Managing Across Cultures

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
10 June 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MRESN21012 Management and Organisation,
MSC N2E112 Management (International),
MSC N2E124 Management (International),
MMANNN35 Marketing and Management,
MMANNN36 Marketing and Management (Including Placement Year),
MMANNN37 Marketing and Management (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

Managers increasingly find themselves working across borders which brings with it challenges and possibilities. This calls for a thorough understanding of issues that relate to cross-cultural management.

The overarching objective of this module is to enable students to enhance their understanding of the way in which globalisation and international business activities affect management and management practices across cultures.

This module will offer interactive engagement with organisational practices that are affected by or affect successful management across cultures. Through the combination of lectures, case study analysis, group discussions and student-led presentations, students will be invited to engage in an in-depth consideration of issues concerning management across cultures.

The learning will take place amongst an internationally diverse cohort of students from a range of countries and continents. This learning environment will therefore provide an opportunity to reflect on cross cultural interactions in a class room setting. Student reflections on these interactions will be built into the module learning.

Module aims

1. To provide students with a critical understanding of different aspects of management across cultures;

2. To introduce students to key concepts and theoretical lenses on management across cultures;

3. To enable students to independently and critically analyse the considerations needed for successful management across cultures;

4. To provide students with skills for their professional life.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will:

1. Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the cultural context of management across cultures;

2. Be able to demonstrate a critical appreciation of key debates and different perspectives in the study of the cultural context of management across cultures;

3. Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the practices of managers in international contexts;

4. Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the management of cross-cultural conflicts; problems and challenges.

5. Have developed an understanding of methodologies applicable to cross-cultural research;

6. Be able to demonstrate an ability to critically reflect on their learning experiences, in this instance the experience of learning in a cross cultural setting.

Module information

Skills for Your Professional Life (Transferable Skills)

Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including

• Group work: improving collaborative working skills by working with group members to analyse case studies and prepare small group presentations. Listening skills will be fostered alongside the development of greater understanding of the learning gains from sharing different viewpoints by participating in group discussions.

• Learning resources: drawing on module resources are able to use a full range of learning materials.

• Self-evaluation: students will be encouraged to develop their reflexivity by keeping a weekly Learning Journal. They will develop their critical thinking and written communication by reflecting on their learning in a cross-cultural setting and relating their learning experiences to theories and concepts studied throughout the module.

• Autonomy: Through reflective activities develop capability as an independent and self-critical learner.

• Management of information: Improve research skills by working on a 15 minute group presentation.

• Communications: Improving their oral communication skills by participating in group activities. Presentation skills will engage with working on delivery, logical development, non-verbal communication (body language, eye contact, general posture, use of notes, use of voice, pace and timing). In addition written communication will develop via coursework related tasks and related feedback.

• Problem-solving: Case study activities will support the development of independent (as well as collaborative) independent learning activity.

Learning and teaching methods

Learning and teaching will take place primarily through three-hour, weekly sessions consisting of a one hour interactive lecture and a two hour complementary class. The module takes a blended learning approach. Typically beginning with a lecture style overview of the aims and focus of the session, this will be followed by a group activity/ case-study analysis, and interactive group discussion. Personal study and student participation are integral to achievement of the module learning outcomes. Outside of the weekly sessions everyone is expected to spend time on private study, undertaking guided reading and preparation for the sessions, and ideally further reading in support of coursework. At the first session students will be assigned to groups within which they will work on module class activities, including presentations. This learning and teaching format seeks to (a) facilitate exchange and discussion, encouraging the development of a critical, reflexive approach to understanding cross-cultural management, and (b) encourage the development of transferable skills. Module activities and recommended reading will be available via the module moodle page. In the second module session the students will be provided with further guidance on their assessed group presentation task. From among the group members, they will be asked to (a) choose the culture of one of the group (other than the UK) to focus on in their presentation and (b) to start to plan the presentation and how members of the team will contribute. They will be expected to draw on module content from the first three to four module sessions (as well as their private study). Keeping a Learning Journal will support the development of your coursework essay by helping you to consistently reflect on issues in cross-cultural management week by week. To obtain this benefit, you will need to write down notes in your Learning Journal after each weekly session. Before each session closes you will be invited to briefly brainstorm one or two reflections to help kick start your post session reflection. The coursework activities will be introduced in the first module session. Additional guidance on the Learning Journal activity will be supplemented by a podcast made available on Moodle (additional support will also be offered in academic support hours). Personal Study and Student Participation This is the most vital element of the course. Outside of the weekly sessions everyone is expected to spend time on private study, undertaking guided reading and preparation for the sessions, as well as further reading and research for the coursework assignment. Remember, answering questions is not about being competitive with others in the group or being the ‘cleverest’ person in the room. I will often ask you questions to find out a range of viewpoints on the subject under discussion and to see what opinions, information and experience you may have that can help us all with the learning process. Take part in the module actively and we will all benefit from each other’s experience, learn more and enjoy our time together better.


