COMMGMT 3500 - Managing Across Cultures

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

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
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites COMMGMT 1001 or COMMGMT 2500
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr David Pender

    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

    Course Text:

    Steer, RM., Nardon, L., Sanchez-Runde, CJ., Samaratunge, R., Ananthram, S., Fan, D. & Lu, Y. (2017) Management Across Cultures: Australasian Edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    This text provides the basic framework for the lecture program and is required reading to prepare for each week’s classes.

    Recommended Resources
    Additional Reading:

    Jackson, T. (2002) International HRM: A Cross-Cultural Approach, London: Sage.

    This particular text provides a useful analysis of a variety of national and organisational approaches to management. Some individual chapters will be specifically recommended in the schedule provided below, but candidates are recommended to explore other chapters during in the course. 

    As with any course of Higher Education, candidates will inevitably have varied levels of interest in the different subjects/topics covered. To allow for this, the weekly readings will include essential preparatory reading, but some lecture topics will include recommended additional reading (mainly from Jackson ,2002). These are seen as offering some useful extra sources that apply some of the relevant theories and models in a more fully developed analysis of ‘real-life’ organisations; please note that this edition is relatively old, but still provides one of the best sources, combining an excellent scholarly analysis of international management issues in a historical context (and many of the featured organisations are still operating today and offer a further opportunity for candidates to ‘up-date’ the analysis in the present day).

    Candidates will also be expected to prepare for tutorials and this will normally include some reading, focusing on
    refereed academic sources. Full details will be provided weekly in advance.

    Recommended Resources:

    There are a number of other general textbooks available in the library. These can be useful to ‘get started’ with a topic
    area. There are also a number of more focused/specialised texts:


    Chanlat, JF., Davel, E.  & Dupuis, JP (2013) Cross-Cultural Management: Culture and Management Across the World, Abingdon, UK: Routledge. (online version in library)

    This is a particularly interesting text, taking a largely French view of culture and management – highly recommended, especially as an alternative to the many books on the subject that seem rather too obsessed with Hofstede and quantitative approaches to understanding culture.

    Gannon, MJ and Pillai, R. (2010) Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys Through 29 Nations, 4th
    Edition, London: Sage (online version in library)

    This is a very useful addition to the ‘dimension based’ theoretical approaches to understanding culture. Metaphors are an important way of communicating about a variety of issues (not only culture) and can also be a powerful way of thinking about phenomena in a creative way that encourages insight and innovation.


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

    This is the latest edition of Hofstede’s classic work on cultural dimensions. Although often controversial, his theoretical approach has long been influential in the study of culture at a national level; it is important that any serious scholar or culture should be familiar with his model, and it is a good idea to explore his own publications rather than relying on the often simplified versions presented in many textbooks.

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

    This text is another influential one. Although it is quite old (in academic terms), it still provides an interesting perspective and draws from his other, better known work that introduces his model of generic strategies.


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

    Possibly one of the best known critics of globalisation (and a Nobel Laureate); still a topical, emotive and controversial issue. If interested you could try his other writing in the field


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

    Not so much an alternative to Hoftstede’s work, as a variation on this approach to identifying and applying dimensions to cultural analysis.


    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 by 1½ 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.

    Lecture slides and recordings, general course information, assessment details and tutorial preparation exercises will be uploaded to MyUni. In addition, course communication/announcements and possible additional readings and links will be suggested in MyUni throughout the semester.

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • 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

    No information currently available.

    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    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.

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