COMMGMT 3500 - Managing Across Cultures III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

The objective of this course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the fundamental principles and practices of International Management. The course focuses on the foundations of international management, the role of culture, cross-cultural communication and negotiations, MNC strategies and structures, and international human resource management. There will be a focus on appropriate theory and the course will aim to provide opportunities for the practical implementation of the main concepts covered.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMGMT 3500
    Course Managing Across Cultures III
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge COMMGMT 1001
    Course Description The objective of this course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the fundamental principles and practices of International Management. The course focuses on the foundations of international management, the role of culture, cross-cultural communication and negotiations, MNC strategies and structures, and international human resource management. There will be a focus on appropriate theory and the course will aim to provide opportunities for the practical implementation of the main concepts covered.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Sandiford

    Location Room 10.28, Tower building, 10 Pulteney Street

    Telephone 8313 2017


    Course website

    Tutorial details will be posted on myuni.

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1.            Critically analyse the drivers and consequences (political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, legal and ecological) of globalization, its impact on specific regions and the emerging concerns about its influences on countries around the world.

    2.            Understand and appreciate the need for ethics and social responsibility in international management, and the growing pressures on firms to act in an ethically and socially responsible manner in their global business operations

    3.            Compare different theoretical approaches to the concept of culture (at national, regional and organisational levels) and implications of these differences for international and cross-cultural managers

    4.            Apply theories of culture and management to address the challenges of managing individuals, groups and organisations in an increasingly diverse global context

    5.            Integrate and apply the basic elements of international strategic management, including the pressures and cost/benefits of strategies that emphasize global integration versus local adaptation; evaluate the specialized strategies required for emerging economies and for international new ventures

    6.            Compare and evaluate practices related to the management, motivation and leading of employees in an international and cross-cultural context

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Because of the nature of this course no single text book is required. Each week readings will be specified to help prepare for the lecture.
    Recommended Resources
    There are a number of textbooks available in the library (including some of those specified as lecture preparation). These can be useful to ‘get started’ with a topic area. However, it is important to refer to more specialist sources, especially when preparing for the written assessments, such as the following (some of these have multiple editions):

    Gannon, MJ. (1994) Understanding Global Cultures, London: Sage

    Hofstede, G. (2001) Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations, 2nd Ed., London: Sage.

    Porter, ME. (1990) The Competitive Advantage of Nations, London: Macmillain Press

    Stiglitz. JE. (2007). Making Globalisation Work. New York: WW Norton.

    Trompenaars, F. (1993) Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business, London: Nicholas

    The course lectures will include some key references that you might find relevant, interesting and useful in following up key issues and theories. You should make use of the on-line and electronic databases and other information sources available in the main library. Familiarity with these information sources is important for searching the academic literature — for example, journal articles
    via EBSCO databases and business/industry information via Dow Jones Interactive.

    There are also a number of relevant academic journals including (but not limited to):
    Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal

    International Journal of HRM
    Journal of International Management.
    International Journal of Commerce and Management.
    International Journal of Hospitality Management
    Management International Review.
    International Business Review.

    Online Learning
    Lecture slides and recordings, general course information, assessment details and tutorial preparation exercises will be uploaded to MyUni.

    Some recommended www-pages with regards to International Business/Management are:


    CIA World Factbook  

    Global Edge       

    New Internationalist




  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be taught by1½ hour weekly lectures supported by 1½ hour weekly tutorials. Tutorials are an important component of your learning in this course and are integral to the course assessment. The communication skills developed in tutorials by regularly and actively participating in discussions are considered important by the School and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours for a three-unit course or 13 hours for a four-unit course. This time commitment will include reading the relevant text book chapter, preparing for tutorials, and other assessment tasks. Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one tutorial class each week. Please NOTE tutorials begin in Week 1 of the semester, so some tutorials may precede that week’s lecture.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Theme one: Living in a Globalised and Multicultural world

    Week 1. W/C Mon 29 February    
    Course introduction: Globalisation and the international environment

    Reading: As this is the first week this reading is intended as an optional follow-up to the lecture, rather than as preparation:

    Simon, DF. & Koppel, B. (1995)
    from interdependence to globalisation: changing perspectives and the changing
    international political economy, in Simon, DF (ed.), Corporate Strategies In
    The Pacific Rim: Global Versus Regional Trends, London: Routledge, pp. 3-27.


