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Cross-Cultural Business Communication

By zan1986 Dec 03, 2012 1646 Words
BA361: Cross-Cultural Business Communication
Fall 2012; CRN 11688 Lillis 255
Instructor: Kay Westerfield Office: 194 Esslinger Wing A (entrance next to MacCourt) Office hours: TUES 3:00-4:30, WED 12:00-1:30, and by appointment Email: kwesterf@uoregon.edu Office phone: 541-346-1094

_________________________________________________________________________________________ Course Materials (Note the 5th edition of textbook.) Intercultural Communication in the Global Workplace. 2010. 5th edition. Varner and Beamer. McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Course Packet See also materials at the Knight Library Reserve Desk, in my office, and Recommended Readings in packet. Course Blackboard Website: To access the website for this course, go to https://blackboard.uoregon.edu/ Course Overview All over the world organizations are finding themselves increasingly engaged in cross-cultural communication, whether they are doing business in another country, sourcing products from abroad, managing an increasingly multicultural workforce at home, or appealing to customers from a variety of cultural backgrounds. As a result, intercultural communication skills are not a distant need for the future, but a real need right now in the workplace. This course develops an awareness of cultural priorities and intercultural communication skills and applies them to practical business communication and professional contexts. All business is international. And how you communicate makes a world of difference. Course Objectives In this course, you will: • examine a range of theoretical approaches to understanding value dimensions across cultures • analyze the potential impact of cultural variables on business interactions • recognize potential barriers to communication and how to minimize them in spoken and written business discourse • conduct research using a variety of culture-specific and culture-general information resources on business communication • demonstrate self-awareness of the mix of cultures that combine to determine one’s own values, beliefs, and attitudes • recognize the common strands linking all cultures • acquire culturally transferable strategies to minimize misunderstandings stemming from cultural differences Coursework Many of the assignments in this course are of a collaborative nature. Writing in the workplace is a collaborative effort in which group members contribute constructively throughout all steps in the document process. Furthermore, given that a major focus of this course is on communication between cultures (of which national culture is only one), it makes sense that individuals have the opportunity to practice their communication skills through group work in the course. We will be working together to compile a cross-cultural training manual to assist you who are currently working/traveling internationally or who will be in the future. This training manual will provide a helpful guide to the impact of culture both inside and outside the workplace. It will be comprised primarily of our country-specific cultural profiles. #1. Cross-Cultural Research & Reflection Assignment (Individual): Assignment in packet and on Blackboard. The assignment builds your “Cultural Intelligence” and introduces you to resources that will be valuable for your CountrySpecific Cultural Profile.

#2. Country-Specific Cultural Profile (Team Project): Assignment in packet and on Blackboard. We will examine a theoretical model to use when asking questions about a culture's system of values, beliefs, and attitudes. These countryspecific cultural profiles will be included in our Cross-Cultural Training Manual. You will be able to purchase your own copy of this class project at a copy shop near campus. #3. Personal Cultural Profile (Individual): Assignment in packet and on Blackboard. Knowing your own personal value preferences is a key element of “Cultural Intelligence”. All course assignments must be word-processed. Late assignments will not be accepted without prior instructor approval. Grading: “Day at Work” Discussion Board Postings #1. Cross-Cultural Research & Reflection Assignment (individual project) #2. Country-Specific Cultural Profile (group project/individual participation points) #3. Personal Profile (individual project) 3 Exams and unannounced quizzes (actual number of points may vary) Participation Performance (Silent attendance will not earn full credit. Texting in class will lower your grade. Intelligent contributions will enhance your score.) Approximate Total:

5 20 30/5 30 95 20

205

Final grades are earned according to the percentage of possible points available from all categories and instructor discretion, if necessary, to meet LCB grading guidelines. Successful students in this course devote a minimum of 2.5 hours outside of class to every hour in class. A range 100 - 90% D range 69 - 60% B range 89 - 80% F below 60% C range 79 - 70%

How to do well in this course: This course involves reading, writing, and class/small group discussion. The pace of the reading assignments picks up as the term progresses. You will need to read and absorb the material in our textbook outside of class. It is essential that you come to class well prepared and ready to discuss focus questions (on Blackboard) and reading assignments intelligently. You are responsible for information in the reading assignments even if we haven't discussed a particular point in class. Students are expected to share their experiences and thoughts related to the readings in class discussions as well as in small group discussions. Effective oral participation will be reflected in the individual score for Participation Performance. E-mail accounts: All students are required to use their uoregon e-mail account (and to check it daily!), as communication among project team members and with the instructor will often occur via e-mail. Timely communication is a key business skill. If you have a documented disability and anticipate needing accommodations in this course, please make arrangements to meet with me soon. Please see our Blackboard site under University & Course Policies for more information on requesting reasonable accommodations.

