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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LISS1341 Business and Cultural Awareness: Bridging the Gap

10 creditsClass Size: 31

Module manager: Dr Gideon Azumah

Taught: 1 Jul to 31 Aug View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

GPA of 2.8 (US) or equivalent and enrolled at a university

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

What do we mean when we talk about culture? How can we describe cultures and what is their importance in business? This course examines the nature of culture, looks at culture at the national level and suggests there are other ways of examining culture. The course seeks to improve the cultural awareness of the participants and help them factor in the role of culture in business situations. The course will consider a variety of cultural influences and examine their manifestation in business behaviour and every day activity. There will be practical exercises and company visits. These and other elements of culture will be used to focus the participants’ understanding through both self-reflection and an examination of various academic approaches to culture. The business context will be examined at a national level and consideration will be made of the impact of globalisation on the need for cross-cultural skills in communication and negotiation. Participants will be encouraged to engage in both a group presentation project and an individual essay that reflects their observations, background and learning in the course. There will be a focus on improving cultural understanding in business.


The module introduces the concept of business culture in international business. On completion of the module, students will understand the importance of culture in international business activity and also appreciate cultural differences and how to manage them.

Learning outcomes
With critical engagement for a summer school module, students should be able to;
1. demonstrate an awareness of the importance of culture to business activity;
2. understand the wider meaning of culture and to put into context cultural ‘incidents’ and their significance;
3. understand the differences between culture and how they affect individual behaviour;
4. be able to relate culture to national and other influences and understand the relevance of cultural sites.

Skills outcomes
On completion of this module, student should be able to:
- Manage personal relationships based on deeper understanding of culture and cultural differences
- Display self-awareness of their own culture in relation to others
- Demonstrate the ability to analyse cultural difference
- Demonstrate their understanding of cultural sites and history in the construction of cultures
- Demonstrate independence of thought in activities with a cultural dimension


In week 1, students will begin by interacting with each other via a ‘cultural speed dating’ exercise. This will be followed by a class discussion about key aspects of culture. A formal lecture will review the definition of culture within the context of business, explore different levels of culture, consider implications for doing international business and take into account the influence of globalisation. There will be two visits to international businesses in the Leeds area, where students will learn how these firms navigate cultural differences in their foreign markets. A case study session will also examine potential foreign market entry challenges from a cultural perspective for two well-known multinational enterprises. Finally, a class room debate will consider the future of national cultures and students will also participate in a business game where the concepts of fairness and ethical behaviour will be discussed from the perspective of different cultures.

In week 2, students will examine cross cultural interaction in practice, in particular exploring the convergence and divergence arguments of culture in business, as well as the practical contexts of cross-cultural interaction from the perspective of Hofstede’s framework of culture. A session will then explore key issues in cross-cultural negotiations and cross-cultural communication, along with different stages in cross-cultural negotiations. These session will be delivered in the form of interactive lectures and case study discussions. Finally a session will focus on the notion of Chinese business cultures and consider the implications for communication challenges as China internationalises. Assessments will take the form of group and individual assessments

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning115.0015.00
Private study hours43.00
Total Contact hours57.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Pre-course preparatory work (materials available on the VLE): 15 hours
Private study:
- Reading and research per lecture or seminar or visit: 20 hours
- Case Study and preparation writing: 15hours
- Presentation preparation: 8 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Participation in class discussion
Assessment of oral presentations

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group Project20 minute group presentation30.00
Essay1000 word reflective essay70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 09/05/2022


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