Explore the communication strategies across borders.
Intercultural Communication is one of 6 common base courses, which are mandatory to complete before entry into the specialization module. This course explores the theoretical frameworks and practical strategies for communicating across cultural boundaries. Key topics include the basis for cultural communication and sensitivity, the impact of the international environment on communication and the development of communication strategies across cultures.
Students will be familiarized with the basic concepts and will be made aware of their importance. They will develop sensitivity for the perception of specific aspects of national cultures and become aware of one’s own identity in comparison with other national identities. Students will be able to use the acquired knowledge in the communication process in the international environment. They will respect cultural variations. The goal of this course is to provide the students with the theoretical and practical framework allowing them to analyze and acquire a deeper understanding of different cultures with whom they will interface.
What will you study?
The goal of this course is to provide the students with the theoretical and practical framework allowing them to analyze and acquire a deeper understanding of different cultures with which they may be confronted in their professional lives. The goal is also to draw their attention to potential issues and conflicts arising from the lack of knowledge and understanding of different cultures and possible solutions.
Course Content & Curriculum
- Intercultural communication as a separate discipline. Definitions are provided for the following key notions: culture, identity, inter/cross cultural communication, language, and diversity. Basic determinants of culture: history, religion, the value system, social organizations, language and non-verbal communication.
- Dimensions and elements of intercultural communication: culture, assimilation, ethnic group, ethnicity, nation, national minority, races, cultural stereotypes and formulas. Individualistic versus collectivistic cultures. Various concepts of the perception of culture and of intercultural communication. Understanding the deep structures of culture.
- Basic principles of communication: verbal and non-verbal communication, symbolic and contextual characters of communication. Proxemics, posturology and other specifics of some cultures in non-verbal communication. Demonstration of cultural values through linguistic means.
- Basic determinants of culture: history. Brief overviews of the history of the most important economic areas in the world (USA, India, China, Brazil, Japan, Europe, Islamic countries).
- Basic determinants of culture: family. Exploration of the forms and roles of family that are contained within different cultures. Cultural variants of family, along with various roles in family will be explored. Gender and age specifics will be taken into account. Changes in the character of family in the US and in Europe. Globalization tendencies and their influence on family.
- Basic determinants of culture: religion. Various forms of worldview – religion, secularity, spirituality. Role of religion in behavior. Common and different features of the main world religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
- Culture and the individual identity. Various types of identity: racial, ethnic, gender, national, regional, personal, cyber, and organizational. The notion of corporate culture identity/culture in its various forms. The importance of corporate culture and measuring it. Relationships between the corporate and individual identity.
- Cultural, ethnic and national identity. Identity that is both primordial and instrumental. National character, auto stereotypes and stereotypes of foreigners about nations, or ethnic minorities.
- Influence of intercultural differences on the organizational forms of management: the most common types of corporate culture: American, German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Russian, French, Latin American. Understanding of what the cultures are derived from and what they build upon. Influence of intercultural differences on management styles in companies, on the way conflicts are handled and managed and on business negotiations.
- Incidences of failure of intercultural communication: total ignorance, false stereotypes and myths, prejudices, racism, condescension, issues in inter-gender communication, issues in inter-generational communication and how to prevent them.
Course Learning Outcomes
After completing this course, students should be able to
- Get familiar with the basic terminology in the field, have basic knowledge of relevant theories and cultural models and outline the basic research methods, their pros and cons
- Construct meaning from the recommended literature and be able to explain in own words, recognize the basic cultural dimensions, summarize the acquired knowledge.
- Apply the acquired knowledge to the specific situation and environment in the paper, explain why, in their view, their specific organization is where it is, select and justify the basic research method(s) chosen and apply them.
- Relate the specific situation in their organization to the theoretical models, compare the specific situation in their organization with similar organizations in different countries (cultures).
- Synthesise the findings and compile the final conclusions derived from the paper. Propose areas of further research to deepen the knowledge or practical steps for implementing the findings