Comunicare in afaceri €  în context intercultural

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    FACULTY OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS

    DEPARTMENT OF MODERN LANGUAGES AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

    2011/2012 ACADEMIC YEAR,

    Intercultural Business Communication in English, First year, First semester

    Intercultural Business Communication in English

    SYLLABUS

    Lecturer Teodora erban-Oprescu, PhD

    1. SEMINAR OBJECTIVES

    The seminar aims at the following:

    provide students involved with business communication with an introduction into this

    disciplinary field

    looks at the why, what and how of Intercultural Communication

    the intercultural aspect of communication skills that business people need in order to

    function effectively at work

    illustrate concepts and discussions with case-studies meant to explain further and provide

    tangible form to theory

    2. GRADING

    30% seminar attendance and activity

    70% written exam

    3. TENTATIVE SEMINAR OUTLINE

    Week Seminar Topic

    1 Seminar presentation

    The Intercultural Challenge

    2 What is intercultural communication

    Types of culture

    Barriers to intercultural communication

    3 Dealing with difference

    Managing diversity

    4 Cultural dimensions

    5 Cultural dimensions

    6 Cultural dimensions

    7 Business Communication

    8 Business Communication

    9 Business Communication

    10 Business Communication

    11 Business Communication

    Other materials based mainly on Robert Gibsons Intercultural Business Communication (Oxford

    University Press 2000) will be distributed as hand-outs during the semester.

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    CASE STUDY

    The policy developed by Procter&Gamble a statement of diversity (extracted from the

    mission statement of the company

    http://www.pg.com/en_US/company/purpose_people/diversity_inclusion.shtml )

    Diversity & Inclusion is deeply rooted in our companys Purpose, Values & Principles. It is

    who we are, and aspire to be, as a company.

    When P&Gers come together, we create a rich tapestry. Each of us is truly unique. Beyond

    the visible differences, we come from diverse traditions, with a wide array of personal

    experiences and points of view.

    Through our commitment, P&G brings together individuals from different backgrounds,

    cultures, and thinking styles providing remarkably different talents, perspectives, life and

    career experiences. Thats why, in our increasingly interconnected world, it is onlyappropriate that we celebrate everyones uniqueness, every day.

    The mission of Diversity & Inclusion at P&G is:

    Everyone Valued, Everyone Included, Everyone Performing at Their Peak

    Diversity & Inclusion at P&G is EVERYONE. It is living it every day. It is experiencing it

    everywhere.

    It comes to life through everyday experiences and interactions that inspire P&Gers to

    unleash their potential and perform at their peak.

    This peak performance is directly related to our ability to improve the lives of the worlds

    consumers.

    Diversity & Inclusion is a sustained competitive advantage for the continued growth of P&G.

    It is implicit in the companys Purpose and Values and explicit in the companys business

    strategy for success.

    It enables P&G to be the employer of choice that hires, engages, and retains the

    best talent from around the world, reflecting the markets and consumers we serve.

    It is at the core of being in touch so that we create brands and products to improve

    the lives of the worlds consumers now, and for generations to come.

    Through our focus on understanding each individuals skills, passions, and our

    fundamental commonalities, we enable behaviors that lead to a culture of innovation

    P&G is dedicated to a supportive and encouraging environment that celebrates and values

    individuality in order to inspire each P&Ger to bring his and her personal best.

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    P&G is a community of diverse, talented people who are integral to our companys success.

    To win, we must value, respect, and include the people that make P&G business possible.

    The Intercultural Challenge

    Issues:

    Differences in the way decisions are made

    Communication style

    The role of meetings

    Structure versus informality

    Management style

    The use of local language

    Task: Think of any similar experiences of culture clash you might have had and how you handledthem where did the incident occur? Who was involved? What happened? How did you feel at the

    time? How much of the incident was caused by cultural factors? Has your behavior changed since

    then?

    Business organization and culture

    Reasons for people coming into contact with people from other cultures more than ever before:

    Technology

    Internet

    Mobile labor force

    People on the move: business people, migration movements (immigrant, emigrant),

    diaspora, diasporan, transnational ties, the global citizen, refugees.Theaffirmation of

    difference i.e. pluralism (cultural and ethnic diversity; spread of multiculturalism: legal

    recognition of the rights of racial/ religious/ cultural groups - not only tolerance of cultural

    diversity). Difference becomes the norme. Elements of other cultures become

    commonplaces (Dumitrescu M., 2009) and are integrated into everyday life: Chinese

    restaurants, Indian cuisine, African hairdo, etc

    Diverse workforce.

