Course Description

Course Name

Intercultural Management (in English)

Session: VSVS1121

Hours & Credits

45 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Course Objective: This course is designed to help students understand different values and behaviors in our increasingly multicultural workplace. Throughout the course, theories related to intercultural management will be analyzed and applied to assignments and case studies. Learning the real impact of culture, along with effective management techniques in an international business environment, will prove to be an asset for students in their future business and academic endeavors.

Learning Outcomes:

-Understanding the importance of culture in the behavior of individuals, in societies and in cross-cultural interactions.

- Recognition and acceptance of cultural differences and learning how to cope with these differences in a business context through cases studies and mock situations in which students will have to apply the theory to the practice.

-Understanding that there isn´t “one best way” of managing and organizing.

-Better knowledge of our own culture by understanding cultural differences in general.

-Understanding the different values and behaviors in a multicultural workplace by studying the Universal Dilemmas and developing strategies to cope with them.

-Learning the real impact of culture in a business context through cases and learn how to anticipate potential conflicts.

-Being aware of all the interacting spheres of culture in a cross-cultural business situation and how to identify the most relevant one.

-Learning of how to arrange business meetings across cultures.

-Developing capacity to analyze cultures from various perspectives in order to develop the best strategy during negotiations and knowing how to conduct them.

Course Materials: Students will be required to purchase a course pack.




- Introduction to international management.

- Understanding cultural differences.

- Culture shock and reverse culture shock. Consequences and advices.

- General view of Universal Dilemmas. Some strategies to reconcile dilemmas.

- International and transnational corporations.

- Interacting spheres of culture.

- Going global. Different theories and perspectives.

- General view of economic, political-legal and technological environment.


- The meaning of culture.

- Elements of culture and variations of culture.

- Stereotypes. Getting beyond stereotypes.

- Relationships and rules.

- The group and the individual.

- Time and space.

- Verbal and non-verbal communication.

- Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension Model.

- Trompenaars’ key dimensions of culture.

- Other cultural assumptions: Hall, Schein, Adler, Kluckholn and Strodtbeck.


- Competencies for managing internationally.

- Multiple identities.

- Suggestions for managing differences.

- National cultures and corporate cultures.

o The family culture.

o The Eiffel Tower culture.

o The guided missile culture.

o The incubator culture.

- Observing artifacts and behavior. Formal vs Informal systems.

o Architecture, greeting rituals, form of address and dress codes.

- Women in management.

- Global strategies according to cultural clusters. Examples.



- Cross-cultural meetings.

o Formal or informal.

- Making arrangements and preparing for the meeting.

o Who attends?

o Follow-up.

o The agenda.

o The venue.

o The arrival.

o Punctuality.

o Introductions and greetings. The rule of the card game.

o Conversational Taboos.

- Interpreters: Keys to success.

o Team players.

o Inside information.

o Tips on hiring interpreters.

- Guidelines for successful meetings. Checklist: Preparing for a visit.


- Cross-cultural negotiations.

- Win/win? Or win/ lose?

- The concept of “face”.

- Conflicts resolution.

- Differences in Decision-making.

- Contracts and cultural variables.

- Distinguishing “Yes” from “I understand”

- Planning to win.

o Understanding Zero-Sum game.

o Win enough and lose enough.

- Negotiation Legal tactics and bargaining rituals.

- Ethical challenges. Global Bribery and Corruption.

- Illegal tactics.

- Closing the deal. Who makes the decision?

- Knowing when to say “No”

Bibliography: Along with selections from primary texts, students will be provided selections from other sources including:

-Adler, Nancy, International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. International Thomson Publishing, Cincinatti, Ohio, 1997.

-Davidson, Marilyn, Women in Management Worldwide. Ashgate. 2004.

-Harris, Philip, Managing Cultural Differences. Butterworth-Heinemann. 1999.

-Hofstede, G. Cultures´ Consequences: International Differences in Work Related Values. Sage Publications. 1984.

-Hofstede, Geert, Cultures and Organizations. Intercultural Cooperation and its Importance for Survival. McGraw-Hill Professional

-Lewis, R. When Cultures Collide. Nicholas Brealey Publishing. 2001.

