Course Name
Intercultural Communication and
Understanding
Course Code
ICOU
ECTS-Credits
3
Contact hours
42 hours
Guided self-study
12 hours
Self-study
36 hours
Total amount of work
90 hours
Workload in hours
Term
Full-time Study: 3
Language of instruction
English
Level of Module
Part-time Study.: ---
B
I
A
C
R
M
S
(see below)
Type of Module
(see below)
Module Coordinator
Dr. Christa Uehlinger
Team of Lecturers
Dr. Christa Uehlinger, occasional guest lecturers
Methods of Teaching and
Learning
Discussions, case studies, interactive methods such as simulations and
role-playing, films, working alone as well as in pairs and in groups,
independent study
Main Goals
In today's global environment, there is a continuous increase in
intercultural interactions. Intercultural issues are a guiding theme that
pervades the work of business administrators. Success requires
intercultural skills, i.e. the ability to position one's own culture within the
context of other cultures, and to utilise this together with the resulting
synergies.
For this purpose, an initial step is required in which the concept of
culture is grasped and one's own culture identified. Thereafter, it is
necessary to understand and respect the various cultural values and
their influence on business activities. The teaching focuses on how to
analyse and bring into balance the existing cultural differences and
communalities, i.e. how one can utilise synergies.
This module provides the foundations for recognising, respecting, and
integrating cultural differences and communalities. It also addresses
potential barriers and how to deal with them. At the end of the module,
students should possess the awareness of how to handle cultural
differences and their influence on business.
Additionally, the individual goals for the exchange semester will be
elaborated.
Learning Objectives
(Competencies)
Specialist skills:
The participants can/have:
 Developed cultural-general knowledge and by that their intercultural
competencies.
 Apply the foundations of intercultural communication and theories to
intercultural situation
 Demonstrate knowledge of various models of cultural dimensions
and communication styles
 Find multiple solutions to intercultural challenges by using the 4-step
method
 Recognise and overcome intercultural challenges in everyday
business
Methodological skills:
The participants can:
 Apply the various models and methods in practice
Personal skills:
The participants can:
 Demonstrate awareness of their own culture; in particular, they can
reflect on their own culture and the behaviours and attitudes that are
based on it
 Examine a situation from different perspectives
 Respect various working styles and attitudes and work with them in
an open and respectful way.
Social skills:
The participants can:
 Further develop their intercultural skills
 Work across cultural boundaries in a culturally sensitive manner
 Work together in intercultural teams
 Change stereotypes into generalisations and treat preconceptions
with sensitivity
Topics covered
Topic module/Learning module I: Recognise




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
Culture and concepts of culture
Definition of main intercultural terms
Discovering one's own culture and how it influences one’s behaviour
and thinking
How culture influences business
The reaction of individuals to the foreign: stereotypes, acculturation,
and culture shock
What's required in global business: intercultural competence
Topic module/Learning module II: Respect



When cultures collide: Critical incident
Learn to understand why:
Tool 1: Cultural dimension according to Hall, Hofstede, and
Trompenaars/Hampden-Turner
How culture influences communication:
Basic model of communication
Communication styles according to Hall and Ting-Toomey
Discussion of specific communication situations
Topic module/Learning module III: Reconcile



How to find solutions: apply 4 steps
Possible options in intercultural situations
Multicultural teams
Prerequisites:
No prior knowledge is required.
Teaching materials
Required reading:



ICOU-Reader
Case studies
Submitted documents



Requirements and
Assessments
Adler, N. J. /Gundersen, A. (2008): International Dimensions of
Organizational Behavior, 5th edition, Mason
Hofstede, G./Hofstede, G.J./Minkov, M. (2010): Cultures and
Organizations: Software of the Mind. 3rd edition, New York
Ting-Toomey, St./Chung, L.C. (2012): Understanding Intercultural
Communication, 2nd edition, New York
Trompenaars, F./Hampden-Turner, Ch. (2012): Riding the waves of
cultures, Understanding Cultural Diversity in Global Business, 3rd
edition, London
Oral exam; duration:
X Written exam; duration: 90 minutes, closed book
Presentation; duration:
Discussion
Project
Learning report
Paper
X other, please specify: Individual work (Testatarbeit)
Requirements and
Assessment
Individual work with a sufficiently high standard (Testat)
(Please indicate the weight of
the different requirements, any
aids allowed, any other
requirements)
Written module-completion exam at the end of the semester, closed
book: Dictionary allowed; the two checklists "Cultural dimensions" and
"Communication styles" are appended to the exam paper to assist you;
no other aids are allowed. The examination covers all topics and
documents in intercultural communication.
Other comments
In this course, it will be expected and regarded as a matter of course
that students participate in class and show initiatives. Also, it is strongly
recommended to continuously repeat the discussed topics from week to
week and to verify open questions.
Level of Module:
B – Basic level course
I – Intermediate level course
A – Advanced level course
S – Specialised level course
Type of Module:
C – Core course
R – Related course
M – Minor course