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WACC Projects

Our WACC projects revolve around 'intercultural interaction competence' - the ability to work and relate effectively with people in culturally unfamiliar contexts. We undertake research, develop training and background resources, as well as run workshops. Please visit our Global PAD website for access to our e-Courses and Open House resources.

Global Graduates

Conceptualising 'Global Graduate' competency (Research Project)

This project is researching the competencies needed by graduates when they enter a globalised world of work. We have been taking a 'bottom-up approach', interviewing new graduates and experienced leaders to draw out the challenges that new graduates face when entering a culturally unfamiliar workplace and the competencies they need to handle those challenges effectively. From this, we aim to develop an empirically-based construct of 'global graduate competency' whcih can be used for assessment as well as training purposes.

  • Funding: Internal
  • Project Staff: Prof Helen Spencer-Oatey, Dr Claudia Harsch, Dr Daniel Dauber, Dr Sophie Reissner-Roubicek
  • Collaborators: Staff from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
  • Duration: Ongoing from October 2011

Developing 'Global Graduate' competency (Resource Development Project)

This project, which is collaborative with the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), is addressing the needs reported in CIHE's 'Global Graduates into Global Leaders' paper by developing an interactive e-Course for undergraduates.

  • Project Staff: Prof Helen Spencer-Oatey, Dr Sophie Reissner-Roubicek, Andy Davidson
  • Collaborators: Staff from NCUB
  • Duration: Ongoing from November 2013

The Globally-Oriented Curriculum - see our Resources

This project built on the outcomes of the Global People Project and developed a framework for conceptualising the 'global skills' that students need at different stages of their university career in order to prepare them for the world of work.

  • Funding: Kings-Warwick Project HEFCE grant (£30K)
  • Project staff: Stuart Reid, Stefanie Stadler, Helen Spencer-Oatey
  • Duration: 12 months: April 2009 - March 2010.

Several of our MSc students have undertaken work placements in engineering companies, including Changan Automobiles and Audi, carrying out projects related to intercultural skills.

Intercultural Skills for Engineers

Global Engineers, Global People? (Research Project)

This project is being carried out at the University of Leuven, Belgium, with assistance from WACC staff. Engineering undergraduates at the University of Leuven take a compulsory module in intercultural communication and, as part of that course, they are asked to study the Global People Competency Framework, which includes explanations and examples. Data collected so far has focused on students' perceptions of the relative usefulness of the framework, examples of how they have applied it to their lives, and their suggestions for improvement. Findings to date were presented at the 41th SEFI (European Society for Engineering Education) Conference, 16-20 September 2013, Leuven, Belgium. Click here to access the paper.

  • University of Leuven staff: Jan van Maele, Basil Vassilicos
  • University of Warwick WACC staff: Helen Spencer-Oatey, Sophie Reissner-Roubicek
  • Duration: Ongoing from 2012.

'Global Engineers' Intercultural Network (Network Project)

We are building a small network of engineers and interculturalists who are interested in researching and developing the intercultural skills needed by engineers. This has started with a small amount of funding from the University of Warwick's International Partnership Fund to establish links with the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Tokyo, Japan. We held our first workshop in March 2013 (2 days, 14-15 March) at the University of Warwick, and the second will be held in Tokyo in May 2014. The aim is to explore areas of synergy and ways in which we can collaborate in research and/or the development of training materials.

  • University of Warwick WACC staff: Keith Richards, Helen Spencer-Oatey, Sophie Reissner-Roubicek, Lynnette Richards
  • University of Warwick Engineering staff: Dr Tony Price, Dr Benoit Jones
  • University of Tokyo staff: Prof Kazumasa Ozawa, Prof Mike Handford, Dr Petr Matous
  • University of Leuven staff: Dr Jan van Maele
  • Duration: Initial funding for 2 years, September 2012 - July 2014

Several of our MSc students have undertaken work placements at engineering companies, including Changan Automobiles and Audi, carrying out projects associated with intercultural interaction.  
Campus Integration

In collaboration with the International Office, we are actively involved in researching and promoting campus integration.

Research: We have added some additional questions to the International Student Barometer and Student Barometer surveys to explore levels of reported integration across campus in terms of multicultural friendships and multicultural groupwork, as well as students' attitudes towards it. These surveys are run twice a year (once in the autumn and once in the early summer) and we have now obtained a large databank of responses. We are currently in the process of analysing that data.