    Intercultural skills are not only needed by those working in mega cross-border organizations or

    institutions, but also by those working for domestic companies as they are more and more exposed

    to a multicultural workforce. Examples? Moreover, if the company wishes to grow, it may need to

    look outside its national and domestic area and look for international markets and prospective

    partners abroad. The next stage of going global requires skills to manage diversity inside and outside

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    the company. As such, the company becomes a global structure requiring networked multinational

    skills and abilities with a critical understanding of local responsiveness, integrating and coordinating

    mechanisms of corporate culture on a global basis (Brake et al.1995 qtd. in Gibson 2009). More so,

    theorists and practitioners nowadays are talking about the synergy effect where the combined effect

    of coming together is more than the sum of the individual parts.

    Task: In what way could intercultural communication be important for a doctor, an internet website

    designer, or a university lecturer?

    Culture1

    - Shared system of attitudes, beliefs, values and behavior.

    - Collective mental programming, software of the mind (Hofstede)

    - the way we do things around here

    Models that illustrate the concept

    - The iceberg model behavior, clothing, food + meanings, beliefs, attitudes and values

    (developed first by Selfridge and Sokolik (1975)

    - The onion model - behavior, clothing, food + meanings, beliefs, attitudes and values (Geert

    Hofstede and Fons Trompenaars and Ch. H. Turner)

    - The bonsai model - behavior, clothing, food + meanings, beliefs, attitudes and values

    +cultural roots (Gibson 2008)

    Enculturation, Acculturation, Transculturation

    Enculturation - the process of learning ones own culture.

    enculturation is the process where the culture that is currently established teaches an

    individual the accepted norms and values of the culture or society in which the individual lives.

    The individual can become an accepted member and fulfill the needed functions and roles of the

    group (C.P. Kottak)

    Enculturation is achieved through verbal and non-verbal communication and the elements of

    culture that are learned: technological, economic, political, interactive, ideological,

    weltanshaung.

    1The term culture was used for the first time to describe the collective attitudes and behavior of

    corporations in the late 1980s and early 1990s: corporate culture < C.P. Snow in the 1950s: the gap

    between science and the humanities: the two cultures (Dumitrescu M., 2009)

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    Therefore,

    Enculturation = first-culture learning; acculturation = second-culture learning.

    Although acculturation entails two-way processes of change, the term is often used with

    reference to the processes of cultural learning imposed upon minorities (aboriginal peoples,immigrants, sojourners, etc.), and the changes they experience as a result of coming into contact

    with a dominant culture.

    Accordingto Cuban anthropologist Fernando Ortiz (1947), transculturation is the convergence of

    several cultures.

    Subcultures and countercultures

    In addition to national cultures, there are subcultures (cultures shared by minorities within a

    broader culture: body piercing fans, medical culture, Star Wars fans) and countercultures (people

    whose beliefs, values and norms challenge those of the main culture: the hippie movement of the

    1960s, the green movement, feminist groups, gay rights).

    Conceptions about culture: Ethnocentrism, Cultural Relativism, Parochialism

    Ethnocentrism (the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of your own

    culture), based on the belief that ones own race/ethnic group is the most important and/or

    that its culture is superior to those of other groups; and on an incapacity to understand that

    cultural difference does not imply inferiority. Ethnocentrism: one of the biggest internal

    threats a company faces today. Also,the way of doing things specific to your culture issuperior to any other

    Cultural relativism. Each culture has to be understood on its own terms.

    Parochialism. the belief that there is no other way of doing things except that found within

    your own culture.

    Types of Culture

    - Corporate culture

    - Professional culture

    - Gender

    -

    Age

    - Religious culture

    - Regional culture

    - Class culture

    Seminar Intercultural Communication Master EIAE 1st

    year

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    CULTURAL DIMENSIONS

    In theory:

    Intercultural Communication (IC) draws on several fields of investigation: anthropology, history,

    psychology, geography, business, sociology, linguistics, communication science.

    1. Edward Hall The Silent Language (1959), The Hidden Dimension (1966)

    Low-and high-context cultures; different concepts of time.

