Andrews University
School of Business
Preliminary Course Outline

(Portland, May 2009)

Faculty Information
    Instructor:  Dr Charles Tidwell Phone:   (269) 471 - 6160 E-Mail:
     Office:   211 Administration
                    Andrews University
                    Berrien Springs, MI   49104
Fax:        (269) 471 - 6246 Web:
     Class Times


Course Links 

            Links          Class Notes          Cases          Study Guide

          Note:Study Guide link will be available later.

Course Description

Globalization and the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity in the workplace require culturally-aware managers in both domestic and international markets. This course focuses on cross-cultural communication theories and skills which may be utilized to improve business relations within an intercultural context.

Course Objectives

  • Increase understanding of the relationship between culture and communication, with emphasis on the impact of culture on business practices.

  • Provide an intellectual framework (such as taxonomies, cultural patterns, and verbal / nonverbal codes) which allows for analysis and assists the promotion of understanding between disparate cultures.
  • Develop skills to improve communication with individuals from other cultures with the aim of developing an intercultural competence, particularly from a business perspective.

  • Develop business analysis skills focusing on issues in cross-cultural management through the use of selected case studies.

  • Develop a broader awareness of other cultures by identifying and explaining cultural issues as portrayed in popular culture.


Moran, R. T., Harris, P. R., & Moran, S. V. (2007). Managing cultural differences: Global leadership strategies for the
     twenty-first century.
7th ed. Elsevier [Butterworth -Heinemann].  ISBN-10: 0-7506-8247-7.

Preliminary Assignments

  1. Read Moran, Harris and Moran, Chapters 1 and 7, before the beginning of the first class period.

  2. Read the Case Study, "Banking on Diversity," before the first class period and prepare a 1 page analysis (due at the beginning of the first class period).

  3. Choose a country for your Country Guide presentation as noted in requirements below.  Notify the instructor of this as soon as possible.  No duplication will be allowed as this is on a first-come, first serve basis.  Choices will be posted on the presentation schedule as soon as received.

  4. Choose a case for Case Study Presentation as noted in the requirements below.  No duplication will be allowed as this is on a first-coe, fist serve basis.

  5. It is recommended that you read all of the case studies before the start of the course and prepare in advance the two-paragraph summations as required Case Study Presentation assignment given below.

Course Requirements

1.  Country Study

Assume your employer is planning a business trip to ________.   Prepare a country study giving significant demographics, key cultural traits, pertinent business information, and a brief reading list.  Present this in three modes:
               A.  An ten to fifteen minute (10-15) oral presentation (to be scheduled early in the second week of week of classes),
               B.  A full written report (maximum of 8 pages) to be submitted to the instructor, and,
               C.  A one-page “brochure” which is an executive summary (as a handout for all class participants).

Stipulation:  Choose a different country from any of the countries you plan to use for your research paper as noted below.  In addition, you may not report on a country previously presented by another person. Sign up for this as soon as possible.  Notify the instructor of your preferred choice by e-mail and, if possible, the presentation schedule will be posted on the course web site.

2.  Case Study

Prepare and submit a detailed, written analysis of one case study as chosen / assigned.  Choice of cases will be done on a first-come basis.  Present your case study analysis orally to the class (20 minute presentation). If a powerpoint is used, it also needs to be submitted as an appendix to the written presentation. Presentations will be scheduled during the latter part of the second week of classes. Each presentation will be followed by a brief question and answer period in which all class members are expected to critique the presentation.
All class members are expected to read each case prior to its class presentation. Submit a two paragraph summation (one page or about 200 words in total) of each case consisting of 1) a very brief summary of the case; and 2) an identification of the essential issues in the case with a particular focus on cultural issues. These summations are due at the start of the class period when the case sutdy presentations are scheduled. No late submissions accepted since these readings can be done in advance.

Basic guidelines for case study analysis are given below.

3.   Research Paper

Write a subtantial research paper based showing your ability to understand and analyze cultural traits and apply them to a business setting.  As a first step, you will need to “design” a framework to use in your cultural analysis using the concepts suggested by Hofstede, Hall, Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, or Schwartz (or a combination of these concepts) as studied during the course.

The overall structure of the paper should be:   
        A.    Part 1: Description and analysis of your culture (using the framework you designed for cultural pattern and analysis);
        B.    Part 2: Description and analysis of another culture (using the same framework as in Part 1);
        C.    Part 3: Identify, describe, and discuss the most significant cultural pattern(s) which would influence communication within a business setting between your culture and the other chosen culture.  Suggest strategies to overcome potential barriers to successful business relations and to enhance communication.  

Length:  Total paper length should be approximately 15 pages of text.  In addition, you will also need to provide a standard title page, an outline (optional), end notes (as needed), and a “works cited” page.

Required Style:  Follow the APA format both for layout and documentation.  Points will be deducted for those who do not follow this rigorously.

Submission:  The research paper should be submitted electronically to as an e-mail attachment (either MS Word or Corel Wordperfect).  If you are unable to do this, please discuss alternative methods with the instructor before the end of the lecture sessions.  The research paper will be submitted in three sections to allow for comments and suggestions for revision from the instructor as part of the writing process.  You will be expected to revise the first two sections before submitted the final work.  The first submitted section should be Part 1.  The second submitted section should be Part 2 as noted above. This first submission should also include a title page and “works cited” page.  The final paper must  include all three parts.  

4. Final Exam

There will be an essay / short answer style final exam covering the major topics discussed and presented in class (and as found in Moran, Harris and Moran).  A study guide has been prepared as a general review aid.

