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University of Exeter Business School

Cross-Cultural Management

Module titleCross-Cultural Management
Module codeBEMM491Z
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Himadree Phookan (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module covers concepts, theories and practices pertaining to management of businesses in an international environment. International Businesses or multinational enterprises operate in a complex environment which cuts across different country contexts with diverse cultures, institutions, or social, political, and economic environments. This module introduces you to the various risks and challenges associated with operating and managing businesses internationally, assessment of similarities and differences in cultures across countries, and how culture impacts the design, application and adaptation of various management practices in the organisation — from macro-organisational level strategies to practices impacting micro individual level behaviour.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to give you an understanding of the various concepts and theories of international management which are applied in a cross-cultural business context. You will learn about management practices that are applied or adapted for use in an international context; understand the risks and uncertainties characterising the global business context; and gain an insight into the cross-border differential impact of culture and other socio-economic, political, technological, and such other institutional factors of the business environment on framing of management practices, processes, structure, and strategy in the organisation. An understanding of cross-cultural management will enable international managers whether in marketing or human resources or any other department, to navigate this complex business environment.

The overarching module aims are to enable you to understand:

  • How businesses which operate internationally are managed.
  • Understand the institutional and especially cultural cross-border differences which influence framing of strategies at the organisational level to operations at the micro level and individual employee behaviour.
  • Develop capabilities of managing and working in a multicultural team or work environment.
  • Develop your ability to apply knowledge and understanding of the theory and concepts into real world issues and practice.
  • Develop critical thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills in a global context.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe the concepts, theories and practices of international management
  • 2. Discuss the organisational strategies, approaches and practices of international management in a cross-cultural context
  • 3. Assess the international environment with respect to cultural and other institutional differences which impact international management practices
  • 4. Develop multicultural communication, negotiation and decision-making skills

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Analyse and explain the international business environment and its impact on cross-cultural management
  • 6. Apply cross-cultural management theories to business and management functions of marketing, human resources, finance, and operations in a global context

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Demonstrate written communication skills
  • 8. Demonstrate problem-solving skills
  • 9. Develop critical and analytical skills
  • 10. Apply conceptual and theoretical frameworks to real world problems

Syllabus plan

  1. Welcome, introductions, and the international business environment: managing the global context
  2. Role of culture and cross-cultural communication
  3. Cross-cultural negotiation and decision-making
  4. Strategy for managing international business
  5. Organisational structure and control
  6. International Human Resource Management
  7. Motivating and leading across cultures
  8. Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
  9. Managing knowledge
  10. Developing cross-cultural competence

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities100Lectures and skill-based workshops.
Guided Independent Study200Reading, researching and writing assignments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly reflective activities1 hr x 9 weeks1 - 10Self-generated or moderator providing qualitative/quantitative feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Case study analysis502500-3000 (+/- 10%) words essay1 - 10Qualitative feedback provided on online platform summarising performance against assessment marking criteria, and areas for learner development
Strategic business report502500-3000 (+/- 10%) words essay1 - 10Qualitative feedback provided on online platform summarising performance against assessment marking criteria, and areas for learner development

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Case study analysisCase study analysis (50%)1 - 10Reassessment period
Strategic business reportStrategic business report (50%)1 - 10Reassessment period

Re-assessment notes

Non-synoptic reassessment (i.e. – students only resubmit if their total module mark was a fail, and they only resubmit the assessed element/s which had received a fail mark – not both elements where one element had already received a pass mark).

Students are permitted to improve upon a failed piece of assessed work as their resubmission (i.e. – they will not be penalised for self-plagiarism from their first submission on this module), or to produce an entirely new piece of work.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core reading:

Deresky, H. and Miller, S.R (2022) International Management: Managing Across Borders and Cultures, Text and Cases, Global Edition, 10th edition Boston: Pearson

Suggested further reading:

Luthans, F. and Doh, J. () International Management: Culture, Strategy and Behaviour. London: McGraw Hill


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

All recommended textbooks and related sources are listed in the recommended reading list, which provides e-book access.

Key words search

Culture, International Management, Globalisation, Cross-cultural Communication, Negotiation, International HRM,

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date