    2. Florence Kluckhohn and Fred Strodbeck (1961)

    5 key orientations of basic importance to humans within each, a range of beliefs and

    values.

    a) Human nature

    b) Man-Nature relationship

    c) Time sense

    d) Activity

    e) Social relations

    3. Geert HofstedeCollected data from IBM employees in the late 1960s and early 1970s, covering employees

    working in 72 of the companys national subsidiaries, with 38 different occupations, spoke 20

    languages. More than 116 000 questionnaires were distributed, each with over 100 qs.

    Ensuing, Cultures Consequences (1980). 4 dimensions:

    a) Individualism/Collectivism

    b) Uncertainty avoidance

    c) Power Distance

    d)

    Masculinity/Femininity

    Later

    e) Long-Term Orientation

    4. Fons Trompenaars research on 15 000 managers in 28 countries. Ensuing, Riding the

    Waves of Culture (Trompenaars and Ch.Hampden-Turner 1997). 3 main cultural dimensions:

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    a) Relationships with people

    b) Attitudes to time

    c) Attitudes to the environment

    Critical Incident (Context bound)

    The US marketing manager of a major car producer was finding it increasingly difficult to

    work in Japan. In meetings, the Japanese colleagues hardly ever said anything. When

    they were asked if they agreed to his suggestions they always said Yes, but they didnt

    do anything to follow up the ideas. The only time they opened up was in a bar in the

    evening, but that was getting stressful, as they seemed to expect him to go out with

    them on a regular basis.

    Critical Incident (Directness)

    A Belgian manager working in Thailand is unhappy that his secretary regularly arrives at

    work at least 30 min., and sometimes as much as one hour, late for work. He knows thatthe traffic in Bangkok is bad, but this is getting ridiculous. One morning, when she arrives

    late again, he explodes in front of the others in the busy office. He then takes her aside

    and tells her that if she cant get to work on time she may risk losing her job. She

    responds by handing in her resignation.

    Sometimes language can be seen as too direct. Put the suggested phrases in the order

    most direct to most indirect. You want someone to open the window:

    a) Would you be so kind as to open the window?

    b) Its hot in here.

    c) Please open the window.

    d) Open the window

    e) Could you possibly open the window?

    f) I was wondering if you could open the window.

    g) Would you like to open the window?

    h) Dont you think its a little hot in here?

    Try to make the following more polite:

    a) You must do this by Monday.

    b) Your report contained a lot of mistakes.

    c) Give me two beers. (ordering beer at the bar)

    d) You forgot the sales figures.

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    Critical Incident (Person and task)

    A group of German academics were meeting for a Friday afternoon seminar. A

    paper was presented, after which there was a heated discussion. An American

    guest professor was disturbed by the atmosphere, and had the impression thatthe professors didnt like each other at all. She was surprised that after the

    discussion had ended they all left the room in a good mood, wishing each other a

    good weekend.

    Critical Incident (Polychronic and Monochronic)

    A British businessman in Saudi Arabia is keen to secure an important deal. He has

    a tight schedule, and cant afford to waste any time. His frustration increases

    because he has to wait for ages to get an appointment with his Saudi patner.

    Meetings never start on time, and when they do, there are frequent

    interruptions, with people coming in to get papers signed. The Saudi partner

    even takes phone calls when his visitor is in the room.

    Critical Incident (linear, cyclical and event-related)

    It was a bright sunny morning, not too hot, near Kuala Lumpur, the capital of

    Malaysia. While the British visitor was slowly getting ready to go out, he watched

    the lizards as they passed across the bedroom wall. How could they get in and

    out of such tiny cracks? To his English mind, there was plenty of time to take a

    leisurely shower and organize his papers, since the car to take him to the

    meeting was not due until 10 oclock. However, he was just pulling on histrousers, when there was a knock at the door. Hastily finishing dressing, he

    opened it.

    Shall we get going? said the driver. It was just half past eight.

    But werent we starting at ten?

    Yes, but its a lovely morning!

    Past, present and future

    Cultures with SHORT-TERM orientation tend to have the following features:

    - Respect for traditions

    - People prepared to overspend to keep up with their neighbours

    - Small amount of savings

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    - People expect quick results.

    Cultures with LONG-TERM orientation tend to have the following features:

    - Traditions adapted for modern context

    - People thrifty

    - Large amount of savings

    - People persevere for slow results (Adapted from Hofstede 1991)

    Space

    Just as body distance can vary between cultures, so can the perception of

    space:

    Critical Incident

    A German professor in the USA, who always kept his office door closed, wassurprised that very few students came to see him for advice his American

    colleagues seemed to be more popular. He wondered if the Americans

    rejected him because he was German. He was especially irritated one day

    when he found that he students had stuck a sign on the door saying Beware

    of the dog.