    Week 2. W/C Mon 7th March       

    Models and Theories of Culture

    Reading: Hoecklin, L. (1995) Managing Cultural Difference: Strategies For Competitive Advantage. New York: Addison-Wesley. Chapter 2: Culture: what it is, what it is not and how it directs organisational behaviour, pp. 23-49.

    Week 3. W/C Mon 14th March

    Culture shock; Responsibility and ethics

    Reading: Deresky, H & Christopher, E. (2012) International Management: Managing Cultural Diversity, 2nd Edition, Frenchs Forest NSW: Pearson. Chapter 2: International social responsibility: the ethics of interdependence, pp. 44-84

    Theme two: Internationalising management

    Week 4. W/C Mon 21st March

    Cross-Cultural Communication and Negotiation

    Reading: Lufthansa, F. & Doh, JP (2009), International Management: Culture, Strategy And Behavior, New York: McGraw hill. Chapter 7: cross cultural communication and negotiation, pp. 184-248.

    Week 5. W/C Mon 28th March

    International strategy

    Reading: Johnson, G, Whittington, R. & Scholes, K (2011) Exploring Strategy, 9th Edition, Harlow: FT Prentice  Hall. Ch 8: International Strategy, pp. 264-290

    Additional Reading: Jackson, T. (2002) International HRM: A Cross-Cultural Approach, London: Sage. Ch. 2, the strategic organization: the supranational model, pp.37-59

    Please note, the Jackson text is available as a complete e-book through the library catalogue.

    Week 6. W/C Mon 4th April

    Analysing cross-cultural organisations: synthesising theory and practice

    Reading: Jackson, T. (2002) International HRM: A Cross-Cultural Approach, London: Sage. Introduction, pp. 1-12 and Chapter 1, The Cross-cultural organization: the multicultural model, pp. 13-35.


    Mid-semester Break


    Theme Three: The Practice of Cross-Cultural Management

    Week 7. W/C Mon 25th April

    Managing business relationships

    Reading: Lasserre RE, P. & Schutte, H. (2006) Strategies For Asia Pacific: Meeting New Challenges, revised 3rd ed., Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Chapter 7, Joining forces: alliances, mergers and acquisitions, pp.211-257

    Additional Reading: Jackson, T.
    (2002) International HRM: A Cross-Cultural Approach, London: Sage. Ch. 8, The
    joint venture organization: the Chinese Model, pp. 163-182.

    Week 8. W/C Mon 2nd May          

    International employment practice: Expatriation or Local?

    Reading: Mead, R. (2005) International Management: Cross Cultural Dimensions, Oxford: Blackwell. Ch. 17, Expatriate assignments, pp.375-395

    Additional Reading: Jackson, T. (2002) International HRM: A Cross-Cultural Approach, London: Sage. Ch. 4, The Missionary Organization: the Dutch Model, pp. 81-106.

    Week 9. W/C Mon 9th May           

    Motivation Across Cultures

    Reading:Bharat, RS., Triandis, HC. & McDevitt, AS (2012) Managing Global Organisations: A Cultural Perspective, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. Ch. 6. Cultural variations in work motivation, job satisfaction and organisational commitment, pp. 128-161.

    Additional Reading: Jackson, T. (2002) International HRM: A Cross-Cultural Approach, London: Sage. Ch. 5, The Motivating Organization: The Japanese Model, pp. 107-126.