-Luthans, Fred, International Management: Culture, Strategy and Behavior 7th Ed. Irwin Professional Pub. 2008.

-Mead, Richard, International Management: Cross-Cultural Dimensions. Blackwell Publishing. 2005.

-Mole, K. Mind your Manners. Managing Business Culture in the new global Europe. Nicholas Brealey Publishing. 2003.

-Morrison, A. M. The New Leaders – Guidelines on Leadership Diversity in America. Jossey-Bass. 1992.

-Rosen, R. Global Literacies: Lessons on Business Leadership and National Cultures. Simon and Schuster. 2000.

-Schneider, Susan C., Managing Across Cultures. Pearson Education. 2003.

-Trompenaar, Fons, Riding the Waves of Culture. Nichol as Brealey Publishing. 2002.

-Trompenaars, F. 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. Capstone. 2001

Course Evaluation:

20% Tasks and attendance*

40% Final exam

30% Projects*

10% Participation and attitude

*Important. See detailed information below.

Final letter grades will be assigned using the following scale, expressed in terms of the percentage of total possible points earned:

10 = Matrícula de honor

9 – 9,9 = Sobresaliente

7 – 8,9 = Notable

5 – 6,9 = Aprobado

0 – 4,9 = Suspenso

Attending the course but not taking the exams = No presentado

Missing class more than permitted = No asistencia

IMPORTANT: Due dates for exams and presentations are IMMOBILE except for FORCE MAJEURE and then subject to agreement between the student and the school administration for the program.

To appeal your grade:

The deadline for appealing your grades is 30 days after receiving them in the issuing university.


Homework and the final paper are included in this concept.

-The Abstract: The abstract should consist of a concise description of the paper, no longer than 3-4 lines. The title is to be written in Bold, 12 pt Times New Roman. The abstract can be emailed.

-Final paper: The subject for final paper will be: “Intercultural Management. Selling your product/service in the international market”. The teacher will provide in class more details about the topic. The grade will depend on the capacity to apply the learned knowledge about how to do business in other cultures, creativity of the product, appropriateness of language use and research on the market. Paper should generally be 5-6 pages long, including title, 3-4 lines abstract, figures and bibliography.

Papers will be typed and printed (Times New Roman pt.12, 1 and ½ spaces) and will include an alphabetical list of all of the sources used at the end. Handwritten and emailed papers will not be accepted. See calendar and important course dates further down.

Assignment policies:

All homework and the final paper are due at the beginning of class on the due date listed. Any assignment not turned in at that time is considered late.

Projects* (and tests):

-Test 1. 10%

-Midterm. 15%

-Group Presentations. 5%

Students will make a presentation about the Universal Dilemmas. See calendar below for dates. The pace of the classes may slightly affect these dates. The teacher will give detailed information in due time.

Structure of the first test, midterm and final exam:

All tests and exams will include a variety of different kind of questions to develop, T/F questions, open questions, “filling the gaps” exercises, “complete the sentence”. The Midterm and the Final Exam will be cumulative.

English expression

The students should express themselves -both orally and in writing- in good formal English. Particularly in the written partials and quizzes, as well as the presentations, good academic writing is essential. Bad, sloppy academic writing (misspellings, deficient syntax, etc.) will be penalized.

Class Protocol: Students are required to be involved in class activities. They are expected to show their preparation by participating in discussions, by asking relevant questions, being critical and analytical with the contents presented in class as well as by sharing their ideas and opinions. In class the student is required to maintain a polite demeanor always and under every circumstance. Students are asked not to eat in class and to put their cell phones on silence. With the exception being for class presentations, laptops are not to be used in class.

Attendance Policy: class attendance is obligatory, it is checked every class day and it is reflected in the course attendance sheet that is sent to the University.

An 85% of attendance is required for the successful completion of the course. Not missing any class will be considered positively.

If a student exceeds this limit, the grade in the transcript for this subject could appear as “not attended course”.

*Course content subject to change