UT Dallas Syllabus for ims6365.501.07f taught by Habte Woldu (wolduh)

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Course Syllabus IMS 6365.501
School of Management The University of Texas at Dallas

Course Information
Course Course Number/Section Course Title Term and Dates IMS 6365.501 Cross Cultural Communications and Management Fall 2007 (Aug 16, 2007 – Dec 3, 2007)

Professor’s Contact Information Professor Habte G. Woldu Office Phone 972-883-6357 Email Address [email protected] Office Location SM 4.805 Online Office Hours T, R 4:30 – 5:30 pm and T, R 9:00– 9:45 am by appt. Web site: http://www.utdllas.edu/~wolduh

Course Description and Objectives
This course is designed to help students understand the importance of national and organizational cultures with the objectives of enhancing communication among individuals, organizations and nations in order to understand cultural differences and to be able to effectively manage those differences. The course deals with various issues related to complexity of culture, cultural orientation of different organizations and individuals and the mapping of world cultures through the cultural dimensions of Hofstede and others. The course will enable students to develop skills of communications, managing cultural differences in a multicultural environment, and the art of negotiation so that international businesses can be effectively managed and business failures related to cultural blunders can be minimized. Finally, students through various contemporary studies will be able to understand the cultural dynamics that has been taking place globally.

Required Text
Nancy, Adler, International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior, 4th Edition, South-Western Thomson Learning, 2002

Required Reading Articles for Group Projects
Bolton, Michele, Imitation Versus Innovation, Lesson to be learned from the Japanese, Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 21, November, 1993.

Dadfor, Hussein & Gustavsson, Peter, Competition by Effective Management of Cultural Diversity, International Studies of Marketing and Organization, 22(4), pp. 81-92. Hofstede, Geert, The Cultural Relativity of Organizational Practices and Theories, Journal of International Business Studies, Fall, 1983, pp.75-89 Laurent, Andre, The Cultural Diversity of Western Conceptions of Management, Int. Studies of Management and Organization, Vol. XIII, No. 1-2, pp. 75-96 Suuatari, Vesa, Problems Faced by Western Expatriate Managers in Eastern Europe: Evidence provided by Finish Expatriates in Russia and Estonia, JEEMS 3/1998, pp.240-266 Woldu, H., Budhwar, P. and Parkes, C, A Cross-national Comparison of Cultural Value Orientation of Indian, Polish, Russian and American Employees, Journal of International Human Resource Management, 17:6, pp. 1076-1094

Recommended Reference Texts (not required):
Chen, Ming-Jer, Inside Chinese Business: A guide for Managers Worldwide, Harvard Business School Press, Harvard Business School Press, 2001, pp45-65 Walker, Danielle, Walker, Thomas and Schmitz, The Gudide to Cross-Cultural Success: Doing Business Internationally, McGraw Hill, 2nd edition, 2003 Schneider, Susan and Barsoux, J-L, Managing across Cultures, 2nd edition, Prentice-Hall, 2003 Ferraro, Gary, The Cultural Dimensions of International Business, 4th Edition, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2004 Shenkar, Oded, Global Perspectives of Human Resource Management, Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1995 Trompenaars, Fons, Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Diversity in Global Business, 2nd edition, 1998, McGraw Hill, 1998

Reading articles:
Janet L. Evans, “B” is for Bribery James E. McClain, Diversity in Business http://www.speaking.com/articles_html/JamesE.McClain_940.html Janet X. Ai and Neil R. Abramson, Key Cross-Cultural Differences Related to Canadian Companies Doing Business in China Levine Robert, The pace of life in 31 countries: Western Europeans combine a fast pace with ample leisure, while Latin Americans take their time both on and off the job

American Demographics, Nov, 1997 Transparency International Eigen, Peter (2000) “Bribe Payers Survey, 1999” Transparency International, January, 2000
By Margaret (Peggy) Love and Sylvia Theriault, Cultural Awareness Prevents Expatriate Safety Pitfalls, MOBILITY Magazine, October 2002

