Student guide International Program A.Y. 2011/12

Skills for International Management 1
Aim of the course
This course is designed for Erasmus students studying in Italy for one or more semesters who wish to gain specific intercultural skills that they will be able to transfer to the international workplace. The class is composed of three modules of 12 hours each with a break of 5 weeks in between each block. The premise is that because you will be experiencing cultural difference during the semester, you have the opportunity to learn about and practice specific skills that are necessary and useful in order to work effectively in a multi-national environment. These skills include, understanding the basic concepts of culture and how cultures differ, developing self-cultural awareness, the impact of perception on interaction, how to suspend judgment, manage stereotypes, reflecting on behaviour in order to practice perspective taking and develop cultural empathy. In addition we will explore how cultural difference impacts specific business interactions such as negotiating and working in teams. The modules build on each other, so students must participate in all three modules in order to earn the five credit hours.
Module I: The Basics of Intercultural Communication
- Define the concept of culture; learn basic definitions and terms.
- Keep a journal of your experience during the semester to develop the skills of observation, description, reflection and analysis.
- Participate in exercises designed to explore the concepts of perception, stereotyping and suspension of judgment.
Break Assignment:
- Research one aspect of cultural difference in teams and prepare a presentation

Module II: Understanding cultural differences
- Present one aspect of a framework of cultural difference with the goal of knowing yourself and others and being able to interpret behaviour in intercultural interactions.
- Map the cultures in the classroom in order to identify the key differences and also any similarities that exist
- Apply the cultural model to cases in order to learn how to read behaviour.
- Explore the concept of empathy and practice seeing situations from more than one cultural perspective.
Break Assignment:
- Read article on Sympathy and Empathy and record comments and impressions on an online forum.

Module III: The Impact of Culture on International Management
- Explore how culture influences specific business activities, including international negotiating and team-work.
Students will be evaluated on:
- Attendance and class participation.
- Preparation and delivery of a group presentation.
- Keeping a journal of their experience throughout the semester and preparing a group report at the end of the class
- A mid-term internet-based assignment
Reading list
- Adler, N.J. 1997, International Dimensions of Organizational Behaviour, 3rd Ed., South-Western College Publishing.
- Bennett,M.J., 1996, "Overcoming the golden rule: Sympathy and empathy." Communication Yearbook, vol. 3. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
- Deresky, H. 2003, International Management: Managing across cultures and borders, 4th Ed., Pearson Education.
- Hofstede, G, 1991. Cultures and Organizations: Software of the mind
McGraw-Hill Book Company Europe: Berkshire, England.
- Lane, H.W., DiStefano, J.J. & Masnevski, M.L. 2000, International Management Behaviour, 4th Ed., Blackwell Business.
- Lustig, M.L. & Koester, J. 2003, Intercultural Competence: Interpersonal communication across cultures, 4th Ed., Allyn & Bacon.
- Schneider, S.C. & Barsoux, J-L, 2003, Managing Across Cultures, 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall/Financial Times,
- Trompenaars, F. & Hampden-Turner, C., 1993, Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding cultural diversity in business (1st ed.). London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing Ltd.