Global Skills for International Business Environments

Universidad Antonio de Nebrija

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Global Skills for International Business Environments

  • Host University

    Universidad Antonio de Nebrija

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Intercultural Communications, Peace and Conflict Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Global Skills for International Business Environments
    Hours: 45
    Prerequisites: no requirements
    Instructor name: Ana Carballal, Ph.D.
    Office hours: to be communicated the first day of class

    1. Course Description

    Globalization affects a very high percentage of organizations and businesses in the world. The number of companies operating internationally increases every day. As a consequence, not only expats or senior managers but also many other workers have to face the strategic development of global businesses and interact in international settings with people from other cultures. This course focuses on the global skills that are and will be increasingly necessary to work in intercultural environments both in and outside national borders. Students will learn about developing abilities related to openmindedness, cultural empathy, flexibility or tolerance to uncertainty and how these skills apply to negotiating internationally, leading multicultural teams or boosting creativity and innovation among others. Emphasis will be placed on experiential learning, case studies and tools for internationalization and will include a European and Spanish perspective on working among cultures.

    2. Learning Objectives

    • Ability to present clearly, in written and oral form, complex problems and projects;
    • Capacity for learning and self-motivation;
    • Ability to work in teams, to integrate into multidisciplinary groups and to collaborate with professionals from other fields;
    • Ability for interpersonal communication and awareness of one’s own aptitude and resources;
    • Ability to develop skills such as conflict resolution, creativity, initiative, negotiation and public speaking;
    • Ability to adapt to new situations and manage time;
    • Ability to recognize and respect diversity and multiculturalism;
    • Ability to integrate knowledge in its theoretical and practical dimensions through critical reflection and to apply it to international business environments;
    • Ability to develop open-mindedness, flexibility and cultural empathy;
    • Ability to work in multicultural teams and to solve problems within multicultural settings;
    • Capacity for organization and planning and developing global skills;
    • Ability to make decisions and manage stress;
    • Skills in the design and management of projects;
    • Training in the interpretation of case studies;
    • Ability to apply managerial and leadership skills, such as motivation and talent management;
    • Develop an ethical behavior in business.

    3. Formative Activities
    Educational activities will be developed by means of different didactic strategies:

    • Theory and Practice
    • Collective and individual tutoring
    • In-class presentations
    • Team work assignments
    • Workshops and additional training
    • Extra-curricular activities
    • Daily assignments

    4. Methodology
    The course syllabus follows the communicative approach methods, based on the core principles of procedure conception and constructive acquisition of knowledge. The methodology is based on the teaching-learning procedures, focused on the learner, which encourages active participation and results in the development of general and specific competencies that provide knowledge, capacities and attitudes for their future professional careers.

    5. Evaluation
    The form of assessment is based on the core principles of the educational assessment, i.e., an active and  participative teaching-learning process focused on the learner. The instructor uses numerous and differentiated forms of assessment to calculate the final grade received for this course. For the record, these are listed below. The content, criteria and specific requirements for each assessment category will be explained in greater detail in class.

    5.1. Grading system
    In the Spanish educational system, it is required to quantitatively express the result of each student’s evaluation. In order to do so, Nebrija faculty uses different strategies and instruments such as: papers, exams, tests, projects, self-evaluation activities, etc. In order to issue a final grade for the Spanish Plus programs the following scale is established:

    • 33% Attendance and active participation in class
    • 33% Daily work
    • 34% Exams/papers/projects

    Therefore, the final grade is the average between attendance and participation, daily work and exams, presentations, projects and essays.
    Active participation in class is evaluated by means of different activities such as:

    • Activities and exercises correction;
    • Reflection upon the different contents in the course
    • Oral activities (individual, in pairs or in groups). Fluency, correction, adequacy and relevance are taken into account.
    • Daily work makes reference to any activity or task that is done inside or outside of the classroom, whether during the class time or at any other time.
    • Exams/papers/projects

    The course includes a midterm and a final written exam on theoretical concepts and course facts. Also, two projects will be elaborated, both including an oral presentation in front of the class. If a student, unjustifiably, does not do or submit an exam, paper or project, it will be graded with a ‘0’.


    5.2. Attendance, participation and grading policies

    5.2.1. Attendance policy
    Attendance is mandatory. In case of missing 5 or more sessions in one course, the student will receive a zero in his/her participation and attendance grade. In addition, not attending classes will not excuse the student from handing in in any homework, papers or essays previously assigned.

    The following situations must be considered:

    Each session of class will count as an absence.

    Two delays of more than 15 minutes will be considered an absence. The entrance to class will not be allowed after 30 minutes once it has started.

    There are no excused absences. E.g.: Not attending class because of sickness will count as an absence. The student is responsible for catching up with any homework done while absent.

    Exams dates have been officially approved by the University, therefore, they will not be changed.*

    *Except for those courses where the professor will set up specific dates and inform the students at the beginning
    of the program.