    Intercultural Business Communication Non-verbal Communication

    1. Body language (kinesics) body movements, body position, facial expressions, dress

    Critical Incident 1.

    What do you think is happening here?

    Sales representatives from Germany and Britain are in a difficult negotiation. Things

    are getting tense. Franz Bauer sits upright and is disturbed as Jim Banks relaxes in his

    chair. FB feels that Jim is not taking the negotiation seriously. Jim feels that FB is

    getting more and more aggressive.

    2. Eye contact (oculistics)Critical Incident 2.

    What do you think is happening here?

    a) A British expatriate living in Germany complains about being stared at in the

    underground train. They stare at me straight in the face as if Ive come from

    another planet, he said.

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    b) A US manager reports problems with Japanese staff. I asked them how the

    project was going and, of course, not much has been done. I was suspicious when

    they didnt even look me in the eye, he said.

    3. Touch (haptics)Critical Incident 3.What do you think is happening here?

    A European manager who came to work in the US subsidiary for an insurance

    company was pleased to find that he had an excellent secretary. After she had

    completed yet another piece of work long before the deadline, he went up to her,

    tapped her on the shoulder, and said, Pat, thanks again. It really is such a help that

    you are here. Her response was to complain to the managers boss.

    4. Body distance (proxemics)Critical Incident 4.

    What do you think is happening here?

    Julio, an Argentinian student who is keen to improve his English, is attending a course

    in Business English. He often stays behind after the class to ask the British lecturer,

    Jim Ford, some questions. When Julio approaches, Mr. Ford looks uneasy and begins

    to move away. Julio wonders whether Mr. Ford doesnt like him, if he is asking too

    many questions, or whether students are not supposed to ask questions after class.

    5.

    Paralanguage not only words convey message, but also tone of voice, speed orpitch of what we say.

    Critical incident 5

    What do you think is happening here?

    A British-Polish joint venture is running into problems. Magda Sapinska, one of the

    key members of the Polish sales staff, has been sent to London to work with the UK

    partner company. The London office is very impressed with her performance, and

    would like her to stay on for another 6 months. Geoff Woodside, the British manager

    of the London office, asks her to ring Warsaw to see what they think. The telephone

    conversation is in Polish. Although Geoff cant speak Polish, it quickly seems clear to

    him that Magda is having a row with the Warsaw office. When she puts the phonedown, he says to her, Magda, sorry to have got you into this mess I hope we

    havent made you unpopular in Warsaw. Magda is puzzled and says, What are you

    talking about? Everythings fine Warsaw has given us the OK.

    6. Turn-takingCritical Incident 6.

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    What do you think is happening here?

    Researchers looking into intercultural communication asked an Italian and a Japanese

    businessman to find out particular information from each other. They interviewed

    them separately after the conversation. The Italian said He seemed like a nice

    enough guy, but he never really said anything; the Japanese said He was very

    friendly, but he never gave me a chance to speak.

    Intercultural Business Communication EIAE

    CULTURAL DIMENSIONS (continued)

    Power

    Critical Incident

    A German employee of a German state institute attached to a government ministry was frustrated at

    the time it took for decisions to be made. To speed things up, he faxed documents directly to his

    counterpart at the ministry. When the head of department at the institute found this out, he was

    extremely annoyed, and demanded that he should see every fax before it was sent to the ministry.

    In order to have efficient work relationships, it is often necessary to bypass the hierarchical line

    (Laurent 1983)

    Percent disagreement across countries

    Sweden 22%, Gr. Britain 31%, US 32%, Netherlands 39%, France 42%, Germany 46%, Italy 75%

    Small power distance cultures tend to have the following features:

    - People want to minimize inequality

    - Decentralization is popular

    - There is a narrow range of salaries

    - Subordinates expect to be consulted

    - The ideal boss is a democrat

    - People disapprove of status.

    Large power distance cultures tend to have the following features:

    - Inequalities are expected and welcomed

    - Centralization is popular

    - There is a wide range of salaries

    - The ideal boss is an autocrat

    - Privileges for managers are expected.