Discussion Mini-Case Profile:
Discussion 1: Bus schedules in the Bahamas Bus drivers and business owners in the Bahamas work whenever they want to work. A particular hour dictates what they will actually do. If the bus driver feels hungry, he/she will go home to eat lunch without waiting for a scheduled lunch hour. If he/she meets a longtime friend, he/she will take time to have a long conversation while the passengers would nervously wait for the driver in the bus. This cultural behavior is in contrast with the practice in countries where life is preplanned and time is viewed as money. 1) Is the behavior of the bus driver consistent with the life style of most developing countries? 2) Explain why nations differ in their perception of time. (pg 32, Adler)

Discussion 2: Trusting or Naïve: Based on the discussion presented under the title “Can a Bosnian Trust a Canadian Working in Sweden?” in Adler, 2002 p 24, what is your perception on how the Western versus non-westerner cultures view fellow human beings with regard to human nature “Good Versus Evil” How much will this attitude affect the management style of nations? Discussion 3: Individualism versus Collectivism Under the title “The German won’t hire the Serbian’s daughter”, there is a dilemma a German boss is facing when his best Serbian engineer came to his office and asked him to hire his daughter who happened to graduate from one of German’s best universalities. The issue hear is the German boss is coming from business cultural background where asking favor for a family member or to work with a family member in the same organization is not popular or can even be considered unethical, where as for the Serbian, it is ethical and appropriate to ask a favor and to work with a family member in a corporate settings. If the situation is not solved positively, the Serbian engineer leaves the corporation. P.29 1) Discuss the problems involved in this case and the origin of the problems with regard to the cultural background of the subjects involved in this particular dispute? 2) How can one solve the problems? 3) Can corporation be efficient when family members work in the same organization or department? Reading source: Barone, Michael, “A place like no other” (Specific Nature of American Culture)

Discussion 4: The long term versus the short term organizational cultures: Japanese and Canadian firms reached a stalemate over the length of the contract. The Japanese, in order to reduce the uncertainty in their coal supply and to assure continuous, stable production in Japan, wanted the Canadians to sign a 10-year contract. The Canadians on the other hand, did not wish to commit themselves to such a lengthy agreement in the event that they could find a lucrative offer in the interim. Due to such cultural bounded differences, the two sides could not negotiate a deal. (p.33) a) Discuss the nature of cultural background of the two countries that could have contributed to the conflict. b) Do you believe that one of the parties has a wrong business strategy? c) Discuss the options that can help explore the ways to reconcile the two conflicting sides

Discussion 5: Power Distance: An Application of Theory X over Y Canadian Employees described their Filipino boss’s low-trust approach to management as unbearable and suspicious behavior. The Canadians went on saying that, the Filipino boss was constantly looking over their shoulders, checking their work, attitudes and punctuality. As a result, the employees began to slow down work; however their boss’ understanding was that they were being lazy. (Adler, 2002 p 47) Discuss: a) the causes for the misunderstanding of both sides and relate the situation to one or two of the theories you have been exposed to in your readings. b) how is this case related to McGregor's X and Y theories within the context of Canadian and Filipinos cultures?

Discussion 6: Miscommunication between low context and high context cultures: when a “yes” does not necessarily mean yes. A US company has sent a young American to a traditional developing country to train young graduates how to fly an expensive and modern airplane. The young American mentor spent eight effective hours a day for 30 days in explaining everything the trainees need to know. At the end of each day, when he asks if they (the students) understood his lecture, all of them will repeat “yes”. The trainer concluded that all of them had managed the education and were ready for practical flying. An experienced American former trainer who sat in classes to evaluate the process of the training was critical of the communication process and advised that the students’ readiness to fly can be deceiving and dangerous. a) What went wrong in the training process and method of training? b) Have you ever observed such a situation taking place in any organization that has a highly diversified human resource? How can you tackle such a problem? Reading Source: Key Cross-Cultural Differences Related to Canadian Companies: Doing Business in China