  • Stahl, Günter K. (2014) 'The Global Organisation', in Managing across cultures, Harlow: Pearson.
  • Steers, Richard M.; Nardon, Luciara; Sánchez-Runde, Carlos. (2013) Management across cultures: developing global competencies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sánchez-Runde, Carlos. (2016) 'Negotiating global agreements', in Management across cultures: developing global competencies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Stahl, Günter K. (2014) 'The 'multicultural' team', in Managing across cultures, Harlow: Pearson., pp.207-241
  • Shah, Dhara; Barker, Michelle. (2017) 'Cracking the cultural code', in International Journal of Cross Cultural Management. vol. 17 (2) , pp.215-236
  • Stahl, Günter K. (2014) 'Citizens of the world: on the road to responsible leadership', in Managing across cultures, Harlow: Pearson.
  • Martyna Sliwa; Marjana Johansson. (2014) 'How non-native English-speaking staff are evaluated in linguistically diverse organizations: A sociolinguistic perspective', in Journal of International Business Studies: Palgrave Macmillan Journals. vol. 45 (9) , pp.1133-1151
  • Schneider, Susan C.; Barsoux, Jean-Louis; Stahl, Günter K. (2014) Managing across cultures, Harlow: Pearson.
  • Jonsen, Karsten. (2015) 'Theory of Global Diversity Management', in Global diversity management: an evidence-based approach, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • (2015) 'Multicultural and lingual: Workplace communication in Dubai', in The Routledge companion to cross-cultural management, Abingdon: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Thomas Donaldson. (no date) 'Values in Tension: Ethics Away from Home', in Harvard Business Review. vol. 74 (5) , pp.48-62
  • Jeane Brett; Kristin Behfar; Mary C. Kern. (2012) 'Managing Multicultural Teams', in Readings and cases in international human resource management and organizational behavior, New York: Routledge., pp.289-298
  • Stahl, Günter K. (2014) 'Culture and human resource management', in Managing across cultures, Harlow: Pearson., pp.143-172
  • (2015) 'Challenges in working across cultures: Reflections of Two Executives', in The Routledge companion to cross-cultural management, Abingdon: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group., pp.344-354
  • Sánchez-Runde, Carlos. (2016) 'Leading global organisations', in Management across cultures: developing global competencies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Stahl, Günter K. (2014) 'The International Manager', in Managing across cultures, Harlow: Pearson., pp.175-206

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Assessed Group Presentation    20% 
Coursework   Learning Journal     20% 
Coursework   3,000 word essay    60% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Maria Hudson, email:
Dr Maria Hudson and Dr Huiyan Fu



External examiner

Dr Katarzyna Zdunczyk
University of Surrey
Senior Teaching Fellow, Deputy Head of Postgraduate Programmes
Prof Abigail Marks
University of Stirling
Professor of Work and Employment Studies
Available via Moodle
Of 30 hours, 30 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Business School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.