Daily Syllabus BA361 Cross-Cultural Business Communication Fall 2012 The following is a projected schedule of course topics and assignments to help you plan for the term. Daily activities and specific reading assignments may vary and will be announced in class. The ability to analyze intelligently and critique what we do in class depends on your keeping up with the background reading schedule. Be sure to ask about anything you find unclear or problematic in the reading. For all class reading assignments, be prepared to respond to focus questions, summarize the main points, and relate them to your own experiences. This will be reflected in your participation score for the class. Note: Each reading assignment has Focus Questions, which you will find on our Blackboard site. You are responsible for answering these Focus Questions in preparation for our class discussion each day. They will not be collected, but serve as excellent learning, discussion and exam preparation tools. Week 1 Topics/Activities 9/24 * Course Introduction * What is Culture? * Developing Cultural Curiosity * Business Communication Concepts * Communication Models Assignment Due Dates

9/26

Packet: “Elements of Communication in Organizations”. (Focus Questions on Blackboard. See note above.)

Week 2 10/1

* Exploring the Business Environment in Different Cultures * Cultural Self-Awareness * Culture & Communication

1) Post on our Blackboard Discussion Board a 1 to 2-page description of “a day at the office” in your culture before class today; read and reply to at least 2 posting by other classmates. For your analysis, select a workplace that you are familiar with. Consider: What does the “office/workplace” look like, e.g. the arrangement of desks in an office? Who works in what positions? How many hours do people usually work per day? What is a “work week”? Other key issues to consider include those related to: gender, hierarchy, greetings, dress, formality, vacations, prayer times, etc. These are examples of "front stage" culture and reflect underlying "back stage" cultural preferences. How have these concepts changed (or not) over the years? Be prepared to share this information in class with students from other cultures. Note: be sure to check back to the Discussion Board to respond to any questions/comments about your posting. 2) Chapter 1 3) Begin your Cross-Cultural Research/Reflection Assignment. (Available in your packet and on Blackboard. Evaluation rubric on Blackboard.)

10/3

* Culture Shock and Strategies to Overcome It * Selection of country for Country-Specific Cultural Profile project * Simulation * A Cultural Values Framework * Team Project Assignment: A CountrySpecific Cultural Profile * The Role of Language

Chapter 1, continued

Week 3 10/8

Meet with your team and begin your project research: A Country-Specific Cultural Profile. (Available in your packet and on Blackboard. Evaluation rubric on Blackboard.) Chapter 2 Hand in: a hard copy of your Cross-Cultural Research/Reflection Assignment by Friday, 5:00 pm, at my office.

10/10

Week 4 10/15

* Project Team Meeting: A Country-Specific Cultural Profile * Exam #1

Exam #1: Packet Reading #1, Ch. 1 & 2, Focus Questions, and lectures

10/17

* Part I: Values and Belief Systems

Chapter 3

Week 5 10/22

* Values and Belief Systems: Further Application * Part II: Values and Belief Systems

Chapter 3, continued

10/24

Chapter 4

Week 6 10/29

* Communicating Across Cultures: Organization of Messages * Values and Belief Systems: Further Application * Personal Cultural Profile assignment

Chapter 5 Begin work on your Personal Cultural Profile. Evaluation rubric available on Blackboard.

10/31

* Country-Specific Cultural Profile Team Meeting * Exam #2

Exam #2: Chapters 3 – 5, packet, Focus Questions, and lectures Hand in by Friday, 5:00 pm: a hard-copy and email attachment of your Team Project, Country-Specific Cultural Profile.

Week 7 11/5

* Communicating Across Cultures: The Nonverbal Dimension * Nonverbal Communication, cont.

Chapter 6

11/7

Chapter 6, continued

Week 8 11/12

* Variable Rules of Engagement * Assign group responsibilities for the Training Manual * Cross-Gender Communication

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