Discussion 7: Arm’s Length Vs Formal Business Practice: An Egyptian executive, after entertaining his Canadian guest, offered joint partnership in a business venture. The Canadian, delighted with the offer, suggested that they meet again the next morning with their respective lawyers to finalize the details. The Egyptian failed to appear

at the meeting place. The Canadian wondered why the Egyptian was unable to come to the meeting place and what the problem could be. After some research, the Canadian found out that the Egyptian interpreted the Canadian suggestion to come with a lawyer, as a sign of mistrust of his (Egyptian) verbal commitment. a) Explain the cultural backgrounds of the two that could have contributed to the existing conflict. Which cultural theory/ies do/does explain the situation? b) What synergistic approach could you apply in order to solve the misunderstanding so that the deal will be back on the table for negotiation? Discussion 8: What Motivates people in Different Cultures? New Hotel in Tahiti Discuss why the Tahitian skilled wood carving expert was not enthusiastic when a developer of a hotel, being satisfied by the quality of the work increased his order? Discuss situation in relation to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory, Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory and Vroom’s Expectancy Theory. (Adler, 2002, p.177) Reading Source: Expatriates, Women, Managers, Careers, Structural Systems Research” Discussion 9: Should host countries be culturally accommodative to foreign expiates? Companies bring in foreign executives from their foreign subsidiaries to the headquarter. By bringing these young executives to the United States, companies attempt to create global management teams which would be ready and flexible for global assignments. While this effort offers companies the opportunity to attract a highly motivated management force, and the expatriates the opportunity of working in a dynamic work environment, it also creates adjustment problems. These executives before they were transferred to the United States could have had higher social status and comfort when they were in their respective countries. This scenario is real in most developing countries; due to the low wage and absence of benefits to workers, the expatriates in their home countries, could afford to hire, servants, gardeners, guards and chauffer for less money. One of the major adaptation problems these expatriates face is the unavailability of such conditions. As a result, the spouses express frustration and this can negatively affect the efficiency of the expatriates. What can companies do in order to solve these problems? Should companies be accommodative to them or ignore the problem with the hope that the new foreign expatriates will adapt to the headquarters' life style and expectation? Discussion 10: Is Bribery Part of Some Cultures or An Act of Unethical Business Practice? You are a marketing director for an American construction company in Middle East. Your company has bid on a substantial project that it wants very much to win. The total value of the bid is estimated to be 2 billion worth of crude oil deal from Saudi Arabia. Yesterday, the cousin of the Minister of Oil and Energy in Saudi Arabia who would award the contract suggested that he would help if you were willing to pay a “fee” of $20,000. The problem is that, the Ethical Business Practice Act is strongly enforced in the United States. In addition, you are aware of the fact that European and Japanese competitors are interested in the deal and have slightly a different view on the concept of gift or bribery. Furthermore, your company doesn’t want you to violate the Ethical Business Practice Act, but at the same time, the company expects you to save the deal. What kind of strategy would you use in order to avoid the legal repercussion on one hand and losing the business deal on the other hand? How can you handle the situation? (Adler, 2002, P.192)

Reading Source: Eigen, Peter, “Transparency International’s Bribe Payers Survey”, 1999

Reading Source: Evans, Janet, “B is for Bribery: The Current State of Greased Palm”

Student Assessment
Grading System: • • • •
Individual participation in case discussions and class activities (15%) Group project: summary of articles (20%) Mid-Term exam includes chapters 1-6 and articles: Hofstede, Laurent, Bolton, Dadfor & Gustavsson (30 %) Final exam includes chapters 7 -10, special lectures 10-14 and articles: Dadfor & Gustavsson and Satuuri (35%)

Participation in the weekly mini-case discussion topics: Students are expected to provide comments and solutions to the questions and problems provided in the mini-cases. More expanded versions of the cases are available in Adler (your textbook).The short narrated mini-cases are found at the end of my lecture notes. As the cases reflect the contents and the objectives of the chapters under which they are listed, you need to read the chapters thoroughly. In order to have full credit, each of you should participate in all Participation in Group Project: All students are expected to participate in group activities and share the group assignment works. Instructor will ask each group member to evaluate all other group members’ participation. A Peer Evaluation Form will be submitted by each student. Based on the evaluation information, instructor will assign a group participation grade for each student.

