CULTURAL CHALLENGES IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3N122282
Module Leader John Crosbie
School INTO
Subject INTO
Trimester
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module aims to equip students with an advanced understanding of the main cultural challenges that managers may encounter when implementing strategy in an international business context. Building on students' previous studies of generic business and management topics, this module aims to enhance module participants' cultural awareness and sensitivity via the development of their knowledge and understanding of the cultural dimension of international business and management. The module examines the main cross-cultural management challenges that managers may encounter across three levels of the international business environment. Specifically: at the Macro (national) level; the meso (corporate) level and at the interpersonal level (intercultural and cross-cultural communication).

Syllabus

-360 1. Introduction to International and Cross-Cultural Management . Introduction to the cultural dimension of international business. The importance of culture for cross cultural and international management. The determinants and levels of culture. The value orientation concept. -360 2. Frameworks for Cultural Comparison and Analysis. The dimensions of culture in international business management. Differences in culture specific perception -The Kluckhohn-Stodtbeck framework. National cultural dimensions: Comparing cultures Hofstede, Hall ; Metaconfigurational cultural clusters (e.g. The GLOBE project). -360 3. Sources of Key Cultural Dilemmas. The implication of the Kluckhohn-Stodtbeckand Trompenaar's dimensions frameworks. The options for resolving cultural dilemmas. -360 4. Cultural Applications and contexts: Western and Eastern business cultures and approaches to management. The cultural insight guest lecture series. -360 5. Culture: The Organisational Context. Culture and organisations. The influence of national culture on organisational culture. A comparison of alternative corporate cultures and their implications for international management. Culture and leadership. -360 6. Intercultural Communication. The main barriers to intercultural and cross-cultural communication. Building and managing culturally diverse teams. Sources of cultural disputes and conflict. Resolving cultural disputes and conflict. International negotiations. Context interpretation and the importance of non-verbal communications. The importance of trust and control in cross-cultural management and negotiation.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to: 1. Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of cultural theory in relation to cross-cultural management and demonstrate a capacity to adopt a systematic approach to comprehending and applying cultural theory.2. Discuss the relationship between national and organisational cultures, and their (potential) impact on the management style adopted by firms.3. Compare and contrast the key frameworks for comparing cultures, and critically evaluate their usefulness for managers' assessment and comparison of Western and Eastern (National) cultures.4. Demonstrate an understanding of how linguistic signals and non-verbal behaviour may produce cross-cultural communication issues and outline what steps may be taken by managers to adapt to intercultural contexts and to minimise the consequences of 'culture shock'. 5. Evaluate the potential sources of cross-cultural conflict and how explain exposure to cross-cultural disputes may be minimised and conflict resolved.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The approach to TLS on this module is underpinned by the assumption that effective and efficient business education is derived from a mixture of theoretical knowledge and opportunities to apply such knowledge in realistic and practical settings. Consequently, this module integrates these elements via examination of a number of theoretical perspectives relevant for the managers of international businesses in the 21st century. The teaching and learning strategy will consist of a blend of lectures, tutorials, student led-seminars, directed study and independent student learning. Theories and concepts will be primarily introduced in lectures, handouts and by directed reading. The subsequent application and analysis of materials will be delivered, mainly, through student led seminars in the form of group work, presentations and collaborative and cooperative case-study analysis. Formative assessments will be used as a means of further developing students' knowledge and understanding of the key principles, concepts and theories of the management of cultural challenges in international business operations. A number of methods will be used to summative assess participants level of academic attainment Learning throughout this module will be supported via the use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) in the form of a Blackboard a9 dedicated website, which is designed to enhance the students' learning experience via the use of `e-tivities and other VLE based directed learning. The Blackboard supported site will also provide a vehicle to display lecture and seminar materials, provide contact points for access to information to both staff and other class members and as a framework for further discussion of student led seminar topics, associated reading. Key websites and bulletin boards will also be made available as a source of further knowledge development.

