Intercultural Communication

Universidad EAFIT

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Intercultural Communication

  • Host University

    Universidad EAFIT

  • Location

    Medellín, Colombia

  • Area of Study

    Business Administration, Communication Studies, 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

    The implementation of internationalization strategies by private and public
    organizations has brought to light the relevance of interpreting international context
    elements. Among all elements coordinating, supporting and managing this kind of
    processes the cultural sphere is one of the most complex element to understand
    Thus, the efficiency in managing internationalization strategies, as well as the
    diversification of international relations hangs heavily on developing cultural
    intelligence skills. These skills allow the interpretation of implicit knowledge myths,
    believes, values, rituals as well as the explicit knowledge negotiation styles, business
    etiquette, organization structures in other words, cultural elements.

    The ongoing globalization processes as well as the population diversity at the
    workplace lead managers to be more sensible and aware of cultural merits in
    international business. This sensibility can turn future challenges into opportunities
    within a global business context. This intercultural communication course has been
    thought for students to develop their social and communicational skills to identify,
    understand and face the challenges generated in a multicultural and multilingual
    international business context.
    This program also seeks for students to handle several cultural implications within
    effective communication in aspects such as: management and leadership so they can
    access the knowledge to develop international management practices in multilateral
    For students to identify cultural elements embedded in human communication. Going
    through a general analysis of cultural traits across the main regions of the world
    Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and America students will be able to put into practice
    theories, concepts and ideas to develop a critical thinking approach upon their own
    Specific objectives
    • To integrate cultural dimensions in international business negotiations.
    • To be familiar with the main thinking streams in cultural studies especially within
    the western tradition.
    • To understand communication as a complex system and its integrative
    • To recognize implications of verbal and nonverbal communication as part of the
    social construct called cultural identity and its influence in multicultural business
    • To embrace the multilingual character of communication for business and
    organizations in their internationalization strategies.
    • To recognize the impact of the Information and Communication Technologies
    for the multiple communication processes in international business.
    1. Culture and its definions
    key study points
    • Relevant definitions of culture in the western world
    • Cultural identity process
    • Iceberg or Onion models of culture
    • The punctuation principle
    • Organizations, cultures and international relations.
    Specific Objective:
    To get a better understanding on the definition of culture and how cultural identities
    are being formed.
    Learning strategies:
    Workshops and activities for students to identify their own cultural identities.
    • Deresky, Helen. (2006). Understanding the role of culture. Prentice Hall (Eds),
    International Management (pp. 79-115). New Jersey, NJ.
    • Leung, Kwok. (2005). Culture and international business: recent advances and
    their implications for future Research. Journal of International Business
    Studies, 36, 357–378.
    • Klyukanov, I. (2005). Principles of Intercultural Communication: Pearson A and
    B, chapter 1: Creating Cultural Boundaries: Punctuation Principle
    • Moll, M. (2012). The Quintessence of Intercultural Business Communication.
    Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. Retrieved from
    2. An overview on the spheres shaped by culture
    Key study points
    • Family
    • Gender roles
    • Age.
    • History.
    • Religion.
    • Brief explanation on Christianism, Judaism, Islamism, Hinduism, Budism and
    (Jimmy Nelson) Before they passed away.
    Specific Objective:
    To gain a better understanding on the mayor regions of the world according to their
    mainstream religions.

