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SPÅ 2901 Business Communication - Culture and Ethics

SPÅ 2901 Business Communication - Culture and Ethics

Course code: 
SPÅ 2901
Department: 
Communication and Culture
Credits: 
7.5
Course coordinator: 
Mark Brown
Product category: 
Bachelor
Portfolio: 
Bachelor of Business Administration - Programme Courses
Semester: 
2018 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

This course is relevant for people who plan to do business internationally and who would like more insight into the ethics of business.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  1. Intercultural awareness. Students will acquire knowledge of a portfolio of theoretical ideas within the field of intercultural awareness. They are supplied from the work of Gesteland, Hall, Hofstede, Trompenaars and the GLOBE project and are presented in detail in the required reading list (see below). In addition, students are expected to acquire a rudimentary knowledge of the characteristics of the national business cultures of Norway and six important trading partners of Norway: USA, Germany, France, UK, Japan and China.
  2. Ethical awareness. Students will acquire knowledge of a small number of ethical ideas such as consequentialism and deontology which provide alternative approaches to making decisions on ethical as opposed to self-interested grounds. These ideas are also presented in detail in the required reading list (see below).   
Learning outcomes - Skills
  1. Intercultural awareness. Students will be able to apply intercultural theories to specific communicative situations. By identifying evidence in the communicative situation that supports the relevance of a particular theoretical idea and then combining evidence with theory, they will make plausible interpretations of what, they believe participants may be thinking. In doing so, they will create a better understanding of the situation.
  2. Ethical awareness.  Students will apply ethical theory to everyday business situations and challenges which require more complicated decision-making criteria than that of simple self-interest.
  3. Writing business English. Students will be able to use various electronic tools to aid them in the task of producing English text of a sufficient quality of accuracy and formality that it communicates meaning effectively to a reader. Students will practice writing in the following formats: (1) essays (2) a short business report, (3)  a business letter and (4) a formal business email. For further information about the level of skill in writing English, students are referred to the SPÅ 2901 examination grading guidelines.  
Learning Outcome - Reflection

Students will be able to demonstrate an ability to work scientifically, distinguishing between categories of knowledge such as theory, empirical knowledge, taxonomies of (cultural) behaviour, culture as patterns of thinking, and interpretation. Consistent with the limitations of this branch of science, students should be able to demonstrate a reflective, critical attitude to their own interpretive processes both in the application of intercultural theories and also ethical theories.

Course content

1. Intercultural Communication

The syllabus materials (details below) will present students with a portfolio of theoretical ideas within the field of intercultural awareness. They are supplied from the work of Gesteland, Hall, Hofstede, Trompenaars and the GLOBE project and are presented in detail in the required reading list (see below). In addition, students are expected to acquire a rudimentary knowledge of the characteristics of the national business cultures of Norway and six important trading partners of Norway: USA, Germany, France, UK, Japan and China.T

2. Ethical Dilemmas

The syllabus materials (details below) will present students with a selection of ethical decision-making tools. Students are expected to learn these ideas and to then practise using them in business situations in which simple economic models of utility maximization are not sufficient.

Learning process and requirements to students

The course has no formal requirements in order to take the exam.

The course provides a variety of different learning opportunities to help students make progress in their particular learning journey. Students should acquire an overview of the learning opportunities available at their campus at the start of the semester. They will then be able to plan which of these resources they wish to make most use of: 

  • The course is designed to provide 25 hours of physical contact between faculty and students. How these hours are organized, in practice, may vary from campus to campus as local faculty and BI administration seek to maximize the learning opportunities of students. There may, for example, be a mixture of auditorium-based lectures, classroom teaching with student-centred activities and also seminars with experienced student tutors in attendance to support learning. Webinars are also provided for students nationally.
  • One of the most important factors in supporting student learning is being able to give students timely feedback on their attempts to learn. The course has regular writing assignments and it allocates considerable faculty resources to providing students with written feedback on assignments. The chance to practise writing business English and to improve over the course of the semester is a learning opportunity of which students should take advantage. One of the assignments is a trial exam which is offered during the latter stages of the course. Students do this assignment individually and receive a grade on their script to give them an impression of how they are doing.

When the course is delivered online, the lecturer, in cooperation with the Academic Services Network, will organize an appropriate combination of digital teaching and lectures. Online students are also offered a study guide to contribute to progression and overview. The total recommended time spent for completing the course also applies here.

Software tools

The exam (see details below) is a digital, home exam and students submit their written, English examination script in pdf format through the BI Digi-ex portal. Reflecting their future working situation, students are expected to learn how to take advantage of software tools that can help them improve the accuracy and quality of their written English. Tools such as Google translate and the functions in Microsoft Word are able to help students to choose vocabulary and remove mistakes from their texts. Examiners will expect students to make use of these tools and will, for example, be critical of simple spelling mistakes.  

E-Learning

In course delivery as online courses, lecturer will, in collaboration with the student administration, organize an appropriate course implementation, combining different learning activities and digital elements on the learning platform. Online students are also offered a study guide that will contribute to progression and overview. Total recommended time spent for completing the course also applies here.

Software tools
Software defined under the section "Teaching and learning activities".
Additional information

The examiners have a set of general grading guidelines for the exam. These will be made available for the students when the course starts.

Qualifications

Higher Education Entrance Qualification

Required prerequisite knowledge

English from upper secondary school or equivalent.

