into the City A Case Study of Jönköping International Business School