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2013/2014  KAN-CM_SU97  Cross-Cultural Management

English Title
Cross-Cultural Management

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Course period Please check www.cbs.dk/summer for the course schedule.
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Andreas M. Hartmann, Tecnologico de Monterrey
    Patricia Plackett - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • Management
  • Language and Intercultural Studies
Last updated on 25-01-2013
Learning objectives
At the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following skills:
  • Identify the main traits that distinguish national cultures
  • Analyze the impact of national cultures on organizational practices
  • Design organizational practices that deal with both multicultural issues within the organization and with cross-cultural issues in interorganizational cooperation
Course prerequisites
For fully benefiting from this course, students should fulfil the following requirements:
-Some experience working with people from different cultures
-Good communication skills in English
-Basic knowledge of organization and management theory, including strategic management
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Requirements about active class participation (assessed approved/not approved)
Mandatory Mid-term Assignment:
As a requirement to be allowed to take the final exam, all students must make a classroom presentation, which should be presented either individually or by a team of two students from different cultural backgrounds. The topics of these presentations will be raffled in the first session. There are two kinds of presentations:
-Topic-centered presentations should give an interpretation of a specific issue of cross-cultural management within one firm, to be analyzed in the light of the underlying theory. The events described should have happened or be happening during the last five years. Each presentation will be about one specific topic in one specific firm. Firms included in the textbook cases or other cases seen in the course may not be chosen.
-Country-based presentations should describe the typical ways of doing business in a specific country, combining both a theoretical description and real-life anecdotes from this millennium. Only those countries are allowed where the presenters have never lived.
-The presentations must be in PowerPoint format, with a maximum length of 5 slides (+ 1 for references) with a maximum of 75 words each, to be uploaded to the course web site.
-Presentations should include numbers and graphs, where appropriate.
Home project assignment:
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

The objective of this course is to make students develop an understanding of how cultural issues influence the way of doing business in different countries and how multinational organizations cope with this diversity. The content is divided into two groups: The first includes the theoretical bases and fields of application of cross-cultural management, while the second part deals with business cultures of different regions of the world.

The course's development of personal competences:
This course is designed to help students develop the following competences:

  • Interact effectively with business people pertaining to different countries around the world
  • Adapt their behaviors to the requirements of multicultural work environments
  • Design work practices that take into account the requirements of business cultures from countries around the world 
Teaching methods
This course emphasizes student-centered learning. The teacher will only hold a few lectures, especially concerning the theoretical topics, where students will be invited to participate actively through questions and examples. The teacher will also guide the case discussions. Students will make major contributions by researching how cross-cultural issues are managed by firms from different origins and how business is conducted in different countries around the world. These contributions will receive feedback from both the teacher and other students.

Preliminary Assignment: In order to jump-start their learning process before starting classes, students are required to read chapters 1, 2, and 3 from the textbook Cross-Cultural Management by D. C. Thomas (see the literature list).
Expected literature


  • Stahl, G. K., Mendenhall, M. E., & Oddou, G. R. (Eds.). (2012). Readings and Cases in International Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior, 5th ed. New York and Milton Park: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0415892988 [458 pages of text]
  • Thomas, D. C. (2008). Cross-Cultural Management: Essential Concepts, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.  ISBN: 978-1412939560[257 pages of text]

Selected chapters from the following books [about 15 pages each, for an approx. total of 240 pages]

  • Bartlett, C., Ghoshal, S., & Beamish, P. W. (2008). Transnational Management: Text, Cases & Readings in Cross-Border Management, 5th ed.New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
  • Beamish, P. W., Morrison, A. J., Inkpen, A. C., & Rosenzweig, P. M. (2003). International Management: Text and Cases, 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
  • Becker, T. H. (2004). Doing Business in the New Latin America: A Guide to Culture, Practices, and Opportunities. Westport, CN: Praeger.
  • Davel, E., Dupuis, J.-P., & Chanlat, J.-F. (Eds). (2008). Gestion en contexte interculturel : Approches, problématiques, pratiques et plongés. Québec, CA: Presses de l'Université Laval.
  • Deresky, H. (2006). International Management: Managing Across Borders and Cultures, 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
  • D’Iribarne, P. with A. Henry. (2007). Successful Companies in the Developing World: Managing in Synergy with Cultures. Paris: Agence Française de Développement.
  • Gannon, M. J. (2004). Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys through 28 Nations, Clusters of Nations, and Continents, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Gannon, M. J., & Newman, K. L. (2002). The Blackwell Handbook of Cross-Cultural Management. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Business.
  • Hickson, D. J., & Pugh, D. S. (2001). Management Worldwide: Distinctive Styles amid Globalization, 2nd ed. London: Penguin.
  • House, R. J., Hanges, P. J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P., & Gupta, V. (Eds.). (2004). Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Lewis, R. D. (2006). When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures, 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey.
  • Moran, R. T., Braaten, D. O., & Walsh, J. E. (Eds.). (1994). International Business Case Studies for the Multicultural Marketplace. Houston: Gulf Publishing
  • Phatak, A. V., Bhagat, R. S., & Kashlak, R. J. (2005). International Management: Managing in a Diverse and Dynamic Global Environment.New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
  • Schneider, S. C., & Barsoux, J.-L. (2003). Managing across Cultures, 2nd ed.Harlow, UK: Pearson - Financial Times.
  • Seligman, S. D. (1999). Chinese Business Etiquette: A Guide to Protocol, Manners, and Culture in the People’s Republic of China. New York: Warner Business Books.
  • Steers, R. M., Sanchez-Runde, C. J., & Nardon, L. (2010). Management across Cultures: Challenges and Strategies. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Trompenaars F. & Hampden-Turner, C. P. (1998). Riding the Waves of Culture. Understanding Diversity in Global Business, 2nd ed. McGrawHill.

Journal Articles   [total of 104 pages]

  • Bloom, N., Genakos, C., Sadun, R., & Van Reenen, J. (2012). Management practices across firms and countries. Academy of Management Perspectives, 26(1), 12-33.
  • Fitzsimmons, S. R., Miska,. C., & Stahl, G. K. (2011). Multicultural employees: Global business’ untapped resource. Organizational Dynamics, 40, 199-206.
  • Ghauri, P., & Fang, T. (2001). Negotiating with the Chinese: A Socio-Cultural Analysis. Journal of World Business, 36(3), 303-326.
  • Ghemawat, P. (2001). Distance still matters: The hard reality of global expansion. Harvard Business Review, 79(8), 137-147.
  • Harzing, A.-W., & Feely, A. J. (2008). The language barrier and its implications for HQ-subsidiary relationships. Cross Cultural Management, 15(1), 49-61.
  • Mangaliso, M. P. (2001). Building competitive advantage from ubuntu: Management lessons from South Africa. Academy of Management Executive, 15(3), 23-33.
  • Tung, R. L., Worm, V., & Fang, T. (2007). Sino-Western business negotiations revisited. Organizational Dynamics, 37(1), 60-74.
Last updated on 25-01-2013