The aim of the module is to introduce students to culture as a major force in international business within the context of a global economy. In this module, we define culture, review its various classifications in the world of business, assess its role in business theories, and discuss a variety of conceptual, methodological and practical issues relating to the measurement and application of culture at various levels of analysis (national, industry, corporate, individual). In particular, we focus on the complex task of capturing and assessing the cultural encounter, present empirical evidence, provide illustrations, and sample cultural combinations.
In addition to mapping cultural differences, we discuss applications of culture and cultural differences in a variety of business contexts in management (e.g., strategy, organization theory, organization behavior, human resource management) but also in other business areas (e.g., finance, marketing). We use real life application grounds such as cross-cultural negotiations, international expansion, and cross-border alliances/ mergers & acquisitions, and provide specific examples such as strategy formulation and expatriate selection.
At the completion of this course, you will master the terms, concepts, methodologies and applications relevant to the role played by culture in diverse business applications, be conversant in the theories, instruments, realities, debates and recent developments in the field, and be capable of researching, devising and applying solutions to key decisions involving culture as an input.
By the end of this module you should be able to:
Distinguish between different levels of culture
Be able to measure culture and cultural differences
Understand the role of culture in various business theories
Assess and leverage the impact of culture in management and other business functions
Learn to manage cultural differences in applications such as cross-border alliances
Course methodology consists of readings, lectures, class participation, case analysis, and in-class assignments. There is a strong emphasis on the analysis of complex international business problems, including the preparation and discussion of real-life cases that need to be prepared in advance. While students may be assigned individual case responsibilities, all participants are expected to undertake a proactive role in raising questions and in offering constructive solutions to the challenges discussed in each case.