MAN-30056 - Comparative Business Cultures
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733094

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

Much of the literature on business culture presents and promotes standardised approaches to doing business in the globalised world. This module opens up this unhelpful and homogenised view of business culture by focusing on the difference and diversity of business cultures across the world. The module offers a sophisticated introduction to theoretical perspectives on management in the context of globalisation, and considers international business cultures with reference to theories and typologies of organisational and national culture.

To interpret the role that culture plays in the international operation of business.
To explore how distinctive business cultures emerge.
To examine the relative strengths and weaknesses of diverse business cultures.
To assess and appraise the social, political, economic, institutional, ethical and technological factors that shape business cultures across time and space.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Identify and explain the emergence of distinctive business cultures: 1,2
Critically evaluate what constitutes a business culture and how it can be defined and assessed, using contemporary literature on national and organisational culture: 1,2
Critically analyse successful business cultures to assess what constitutes "success" in given cases: 1,2
Relate existing theoretical literature on business culture to different practical settings: 1,2
Develop a practical insight to working internationally, including expatriatism and managing culturally diverse organisations and teams: 1,2

Study hours

23 hours of scheduled learning: lectures (10x1hrs), tutorials (10x1hrs), staff-group project meetings (3hrs)
30 hours of group work
94 hours of private study and preparation
3 hours exam

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Group Project weighted 50%
Group project to produce a 10 minute online video, to show in class and followed by questions
Students work in groups of 4-6 and act as consultants to analyse the cultural issues within a business case for overseas expansion developed by collaborating students at an overseas partner university. From this they create and produce an online video presentation. The project demands virtual cross-cultural teamwork with the partner university students acting, effectively, as clients. The video will be developed collaboratively within the groups, with a maximum length of 10 minutes, and with some input by collaborating students. The video will be shown in classes, with 10 minutes further discussion, questions and answers. The video should provide an executive briefing to the clients and the rest of the class, who may know little or nothing the specific business case. An overall group mark will be awarded and indicated to all group members, but individual marks may be adjusted subject to student peer review. Peer review involves each student completing a simple half-page form where they are asked if the mark should be equally shared amongst all group members or not, and scoring the contribution of their fellow group members. Adjustments, if needed, are normally marginal, within a maximum of 4-5 percentage points, unless it is apparent there has been very minimal or no contribution by a particular group member.

2: Exam weighted 50%
Online 3 hour exam - maximum of 1500 words, with time limit of 24 hours.
An online single compulsory question exam with the question released online at 10:00AM, and electronic online submission of script within 24 hours, deadline of 10:00AM the following morning. The exam equivalent of three hour in duration, with an absolute maximum word limit of 1500 words.