    Week 10. W/C Mon 16th May      

    Cross-Cultural Performance Management: Training and Skills

    Reading: Brislin, RW., MacNab, BR. & Nayani, F (2008) Cross-cultural training: applications and research, in Smith, PB., Peterson, MFN. & Thomas, DC. (Eds) The Handbook Of Cross-Cultural Management Research, London: Sage, Pp. 397-410.

    Additional Readings: Jackson, T. (2002) International HRM: A Cross-Cultural Approach, London: Sage. Ch.3, The competent organization: the American Model, pp. 59-80.

    Jackson, T. (2002) International HRM: A Cross-Cultural Approach, London: Sage. Ch. 6, The learning organization: the British model, pp. 127-147.

    Week 11. W/C Mon 23rd May      

    Managing Diversity

    Reading: Bartlett, CA & Ghosthal, S. (2002) Managing Across Borders: The Transnational Solution, Boston MA: Harvard university press. Ch 8. Legitimising diversity: balancing multiple perspectives, pp.157-180.

    Week 12. W/C Mon 30th May      

    Course review and examination preparation

    No reading specified



    Tutorials will be held weekly commencing the week beginning Monday 29th February 2016 (ie week one). Tutorial preparation requirements will be posted on MyUni in advance. The tutorials broadly follow and support the lecture subjects. The learning log assessment is based on tutorial preparation and activities so it is essential that you fully prepare for and participate in the tutorials. Preparation will normally include
    some reading and additional tasks, students are expected to bring written preparatory notes with them to each tutorial.

    A full guide to tutorials and preparation requirements will be provided each week on MyUni.

    PLEASE NOTE: Students having a tutorial class on a public holiday should attend any other tutorial class in the respective week as tutorial classes are not replaceable and students should still submit a learning log for the tutorial attended.

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The group report and group statement will incorporate a small group discovery opportunity for course participants.

    There will be two opportunities to meet with an experienced academic member of staff who will act as a mentor during your preparation of the group report and statements. Full details of this will be provided in due course.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Individual essay          Individual                   10%                   800 words             8 April 2016, 4:30pm            1,2,3

    Learning Log              Individual                   20%                   3 X 750 words       20 May 2016, 4:30pm           2,5,6

    Written Report           Collaborative             25%                   2500 words           30 May 2016, 4:30pm           2,3,4,5,6

    Group Statement      Collaborative             5%                      800 words             30 May 2016, 4:30pm           4,6

    Examination              Individual                  40%                    2 hours                  During examination period       1,2,3,4,5,6              

    Total                                                        100%                                                                                                                           

    Assessment Related Requirements

    To gain a pass in this course, a mark of at least 40% must be obtained in the examination as well as a total of at least 50% for the course
    overall.  Students not achieving the minimum exam mark will be awarded no more than 49%.


    Please note that to be eligible for Additional Assessment (previously referred to as Supplementary Examinations) in this course ALL required assessment tasks must be submitted.

    Assessment Detail
    Individual essay 

    You should choose one (1) of the following essay titles (modified from the 2015 examination paper) for your essay:

    1. Critically evaluate, with relevant international management examples, a recognised model of culture shock. Recommend specific practices/interventions that could be used to minimise the adverse results of culture shock in international managers.

    2. Critically evaluate the use of metaphors in cultural theory and research, using relevant examples to illustrate your answer.

    The specific content of your essay is flexible – there is no one-right-way to address these essay titles. However, it is essential that you draw from relevant theory and use clear and specific examples to support your answer – remember, there are a number of approaches to using such examples: you may apply a theory to your example to help diagnose a managerial problem or you could use theory to actually ‘solve’ such a problem. In some cases examples of management practice can also provide relevant evidence to support your argument, though take care with this approach; it is important to use strong examples for this – personal or hypothetical examples are much less convincing as ‘evidence’ than examples of actual practice presented in research publications that have been subjected to rigorous analysis.

    All essays mus be appropriately referenced; any essay that does not include a minimum of 4 refereed references (journal articles), will receive a grade of no more than 49%.

    Your essays should be no longer than 800 words (not including your reference list).

