Managing a Multicultural World

Intercultural Communication


Dr. Alison Gourvès-Hayward

This course will be organized over five half days, in groups of 10 - 20 students, from different cultural backgrounds and will be team-taught by lecturers who are also from different cultural and disciplinary backgrounds.

After an introduction to some definitions of the anthropological notion of culture, we will explore various aspects of intercultural communication, including body-language, greetings and direct and indirect communication styles. Examples will be taken both from the lecturers' international experience and that of the students themselves, and enriched by theoretical background, such as the work of Edward Hall and Mildred Hall.

The link between language and culture will also be explored, with consciousness-raising exercises leading to questioning what lies behind the words we use. At the end of the week, we will look at issues of language, culture and identity, before learning some techniques and strategies on how to manage an intercultural team, based on intercultural management theory. For instance, students will learn about the cultural dimensions developed by Geert Hofstede which can be used as a tool for preliminary analysis of certain cultural differences, such as power distance.

The main focus of the course, however, will be on self-development in a multicultural world, through interactive exercises and discussion. At the end of this course, students should be able to identify some of their own culturally-biased assumptions and reactions, to read between the lines in some intercultural situations and begin to create synergies with people from different cultural backgrounds.
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Technopole Brest-Iroise - CS 83818 - 29238 Brest Cedex 3 - France - Tel : 33 (0)2 29 00 11 11 - Fax : 33 (0)2 29 00 10 00