Managing Across Cultures

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
01 August 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

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.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

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

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

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

  • To provide students with skills for their professional life.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural context of management across cultures.

  2. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of key debates and different perspectives in the study of the cultural context of management across cultures.

  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the practices of managers in international contexts.

  4. 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.

Skills for Your Professional Life (Transferable Skills)

Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including:

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

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

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

  6. 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.

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

Module information

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 classroom setting. Student reflections on these interactions will be built into the module learning.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • 3-hour weekly sessions consisting of a 1-hour interactive lecture and a 2-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.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Research Project outline (1,000 words)  04/03/2024  20% 
Coursework   Summative Research Project (4,000 words)  15/04/2024  80% 

Additional coursework information

Research project outline (1,000 words): 20%

Summative research project (4,000 words): 80%

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


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



External examiner

Dr Fabian Frenzel
Available via Moodle
Of 15 hours, 15 (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), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Business School

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