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ET212: Intercultural Business Communication


How does culture affect the way we do business? How can we communicate effectively across culturally different workplaces and with diverse stakeholders? What is (g)localisation and why is it relevant? This module will help you to gain a better understanding of communication within and across global businesses at individual and corporate levels, internally and externally. You'll try out different IBC training activities in the seminars, which is an approach designed to give you hands-on insights into the ways global companies develop their staff. We’ll consider the way digital technology has changed the landscape of business communication and how values and beliefs about culture are having an impact on new media use in the modern business world. This module will promote your awareness and understanding of key aspects of communication, and importantly help you to develop your ability to communicate effectively across differences within the context of global business culture.

This module can be taken in your final year as ET329 if you have not taken ET212 in your second year.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Understand theories commonly associated with communication in intercultural business settings
  • Identify and critically review the impact of cultural differences on business communication
  • Critically assess prior and recent research in the field of intercultural business communication
  • Apply theoretical insights and practical communication skills to address intercultural business dilemmas

Learning Experience


Core content will be presented during weekly 2-hour lectures.


We will meet in a weekly 1-hour small-group seminar to practice and apply course concepts.


2000-word assignment (50%)
2500-word assignment (50%) if taken in final year

2-hour written examination (50%)

Preparatory Reading

  • Molinsky, A. (2013). Global dexterity: How to adapt your behaviour across cultures without losing yourself in the process. Harvard Business Review Press.
  • Bargiela-Chiappini, F., Bülow-Møller, A. M., Nickerson, C., Poncini, G., Zhu, Y., & M. Zachry. (2003). Five perspectives on intercultural business communication. Business Communication Quarterly, 66(3), 73‐96.
  • Du-Babcock, B. (2018). Business communication research and theory development in Asia: Past, present, and future prospects. Business Communication Research and Practice, 1(1), 4–17
  • Comfort, J., & Franklin, P. (2014). The mindful international manager (2nd ed). Kogan Page.

Academic Staff

Sophie Reissner-Roubicek