Group Project: Article Summary
Groups will be selected for case studies/article summary during the first week of the course. Each group will work on a separate case (article) and a 5-6 page written report will be submitted on the specific due dates as indicated in the course schedule table. The summary should also be supported by 5-6 similar research publication sources from refereed journals and books. The summary of the article should include: a) objective/s of the article b) the problems/hypotheses the author/s seek/s to examine c) the methods of research used in the analysis d) the finding/s of the paper e) the relevance of the article to comparative management f) conclusion g) the strength and weakness of the article

Policy on Scholastic Dishonesty

The university has policies and procedures regarding scholastic dishonesty. Detailed information is available at: http://www.utdallas.edu/student/slife/dishonesty.html. All students are expected to maintain a high level of responsibility with respect to academic honesty. Students who violate university rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the university. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students and the integrity of the university, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. Laurent, Andre, The Cultural Diversity of Western Conceptions of Management, Int. Studies of Management and Organization, Vol. XIII, No. 1-2, pp. 75-96 Suuatari, Vesa, Problems Faced by Western Expatriate Managers in Eastern Europe: Evidence provided by Finish Expatriates in Russia and Estonia, JEEMS 3/1998, pp.240-266

Course Schedule
Week 1 Date


Chap Ch. 1 An Introduction: Culture and Management

Lecture Lecture 1



Lecture 2 & Ch. 2 How Do 3 Cultural Differences Affect Organizations? & Ch.3 Communication across Cultures

Discussion Introduction General Discussion: Bus schedules in the Bahamas Trusting or Naïve Discussion Reportby Gr. 1



Ch. 4 Creating Cultural Synergy

Lecture 4 Group 1 Summary Report on Hofstede Lecture 5 Group 2 Summary Report on Laurent Lecture 6 Group 3 Summary Report on Bolton

Individualism Vs Collectivism Discussion and Report by Gr. 2



Ch. 5 Multicultural Teams

The long-term Vs Short-term Organizational Culture Discussion and Report by Gr. 3 Power Distance: An Application of Theory X over Y Discussion and Report by Gr. 4



Ch. 6. Global Leadership, Motivation, and Decision Making



Ch. 7 Negotiating Globally

Lecture 7

Miscommunication: Low Vs High Context Discussion and Report by Gr. 5 Chapters 1 – 6 Arms Length Vs Formal Business Procedure Discussion and Report by Gr. 6


09/27 10/04 Ch. 8 Managing Global Managers: Cross-Cultural Transitions during Entry and Reentry

Midterm Lecture 8 Group 4 Summary Report on Dadfor, & Gustavsson,



Ch. 9 and Ch. 10 A Portable Life: The Expatriate Spouse and Global Career

Lecture 9

What Motivates people in Different Cultures? New Hotel in Tahiti Discussion and Report by Gr. 7 Should host countries be culturally accommodative to foreign expiates? General Discussion

Lecture 10 The Cultural Behavior of Expatriates: Who adapts Better to the American Culture? A survey-based study (Woldu)

Lecture 10 Group 5 Summary Report on Suutari



Lecture 11: Modeling of Cultures Based on Cultural Orientation

Lecture 11

Is bribery part of some cultures or an act of unethical business practice? Discussion and Report by Gr. 1 (Part 2) Reading Source: Measuring cultural differences between East Europe and others: Woldu and Budhwar



Lecture 12: Two Views on Legal Interpretation and Time Management Reading Source: Woldu, H. and Budhwar, P. AcrossNational Comparison of Cultural Value

Lecture 12 Group 6 Summary Report on Woldu et al.

