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LD550: Cross-Cultural Communication and Leadership

Course Description:

This course presents students with challenging cross-cultural situations that develop for different
reasons and from different backgrounds. This course provides a look for practical work solutions and
ways to integrate culture into social change and civic engagement. This course helps students master
the skills necessary to connect globally and grasp the role of cultural nuances, behaviors, attitudes
and emotions in a harmonious and equitable global environment. Topics include civic and political
engagement, social action, relationships, consumption and production of media, global workplace,
cross-cultural adjustment and competence, and other practical issues.

Course Objectives

At the successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:
Implement cross-cultural situations through practice experience.
Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of cross-cultural communication and
leadership in a global environment.
Understand the importance of civil and political engagement and its role in a global
Develop the skills necessary to read, evaluate, and use intercultural theories
Engage in cultural knowledge in intercultural communication contexts.
Formulate language and nonverbal elements in message production and consumption.
Integrate practical work solutions, and others for ways to integrate culture into social change
and civic engagement.
Analyze ideologies and it role on face-to-face and mediated communication.

Course Credits: 3

Course Resources:

ISBN: 978-1-118-55861-4
Baldwin, Coleman, Gonzales, Shenoy-Packer. (2014). Intercultural Communication for Everyday Life. Wiley.

Grading Policy: A course grade is determined based on the percentage of points as designated in
the following chart.

Assessment Percent of Final Grade
Discussions 20%
Weekly Assignments 40%
Weekly Quizzes 10%
Final Presentation 20%

Below is an at-a-glance look at the weekly discussion and assignment topics. In each Getting
Started module within the course, you will find details about your weekly readings, lectures,
supplemental resources, discussions and assignment instructions, and rubrics


Week 1: Rationale for cross-cultural communication

Reading: Textbook, Chapters 1 and 2

Discussion: Part A
Tell us about yourself so you can meet and greet fellow Grantham University students
within your course. Describe three reasons that it is important to know about
intercultural communication today. Give evidence to support each of your reasons.

Part B
Find your own statistics about domestic racial, religious, language, or other diversity; or
about international demographics, or social situations in need of civic engagement and
share your findings.

Assignment: Week 1: Case Study

A kiss is just a kiss, a bribe is just a bribe

You are visiting a culture in which the law enforcement officials (that is, the police) and
other civic officials do not receive substantial pay. The country is also highly
bureaucratic (a lot of red tape to get any legal paperwork processed, and so on). As
a result of this, it is a general cultural expectation, though officially illegal, to give
officials in businesses or on the police force a little palm greasinga little money
under the table either to have a job expedited at a civic office or to have an officer
overlook a misdemeanor. You are out on a date with your girl/boyfriend and decide to
engage in a passionate kiss.* The public kiss in this very conservative culture is illegal
and you can face time in jail for a misdemeanor, though it is something that is
frequently overlooked. An officer sees you, deduces from your dress and mannerisms
that you are a foreigner, and is starting to ticket you. You strongly suspect that it is
culturally acceptable at this time to give a little money to get out of the ticketbut you
also know that this is officially illegal in this country and highly unethical in your own
culture. What will you do? What ethical choices guide your decision?

Week 2: Cross-cultural communication models

Reading: Textbook, Chapters 3 and 4

Discussion: Investigate local organizations and make a list of three different organizations or
efforts in the local community that could use some sort of civic or political involvement.

Assignment: The interaction: Elizabeth and Derek, a White U.S. American couple, decide to host
German students as part of a one-month program with the local university. Veronica
and Julie, the students from Germany, enjoy their stay, but they are not as fond of the
food, and at one point directly ask the couple to prepare food with less fat. The
request comes on top of Elizabeth and Derek already having had stressful days at
work and feeling inadequate about not spending the time hosting that they should.
The request might not be unusual in Germany, because directness is valued;
however, Elizabeth and Derek perceive it as rude. In the end, they do not have a good
time hosting the Germans, who are more direct and independent than they would like.
But this does not surprise themthey already expected that Germans would be
rude, based on what they saw in the media.
Case Study questions

In groups, have students analyze the case, looking for aspects that might be
interpersonal, intergroup, or intercultural.
Can you think of instances in your own life where one of these components has
been especially important in a communication breakdown?
What are some aspects you would put under each of the main elements of
interaction (interpersonal: moods, personal backgrounds, individual differences;
intergroup: stereotypes, prejudice, in-/out-group perceptions; intercultural:
group-based differences in values, communication norms, etc.)?
What are some things the model leaves out (historical, relational, social, and
other contexts, etc.)?

