MMM028-Comparative and Inter-Cultural Management

Module Provider: International Business and Strategy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Denise Tsang


Summary module description:
This course investigates the ways in which management practices and business cultures have evolved in different countries, and explores the institutional roots of such differences. Students learn to appraise and appreciate business practices in unfamiliar contexts, and they will explore management challenges with real cases.

Students shall learn to appraise and appreciate business practices in unfamiliar contexts, and explain the differences to contexts that they are familiar with. Moreover, they shall explain how managers can address challenges of cross-cultural situations such as transferring management practice, business negotiations, multi-cultural teams and expatriation.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the Module students should be able to:
•Describe the principal variations in international management;
•Identify and explain the principal relationships between different systems of management and different national cultures;
•Appraise and evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of different management systems;
•Appraise and develop practical solutions concerning challenges arising for businesses interacting with different business cultures;
•Locate and assemble information on the subject through their own work;
•Appraise critically the principal interpretations of the development of international management;
•Organise their material and articulate their arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays.

Additional outcomes:

  • Students will have to work both independently, and in groups, leading to the development of time-management and team working skills.
  • Students will work in inter-cultural groups, and thus develop competences in inter-cultural communication

Outline content:
The lectures will introduce key dimensions along which countries and business contexts vary, such as national culture, corporate governance systems, and education systems. Most lectures will compare two or three countries as examples to explore key variations of the issue. At advanced stages, the course will relate differences in management practices to the contextual variations in institutions and cultures, and address challenges for cross cultural management. Topics may include:

  • Management in a national context
  • Institutional perspectives on business in economics and sociology
  • Communication across language boundaries
  • International labour issues
  • National and organisational cultures
  • Corporate governance systems
  • Management transfers
  • Multinational decision making and ethics
  • Cross-cultural negotiations
  • Leading across cultures

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The learning will be based on one 2-hour session per week over ten weeks in lecture format, and up to five seminar hours with written group preparation by students. Group presentations also take place during these times together with question and answer sessions. Students are expected to read key references and to do a significant amount of independent research using the Internet, journals, and academic references.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 2
Tutorials 5
Guided independent study 173
Total hours by term 198.00 2.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Written assignment including essay 30

Other information on summative assessment:
One written assignment, to be completed towards the end of Spring term.
Up to three group assignments to be submitted during class, graded pass/non-pass.

Relative percentage of coursework: 30%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:
One 2-hour unseen written paper.

Requirements for a pass:
A weighted average mark of coursework and examination of 50%.
Group work has to be passed.

Reassessment arrangements:
By examination only (one 2-hour unseen written paper) in August/September. Coursework will not be included in the re-assessment.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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