    (Adapted from Hofstede 1991)

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    Individualism

    Critical Incident

    An American manager working in Japan is particularly impressed by the performance of one member

    of his team. At the next team meeting he praises this person in front of the group. The rest of the

    Japanese team look uneasy.

    Collectivist cultures tend to have the following features:

    - identity is based on the social network to which you belong

    - harmony should be maintained

    - communication is high-context

    - employer-employee relationships are like a family link

    - decisions on employing people take the group into account

    -management is management of groups

    - relationship is more important than task.

    Individualist cultures tend to have the following features:

    - identity is based on the individual

    - honest people speak their mind

    - communication is low context

    - employer-employee relationships are based on a contract

    - decisions to employ people take skills into account

    - management is management of individuals

    - task is more important than relationship.

    (Hofstede 1991)

    Universalism and Particularism

    Critical Incident

    You are riding in a car driven by a close friend. He hits a pedestrian. You know he was going at

    least 80 km/h in an area of the city where the speed limit is 50 km/h. There are no witnesses. His

    lawyer says that if you are prepared to testify under oath that he was only driving at that speed,

    it may save him from serious consequences.

    What right has your friend to expect you to protect him?

    1a My friend has a definite right to expect me to testify for him.

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    1b My friend has some right as a friend to expect me to testify for him.

    1c My friend has no right as a friend to expect me to testify for him.

    What do you think you would do in view of the obligations of a sworn witness and the obligation

    to your friend?

    1d Testify that he was going 50km/h.

    1e Not testify that he was going 50km/h.

    (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner 1997)

    Uncertainty

    Critical Incident

    After taking over a British investment bank, German bankers in the corporate finance

    department were surprised to find that their British partners were earning considerably more

    than them, and that the team was frequently changing, since senior staff were being recruited by

    rival banks. By contrast, most of the German team had been in the same bank since the

    beginning of their careers, and would not consider a change to a rival bank, even if they were

    offered more money.

    Weak uncertainty avoidance cultures tend to have the following features:

    - uncertainty is a normal feature of life

    - people are comfortable in ambiguous situations

    - there should not be more rules than necessary

    - tolerance of innovative ideas

    - motivation by achievement.

    Strong uncertainty avoidance cultures tend to have the following features:

    - uncertainty is a threat

    - people fear ambiguous situations

    - there is an emotional need for rules

    - resistance to innovation

    - motivation by security.

    Male and Female

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    Critical Incident

    As a young Dutch engineer I once applied for a junior management job with an American

    engineering company which had recently settled in Flanders. I felt well-qualified: with a degree

    from a senior technical university of the country, good grades, a record of active participation in

    student associations, and 3 years experience as an engineer with a well-known Dutch company. I

    had written a short letter indicating my interest and providing some data on my career to date. I

    was invited to appear in person and faced the American plant manager. I behaved politely and

    modestly, as I knew an applicant should and waited for the other man to ask the usual questions

    which should enable him to find out how qualified I was. To my surprise, he asked me very few of

    the questions I thought we should be discussing. Instead, he wanted me to give him some very

    detailed facts about my experience in tool design using English words I did not understand, and

    the relevance of which escaped me. Those were the things I could learn within a week once I

    worked there. After half an hour of uncomfortable misunderstandings, he said Sorry we need

    a first class man. And I was shown the door out.

    According to Hofstede, feminine cultures tend to have the following features:

    - caring for others is a dominant value

    - relationships are important

    - people should be modest

    - both men and women deal with facts and feelings

    - people work to live

    - managers aim for consensus

    - equality, solidarity and quality are important at work

    - conflicts are solved by compromise.

    Masculine cultures tend to have the following features:

    - material success is a dominant value

    - things are important

    - men are assertive

    - women deal with feelings

    - people live to work

    - managers are expected to be decisive

    - competition and performance are important at work

    - conflicts are fought out.

    Nature

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    Brake and Walker (1997) identify 3 attitudes to nature and the environment:

    1. Control: people can dominate their environment; it can be changed according to human

    needs.

    2. Harmony: people should live in harmony with the world around them.

    3.

    Constraint: people are constrained by the world around them. Fate, luck, play an importantrole.

    Match the statements below to the 3 categories:

    a) Dont rock the boat

    b) When the going gets tough, the tough get going

    c) Go with the flow

    d) Go for it

    e) God willing

    f) Life is what you make of it

    g) Its all a matter of luck, really.

