0114 Intercultural Business Communication
Univ.Prof. Dr. Nadine Thielemann, M.A.
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/09/20 to 10/10/20
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 10/13/20 03:30 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 10/20/20 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 10/27/20 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 11/03/20 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 11/10/20 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 11/17/20 03:30 PM - 06:30 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 11/24/20 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 12/01/20 03:30 PM - 06:30 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 12/15/20 03:30 PM - 06:30 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 12/22/20 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM Online-Einheit
Procedure for the course when limited activity on campus

The course will be taught in distance mode

Follow this link to TEAMS -



The course examines the complex relationship between language, communication and culture and equips students with a comprehensive understanding of how the cultural backgrounds of communication partners influence communication and interaction processes in business settings.

The course covers several topic areas. In the introductory part of the course, different concepts of culture and communication and their interdependence are discussed. Students are also introduced to various communication theories and models as well as to some important issues in intercultural business communication, such as rapport management, linguistic and cultural diversity, impression management, multilingualism and language management. By drawing on authentic examples of communicative events and texts (e.g. advertisements, job interviews, job application documents), various aspects of cross-cultural advertising and recruitment practices will be examined from a linguistic and communicative point of view. In addition, a special emphasis is placed on multilingualism and multiculturalism in organizations. In particular, students will discuss a range of diverse measures within a specific language management strategy (e.g. lingua franca, intercomprehension and receptive multilingualism, the use of interpreting and translation services). There is also a session devoted to intercultural trainings where students will gain valuable insights into theoretical foundations of intercultural training and learn to evaluate the quality of various intercultural training offers.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, participants will be able to assess the impact of cultural and linguistic diversity on business communication. Additionally, students will acquire the skills needed to make informed decisions about language management strategies in various international business contexts. As a result, students will be better prepared for today’s increasingly diverse and complex globalized business communication environment.

Attendance requirements

Students are expected to attend all timetabled classes (max. 1 absence)

Teaching/learning method(s)

- input (lecture style)

- discussion of case studies in groups

- home readings

- work on a group project


Assessment is based on the following components:

o In-class participation  20%

o Response paper  ( ) (2000-3000 words)  40 %

The course reader includes several texts (including questions) from which students choose one in order to write a short paper (in a reflective and argumentative style).

o Group project (oral presentation & short written summary/executive summary)  40%

A group of 3-5 students will collaboratively work on a small research project (all group members will receive the same grade) on a topic related to the course (cf. part II in the Reader).

100-90 - "sehr gut", 89-80 - "gut", 79-70 - "befriedigend", 69-60 - "genügend". Less than 60 - "nicht genügend".


Availability of lecturer(s)

Mi 11-12 h,  virtuell / telefonisch

Unit details
Unit Date Contents

What is culture?

intercultural simulation

course aims & content


conceptualizing culture in anthropology and social psychology (values, behavioral standards etc.)

intersectionality and multicollectivity


conceptualizing culture in linguistics and communication studies

rich points and hot spots in intecultural communication

rapport management in intercultural business communication and beyond


research project (I) - introduction

- finding & determining a research question

- data & method

After this session each project group will develop a time schedule for their project which sepcifies the tasks and allocates them to them team members and submit it to the instructor!


language management and multilingualism in organisations


applying  across cultures (culturally coined strategies in application documents, communicative styles in job interviews)


coaching sessions - research project (II) - groups discuss their project outline (research question, access to field etc.) with the instructor (20-30 min slots) - all participants can follow the counselling of individual groups and learn from their experiences / the discussion of their projects!

In preparation please send me the link to the document which includes the basic information of your group project (i.e. research question & short description of the field and why the research question is relevant, your interview guide (cf. slides, Lives & Legacies, e-learning tool Ruhr Uni Bochum) and a list of five interviewees (pseudonymized) including their sociodemographic characteristics. I'll insert the links her so that all course participants can follow the discussion. You can orient to this pattern here and use and etherpad (but keep a back-up)!

1.) TEAM Bonomo

2.) TEAM Kaiwan Raeis

3.) TEAM Glaser

4.) TEAM Mühl

5.) TEAM Tulej



coaching sessions - research project (III) - groups discuss the progress of their project (data processing and analysis) with the instructor (20-30 min slots)

In case you are confronted with a specific problem or challenge, please put it in an online document (etherpad, google drive, one drive or whatever format / provider you prefer) and send me the link. I'll include this link here, so that all participants can easily follow the discussion.








intercultural trainings (demands, formats)


Groups present the results of their research projects in the plenary (20 min slots) (powerpoint presentation and written summary (2 pages in the style of an executive summary))







Last edited: 2020-12-22