Week 3: Identities

Reading: Textbook, Chapters 5 and 6

Discussion: Is having a specific identity always equally important to you? Do you think others see
identity in a positive light? How important is it for you if someone is in the out-group
of the group identities that you have listed? For example, if you list Jewish, how do
you feel about people who are not Jewish?

Assignment: The angry mother

Devon returned home from his 5th grade class with his report card. His mother, Brenda
Washington, became very upset. In her middle-class suburb, she was close to several
of her neighborsparents of Devons friends. They frequently compared notes on
their childrens progress, and she knew that Devon was doing as well as his friend,
James Robinson. However, in his English class, Devon had received a D. His abilities
were clearly superior to those of James, but after talking with James mother and
finding out that James had received a C, Ms. Washington made her way to the school.

She raised her voice with the teacher, claiming that she must have given Devon a
lower grade because he was Black. The teacher became defensive and claimed that
she ran a color-blind classroom. Ms. Washington decided to take the case to the
principal. As she strode down the hallway, she saw the White teachers in their room,
and the success posters on the wall, which all contained White children. She
wondered what to expect when she saw the principal.
Case Study questions
Is intolerance involved? What should you do?
How does the case relate to some of the different dimensions of intolerance
described in the book?
Do you feel that specific intolerances, such as racism or sexism, should be
determined by intent or by result? Explain your answer.

Week 4: Verbal and non-verbal communication

Reading: Textbook, chapters 7 and 8

Discussion: How can you see signssignifiers and signifiedsin a persons nonverbal behavior?
How about your own use of nonverbal signs (clothing; hair style; scents; hair care on
head and elsewhere; body manipulation such as piercing, dieting, weightlifting,
tattoos)? Do they illustrate particular identities? In what ways do you either pass on or
challenge prevailing ideologies through your own use of nonverbal signs?

Assignment: Week 4: Cultural Scavenging

Find three online articles about display rules, and summarize the findings in a 2-3
page paper. When preparing your paper, make sure to respond to the following
What factors might influence the display rules? How would changing participants
(roles, sex, age of people involved), situation/scene, motives for communication, etc.,
change the display rules?

Why are display rules important for intercultural communication?

What is the link between following display rules and attribution? Which leads
those who perceive our behavior to draw conclusions about usthe rules or the

Week 5: Culture, Bias, and Persuasion

Reading: Textbook, Chapters 9 and 10

Discussion: Part A - What implications might representation have for how we view people of
different cultures or identities?

Part B - Is there any conceptual difference in having biased representationor no
representation at allin a news show as opposed to a reality television show or a
crime drama or comedy show?

Assignment: Speech Sample: Mahatma Gandhi, March 18, 1922, Statement in the Great Trial
of 1922

Case Study questions

In the speech, what is the relationship between the speaker and the audience?
What would likely be the audiences preconception of the speaker?
What images, rhetorical strategies, content, or appeals does the speaker use for
her or his cause?
What cultural values and beliefs does the speech seem to reflect?
In your own estimation, what aspects of the speech might be more or less
effective for this audience, culture, and occasion?

Week 6: Adaptation and cultural competence

Reading: Textbook, Chapters 11 and 12

Discussion: Did you feel that the artists simply imported hip-hop conventions, or did they give them
a cultural twist in any way? [That is, making global forms localglocalization.]
How does hip-hop in these cases illustrate hybridity? How might other forms of
music be used for civic or social engagement? How might social identities play out in
these forms of music?