    Learning strategies:
    Research and presentations done by students.
    • Bolten, Jurgen. (1993). Life-World Games: the theoretical foundations of
    training courses in intercultural communication. European Journal of Education,
    28 (3).
    • Dallmayr, Fred. (2009). Hermeneutics and inter-cultural dialog: linking theory
    and practice. Ethics & Global Politics, 2, (1), 23-39.
    • Walton, D. (2007). Introducing Cultural studies learning through practice. SAGE
    Publications, chapter 7: Introducing Stuart Hall: The importance and reevaluation
    of Popular Mass Culture.
    3. Communication.
    Key study points
    • Human communication
    • A contextual model of Intercultural Communication
    • The cultural context
    • individualism
    • Collectivism
    • Perceptual context
    • Stereotypes
    • Human information processing
    Specific Objective:
    Explore in depth the concept of communication and its dimensions such as the
    cultural and perceptual dimensions revealing a series of essential aspects to
    identify in international business.
    Learning strategies:
    Global simulation method
    • Landis, D., Bennet, J. M., & Bennet, M. J. (2004). Handbook of Intercultural
    Training. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, chapter 9: Translating conflict
    face-negotiation theory into practice.
    • Klyukanov, I. (2005). Principles of Intercultural Communication: Pearson A and
    B, chapter 7: Dynamics of intercultural communication: Pendulum Principle.
    4. Language and Culture
    Key study points:
    • Verbal code
    • Symbols
    • Syntax and universal grammar
    • Contextual styles
    Specific Objective:
    To understand the importance of language in human communication to use it in
    international negotiations.
    Learning strategies:
    • Neulip, J. W. (2015). Intercultural communication: a contextual approach.
    Thousand Oaks: Sage, chapter 7: The verbal code.
    • Sinor, D. (1995). Languages and Cultural Interchange along the Silk Roads.
    Diogenes, 43(171), 1-13. doi:10.1177/039219219504317102
    • Jandt, F. E. (2012). An introduction to intercultural communication: identities in
    a global community 7th edition. Thousand Oaks, California, United States of
    America: Sage Publications, Inc., chapter 10: Culture and Gender.
    • Landis, D., Bennet, J. M., & Bennet, M. J. (2004). Handbook of Intercultural
    Training. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, chapter 6: Developing
    Intercultural Sensitivity.
    5. Non-verbal communication
    Key study points
    • Code systems
    • Kinesics, Occulesics, Haptics
    • Paralanguage
    • Power distance
    • High and low context
    Specific Objective:
    To understand the importance of nonverbal communication in human
    communication and use it in international negotiations.
    Learning strategies:
    Case study
    • Neulip, J. W. (2015). Intercultural communication: a contextual approach.
    Thousand Oaks: Sage, Chapter 8: The nonverbal code.
    • Schinckus, C. (2010). Semiotics of Financial Marketplace. Journal of
    Interdisciplinary Economics, 22(4), 317-333.
    • Martin, I. M., Stewart, D. W., & Matta, S. (2005). Branding strategies, marketing
    communication, and perceived brand meaning: The transfer of purposive, goaloriented
    brand meaning to brand extensions. Journal of the Academy of
    Marketing Science, 33(3), 275-294. doi:10.1177/0092070304271197
    6. Language in International Business
    Key study points
    • The role of language in IB
    • Language and internationalization processes
    • Levels of communication in IB
    Specific Objective:
    To recognize the central role of language in IB especially in internationalization
    Learning strategies:
    Case study
    • Welch, D. E., Welch, L. S., & Marschan-Piekkari, R. (2001). The Persistent
    Impact of Language on Global Operations. Prometheus, 19(3), 193-209.
    • Brannen, M. Y., Piekkari, R., & Tietze, S. (2014). The multifaceted role of
    language in international business: Unpacking the forms, functions and features
    of a critical challenge to MNC theory and performance. 45(5), 495-507.
    7. Communication Management
    Key study points
    • Why is Communication Management important in IB
    • To learn how to design a CS in International Organizations
    • To identify the main elements on a Communication Strategy for an
    International Organization.
    Specific Objective:
    To develop a Communication Plan draft for an International Organization.
    Learning strategies:
    • Grosse, C. U. (2002). Managing Communication within Virtual Intercultural
    Teams. Business Communication Quarterly, 65(4), 22-38.
    • Hamacher, B. (2008). Intercultural Communication Management and Lean
    Global Supply Chains. In T. Koch (Ed.), Lean Business Systems and Beyond
    (pp. 365-372). Boston, MA: Springer US.
    • Landis, D., Bennet, J. M., & Bennet, M. J. (2004). Handbook of Intercultural
    Training. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, chapter 4: Instrumentation in
    Intercultural Training.
    8. Multiculturality and Multilingualism in IB
    Key study points
    • The multicultural factor in International Business
    • The multilingual factor in International Business
    • Translation and Interpreting issues in IB communication
    • EU as a laboratory of multilingualism in international governance.
    Specific Objective:
    To recognize IB communication as a multiannual phenomenon along with its
    implications in international relations, governance and business.
    Learning strategies:
    • Chen, S., Geluykens, R., & Choi, C. J. (2006). The importance of language in
    global teams: A linguistic perspective. Management International Review, 46(6),
    679. doi:10.1007/s11575-006-0122-6
    • Luo, Y. D., & Shenkar, O. (2006). The multinational corporation as a multilingual
    community: Language and organization in a global context. Journal of
    International Business Studies, 37(3), 321-339.
    9. ICTs in IB
    Key study points:
    • Terminology and specialized communication
    • The role of terminology in IB
    • Terminology databases
    • Thesauri and ontologies
    • IB specialized vocabulary
    Specific Objective:
    To understand the importance of terminology for an accurate and effective
    communication in International Business.
    Learning strategies:
    • Qin, Z., Chang, Y., Li, S., & Li, F. (2014). E-Commerce Strategy of Industries.
    In E-Commerce Strategy (pp. 151-206). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin
    • Introduction to the Semantic Web. (2006). In Semantic Web and Education (pp.
    29-69). Boston, MA: Springer US.
    • Davies, J., & Warren, P. (2011). Knowledge Management in Large
    Organizations. In J. Domingue, D. Fensel, & J. A. Hendler (Eds.), Handbook of
    Semantic Web Technologies (pp. 737-786). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin
    • Oral Presentations
    • Workshop
    • Global Simulation
    • Case study





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