A Multidisciplinary Approach to Teaching Cross-cultural Communication and Management
The growing global interconnectedness of governments,
corporations and citizens is clearly evident in the world today as people of diverse backgrounds are now interacting more with each other, than arguably at any previous time in
history. As a result managers engaged internationally and
domestically need to be able to deal competently and effectively with people of differing cultural backgrounds.
Within this context, this paper argues that the ability of managers to interact with others from differing cultural
backgrounds requires a concerted effort on the part of business educators and academics to 'train' and 'educate' today's students and tomorrow's managers in the area cross-cultural management.
However this is not necessarily an easy task. Teaching cross-cultural communication and management requires a multidisciplinary approach on the part of the educator that
goes beyond what is often found in a lot of cross-cultural or intercultural communication textbooks. It requires the educator to design a course curriculum which reflects this
multifaceted approach incorporating in part the study of business, communication, politics, and other social sciences. This paper argues that training and educating
the cross-culturally competent manager needs to incorporate
this multi-faceted approach.
The paper incorporates discussion of material, methods and techniques from the author's own experience in conducting cross-cultural communication classes. He outlines a
suggested model which seeks to incorporate the multifaceted
approach. The author then continues on to reflect upon issues and challenges he faces in conducting cross-cultural communication classes to a culturally diverse group of
students and offers the reader his insights as to what he sees as relevant and pertinent in the conduct of these classes.
Paul Kalfadellis (Australia)
Lecturer in Management
Department of Management
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)