International Cultural Competence in International Business Education: The Need to Respond

By Ina Freeman and Irina Andreeva-Sussin.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With the ever-increasing global focus of international commerce, business schools are responding by including courses in various aspects of international business. Students are taught of the intricacies of international finance, human resources, management, marketing, and operations based on national and international practices. Students know the bodies that spearhead globalization including the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, and the World Bank. But nation states have not vanished; instead cultures are today demanding more attention than any other time in the past century. Because of this, members of expatriate communities will tell you that successful business practices depend upon the development and deployment of skills that are not taught in many business schools. These skills include the mechanisms, competencies, and sensitivities needed to respond to polymorphism or heteroglossia as defined by Bakhtin (1981). Polymorphism is the study of the multiple co-existing realities that deny the existence of polar opposites. Instead, polymorphism looks to creating the spaces that foster communication. This is external, or between or among two or more individuals, as well as internal, or the dialogue one conducts with one’s self. Culture impacts on both the external and the internal communication and is multifaceted; that is the communication uses all the senses of the body, not only vocal and aural.
Initiating interest encourages the students’ to continue toward the dynamic interaction that is required in an intercultural environment. That is, tertiary educational institutions foster the acknowledgement and exploration of national and global tendencies. Using this approach, students may be able to understand cultural dynamics and implement and enhance their learnings when facing an intercultural experience. Innovative methodologies are then discussed that have been used to facilitate the intercultural learnings of students.
Bakhtin, M.M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Edited by Michael Holquist, Austin: University of Texas Press.

Keywords: Tertiary Education, Sustainable development, Intercultural competence

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.355-370. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 633.138KB).

Dr. Ina Freeman

Associate Professor, Marketing Department, Groupe Sup de Co, La Rochelle/CEREGE, La Rochelle, France

Ina Freeman, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Groupe Sup de Co, La Rochelle/CEREGE, France. She has taught international commerce and marketing on three continents. Her current research is into the quality of education and education evaluation, the psychology of marketing, and international commerce.

Dr. Irina Andreeva-Sussin

Associate Professor, Language Department, Groupe Sup de Co, La Rochelle/CEREGE, La Rochelle, France

Irina Sussin, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Groupe Sup de Co, La Rochelle/CEREGE, France. She heads the languages department within the school. Her current research is devoted to the intercultural methodologies of language pedagogy.


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