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Unit outline_

IBUS6002: Cross-Cultural Management

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

An understanding of cultural differences and how to manage such differences is critical to effective management in international and multi-cultural business environments. The aim of this unit is to provide conceptual frameworks and evidence from practice that will develop an understanding of the ways in which cultures differ, how these differences can impact on management, and how cultural issues can limit organisational effectiveness. Major topics include the significance of culture in international management, the meaning and dimensions of culture, comparative international management and leadership styles, managing communication across cultures, ethics and social responsibility in global management, cross-cultural negotiation and decision-making, forming and managing global teams, and developing the international and global manager.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit International Business
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Sally Gaunt,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Culture video presentation
Video presentation
10% Multiple weeks 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Presentation group assignment Case study debate
Proposal and debate
30% Multiple weeks 700 words, 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Participation Tutorial participation
Attendance and reflection
10% Ongoing Ongoing
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
In-semester test Mid-semester exam
Written exam
20% Week 07 1 hour 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Final exam Final exam
Written exam
30% Week 13 1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO4 LO3 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Tutorial participation: It is expected that students read materials indicated for each week (articles, textbook chapters, cases, and
    major news events that are relevant to the unit) and come to class prepared with questions and comments. Given this course is now delivered via online platforms, in order for students to obtain their participation marks, we will be requesting that a short (no more than 300 words) reflection exercise is uploaded just prior to each of the following tutorials. Week 5,8,9,10,11 and 12 
  • Cultural video presentation: This activity will be performed in groups of a maximum of 5 students (these groups will be formed in week 2 or week 4 depending on when students arrive in Australia), Each group will be given a country by the tutor and one group member will take the role of a newly appointed expatriate who will be embarking on a position in a very different culture. This culture will be chosen by the group members. The remaining group member will make a video to prepare the expatriate for their new role. The video should contain practical information including any of the following: historical events that have impacted the way people in each culture think and behave, cultural dimensions, the current political, economic, technological, and legal environment. Students may also wish to consider how employees’ expectations of their managers may differ and what may motivate employees in the new culture.
  • Mid-semester exams: This is an open-book exam and will consist of 10 questions covering theoretical concepts and insights discussed in lectures and tutorials preceding the exam. Course case studies, knowledge from the textbook, and required readings will also be covered.
  • Case study debate: In the same groups formed for the culture report presentation, students will choose from a selection of 3 recent and relevant case studies that present a cultural dilemma. The tutor will give specific scenarios for each case study with 2 possible solutions. Each group will be required to represent one of the solutions. However, prior to the debate, individual group members will write their own word proposal to a key stakeholder, advocating the benefits of their solution. Each group will have to defend the arguments made against them by the opposing side after the pitch. Finally, both groups will be required to answer questions raised by their peers.
  • Final exam: This will take the form of a mini-case study/situation that will require students to provide a short answer to a specific question about a case/situation. 

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to the unit Lecture (1.5 hr)  
Week 02 Understanding the role of culture/subculture Lecture (1.5 hr)  
Groups formation Tutorial (1.5 hr)  
Week 03 Developing a global management team Lecture (1.5 hr)  
Group exercises for exploring and developing presentation skills to an international audience Tutorial (1.5 hr)  
Week 04 Communicating and decision making across cultures Lecture (1.5 hr)  
Understanding Australian cultures Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO2
Week 05 Negotiation across cultures and dealing with gifts and bribery Lecture (1.5 hr)  
Viewing and marking of student group-made cultural video exercise Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Corporate social responsibility/working with indigenous and disadvantaged communities Lecture (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Mid-semester exam taking place via Zoom in tutorials Tutorial (1.5 hr)  
Week 08 International human resource management Lecture (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Overview of reflection exercises Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO2 LO5
Week 09 The changing world of international business Lecture (1.5 hr)  
Readings discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Week 10 First case study debate Tutorial (1.5 hr)  
Leadership in a global environment Lecture (1.5 hr)  
Week 11 The changing role of the global CEO Lecture (1.5 hr)  
Second case study debate Tutorial (1.5 hr)  
Week 12 Developing cultural intelligence Lecture (1.5 hr)  
Final case study debate Tutorial (1.5 hr)  
Week 13 Unit round-up and revision for final exam Lecture (1.5 hr)  
Final exam taking place via Zoom and in tutorials Tutorial (1.5 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

Lecture recordings: All lectures and seminars are recorded and will be available on Canvas for student use. Please note the Business School does not own the system and cannot guarantee that the system will operate or that every class will be recorded. Students should ensure they attend and participate in all classes.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Deresky, H. (2017). International Management: Managing Across Borders and Cultures. Text and Cases, 9th.

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an in-depth, disciplinary knowledge applicable to both local and global contexts, and select and apply disciplinary knowledge to business situations in both local and global environments
  • LO2. demonstrate increased critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • LO3. identify and relate research to business situations, and analyse and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions
  • LO4. demonstrate enhanced communication skills, and accomplish professional business communication in both written and face to face presentations, within a multicultural environment
  • LO5. understand the value of effective teamwork, the importance of working in a diverse team, and how to increase the functionality when completing tasks with a wide range of culturally diverse team members
  • LO6. appreciate ethical, social, and environmental responsibility, and demonstrate a sound awareness of the moral, social, and environmental implications of business practice from a cultural perspective.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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