Assignment: Case study

Your position in human resources management has landed you a rare opportunity:
you have been brought on to your companys international training and recruitment
team! The company has had a lack of success in its negotiations in Venezuela. Your
companys factory there has gone through a series of expensive strikes and
shutdowns, and there is tension between your managers on the field. You have had to
withdraw the project coordinator and you need to choose another employee to send to
(hopefully) resolve the problems. After careful screening, these are the candidates you
have to choose from:

Amelia Braddock
Amelia is a 34-year-old manager. She has been with your company for 10 years and
has an excellent knowledge of the project. She grew up in Italy and served in the
military, being positioned in various locations before seeking her career with your
company. She is fluent in Spanish. She is single and mobile. She is flexible and
seems very cognitively complex. She has surprised you in managers meetings with
her ability to grasp the details and offer alternative explanations leading to sound

Charlie Davenport

Charlie is a 46-year-old director of several projects locally. He has been with your
company for 15 years. He is very willing to go, though his wife seems reluctant. He is
extremely outgoing and gets along well with other people. He has been highly
resourceful in the projects on which he has served, and is good at gathering the
information he needs to complete a project. He has never traveled outside of the
United States and does not speak Spanish.

Ernie Farquahr
Ernie speaks Spanish fluently and has travel experience specific to Latin America. He
is very excited to go on this trip and is recently mobile, as he has just separated from
his wife of 22 years. Ernie is 56 years old and is truly an expert in your company. He
knows the product and is very successful at task completion. He has overseen several
projects in your company and has completed them with meticulous detail. This is due
to his high need for structure and closure.

George Horatius
George is 42 years old and has been with your company for 15 years. He is very
outgoing and very flexible. He is your all-around man, able to move from task to task
in a very polychronic way. He is great at relationships, and seems undaunted by new
deadlines or expectations. He has had some difficulty with task completion. George
has traveled extensively to Japan and adjusted very well to the mindset there.

Case Study questions

Who would you send to Venezuela, and why? Does this person have anything that
works against him or her?
How do you see each of the candidates in terms of effectiveness, appropriateness,
and overall competence?
Do you think that someone might be more competent in one culture than another,
or is there a base level of intercultural competence that can make someone
competent in many different cultures? [Trick questionboth are probably true.]
Many students choose Amelia for the position. Does anything potentially stand
against her? What research might you need to do before you send her? [How does
Venezuela see female managers, both within their own culture and from other
cultures? Will Amelias time in the U.S. military help or hinder her if it becomes known
to the Venezuelan workers?]
Which traits do you think could be trained, if you wanted to prepare one for this
position? Are some of the traits more difficult to train? [This shows implications of
competence research for both training and employee selection.]
In what ways might intercultural communication competence be useful even if
someone is not traveling to another culture? [We live in a global world with
multicultural workplaces.]

Week 7: Improvement and Optimizations to Solution

Reading: Textbook, Chapters 13 and 14

Discussion: Beyond facework and conflict, what other possible communication difficulties to you
perceive (e.g., use of slang and lack of code-switching, level of formality, value
conflicts, or other things we have discussed this semester). If you were a consultant to
The European Union or International Committee of the Red Cross or United Nations,
what recommendations or training would you provide for employees who work in
these multi-cultural groups.

Assignment: Objective: Students locate an example of political communication in their environment

and analyze its link to culture.

Political communication happens all around us, though perhaps it is more overt in
some national cultures than others. At some universities, people promote causes with
posters and speeches in public spaces, there are special presentations for causes,
and even editorials in the school paper can have a political component. In other
cultures, there might be less public discussion of political alternatives, but there are
still likely to be political and social movements present.

Political messages work to co-construct our cultural environment. Depending on ones

cultural perspective, they either reflect and contribute to a systematic set of values
(concern for justice, altruism, freedom of speech, democracy, etc.) or they promote a
fragmented public discourse where the same notion (e.g., product of
conception/unborn baby, global warming) is given different meaning within different
sets of ideas for different groups (this is a more postmodern perspective).

Finally, this political communication can be more formal, such as deliberate attempts
at social movements, or it can be vernacularlocal and grass-roots movements that
are outside of the official channels. For more information, see Bowers, J.W., & Ochs,
D.J. (1971). The Rhetoric of Agitation and Social Control. Reading, MA:

Locate examples of intercultural political leadership. Find a leader who is working to
change cultures or across cultures (e.g., Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Teresa) and
explain why this person is important and what her or his contribution is.
1. Would you say that it pertains to traditional politics or to politics 2.0? Why?
2. What do the different messages have to do with culture and communication? Are
some more cultural than others? [Some might be openly intercultural, but if students
think about how messages shape the culture in which they live, all have a connection
to culture in some way.]
3. What seems to be the intended audience of the message? What is the attempted
change in behavior? What structural or group interests does the change support?
[Political messages, by definition, are about the power between different groups with
different interests. And those groups will have different views of the world, of social
problems, of best solutions, and so on.]