    5.2.2. Criteria to evaluate participation
    The student participates very actively in the class activities. S/he
    successfully does the requested tasks. S/he contributes to a good
    development of the course, encourages his/her classmates and favor
    debate in class.
    8.5 - 10

    The student participates actively in the class activities. S/he does the
    requested tasks and submits them on time. Shows great interest to learn.
    7 - 8.4

    The student, occasionally, makes interesting remarks, but s/he basically
    answers when s/he is asked. S/he does not show a clear interest in the
    course. Misses classes occasionally.
    5 - 6.9

    The student does not participate unless s/he is asked. S/he has unjustified
    absences and delays. His/her attitude is not very participative.
    0 - 4.9


    5.2.3. Criteria to evaluate Daily Work
    The student always does all the work demanded by the professor, not
    only during the class but also at home. He/she always or almost always
    meets the deadlines established.
    8.5 - 10

    The student almost always does all the work demanded by the professor,
    not only during the class but also at home. Occasionally, he/she submits
    work after the established deadline.
    7 - 8.4

    The student occasionally does the work demanded by the professor, not
    only during the class but also at home. He/she does not normally meet
    the established deadlines and even occasionally does not submit the
    5 - 6.9

    The student never or almost never does the work demanded by the
    professor. He/she never or almost never meets the established deadlines.
    0 - 4.9

    5.3. Warning on plagiarism
    When writing a University paper or essay and reference is made to certain authors, it is mandatory to cite them by means of a footnote or a direct reference. In no case it is acceptable that a student uses a text, no matter how brief it is, written by somebody else without putting it in inverted commas, as this means s/he is trying to make it look as his/her own. This is called plagiarism and in a university context it could be penalized with expulsion.


    6. Course Content

    10. Course Content

    Unit 1

    Introduction to Global Skills. Living and working in the global world. Soft-skills needed to work in international business settings. Soft –Skills vs Technical skills. What are organizations looking for? Testing your skills. Developing Global Talent. On my ideal job. Analyzing employability skills.

    Unit 2

    Competence frameworks and personal development. Competence framework and professional development. Personality traits, knowledge, experience, skills and abilities. The Multicultural Personality. Continuous professional development and personal effectiveness. Formulating and implementing a Personal development Plan (PDP).

    Unit 3

    Creativity and Innovation. Creativity as a fundamental skill for the 21st century society. Conceptualization of innovation. Key elements to innovate. How to develop creativity. Initiative and entrepreneurship. Where do good ideas come from? The secret to creativity. Eight steps to innovation.

    Unit 4

    Managing projects effectively. Effectiveness techniques. Concepts and tools for managing projects. Scrum vs Project Management. The Project life cycle. Change Management: Flexibility and Adaptability.

    Unit 5

    Managing time effectively. Time Planning. Setting priorities. Barriers to effective time management and ways to overcome them. Common mistakes in managing time. The concept of time across cultures. Sequential and synchronic cultures.

    Unit 6

    Teamwork and team building. Why is teamwork important? The roles in teamwork. Communication in multicultural teams. Effective team-building and team management. Job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction, hygiene factors. Motivation and achievement.

    Unit 7

    Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution. Problem resolution an essential skill in the global world. Seeing problems as opportunities. Root cause analysis. Understanding Complexity. No Band-Aid Solutions. Managing conflicts in international and multicultural settings. Kim Scott’s Radical Candor. Stages of the conflict process. Models of conflict resolution.

    Unit 8

    Cultural at work. Ability to work in multicultural teams and negotiate internationally. Developing intercultural professional skills. Identifying and managing culturally diverse people. Intercultural Communication for business purposes. Becoming global managers. Intercultural mediation in business environments.


    7. Bibliography
    7.1 Books
    Aycan, Z., Kanungo, R. N., y Mendonça, M. (2014). Organizations and management in cross-cultural context. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
    British Council (2013). Culture at Work: The value of intercultural skills in the workplace.
    Browaeys, M. J. y Price, R. (2011). Understanding Cross-Cultural Management. Harlow: Pearson education limited.
    Dyer, W. G., & Dyer, J. H. (2013). Team building: Proven strategies for improving team performance. John Wiley & Sons.
    Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., y Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind (3rd Ed). London: McGraw-Hill.
    Keane, T (2017). Project Management: Proven Principles in Agile Project Management for Successful Managers and Businesses, Project Management 101.
    Little, J. (2014). Lean Change Management: Innovative Practices for Managing Organizational Change. HMExpress.
    Plucker, J.A. (2016). Creativity and Innovation: Theory, Research, and Practice. Prufrock Press Inc. PO Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714.
    Tuleja. E. (2015). Intercultural Communication for Business. Indianapolis, IN: Dog Ear Publishing.
    Wilson, J. (2017). Critical Thinking: A Beginner's Guide to Critical Thinking, Better Decision Making and Problem Solving

    7. 2 Articles
    Adair, W. L., Hideg, I., & Spence, J. R. (2013). The culturally intelligent team: The impact of team cultural intelligence and cultural heterogeneity on team shared values. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(6), 941- 962.
    Bücker, J., & Poutsma, E. (2010). Global Management Competencies: A theoretical foundation. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 25(8), 829-844.
    Goleman, D. (2004). What Makes a Leader? Harvard Business Review, 82(1), 82-91.
    Kotter, J. P. (2009). Leading change: why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review, 73(2).
    Lavy, I., & Yadin, A. (2013). Soft Skills-An Important Key for Employability in the" Shift to a Service Driven Economy" Era. International Journal of e-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning, 3(5), 416.
    Maddux, W. W., Adam, H. y Galinsky, A. D. (2010). When in Rome... Learn Why the Romans Do What They Do: How multicultural learning experiences facilitate creativity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36(6),731-741
    Smith, I. (2006). Achieving successful organisational change–do’s and don’ts of change management. Library Management, 27(4/5), 300-306.

    8. Lecturer Brief CV
    Dr. Carballal is a dual national USA- Spain who holds a doctorate in Business Economics. She is specialized in management and organizational behavior in intercultural and international environments. She also has an M.A. in European Studies from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and works as an Intercultural Communication and Global Skills lecturer at Universidad Nebrija and as a consultant and intercultural trainer for business organizations.


    *Course content subject to change. Please contact your ISA Site Specialist for more information.

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Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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