    Assessment Criteria for essay:

    Critical evaluation of relevant theory(ies).

    Use of appropriate organisational examples.

    Appropriate reference support, clear expression, correct grammar and punctuation


    Learning log 

    Students are required to submit a reflective learning log (journal/diary) based on the weekly tutorial tasks.

    The objective of the learning log is to encourage students to structure and reflect on their learning throughout the course. Tutor feedback will help students prepare for their written assignment and examination.

    The learning log will be assessed in the following way:

    Students must a minimum of THREE entries, each of which should reflect on your learning during one tutorial (including preparation, tutorial activities and post tutorial reflection).

    Students will select ONE of their learning log entries for full, formal assessment and marking by the tutor. The other entries will be assessed on a pass fail basis.

    Students who do not submit their choice of log entry for marking by the deadlines above will have one entry selected at random by their tutor.

    Each log entry should be approximately 750 words in length and must include the following elements:

    1) A brief account of your tutorial preparation activities; this should refer to any key reading that you found helpful and a reflective discussion of any other preparation task.
    2) A brief account of the activities that you participated in during the tutorial itself. This can highlight what you found particularly interesting/useful or less helpful/relevant about the experience.

    3) Critical reflection on the value of the learning activity/experience; you are particularly encouraged to show how their learning will change future behaviour in educational, personal or work situations.

    It is essential that your log should include specific examples of relevant reading and classroom activities. Published sources should be carefully referenced using Harvard referencing. You are required to refer to at least one research source (ie refereed journal article or research based monograph/book and not a student textbook or unrefereed webpage) in each log.

    A minimum of three logs must pass for each phase. All logs submitted must include all three of the elements specified above AND a quality research source. If any one of the logs does not meet these minimum requirements the maximum mark available for that phase of the log will be 49%.

    Please note, the learning log is intended as a constructive tool; if you disliked a reading or activity you should clearly explain why and explore any problems that you faced. It is important to seek learning from any such negative experiences as well as positive ones, so you
    could consider how you could still learn from this. For example, if you found a theory irrelevant or an activity boring, ask yourself ‘why’ and ask whether you could take any appropriate action yourself (ie could you constructively raise an issue/question in the tutorial itself to raise your point of view and discuss with coursemates and tutor).

    Assessment criteria for learning logs:

    Critical evaluation of relevant theory/research evidence

    Personal reflection on learning experiences (Acknowledgement of challenging aspects of learning; application of theory to real world experience; specific examples to illustrate concepts/ideas/theories

    Appropriate reference support

    Clear expression, correct grammar and punctuation

    Group Report

    Your tutor will arrange groups of 3-4 for this assignment early in the semester.

    Please note. After the groups have been confirmed group members cannot change their groups and nor can a group exclude a group member under any circumstances, without the written agreement of the course coordinator. If any practical or personal problems interfere with your group’sperformance at any time during the groupwork, you must immediately contact your tutor (do not wait until a few days prior to the submission deadline) and your tutor will help you deal with any such issues. If your tutor cannot solve your issue the course coordinator will be consulted.

    Purpose: the purpose of this assignment is to give you the opportunity to explore the challenges of international management from theoretical and practical perspectives. This will also help you prepare for the examination case study (this case study was included in the 2015 examination paper (primary and RAA), though the specific questions/requirements have been modified slightly to better fit the requirements of a coursework task.

    Task: Case Study Analysis and Recommendation framing.

     You will be provided with a short case study for analysis, managerial diagnosis and solution (managerial recommendations). Specific questions/instructions will also be provided to guide your work.

    You will need to support your analysis with appropriate references. Unreferenced reports, or those that do not include a minimum of 8 refereed references (journal articles), will receive a grade of no more than 49%.


