The aim of Cross-Cultural Behaviour (CCB) is for students to develop knowledge and understanding of theories and practices related to cultural differences/barriers in international business and cooperation. This 10-week course aims at bridging the gaps between the theoretical frameworks offered by cross-cultural literature and the complexities of real-world cultural issues inevitably faced by employees, managers and consultants in today’s globalised business arena.
Hence, on successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Identify and critically evaluate key tenets, models, perspectives, and frameworks pertinent to practically relevant cross-cultural research and academic traditions.
- Apply the acquired knowledge to real-word cases in order to prepare yourself and familiarise with those challenging cross-cultural aspects that could cause frictions in international business and organisational operations.
- Develop practical competences and insights as well as and your own personal style to adapt effectively to different cultures and the complexity of international business arenas (e.g. cultural self-awareness; tolerance for diversity, uncertainty and ambiguity; flexibility and multiple perspective taking).
By attending CCB you will gain knowledge of theories and practices related to cultural differences, as well as barriers in international business and cooperation. You will be equipped with and develop skills to understand and identify cross-cultural issues in order to tackle them. Hence, it is crucial that you, as future professional, manager or consultant:
The lecturers of this course (staff and guest speakers) will impart science-based knowledge and practical insights on a great variety of various aspects of cultures and cultural differences. You will also learn how to apply this knowledge and insights in guided plenary sessions in which real-world-based case scenarios will be analysed. In a nutshell, by opening up your mind to wider cultural horizons, this course will enable you to acquire solid cross-cultural awareness to thoroughly understand and tackle potential issues in the field of cross-cultural business and behaviour. The aim is to equip you with tools to thrive in culturally-diverse, complex, globalized business environments.
- develop a thorough understanding of the effects of culture on individuals, teams and organisations in international (business) contexts.
- are able to critically apply well-established frameworks of cross-cultural dynamics in multicultural and sometimes also virtual collaborations in the workplace, and evaluate their use or limitations.
- have the capacity to forge your own style in cross-cultural business interactions based on knowledge and insights that you have of your own and other cultures.
Since the University of Twente, following her Shaping2030 strategy, is destined to grow its student’s inclusive and open mindsets, this course is open for Master students of all relevant academic programmes at the UT.
(1) Group Presentation and Group Report:
The underlying idea is that your group will be engaged as if you were in a healthy competition with the other groups, so that you can also learn from each other. Taking the roles of management consultants in the same consultancy firm, you will be asked to make a convincing presentation to and then write a report for ‘the board of directors of the client, a large corporation’ (i.e., lecturers) that analyses the issue at stake and provides theoretically-underpinned advice on how the managers and employees of this large corporation can handle it most effectively. The group presentation (max 20 minutes, weight 25%) and group report (between 3,000 and 4,000 words) are based on a concrete and practically-relevant issue/topic within the domain of Cross-cultural Behaviour at work. After processing the feedback from the presentation, you will deliver your final report within one week. The group size can range between 3 and 5. You can choose your fellow group mates as long as at least one member (if possible) is of non-Dutch nationality.
(2) Individual Essay:
You will be asked to write a 2000-word essay (word count with a tolerance of ± 10%, weight 40%). If the length of the essay is outside this tolerance, the final mark will be curtailed by 20%. The aim of the essay is for you to show how you critically evaluate and assess a cross-cultural topic, that can be either chosen from a list of different essay questions provided by the lecturers, or self-chosen by you, perhaps in relation to your prospective Master thesis.
(3) Individual Self-Reflection:
By-weekly 500-word (font 12, interspace 1.5, weight 10%) self-reflection on the issues tackled in class up until that point. The main point of a reflection is to make you think back to how the class, the read literature and other ideas have helped you to understand yourself better in relation to cross-cultural aspects. As for the group report and the individual essay, the word count will have a tolerance of ± 10%. If the length of the self-reflection is outside this tolerance more than once, the lecturers will give a “zero”.