Cross-Cultural Management online Tutor support

Cross-Cultural Management online Tutor support
Miranda’s story
Miranda Fung was born and brought up in Wuhan, China. Her given name is Li Hua
Fung: she gave herself the added Western name on arrival in the UK. Miranda enrolled
on a bachelor’s degree in business administration at a Welsh university in 2004. Her
father is a senior manager in the chemicals industry, and Miranda is ambitious to
progress to a managerial position in the future, preferably within the financial services
sector. Approaching her three-year stay in the UK, Miranda was keen to learn about the
new culture, feeling that this would give her self-confidence and enhance her career
Read the case study above, and respond to the following.
Which (if any) of Craig’s (1979) ‘adaptation behaviours’ is displayed by Miranda,
according to her own account of culture shock? Give reasons for your answer.
Should a university put measures into place in order to alleviate potential culture
shock as felt by overseas students – and if so, what could these be?
To what extent are Miranda’s initial reactions to her first term at university the result
of her cultural background? Could a British student experience similar reactions –
and if so, why?
This case study may well be closely linked to real-life experience of some
students. In Question 1, Miranda might be understood as exhibiting a
cross between ‘encapsulator’ and ‘cosmopolitan’ behaviour. She may not fit
entirely neatly into any one category, as is the way of such models. She
has kept close links with friends in China and feels more comfortable with
Chinese friends. However, she did try to adapt to the UK education
system, although deep down feels she has not taken it on board. The case
can bring in discussion of the stages of culture shock — here Miranda’s
experiences fit well with findings from the established literature.
Question 2 begins with a philosophical point, while Question 3 points to
culture shock being one — but only one — manifestation of a psychological
There is no definitive template of agreed ethical principles which cross-cultural
managers can refer to when seeking help with ethical dilemmas arising from their work.
Within the terms of cultural relativism, ethical standards are mostly fluid. The crosscultural manager in following this approach should appreciate the ethical norms of a
new country and adhere to them, even if they go against accepted standards in his or
her home culture.
Identify any two forms of behaviour in business that you consider to be universally
wrong – ie they should not occur in any culture – and two that you think would
tolerate in another culture even though they were not normally accepted in your
home culture. Give reasons for your choice.
Discuss your findings within a small group (of two to four people). How can you account
for similarities and differences in your views?
To what extent do you think cultural empathy is the most important competency
that a cross-cultural manager should have? Refer to the relative importance of
other competencies in preparing your answer.
A short activity intended to encapsulate material contained on pages
152—9. Tutors can shape discussion around the underlying perspectives
on ethics, ways of dealing with dilemmas and non-negotiable issues. The
question on the primacy of empathy points to whether one can and should
ultimately take a culturally-relativist standpoint.