    Successful International Managers

    Use the following statements to reflect on how well suited you are to be an international

    manager. How many are true of you?

    1.

    I am a sociable person and I have a lot of friends.2. I enjoy travel, and learning about new cultures.

    3. I have always been good at learning languages.

    4. I enjoy dealing with ambiguous situations.

    5. I am tolerant of people who disagree with me.

    6. I am prepared to change plans according to what happens.

    7. I am a good listener.

    8. I can cope with stress.

    9. I have experience of working abroad.

    10.I have a partner/family who is/are also keen on living abroad.

    11.I am patient when things dont work out as I want them to.

    12.I prefer to work in a team rather than on my own.

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    E. Marxs research (2007) into what personnel managers in German companies looked for in

    international managers produced the following list, in order of priority:

    Social competence

    Openness to other ways of thinking

    Cultural adaptation

    Professional excellence

    Language skills

    Flexibility

    Ability to manage/work in a team

    Self-reliance/independence

    Mobility

    Ability to deal with stress

    Adaptability of the family Patience

    Sensitivity

    INTERCULTURAL BUSINESS COMMUNICATION relevant aspects

    Critical Incident

    A US manager (A) has a Greek subordinate (G). A report has to be written.

    A: How long will it take you to finish this report?

    G: I dont know. How long should it take?

    A: You are in the best position to analyze time requirements.

    G: 10 days.

    A: Take 15. So it is agreed you will do it in 15 days?

    In fact, the report needed 30 days of regular work. So the Greek worked day and night, but at the

    end of the 15thday, he still needed one more days work.

    A: Where is my report?

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    G: It will be ready tomorrow.

    A: But e agreed it would be ready today.

    At this point, the Greek hands in his resignation.

    How do you think managers (Britain, USA, Germany and France) from different countries would react

    to the following situations?

    1. The morale of the people in the department is low. There are personal conflicts, and people

    feel the workload is too high.

    2. A member of the dept. complains that a colleague is not doing his job properly, and that he is

    having a negative effect on the performance of the team.

    3.

    A product made by the department has won a prize as the best in its field.

    What cultural dimensions are behind these different statements?

    1. We will finish at 5.30. That gives us 15 minutes for item 1, 20 minutes for item 2,

    2. We need to discuss the matter with each other before we can come to an agreement.

    3. The boss isnt here. I suggest we cancel the meeting.

    4. Lets talk about the details later first we should agree on some general principles.

    Critical Incident

    After negotiations, the US delegation was pleased to see that the contract for a new joint venture

    project with the Chinese partners was ready to be signed. They were particularly impressed that the

    Chinese had invited local dignitaries to the signing ceremony. Everything went smoothly until work

    on the new factory was supposed to begin. It was found that the Chinese were not following the

    conditions laid down in the contract and had even suggested further negotiations.

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    Critical Incident

    Hans Braun is on a business trip to the USA and things seem to be going well. In fact, it looks like he

    will soon have some time to relax at the weekend before returning to Germany. He asks his American

    colleague, Joe Webb, for some tips on what to do? Joe immediately offers him the use of the familycabin in the mountains, as well as one of his cars. Hans is amazed at the generosity of his colleague,

    who he only met a few days before, but says he cant possibly accept. He hires a car and books into a

    hotel. Joe is in his turn surprised.

    The Peach and the Coconut Model(Zaninelli 1994)

    Negatively: The Coconut sees the Peach as: superficial, too playful, not to be taken seriously, childish,

    insincere.

    The Peach sees the Coconut as: unapproachable, stiff, lacking humor, hard.

    Positively: The Coconut sees the Peach as: open, friendly, flexible, enthusiastic, humorous.

    The Peach sees the Coconut as: reliable, clear, trustworthy, proper, honest.

    Critical Incident

    Following the takeover of a British car manufacturer by a leading German company, Gunther

    Hoffmann has been sent to Britain to find out why productivity in the plant in the Midlands is so low.

    The managers seem to work long hours many are still in the office at 7 p.m., but they waste their

    days in meetings. They dont seem to take work that seriously and every phone call ends up in a

    small talk about what they did at the weekend. It is the final straw when one of the British managers,

    having failed to give Hoffmann the information he wanted, suggests talking about the problem in the

    pub after work.

