The Business School BA (Hons) Business Studies (BABS) Welcome

Changing Universities Through Internationalisation:
From Strategy to Pedagogy
Cross-Cultural Capability
Mark Ridolfo
Senior Lecturer in Cross-Cultural Management
International Exchanges Coordinator
The Business School, Bournemouth University
A little background . . .
Degree in French and German (Aston University)
Licence, Langues Étrangères Appliquées (Université d’Orléans)
Diploma in Management Studies (Bournemouth University)
Have lived in France, Germany and Italy
Visiting Lecturer to China Europe International Business School
(Shanghai) for 9 years
Some knowledge of Italian, Spanish, Japanese & Chinese
Have travelled extensively in Europe, Australasia & S.E.Asia
Responsible for international exchanges in the Business School
Senior Lecturer / Subject Leader for Cross-Cultural Capability
Bournemouth University’s Vision
We are committed to fostering a global outlook, which will:
encourage internationally significant research;
recruit students and staff with wide international experience;
develop opportunities for international engagement for all
students and staff;
deliver a curriculum which prepares for global employability;
establish strategically significant international partnerships;
actively engage with appropriate networks and initiatives within Europe and beyond.
Bournemouth University Corporate Plan (2006-2012)
 Cross-Cultural Capability in the
Business School
 Lessons learned
 What and where next?
 Example assignments
 Q & A / Discussion
Employability in the 21st century . . .
"Final-year students should be aware that nearly half of [graduate]
recruiters expect to face difficulties in fulfilling recruitment
objectives - with the largest factor being a lack of applicants with
the right skills.
Employers are … looking for graduates who can demonstrate
softer skills, such as team working, cultural awareness, leadership
and communication skills, as well as academic achievement”.
Chief executive of the AGR, Carl Gilleard
(Ford, The Guardian - 07.02.07)
The World in 2020 . . .
The likely emergence of the BRIC countries as new global
players will transform economics and geo-politics. How we
mentally map the world in 2020 will change radically [and]
render obsolete the old categories of ‘East’ and ‘West’, ‘North’
and ‘South’, ‘developed’ and ‘developing’. Globalization will
be a ‘mega-trend’. Multinationals will be increasingly outside
the control of any single state and will be key agents of
change in dispersing technology, further integrating the world
economy and promoting economic progress. While North
America, Japan, and Europe might collectively continue to
dominate international political and financial institutions,
globalization will take on an increasingly ‘non-Western’, ‘rising
Adapted from the Report of the
Asia’ character.
National Intelligence Council's 2020 Project
The Impact of Culture on Business . . .
Cultural differences affect every aspect of business life:
meetings, planning, control, teamwork, communication,
recruiting, decision making . . .
. . . and we all think that our way of doing things is the right
But if we are to seize opportunities in the changing marketplace
we have to learn to manage diversity, to understand and work
with different ways of doing things.
Adapted from John Mole
Cross-Cultural Capability in the
Business School
 3 units (all team-taught):
‘International Awareness and Management Ethics’ (Level C)
‘Working in an International Context’ (Level I)
‘International Management’ (Level H)
 Cultural and linguistic sensitivity / fluency
 Ethical challenges in (international) management
 CSR, sustainability, international HRM
 Evolution of English as a lingua franca
 Culture-specific and culture-general approaches used
 Ethnocentrism and stereotyping highlighted throughout
 Focus on development of interpersonal / transferable skills
 Multi-dimensional, ‘hybrid’ assessment
Overview: The International Jigsaw
Awareness of one’s
own and other
The ability to anticipate and
manage differences
Awareness of one’s
own and others’
values and cultures
International skills,
behaviours and
Theoretical and
understanding of
business ethics
Key issues in
What makes an effective international
manager = what we aim to develop and
Ability to see the ‘big picture’
Cultural sensitivity
Ethical management
Language ability - English and foreign languages
Empathy and respect for others
Recognition of knowledge and educational gaps
Adaptability and flexibility
Tolerance of ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity
Experience of having lived and worked abroad
Conceived and adapted by Ridolfo, M (0310)
What makes an effective international
manager = what we aim to develop and assess
A bility to see the ‘big picture’
C ultural sensitivity
C uriosity
E thical management