Integration Summits: In collaboration with the International Office, UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and the National Union of Students (NUS), we have established regular integration summits. The main target audience is international offices staff and NUS staff in universities across the UK, and the aim is to explore issues of campus integration from an operational perspective. For details of the Integration Summits so far, along with video recordings of the plenary talks, please visit our Global People website.

Global Professionals

Global TIES (Training in Intercultural Effectiveness) for Work (Resource Development Project)

Through this project we have developed an e-Course, Global TIES, to train professionals and graduates in 'global skills for the workplace'. There is a blended version of the course, with live interactive video-conference sessions to supplement the e-Course, and there is also a standalone version.

  • Project Staff: Prof Helen Spencer-Oatey, Dr Sophie Reissner-Roubicek, Mr Andy Davidson
  • Collaborators: British Council Japan
 Global Researchers (Research Project)

This project is exploring the impact of culture on the PhD research project, both in terms of the supervisory relationship, and in terms of research design, data collection, data analysis, and ethical approval.

  • Funding: Internal
  • Project Staff: Professor Helen Spencer-Oatey, Dr Keith Richards, Dr Francesca Bargiela, Mr Stuart Reid, Dr Chen Shen (University of Newcastle, Australia)
  • Duration: Ongoing
The Global People Project

This project formed Phase 3 of the eChina-UK Programme - a large Sino-UK intergovernmental e-Learning programme, comprising a number of collaborative teacher training projects between British and Chinese university staff. Phases 1 and 2 ran between 2002 and 2007, and raised numerous issues about working effectively on international projects. The Global People project was funded in order to draw out learning from these experiences for the benefit of others who might be undertaking partnership projects.

  • Funding: HEFCE T&L grant (£194K)
  • Project staff: Stuart Reid, Stefanie Stadler, Helen Spencer-Oatey
  • Duration: 18 months: 1st January 2008 – 31st August 2009

 Our deliverables were as follows:

  • (a) A Website, which contains an overview of the project as well as access to a range of project outputs.
  • (b) A Toolbook, which is a practical guide to managing intercultural partnerships and can be used (i) on a self-access basis, and/or (ii) for staff development purposes.
  • (c) A Life Cycle Model that addresses how to manage the 5 stages of a project life-cycle.
  • (d) A Learning Process Model, underlying the Life-cycle Model, that encourages building reflection into the collaboration process and encourages ongoing and continuous learning throughout and beyond the life-cycle of a project.
  • (e) A Competency Model that discusses a range of competences required to be interculturally effective in four different competency-areas, including (i) knowledge and skills, (ii) communication, (iii) relationships, and (iv) personal qualities/dispositions.
  • (f) A ‘Resource Bank’ that includes a number of pdfs to download, including a multidisciplinary landscaping study, a paper on Sino-British interactions, and pdfs of all the models as well as the toolbook.
  • (g) Academic publications.


Extracts from the Global People Resources have been used by UKCISA in their 'New to International' online course and by the British Council in their 'Connecting Classrooms' (global) courses.

Organisational Diagnostics

Organisational Coherence & Trajectory (OCT) Project
The aim of this project is to create tools for modelling, identification, evaluation and diagnosis of organisational coherence, sustainability and change, addressing function, dysfunction and pathologies of organisations. An essential part of this is the creation of a simulation model of organisational coherence, which will deliver insights into cooperation within and between organisations, with validation across types of social collectives like state owned and privately owned organisations, and across nations, cultures or civilisations.

  • Funding: Internal
  • Project Staff: Daniel Dauber, Gerhard Fink, Maurice Yolles
  • Duration: since October 2011
  • Website:
Selected publications, research outcomes & received awards:
  • Dauber, D. Fink, G., & Yolles, M. (2012). A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture, SAGE Open January – March 2012 2: 2158244012441482 (over 17,000 downloads and consecutive top 10 rankings since publication on SageOpen)
  • Yolles, M., Fink, G., Dauber, D. (2011). Organisations as emergent normative personalities: part 1, the concepts, Kybernetes, 40 (5/6), pp. 635 – 669. (EMERALD OUTSTANDING PAPER AWARD)
  • Yolles, M. I. (2009). Migrating Personality Theories Part 2: Towards a Theory of the Balanced Personality? Kybernetes, 38(6), 897-924. (EMERALD HIGHLY COMMENDED AWARD)
  • Yolles, M. I. (2009). Migrating Personality Theories Part 1: Creating Agentic Trait Psychology? Kybernetes, 38(6), 897-924. (EMERALD HIGHLY COMMENDED AWARD)