COMMGMT 3500 - Managing Across Cultures

North Terrace Campus - Summer - 2021

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 Management
    Term Summer
    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
    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: Ankit Agarwal

    Location: Room 10.51, Nexus 10 building, 10 Pulteney Street
    Telephone: +61 (08) 8313 4438

    Course website:

    Note: Lecture and Tutorial details will be posted on MyUni.


    Dr Ayoosha Saleem
    Location: Room 10.39, Nexus 10 building, 10 Pulteney Street

    Ms Richa Gulati
    Location: Room 9.11, Nexus 10 building, 10 Pulteney Street

    Mr Ankit Agarwal
    Location: Room 10.51, Nexus 10 building, 10 Pulteney Street

    Note: To arrange face-to-face/zoom appointments, please contact your tutors directly via email.
    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 tutorials.

    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 the course. 

    As with any course of Higher Education, candidates will inevitably have varying 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).

    Students 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 on MyUni.

    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 the 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 the 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: Macmillan 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 Hofstede'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
    General course information, lecture slides, assessment details and tutorial preparation exercises will be uploaded to MyUni.

    Some recommended www-pages with regards to International Business/Management are:
    Global Edge       
    New Internationalist
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be taught tri-weekly for a period of 4 weeks (3 x 4 = 12 classes) in total, starting 11th January 2021.

    Each of the classes will be 3-hours long, comprising of a combination of a topic-based lecture, followed by a tutorial.

    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.

    Preparing weekly (available in advance) tutorial activities would enable you to understand the concepts better. We shall work together in the tutorials to go deeper into the concepts, frameworks, models and theories.

    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 our three-unit course. This time commitment will include reading the relevant textbook chapters, preparing for tutorials, and other assessment tasks. Students in this course are expected to attend all the classes throughout the summer school.

    As the summer school is only 4-weeks long followed by a written examination, it is important that all the tutorial activities and assessments are completed and submitted as per the deadlines for each coursework. Being up-to-date with the tutorial discussions would enable the students to be prepared for the written examination better. 
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1
    Lecture/Tutorial 1
    Introduction to the course; a general discussion around the course topics.
    Reading: Chapter 1

    Lecture/Tutorial 2
    Cultural Environments: Conceptualising and Theorising Culture; tutorial activities begin
    Reading: Chapter 3

    Lecture/Tutorial 3
    Global managers: challenges and responsibilities
    Reading: Chapter 2

    Week 2
    Lecture/Tutorial 4
    Organisational environments: Organising in a cross-cultural context
    Reading: Chapter 4

    Lecture/Tutorial 5
    Communicating across (and within) cultures
    Reading: Chapter 5

    Lecture/Tutorial 6
    Cultural challenges of leadership
    Reading: Chapter 6

    Week 3
    Lecture/Tutorial 7
    Relationships, partnerships and negotiation across cultures
    Reading: Chapter 7

    Lecture/Tutorial 8
    Ethics across cultures
    Reading: Chapter 8

    Lecture/Tutorial 9
    Work and motivation across cultures
    Reading: Chapter 9

    Week 4
    Lecture/Tutorial 10
    Teams and teamwork across cultures
    Reading: Chapter 10

    Lecture/Tutorial 11
    Working internationally and across cultures
    Reading: Chapter 11

    Lecture/Tutorial 12
    Course review and examination preparation
    Reading: Chapter 12


    Tutorials will be held tri-week commencing the week beginning Monday 11th January 2021. 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.
    Specific Course Requirements
    The students are required to consult the 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.

    Without the text, it would be challenging for the students to prepare for their tutorials.
  • 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
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Tutorial preparation and participation Individual 10% All
    Group Project:
    Group Contract and Plan
    Group Presentation
    Peer Assessment



    Individual Analysis and Reflection Individual 15% 2,3,4,6
    Final Written Examination Individual 50% All
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    To gain a pass in our 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 of 40% 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 (coursework) must be submitted.
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1:
    Tutorial Preparation and Participation (weighting – 10%)
    Students are expected to attend ALL tutorials. Marks will be allocated for tutorial preparation and participation, not for attendance, although the lecturer will keep an attendance record. The lecturer will check your preparation and any candidate not bringing their written preparation to each tutorial will have marks deducted from the total possible 10% each week (one mark or 1% for each time the preparation has not been satisfactorily completed and/or when not participating adequately).

    Assessment 2:
    Group project (total weighting – 25%)
    Assignment summary:
    Group contract and plan (5%)

    Group Presentation (15%)
    Presentation made in tutorial time during the second half of the summer school

    Peer assessment by your group members (5%)
    Performa based feedback

    The lecturer will arrange groups for this assignment in Week 1 - Tutorial 1

    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 lecturer. If any practical or personal problems interfere with your group’s performance at any time during the group work, you must immediately contact your lecturer (do not wait until a few days before any formal deadline; remember, the course lasts only 4 weeks) and your lecturer will help you deal with any such issues.

    The purpose of this assignment is to give you the opportunity to explore the challenges of international and cross-cultural management from theoretical and practical perspectives. This will also help you prepare for the examination (the tasks were derived from past examination papers) and contribute to your tutorial members’ learning,

    Each group will address one of the questions provided on MyUni. Tutors will seek to offer a choice of the question wherever possible. However, as each group must answer a different question, some negotiation and random allocation may be necessary. Please note that the schedule is not negotiable as the topics are linked to the other tutorial activities and the preceding lecture, so please ensure that your group is available for the scheduled delivery of your question/topic.

    Group Contract and Plan (5%)
    It is important that groups should prepare a plan for the task facing them. This process is likely to be smoother if everyone knows what they can expect of each other during the task. It is also useful when assessing how well and why the task has been achieved at the end of the exercise.

