module specification

HR6055 - Organising and Managing Across Cultures (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Organising and Managing Across Cultures
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
90 hours Guided independent study
24 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 20%   Group Presentation: This encourages students to reflect on their own and others' cultures and highlights some of the cha
Group Coursework 80%   Analytical essay. This analysis is submitted as an individual, summatively assessed report of 1500 words.
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Morning
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module explores a range of topics connected with working and managing across different social cultures. It examines cross-cultural management in both international and intra-national contexts, and draws on perspectives from social anthropology, social psychology, organisational behaviour and management theory.

One of the summative assessments, the group presentation, enables students to experience some of the challenges of working across cultures first hand. The work undertaken in this module in teams also addresses one of the course outcomes to which this module contributes and enables students to build valuable related skills.

The module is designed with weekly lectures followed by interactive seminar sessions. This design, together with the research for, and feedback from the presentations feed forward to the second assessment, the report. In producing individual analytical reports, students will develop analytical and evaluation skills relevant both to this module and to the related course pathways.

The content and design of the module underpin the broader objectives of the courses of which it is part. The content will substantially contribute to developing students’ understanding of management theories, models, frameworks, tasks and roles, and in particular implications for the management of people in international or cross-cultural contexts. The design and assessment frameworks reflect a student-centred learning approach, where students learn with and from each other, and where students progressively learn to discuss, debate and evaluate key organisational issues.

The content of this module reflects the socio-cultural breadth in our student body and staff, with over 140 nationalities represented on the campus (, 2020).


The topics covered in this module include:
• the nature and meaning of culture LO1, LO2
• multi-cultural teams LO1, LO2
• communicating and negotiating across cultures LO1, LO2, LO3
• theories of cross-cultural management LO2, LO3
• ethics and values in cross-cultural perspective LO1, LO2, LO3
• international human resource management: cross-cultural issues and implications LO2, LO3
•cross-cultural issues in expatriation LO2, LO3

• the influence of religion and spirituality in socio-cultural contexts LO1, LO2, LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The formal delivery of this module comprises three contact hours per week. This includes twelve two hour lectures which will cover the theory and key concepts underpinning themes in the syllabus. The lectures will also be available to students to view or revisit later online (via Medial).

Lectures will be supplemented by one hour seminar classes which allow for a closer level analysis of the issues in an interactive format. For example, seminars will draw on case studies, videos and “dilemmas” or scenario activities. These exercises enable deeper analysis of topics such as ethics, team traits and communication styles. The seminar sessions give students the opportunity to discuss and debate issues, to drive conversations and to progress formatively. There is a strong focus on peer learning (i.e. learning from and with other students) and this is also summatively assessed in the presentation. 

In preparing for the group presentation in week 7, students will be experience first-hand the challenges and enjoyment of researching/working as a team. They will encourage and learn from each other, reflecting individually and in their teams on their learning.

Work conducted as a team should have enabled all team members to develop a broader and deeper insight into the cultural complexities embedded in the question and of the relevant literature. In the second summative assessment, team members will produce individual reports each using a different country/culture/sub-theme to analyse the team question.  Students are marked individually on the second assessment, but they will build upon the team and peer learning of the earlier work and the assessment requires students to draw comparisons from at least two other cultures/countries/sub-themes.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module students will be able to:
1. Discuss and debate knowledge of, and sensitivity to, their own and others’ cultural background and influences.
2. Evaluate the impact of culture on organisational behaviour and management practice, using a range of theoretical concepts to analyse and explain issues of management and organisation in cross-cultural contexts.
3. Deploy appropriate research, analytical, communications and problem-solving skills to explore the influence of culture and to suggest how complex issues of working across cultures can be addressed.

Assessment strategy

Early in the module, students are allocated to teams and choose one from a set of questions related to working across cultures. Students develop their ideas in preparation for a summatively assessed team presentation (20%). This allows students progressively to build a deeper knowledge of, and sensitivity to, their own and others’ cultural background and influences. The team presentation also encourages students to reflect on their own and others’ cultures and highlights some of the challenges in working and managing across cultures.

Each team member then analyses the original team question from a specific socio-cultural perspective (e.g. through the lens of one country or culture). This analysis is submitted as an individual, summatively assessed report of 1500 words (80%). In the report, students will evaluate the concept in a specific cultural context, drawing out some cross-cultural comparisons. Students will identify the implications or issues and demonstrate their problem-solving skills to suggest how issues of working across cultures can be addressed.