Guidelines for Term Project 2017-2018
Details on Writing Reports based on Interviews:
You must choose to interview a person whom you have identified as having significant
intercultural experience and knowledge.
We ask that you transcribe word for word the interview – you can choose to type as the person
speaks, but using a video recorder or webcam would make things easier. However, consent must be obtained if recording equipment are to be used. You can for example focus on any of the following themes (or others related to the topic which may not be listed):
- Cultural experience of an expatriate and/or accompanying family: analysis of
- National & corporate cultures in perspective
- Transnational Technology Transfers & cultural issues
- Managing, leading, and aligning a culturally diverse team
- Intercultural Conflict Management
- Intercultural Negotiations, Agreements, and Meetings
- Remote global team management: challenges and best practices
- Strategies for leveraging best communication practices across cultures
- Direct & indirect communication styles and challenges in business context
You are free to be creative in writing & organizing these reports, but we do ask that you include at least 3 sections based on the following:
- A. Research/theoretical part: you relate the interview subject to the intercultural management theory or concept studied in class (based on the readings you completed for the course and other existing theories). For example, you should analyze some critical events or situations discussed with the person in light of national and corporate cultural dimensions (Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Attribution theory, cognitive typologies, Universalism, Ethnocentrism…) or other studies and models of culture (Bennett, Hall, Hofstede, Trompenaars, etc) discussed in your readings. Here you should explain the interview findings and experiences of the manager from an intercultural perspective (Was there poor communication? Cross cultural awareness? Lack of knowledge of other culture(s)? Failure to address different needs? Lack of clear strategy? Were there ill-guided management decisions? Positive outcomes?) and back this up with research on the subject. Include any relevant studies based on the countries/nationalities involved as well (India, China, Italy, Germany, US, France, Hong Kong…) and remember to always cite your sources. We will give a zero (0) for any papers containing plagiarized ideas or passages.
- B. Corporate Cross-cultural issues in a MANAGERIAL context: this is the part of the paper where you describe the person’s working context, role in the organization, role in corporate strategy, and role as a manager. Now look at the cross cultural communication and management aspects of this context–what are the specific principles and aspects of Intercultural Management at play here?
- C. Expertise & Recommendations to be applied: Now you play the role of Consultant and make Recommendations in your Report. Now you should give your own opinions and recommendations for ‘What’s Next?’ by addressing the following:
1/ Your personal opinion/reaction to the manager: What works here? What could be improved? What is your assessment of the situation? What did this person’s case make you think of? What are the major issues you see at stake?
2/ Explanation of any cultural problems/issues presented or detected in interview
3/ Who or What is responsible for problem(s) and why (structural problem, issue coming from corporate strategy/corporate cultural, national cultural difference, other organizational constraints, etc.)
4/ Were there any cultural stereotypes/cultural biases you detected?
5/ Identify any of the various intercultural conflicts you detect in the case study and discuss the differences in terms of norms, beliefs, values, relationship to time, space, power, communication styles, management styles, corporate culture, etc.
6/ Give your recommendations (What can the parties involved do to improve the situation? What seems to be working well here? What advice could you give the person? What would you do first, in terms of priority? What would be the changes you could propose? How would you go about addressing and communicating the changes throughout the organization?)