    The word limit (2500 words) does NOT include a brief summary, your reference list and appendices). You may find it useful to include appendices to your report (including the group statement below). This can be particularly helpful when conducting organisational analysis (eg PESTLE, SWOT etc) to provide additional information of potential interest to your readers. However, please bear in mind that an appendix should not include key material – the main report should include all your key points, arguments, evidence etc (in other words, an
    appendix is NOT a ‘way to get around’ the overall word limit by adding essential material).

    Assessment criteria

    Critical analysis and comparison of two countries (Australia and Brazil) from a cross-cultural management perspective and identification of key challenges.

    Critique and application of relevant cross-cultural and management theories.

    Identification and justification of specific recommendations for dealing with these challenges.

    Appropriate reference support.

    Clear expression, correct grammar and punctuation, Professional layout and presentation.

    Group Cultural Statement

    Each group should submit a single statement reflecting on the cultural issues encountered during the preparation of your group report. This statement is in addition to the group report and should ideally take the form of a sort of group learning log. You must include this statement as an appendix to the group report itself.

    Each statement must include relevant cultural theory and apply this to your experience as a group working on your main group assignment. So, if you work in an international group (ie with group members from countries different to your own) you could analyse any  particular/striking differences or similarities that you encountered within your group. Of course, not every group will be international in nature, but you are still likely to encounter cultural issues (eg, do individuals from different parts of the same country or from different
    academic disciplines display sub-cultural differences?). So the main purpose of the group statement is to explore how cultural theory can help better understand your interaction, challenges and cooperation with coursemates. As with the learning log, your statements should use theories learnt during the course or from your wider reading to help understand and diagnose group issues/problems, help to solve any such issues/problems during the group project and help you prepare for group work like this in the future, within and beyond the university setting.

    The key thing to remember in this assessment task is to avoid ethnocentric value judgements. So, as recommended in class, ANALYSE cultures; CRITIQUE theories.

    It is essential that your statement should include specific examples of relevant reading and classroom activities. Published sources should be carefully referenced using Harvard referencing. You are required to refer to at least one research source (ie refereed journal article or research based monograph/book and not a student textbook or unrefereed webpage) in each log.

    Assessment criteria for group statements:

    Group reflection on learning experiences (Acknowledgement of challenging aspects of learning; application  of theory to real world experience; specific examples to illustrate concepts/ideas/theories

    Application of relevant theory to your group experience

    Appropriate reference support

    Clear expression, correct grammar and punctuation


    All assignments must be submitted on myuni through the relevant link as a single word document.

    Students must specify their chosen learning log entry for full marking at the same time as their learning logs. If this choice is not received in time, the tutor will select one entry at random for marking.

    Extensions to the due date of written assessments may be granted under special circumstances. An extension request based on illness or on exceptional personal circumstances must include the "Supporting Statement / Certification Form" that is on p. 4 of the replacement and additional Assessment application available at:


    Students applying for an extension based on medical reasons must visit their medical practitioner, with the approved University form, and have the medical practitioner complete it.  A normal doctor's certificate will not be accepted.

    Please note that all requests for extensions should be directed in writing to the Lecturer-in charge no later than 48 hours before the due
    date. Extension requests after this time will only be granted for exceptional circumstances. This does not include poor time management or poor file management.

    All assignments (learning logs and group reports) are to be lodged at, or prior to, the due date and time.  A late assignment where no extension has been granted will be penalised by a reduction of 5% of the mark given for each day, or part of a day, that it is late.

    Assessment marks prior to the final exam will be displayed on the course website.  Students are encouraged to check their marks and notify their tutor and the Course Coordinator of any discrepancies.

    Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process.  Marks may be deducted in the final examination because of poor handwriting.

    Students in this course are NOT permitted to take a DICTIONARY (English or English-Foreign) into the examination. 

    Presentation of Assignments:

    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All individual assignments must be attached to an Assignment Cover Sheet that must be signed and dated by the student before submission.  Lecturers will withhold students’ results until such time as the student has signed the Assignment Cover Sheet.

    Students may not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course.

     Markers can refuse to accept assignments that do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s Policy on Plagiarism:

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.