L anguage ability - English and foreign languages
E mpathy and respect for others
R ecognition of knowledge and educational gaps
A daptability and flexibility
T olerance of ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity
E xperience of having lived and worked abroad
Conceived and adapted by Ridolfo, M (03-10)
Cross-Cultural Capability:
Example ILOs
1. Understanding of, and ability to apply, the principles of effective
communication in a cross-cultural context (C)
2. Appreciation of occasions where unethical behaviour might occur and
the range of managerial practices possible to encourage ethical
behaviour (C)
3. Understanding of the nature and complexity of social responsibility
and ability to apply methodologies to critically examine moral, social,
environmental and economic dilemmas (I)
4. Critical understanding of cultural differences in business protocol,
organisational behaviour and management culture (I)
5. A critical appreciation of the nature and complexity of international
organisations and management issues (H)
6. An ability to contribute effectively to the formulation, communication
and implementation of management policy and practice in both
national and international contexts (H)
Cross-Cultural Capability:
Learning and Assessment
 Professional / ‘real life’ focus balancing theory and practice
(‘hybrid’ model)
 Range of delivery methods,
including E-Learning / Assessment
 Active and interactive learning
environment – role play, simulations
 Emphasis on critical reflection,
through, for example, self and peer
 Some ‘engineering’ of assignment
groups / pairs
Cross-Cultural Capability:
Example assignments
1. Group presentation: students play the role of business consultants /
trainers, advising a UK audience on how to enter, and conduct
everyday business interactions in, a specific foreign market (C)
2. Online group negotiation: students negotiate ‘virtually’ with
representatives from an (initially undisclosed) ‘Eastern’ culture, thus
requiring them to adapt their persuasion skills and cultural
expectations (I)
3. Report: students write a (business) briefing report on the business
and management culture in one of the ‘N-11’ countries, focusing on
everyday business interactions and management practices (I)
4. Face-to-face negotiation (role play with tutor): a pair of students
must explore and seek to resolve a complex cross-cultural business
dilemma, by using appropriate communicative and suasive
techniques (H)
5. Group presentation: students prepare and deliver a cultural briefing,
as well as a training programme, to a client, which will be sending a
manager overseas (H)
Lessons learned . . .
1. Students value and highly rate this subject when taught enthusiastically,
knowledgeably and genuinely collaboratively (IA&ME and WiaIC are the
highest-scoring units on C/I);
2. Recent feedback suggests that the embedding / dove-tailing of CCC with
more ‘mainstream’ subjects can add significant value to the student
experience and enhance learning outcomes;
3. Many students, particularly at Level H, have fascinating life and work
experiences, which they are happy to discuss when prompted;
4. Students increasingly struggle with the more complex material, due to a
lack of wider reading (e.g. current affairs). Up-to-date and interesting case
studies, to which they can relate, are key.
5. Putting the theory into practice remains a challenge, even for the more
capable and empathic students. There remains a gap between students
understanding the concepts and putting them into practice when actually
working with students who are different from them.
Lessons learned . . .
5. Some students have complained about being ‘preached at’. Tutors must be
sensitive to delivering material passionately, but also objectively, enabling
learners to form their own views, particularly in the areas of social
responsibility, sustainability, global citizenship etc;
6. Students engage particularly well with practical assignments. Such
assignments need not be ‘lightweight’. The assignments we have developed
are ‘hybrids’ and must meet academically rigorous intending learning
7. For group-based work, students respond very positively to Self and Peer
Assessment, provided the system is carefully explained, transparent and
well-managed (8 years experience of using SPA);
8. Something must be working! Next year, 26 BABS students have opted for
‘International Management’, compared with 6 this year!
Topics to explore . . .
• How might the pedagogy and assessment of cross-cultural
capability impact more generally on HE strategy?
• What research potential is there in the pedagogy and
assessment of cross-cultural capability?
• What are the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the
pedagogy and assessment of cross-cultural capability?
Questions? Comments?
Mark Ridolfo
The Business School
Bournemouth University
01202 965525