1728 Intercultural Business Communication
Univ.Prof. Dr. Nadine Thielemann, M.A.
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/25/23 to 10/06/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 10/10/23 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM TC.5.14
Tuesday 10/17/23 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM TC.5.14
Tuesday 10/24/23 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM TC.5.14
Tuesday 10/31/23 08:00 AM - 10:45 AM TC.5.14
Tuesday 11/07/23 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM TC.5.14
Tuesday 11/14/23 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM TC.5.14
Tuesday 11/21/23 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM TC.5.14
Tuesday 11/28/23 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM TC.5.14
Tuesday 12/05/23 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM TC.5.14
Tuesday 12/12/23 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM TC.5.14
Tuesday 01/09/24 08:00 AM - 10:00 AM TC.5.14

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. 2 absence, PI - 80 % attendance)

Teaching/learning method(s)

- input (lecture style)

- discussion of case studies in groups

- home readings

- diverse activities & interactive tasks (simulations etc.)

- work on a group project



Assessment is based on the following components (the Reader includes information about the assigments and instructions) - deadlines specified in the syllabus:

o In-class participation (writing assignment 1 & 2 (see also Reader), additional reading)  20%

o Response paper  (2000 words)  40 %

The course reader includes more information about the the genre!

o Group project (see Reader for more information) (developing a research question and a suitable interview guide 10 % - interviewing & transcription & qualitative analysis 15 % oral presentation & written summary - 15 %)  

A group of 4-6 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".

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Availability of lecturer(s)

by appointment

Unit details
Unit Date Contents
1 1

What is intercultural communication?

intercultural simulation

course aims & content

2 2

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

intersectionality and multicollectivity

3 3

conceptualizing culture in linguistics and communication studies

rich points and hot spots in intercultural communication

rapport management in intercultural business communication and beyond

Deadline: Writing Assigment 1

4 4

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 specifies the tasks and allocates them to them team members!

====== deadline ====== Submission of Response Papers =========================

5 5

language management and multilingualism in organisations

6 6

coaching sessions - research project (II) - groups discuss their project outline (research question, access to field etc.) - peer-to-peer feedback on the uploaded project sketches (incl. interview guides)

In preparation please upload your interview guide (cf. slides, Lives & Legacies, e-learning tool Ruhr Uni Bochum) including the basic information of your group project (i.e. research question & short description of the field and why the research question is relevant) and a list of six interviewees (pseudonymized) including their sociodemographic characteristics. You can orient yourselves to the pattern in the Reader (pp. 9-10)!





7 7

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!

Please only do the second Writing Assigment after having conducted an interview!

8 8

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

9 9

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



10 10

intercultural trainings (demands, formats)

11 11

Groups present the results of their research projects in the plenary (20 min slots) and moderate the discussion (10 min)

Do not forget to upload your project summary, latest a week after your group presentation!


Last edited: 2023-10-26