    Critical Incident

    The story of a US couple invited to a Moroccan family home for dinner:

    Having pressed their host to fix a time, they arrive half an hour late and are shown into the guest

    room. After a decent interval, they ask after the hosts wife, who has yet to appear, and are told she

    is busy in the kitchen. At one point their hosts little son wanders in, and the couple remark on his

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    good looks. Just before the meal is served, the guests ask to be shown to the bathroom so they may

    wash their hands. The main course is served in and eaten from a large platter, and the couple choose

    morsels of food from wherever they can reach, trying to keep up a polite conversation throughout

    the meal. Soon after the tea and cookies, they take their leave.

    BUCHAREST ACADEMY OF ECONOMIC STUDIES

    Programme MASTER IN INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY AND EUROPEAN BUSINESS - EIAE

    Academic Year 2011-2012/ 1st Semester

    E N D O F T E R M I N T E R C U L T U R A L B U S I N E S S E N G L I S H P R O J E C T S

    For NON and LESS attending students, you are requested to prepare and give in an end-of-course

    project. The grade for this project will represent 30% of your final score for the course in

    Intercultural Business Communication. Submission deadline: 31 January 2012. Length of project:

    approximately between 5 and 7 pages.

    The following titles are only suggestions for your work. If you have other interests within the field

    and wish to do research and write about them, please feel free to choose your own project title.

    Your only consideration should be a topic connected to the content of our course.

    1. Intercultural Communication Dilemmas theory applied to case studies

    2. The Ethics of Intercultural Business Communication

    3.

    The Affirmation of Difference. Cultural and Ethnic Diversity4. Multiculturalism. Positive and Negative Traits of a Controversial Concept

    5. Non-verbal Communication in the Global Village

    6. Communication for Social Change and Social Interaction in the Business Context

    7. Practical Applications of Cultural Dimensions in the Organizations Climate

    8. The Intercultural Challenge

    9. Fluid Citizenship and Transnationality

    10.Challenges of International Communication Is There a Romanian Model of Communication?

    11. International Communication the Language and Behavior of International Organizations

    12.Doing Business in the Global Market Communication Strategies and Tactics

    13. Intercultural Communication

    14. Intercultural Sensitivity National and International Issues

    15.The Impact of Culture on Business

    GUIDELINES FOR PROJECT WRITING

    The following hints are intended as a guide to writing your project.

    1. AUDIENCE

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    Please remember that the first part of your project should reflect your knowledge of the

    topics discussed together during this course. Even if I know about it already, what I dont

    know is your understanding of the topic. So, please, write to show your knowledge of the

    topic and give me your feedback on the course and your own readings!

    2. OUTLINE

    Try making an outline before you start detailed writing. Decide:

    1. what main idea(s) you are going to include and

    2. what order they should go in

    Then put away your work for a while. Then check it again and revise it as necessary.

    3. DRAFTING

    Using your outline, write your first draft. Then review it carefully to check for the quality of

    the story line, i.e. the logic of the ideas. Make sure you have a proper introduction and aconclusion.

    Please remember to add all the formalities expected from such a piece of research work:

    cover sheet, content, footnotes or endnotes, references.

    4. EDITING

    Check the project again in order to make sure that all the ideas are expressed as clearly as

    possible.

    Add enough signposting that is help the reader find his/her way around your work easily:

    all main sections should have headings/subheadings

    there should be short sections every now and then which summarize what has justbeen said and introduce what is to come next.

    5. PROOF READING

    Finally check your English carefully to make sure your sentences are grammatical, your

    spelling and punctuation is correct, and that the proper conventions (i.e. ways of quoting,

    etc.) have been used.

    Readings should be referred to in this way:

    As Hofstede (1991, p.34) says,

    There should be a bibliography at the end of readings actually mentioned in your work.Items should be laid out like this:

    Hofstede, G., 1991 Cultures and Organizations, Harper Collins

    CRITERIA FOR ESSAY EVALUATION AND GRADING

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    These criteria are used in deciding the grade of your project.

    1. Have you achieved an appropriate balance of theory and practical examples? Have you used the

    input given during the course, does your project focus on practical examples/evidence and are

    the two well-related?

    2.

    Is the topic presented clearly and succinctly?3. Is there a clear explanation of possible implications of the topic for the Romanian

    academic/business context, with appropriate examples?

    4. Have you avoided undue vagueness and generalization?

    5. Have you complied with the requirements of academic honesty especially in proper citing ofresource material?

    Plagiarism and dishonesty will not be tolerated and will result in a zero if

    discovered.