4. In what ways do you think this message will be effective or ineffective for this

Week 8: Final Project

Reading: Final Project Overview PowerPoint


All students belong to some organization. Even if they do not work at the present time,
they belong to the university and/or department organization. They might also have
other affiliations, such as sports clubs, fraternities/sororities,
churches/temples/mosques, political parties, or extracurricular organizations. Many
work in addition to going to school. Each of these organizations has a culture, with its
own values, beliefs, norms for behavior, communicative practices, core symbols,
rituals, and artifacts. Although we do not explore organizational culture in great depth
in this chapter, an application of notions of cultural variability will help students realize
that all organizations have culture and to see the link between an organizations
culture and the surrounding cultural context(s).

Instructions for Part A

List organizations to which you belong or choose one organization on which you may
interested in joining. If you could go beyond these definitions to describe the
uniqueness of your organization (e.g., specific symbols, practices, rituals), what would
you look at and how

Trompenaars and Hampden-Turners Hofstedes Cultural Dimensions

Cultural Differences

UniversalistParticularist IndividualismCollectivism

IndividualismCommunitarianism Power Distance

NeutralAffective MasculinityFemininity

SpecificDiffusive Uncertainty Avoidance

AchievementAscription LongShort Term Orientation

Instructions for Part B

Are there any readings, lessons, or assignments you learned in this course that were
particularly helpful? Is there any topic that should be included in this course, or any
topic that we should spend more time on?

Assignment: Assignment 1: This assignment requires you to cull together all previous weeks
assignments into one Final Paper as well as write a conclusion to complete your
technical paper. Remember, you will be incorporating all instructor feedback and
suggestions to create a complete and thorough Final Paper.

Assignment 2: This assignment requires you to create a Power Point Presentation

using the provided template as well as create a video demonstration of your program.
You must appear in the video presentation and program demonstration.

The following table outlines the academic effort required by students to be successful in this course.
While the times in the table are approximate, it is presented to help students with their time
management. Please note, depending on the student's background knowledge and experience of the
course subject and an individual student's academic capabilities, these times will vary. If you have
any questions or concerns, please direct them to your instructor or student advisor.

Estimated Hours
Week Type of Activity Activity
Readings/Lectures 0.6
Online Discussions 2.0
Assignments 1.0
1 Readings 1.6
Discussions 1.0
Assignments 13.0
Clinical/Lab Hours

Estimated Hours
Week Type of Activity Activity
Readings/Lectures 0.6
Online Discussions 2.0
Assignments 1.0
2 Readings 1.6
Discussions 1.0
Assignments 5.0
Clinical/Lab Hours

Estimated Hours
Week Type of Activity Activity
Readings/Lectures 0.2
Online Discussions 2.0
Assignments 0.0
3 Readings 0.0
Discussions 1.0
Assignments 10.0
Clinical/Lab Hours 3.0

Week Type of Activity Activity Estimated Hours

Readings/Lectures 0.7
Online Discussions 2.0
Assignments 1.0
4 Readings 2.0
Discussions 1.0
Assignments 5.0
Clinical/Lab Hours

Estimated Hours
Week Type of Activity Activity
Readings/Lectures 0.2
Online Discussions 2.0
Assignments 0.0
5 Readings 0.0
Discussions 1.0
Assignments 10.0
Clinical/Lab Hours 3.0

Estimated Hours
Week Type of Activity Activity
Readings/Lectures 0.6
Online Discussions 2.0
Assignments 1.0
6 Readings 1.6
Discussions 1.0
Assignments 7.0
Clinical/Lab Hours

Estimated Hours
Week Type of Activity Activity
Readings/Lectures 0.5
Online Discussions 2.0
Assignments 1.0
7 Readings 1.4
Discussions 1.0
Assignments 10.0
Clinical/Lab Hours

Estimated Hours
Week Type of Activity Activity
Readings/Lectures 0.4
Online Discussions 2.0
Assignments 1.0
Readings 0.9
Preparation Discussions 1.0
Assignments 27.0
Clinical/Lab Hours
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