Welcome to ENSL 410 Cross-Cultural Communication!

We are all living in an increasingly globalised, diverse and multicultural world with different communication styles, attitudes, behaviour and cultural values. It is particularly important in international business management, marketing, human resource management and diplomacy that we are aware of the need for improved cross- cultural communication, for without it, the result may be the breakdown of cooperation, understanding and trust in business, diplomacy and international negotiations.

We need to be able to identify the complexities and consequences of cultural diversity in such areas as verbal and non- verbal communication, attitudes towards time, status, authority and the structure of organizations. We can then move on to understand more fully how to overcome the barriers to cross- cultural communication and become more effective in such areas as international negotiations, the transfer of skills and knowledge across cultures, building and working in multinational teams, and the use of cultural diplomacy as a form of ‘soft power’. We also need to be able to assess the competencies and cultural awareness training required by those selected to live and operate in this challenging environment.

In this course, you will learn

  • the meanings of culture in its multiple forms 
  • the importance of acknowledging and respecting the diversity of cultures which exist around you
  • the contexts of relationships, social frameworks, time and power
  • the use of language, writing, verbal and non-verbal communication and negotiation
  • to identify and apply strategies to overcome the barriers to effective cross-cultural communication
  • to evaluate the role of cultural awareness in key international issues, such as globalisation, multiculturalism, cultural branding and cultural diplomacy, along with the use of English as a major international language
  • assess how cultural issues affect international negotiations, leadership, decision making, the transfer of skills and knowledge across cultures and successful working in a multicultural team

Course textbooks

Reynolds, S. & Valentine, D. (2011). Guide to cross-cultural communication (2nd. Ed). Prentice Hall: New Jersey.

Hurn, B. & Tomalin, B. (2013). Cross-cultural communication. Theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan: London.

Of the 2 textbooks cited, I will focus mainly on the first one, Guide to cross-cultural communication (2nd. Ed). The second one is quite expensive and therefore, optional. It can be purchased for a deeper understanding of the key issues.

I look forward to learning and sharing with you!

Dr. Dionne

Course Teacher