Course Regulations

1. Grading

    Grades will be based on a percentage of points possible as follows:

% (approximate)
Breakdown of Points Assigned

Country Study
(40% presentation, 30% handout, 30% written report)

Case Study
(50% presentation, 50 % written report)

Research Paper

Other Assignments

Final Exam


    Grading Scale

   A = 94-100% B+ = 87-89 C+ = 77-79 D = 50-61 F = below 50%

A- = 90-93 B = 83-86
C = 65-76

B- = 80-82 C- = 62-64

    Borderline grades will be adjusted on the basis of attendance, promptness, enthusiasm, and participation.

2. Late Work

Late work will not be accepted except for stringently reviewed contingencies such as long-term illness.

3. Plagiarism / Academic Dishonesty / Research Style

All work submitted must a student's own work. Research format is expected to follow standard documentation APA guidelines. University policies on academic honesty as explained in the section, "Academic Integrity" in 2008-2009 Andrews University Bulletin, p. 28 will apply. The Bulletin is available on-line at:  See Section: "General Academic Information.".

4. Attendance

By policy, the instructor expects regular class attendance.  Absences in excess of 10% may result in a failing grade.  See "Class Attendance" and "Class Absences" in 2008-2009 Andrews University Bulletin, pp. 27-28.

Class Schedule

Class 1:  Monday, May 4
     Topics:   Developing a Global Perspective; Globalization Issues
     Read:     Moran, Harris and Moran, Chapters 1, 7;
                     Case Study:  "Banking on Diversity"
     Video:    Cross-Cultural Understanding           
     Due:        Submit a 1 page analysis of "Banking  on Diversity"

Class 2:  Tuesday, May 5
     Topics:   Communication and Culture

Class 3:  Tuesday, May 5
    Topics:   Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
     Read:     Moran, Harris and Moran, Chapter 2
     Video:    Managing the Overseas Assignment

Class 4:  Wednesday, May 6
     Topics:   Understanding Beliefs, Values and Norms; Understanding American Values and Traits
     Read:     Moran, Harris and Moran, Chapter 5 (note Exhibit 5.1, pp 153 - 155), & Chapter 12, (note pp 351-54, 366-369).
     Video:    Doing Business in Chile

Class 5:  Thursday, May 7
    Topic:     Cultural Taxonomies (Kluckhohn, Hall, Hofstede, Bond)
    Review:   Moran, Harris and Moran, Chapter 1,  esp pp 17 - 22

Class 6:  Thursday, May 7
     Topic:     Cultural Taxonomies (Kluckhohn, Hall, Hofstede, Bond)

Class 7:  Sunday, May  17
     Due:       Country Guide Presentations as scheduled
     Topic:    Global Negotiations
     Read:     Moran, Harris and Moran, Chapter 3

Class 8:  Sunday, May 17
     Video:    Moscow on the Hudson      

Class 9:  Monday, May 18
     Topic:     Organizational Cultures
     Read:     Moran, Harris and Moran, Chapter 4

Class 10:  Tuesday, May 19
     Topic:    Cross-Cultural Synergy
     Read:    Moran, Harris and Moran, Chapter 5, 9, 13, esp pp. 440-451
     Video:   The Colonel Comes to Japan

Class 11:  Tuesday, May 19
    Topic:     Relocation Issues
     Read:    Moran, Harris and Moran, Chapter 10

Class 12:  Wednesday, May 20
     Topic:    Gender and Diversity Issues; Business Protocol
     Read:    Moran, Harris and Moran, Chapter 6 

Class 13:  Thursday, May 21
     Due:      Case Study Presentations as scheduled
     Topics: Global Performance Issues; Ethical Issues in Intercultural Business
     Read:   Moran, Harris and Moran, Chapter 8

Class 14:  Thursday, May 21
     Video:  Gung Ho

Class 15:  Sunday, May 31
     Final Examination: details to be announced.

Sunday, June 14
     *Due:    Research Paper,  Part I  (submit electronically)

Sunday, June 21
     *Due:    Research Paper,  Part 2  (submit electronically)

Sunday, June 28
     *Due:    Full Research Paper  (submit electronically)

*These assignments are due NO LATER than midnight of the day indicated. 


A Brief Guide for Preparing a Case Analysis

Cases are written description of actual events, situations, and problems which confront decision makers in an organization.  While individuals and companies may be presented "anonymously," cases are based on real-life situations.  The case method is intended to simulate interest through realism and active participation.

A case analysis provides an opportunity to develop skills expected of managers.  It is a good strategy to consider yourself as a consultant "hired" to assist the organization under review in the case study.  There may be several feasible courses of action in determining a solution to any case.  It is more important to focus on the process of problem definition and isolation, analysis, and evaluation of alternatives than to try to find a single best answer.

The process:

1. Read, study, and research the case thoroughly.

The first step is to master the facts.  Read the case once for familiarity, making brief note of the major issues.  Read the case again to get all the facts.  Make note of symptoms, root problems, unresolved issues, and the roles and identity of key players.  Sometimes, crucial information may be missing.  It may be necessary to conduct further research outside the case, particularly to obtain updated information.  At minimum, look up current information about the region, company, cultural situation.

2. Identify and define the central issue(s).

Seek out all pertinent issues and problems.  Isolate the problem(s).  Summarize the central situation and the key players.  Categorize issues and problems and decide which are the most important.  In a cross-cultural situation, be sure to identify cultural factors which may have a bearing on the problem.

3. Analyze and evaluate alternatives.

Once problems and issues are isolated, work at gaining a fuller understanding of possible causes.  Investigate, list, and rank all possible alternatives.  Weigh the pros and cons of each.  Decide which alternative(s) have the most validity.  Give your reasons for your ranking of issues and alternatives.

 4. Make recommendations.

Draw up a set of recommendations.  Give reasons for your recommendations as well as an agenda to be followed in solving the problem.  Be sure that recommendations are both workable and affordable.

Revised: 27 April 2009