Indicative Reading

Core text: Browaeys, Marie-Joelle and Price, Roger (2008) Understanding Cross-Cultural Management, Financial Times Press, Harlow, Essex. Further Reading: Adler, N. 1992. International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. Kent Publishing. Boston. Becker, K. 2000. Culture and International Business. International Business Press. New York. Bartlett, G.A. & Ghosal, S. 2000, Transnational Management, Irwin/McGraw Hill, Boston, Mass. Black, J. & Mendenhall, M. 1990. Cross cultural training effectiveness: a review and a theoretical framework for future research. Academy of Management. Vol. 15, No.1. Branine, M. 2005. Cross cultural training of managers: An evaluation of a management development programme for Chinese managers. The Journal of Management Development. Vol.24, No..5/6. Cunningham, D. 2005. Teaching Multiculturalism in an Age of Terrorism: A Business Perspective. Cross Cultural Management. Vol.12, No. 2. Dodd, C.H. (1998), Dynamics of Intercultural Communication, 5th ed., McGraw-Hill. Fang, T. 2003. A Critique of Hofstede's Fifth National Culture Dimension. Cross Cultural Management. Vol.3, No.3. Gelfand M.J. and Brett J. M. (2004) The Handbook of Negotiations and Culture: Minding the culture Gap, Stanford University press. Hampden-Turner Charles M. and Trompenaars, Fons (2000) Building cross-cultural competence : how to create wealth from conflicting values Yale University Press, New Haven. Ferraro, G. 2002, The Cultural Dimension of International Business, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. Cavusgil, S. Tamer and Pervez, N. Ghauri (2002), Doing Business in Emerging Markets: Entry and Negotiation Strategies, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Lewis, R. D. (1999) When Cultures Collide: Managing Successfully Across Cultures, Nicholas Brealey Publishing Lewis, R. D. (2003) Cross-Cultural Communication: A Visual Approach, Transcreen Publications. Hofstede, G. (1991) Cultures and Organisations: Software of the Mind, Harper Collins, London Hofstede, G.J, Pedersen, P.B (2002). Exploring Culture Exercises, Stories, and Synthetic Cultures. Boston: Intercultural Press Mead, R. (2004), International Management: Cross-Cultural Dimensions, (3rd Edition), Blackwell Business: Oxford. Prasad, Benjamin and Pervez N. Ghauri Eds. (2004), Global Firms and Emerging Markets in the Age of Anxiety, New York: Praeger Publishers. Ghauri, Pervez N. and Jean-Claude Usunier (2003), International Business Negotiations (2nd Edition), Oxford, U.K.: Pergamon. Silberman, M. (1996). Active Learning 101 Strategies to Teach Any Subject.. Boston: Allyn and Bacon Tayeb, M. (ed) (2003), International Business: Theories, Policies and Practices (2nd Edition), Financial Times Prentice Hall. Tung, R. (ed), (1999), The IEBM Handbook of International Business, Thomson Learning. Thiagarajan S. (2006) Barnga: A Simulation Game on Cultural Clashes, Intercultural Press Kilbane, C.R. and Milman, N. (2005). The Digital Teaching Portfolio Workbook. Boston: Pearson Education. Indicative Journals Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal International Journal of Business and Management International Journal of Cross Cultural Management Journal of International Business Studies, Indicative Web Sites: Examples of Websites Utilised: www.academy ofmarketing.org www.FT.com/home.uk www.harzing.com/weblinks7.htm www.adinochang.com/archives/chinese-culture-versus-german-culture.html jcmc.indiana.edu/vol9/issue4/singh_baack.html www.geert-hofstede.com/ Journal of Management Studies

Transferrable Skills

Critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills Cognitive and intellectual skills Knowledge and understanding in the context of the subject Learning through reflection Independent working and group working skills Analytical skills developed in data analysis component of the syllabus Communication skills: oral communication skills developed in seminars and individual/group presentations, written communication skills developed in report writing Planning and time management skills developed through the module requirement to plan learning and behavioural activities in a timely manner to meet pre-specified target dates

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (PT) 42.00
Assessment (FT) 42.00
Independent Learning (FT) 72.00
Tutorials (PT) 6.00
Tutorials (FT) 6.00
Seminars (FT) 6.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Seminars (PT) 6.00
Independent Learning (PT) 72.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00
Directed Learning 50.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 20.00 n/a E-Learning (Activity Tasks) Portfolio
Coursework 3 n/a 50.00 n/a Individual Written Report (2,000 words)
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 n/a Student led-seminar 40 min (group) presentation and facilitated discussion.