Orientation of Indian, Polish, Russian and American Employees 12


Lecture 13: Assessing East European Culture Reading Source: Woldu, H. and Budhwar, P. “Do Females Culturally Differ from Males? A Gender Based Analysis of the Former Communist Countries

Lecture 13

Reading Source: Do Females Culturally differ from their Male Counterparts? Discussion and Report by Gr. 2 (Part 2)



Lecture 14: Human Lecture 14 Group 7 Resource Management Summary Strategy in Different Countries Discussion session on viewed video clips Doing Business Abroad-Video Clips five scenarios



15 16

11/22 11/29

Holiday Final exam

Includes Adler Ch. 7-10, special lectures and articles: Dadfor, Suutari and Woldu et al.

Syllabus Addendum
Student Conduct & Discipline The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business. It is the responsibility of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations which govern student conduct and activities. General information on student conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD publication, A to Z Guide, which is provided to all registered students each academic year. The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of recognized and established due process. Procedures are defined and described in the Rules and

Regulations, Board of Regents, The University of Texas System, Part 1, Chapter VI, Section 3, and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-6391). A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject to discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct. Academic Integrity The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty. Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts or omissions related to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree, and/or the submission as one’s own work or material that is not one’s own. As a general rule, scholastic dishonesty involves one of the following acts: cheating, plagiarism, collusion and/or falsifying academic records. Students suspected of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary proceedings. Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and from any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the university’s policy on plagiarism (see general catalog for details). This course will use the resources of turnitin.com, which searches the web for possible plagiarism and is over 90% effective. Email Use The University of Texas at Dallas recognizes the value and efficiency of communication between faculty/staff and students through electronic mail. At the same time, email raises some issues concerning security and the identity of each individual in an email exchange. The university encourages all official student email correspondence be sent only to a student’s U.T. Dallas email address and that faculty and staff consider email from students official only if it originates from a UTD student account. This allows the university to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individual corresponding and the security of the transmitted information. UTD furnishes each student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with university personnel. The Department of Information Resources at U.T. Dallas provides a method for students to have their U.T. Dallas mail forwarded to other accounts. Withdrawal from Class The administration of this institution has set deadlines for withdrawal of any college-level courses. These dates and times are published in that semester's course catalog. Administration procedures must be followed. It is the student's responsibility to handle withdrawal requirements from any class. In other words, I cannot drop or withdraw any student. You must

do the proper paperwork to ensure that you will not receive a final grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend the class once you are enrolled. Student Grievance Procedures Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”). Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean. If the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student may submit a written appeal to the School Dean. If the grievance is not resolved by the School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate or Undergraduate Education, and the deal will appoint and convene an Academic Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final. The results of the academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations. Incomplete Grade Policy As per university policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed. An incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the subsequent long semester. If the required work to complete the course and to remove the incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is changed automatically to a grade of F. Disability Services The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Disability Services is located in room 1.610 in the Student Union. Office hours are Monday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is: The University of Texas at Dallas, SU 22 PO Box 830688 Richardson, Texas 75083-0688 (972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY) Essentially, the law requires that colleges and universities make those reasonable adjustments necessary to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. For example, it may be necessary to remove classroom prohibitions against tape recorders or animals (in the case of dog guides) for students who are blind. Occasionally an assignment requirement may be

substituted (for example, a research paper versus an oral presentation for a student who is hearing impaired). Classes enrolled students with mobility impairments may have to be rescheduled in accessible facilities. The college or university may need to provide special services such as registration, note-taking, or mobility assistance. It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an accommodation. Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations. Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or during office hours. Religious Holy Days The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required activities for the travel to and observance of a religious holy day for a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code, Texas Code Annotated. The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment. The student, so excused, will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that exam or assignment. If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose of observing a religious holy day] or if there is similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.

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