    It is likely that your contract/plan will include at least some of the following:
    - Group members’ names and contact information (compulsory element).
    - Ground rules for group meetings (eg frequency and duration, means of communication, record-keeping, expectations of preparation etc).
    - The contract should focus on behaviours that are crucial to the group's effectiveness. Perhaps this is the key issue to discuss during the initial stages – how can you identify the 4 or 5 key behaviours.
    - Assignment of specific tasks and responsibilities and timing (sub-deadlines). These might be itemised and recorded as they are identified and completed.
    - Specific methods for dealing with problems within the group (eg unmet expectations or conflict between members).
    - A method for peer feedback during the project to help avoid and address problems with performance. This should be used as the third criterion for the peer assessment element of the assessment (below). In other words, your group should agree on and specify a criterion for the peer assessment of your group (compulsory element).
    - A document that each group member should sign, indicating their agreement to the contract (compulsory element).

    It is essential to prepare an outline time plan (perhaps in Gaant chart form), working back from each formal deadline.

    Before the contract/plan can be finalised and agreed it is important to analyse your group at an individual and group level. Your first formal meeting would be well spent introducing yourselves and your cultural influences (nationality, family, education, employment, aspirations, learning preferences etc). This will help you better understand any differences within your group and start to frame your group’s culture (actual and ideal). This process requires each member to think about and reflect on themselves as individuals and cultural members AND listen carefully to their group-mates.

    Group contract requirements (maximum):
    Cultural analysis: 500 words
    Group contract: 250 words
    Plan: 250 words

    Group Contract and Plan Assessment Criteria:
    - Application of relevant cultural theory
    - Practical contract items (eg reasonable terms; realistic control mechanisms; manageable sanctions for underperformance)
    - Realistic time plan (don’t be too ambitious)

    Group Presentation (15%)
    Presentation made in tutorial time (see schedule below):

    Your presentation must address one of the questions listed on MyUni. You will have about 20-30 minutes to present your answer. This will require you to explain the question (in your own words) to clarify your task for the audience. You should ensure that any theory you draw on is clearly explained and critiqued (all presentations must use and reference one quality source). This should be followed with any comparison, critical evaluation, application and/or discussion/debate, leading to a clear conclusion and recommendation(s). You should also allow a few minutes for any questions from the audience.

    You should provide some visual aids for your audience (PowerPoint presentations are acceptable – if so, no more than 4 slides should be used, including your references).
    - As in the examination, the key thing is to present a clear and convincing answer to the specific question; do not simply try to include everything that you know about the topic specified.
    - You are also required to take a management perspective – try to answer your question as you think a manager would consider professionally significant (what are the organisational implications of the issue, challenge etc highlighted by the question. Most questions/issues would be enhanced with some specific recommendations for managerial action (eg to solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity).
    - Finally, you will need to use relevant theory and/or research to support your answer. Theory is an essential part of university learning but is also central to how we understand the world around us. In order to demonstrate your understanding of theory in this course, you must apply (not just describe) relevant theory in answers (you can use theory to help understand a phenomenon or to help to frame, explain and justify recommendations).

    Presentation assessment Criteria:
    - Answering the question; did you answer the question clearly and convincingly?
    - Relevant theoretical support; did you explain and apply theory appropriately?
    - Clarity of presentation; did your explanation, conclusion, rationale etc make sense?
    - Addressing audience questions; were your answers clear, concise and relevant?

    Peer assessment of your group members (5%)
    Each member of the team should assess their teammates, confidentially, based on the following criteria (you must include a written justification of your mark; without a clear and convincing explanation of the mark, based on these criteria, your final marks are subject to moderation by your examiner. So, simply giving all your group member 100% or 0%, or any other unjustified marks, without a convincing justification, is likely to result in all marks being revisited by the examiner).

    Peer assessment criteria:
         - Contribution to the group task; Participation in group meetings; attendance and contribution – not just attendance
         - Achievement of agreed goals, as specified in group contract; these must be explained and related to the contract requirements.
         - One additional criterion to be specified in the group contract

    Assessment 3:
    Individual analysis and reflection (15%)

    Each member of your group should submit a short self-and team-analysis (maximum 1000 words). This should build on the initial group analysis (submitted with the first part of the assessment above). This should focus on your individual role(s) within and contribution to the group as a whole.

    You should draw on relevant cultural theory in your analysis. All individual submissions must include at least one quality research source (see lecture one for guidance here).

    There is some flexibility to your content and approach. For example, you could focus on the cultural/subcultural differences among your group member and how you managed any differences that could have interfered with the smooth running of your group. Alternatively, you could analyse the ‘third culture’ that you developed within the group, identifying any specific challenges you faced and overcame during the planning/operation of the group. The only essential element is the self-analysis of how YOU contributed to this culturally challenging group exercise. This should be presented critically (ie exploring how your learning during this project could contribute to your future interactions with colleagues in future collaborations).

    Individual analysis and reflection assessment criteria:
         - Application of relevant theory; do you use theory to support your analysis and conclusion (ie to understand your situation within the group and any intragroup difficulties and to guide your plan for improved future participation in groupwork
         - Self-analysis at the group and individual level; does your self-analysis demonstrate awareness of strengths and weaknesses?
         - Critique of own contribution; are you open and reflective about ways that you could improve your own contribution in future group work (ie addressing your weaknesses and maximising your strengths)?
    1. All written assignments must be submitted on MyUni through the relevant link.

    2. All assignments 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.

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

    4. All submissions must be types (NOT hand-written). Hand-written assignments will not be graded.

    5. As this course length is 4 weeks, no extensions are permitted, unless due to medical reasons.

    Presentation of Assignments

    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

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

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

    4. The lecturer 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.

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