Mandatory courseworkCourseworks givenCourseworks requiredComment coursework
Voluntary Written assignments
Mandatory coursework:
Mandatory coursework:Voluntary
Courseworks given:
Courseworks required:
Comment coursework:Written assignments
Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
SPÅ 29011
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
Examination every semester
100No8 Hour(s)Individual The exam takes place on a single day at the end of the teaching semester. Students are free to take the exam from anywhere they wish to be on that day. At a pre-arranged time decided by the BI exam office, the exam paper is made available to all students electronically through BI’s Digi-ex system. Students write their answers on a PC. Students must prepare their scripts according to the standard BI guidelines for digital submission. These can be found at: https://at.bi.no/NO/atbi/eksamen/digital-eksamen/digital-innlevering/eksamensbesvarelsen. Students must limit the number of words in their scripts to the amount stipulated by the examiners in the question. Students are required to submit their written exam script in pdf format within the 8-hour deadline set by the BI exam office.
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:100
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration:8 Hour(s)
Comment:The exam takes place on a single day at the end of the teaching semester. Students are free to take the exam from anywhere they wish to be on that day. At a pre-arranged time decided by the BI exam office, the exam paper is made available to all students electronically through BI’s Digi-ex system. Students write their answers on a PC. Students must prepare their scripts according to the standard BI guidelines for digital submission. These can be found at: https://at.bi.no/NO/atbi/eksamen/digital-eksamen/digital-innlevering/eksamensbesvarelsen. Students must limit the number of words in their scripts to the amount stipulated by the examiners in the question. Students are required to submit their written exam script in pdf format within the 8-hour deadline set by the BI exam office.
Exam code: SPÅ 29011
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination every semester
Exam organisation: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
100
Workload activityDurationType of durationComment student effort
Teaching25Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching40Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments35Hour(s)Writing assignments & checklist assessment
Webinar20Hour(s)
Self study40Hour(s)
Self study10Hour(s)Contextualization of feedback
Self study22Hour(s)Examination preparation
Examination8Hour(s)
Expected student effort:
Workload activity:Teaching
Duration:25 Hour(s)
Comment:
Workload activity:Prepare for teaching
Duration:40 Hour(s)
Comment:
Workload activity:Group work / Assignments
Duration:35 Hour(s)
Comment:Writing assignments & checklist assessment
Workload activity:Webinar
Duration:20 Hour(s)
Comment:
Workload activity:Self study
Duration:40 Hour(s)
Comment:
Workload activity:Self study
Duration:10 Hour(s)
Comment:Contextualization of feedback
Workload activity:Self study
Duration:22 Hour(s)
Comment:Examination preparation
Workload activity:Examination
Duration:8 Hour(s)
Comment:
Sum workload: 
200

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.

Talis literature

Obligatorisk/Compulsory

Chapter
Authors/Editors År Tittel Journal Edition Publisher StudentNote
Richard R. Gesteland   Patterns of cross-cultural business behavior Patterns of cross-cultural business behavior     p. 21-22.
Gesteland, Richard R.   Nonverbal communication (body language) Nonverbal communication (body language)     p. 73-85.
Gesteland, Richard R.   Time and scheduling Time and scheduling     p. 63-71.
Gesteland, Richard R.   Hierarchial (Formal) and Egalitarian (Informal) business cultures Hierarchial (Formal) and Egalitarian (Informal) business cultures     p. 51-62.
Gesteland, Richard R.   Communicating across the great divide Communicating across the great divide     p. 39-49.
Gesteland, Richard R.   Deal first or relationship first? Deal first or relationship first?     p. 33-37.
Richard R. Gesteland   The great divide between business cultures The great divide between business cultures     p. 25-32.
Hofstede, Geert   More equal than others More equal than others     p. 53-61, 73-75 + Table 3.4 (p.76).
Hofstede, Geert   I, we and they I, we and they     p. 89-97 + Table 4.1; p. 119-124 (from the section Individualism and Collectivism in the Workplace).
Hofstede, Geert   What is different is dangerous What is different is dangerous     p. 187-194 + Table 6.1; p. 208-213 (the secton Uncertainty Avoidance in the Workplace).
Trompenaars, Fons   Relationships and rules Relationships and rules     p. 39-50 + the tables on p. 62-63.
Trompenaars, Fons   How we accord status How we accord status     p. 125-132 + tables on p. 144-145.
Trompenaars, Fons   How we relate to nature How we relate to nature     p. 173-176; p. 189-191.
Den Hartog, Deanne N.   Assertiveness Assertiveness     p. 158-168
Javidan, Mansour   Performance orientation Performance orientation     p. 128-141
Emrich, Cynthia G.; Denmark, Florence L.; Den Hartog, Deanne N.   Cross-cultural differences in gender egalitarianism : implications for societies, organizations, and leaders Cross-cultural differences in gender egalitarianism : implications for societies, organizations, and leaders     p. 142-157
Gao, Ge; Ting-Toomey, Stella   Self-other perspective and communication Self-other perspective and communication     p. 1-19.
Donaldson, Thomas; Werhane, Patricia H.   Introduction to ethical reasoning Introduction to ethical reasoning      
Article
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
Warner-Söderholm, Gillian   Global vs. local communication and cultural patterns : regional differences in the Norwegian business culture     Published in Norwegian in Magma 03-2010.
Kvalnes, Øyvind; Øverenget, Einar 2012-05-16 Ethical Navigation in Leadership Training      
Heath, Joseph 2008-12 Business Ethics and Moral Motivation: A Criminological Perspective      
Document
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
    Introduction      
    Introduction      
Audio-visual document
Authors/Editors Tittel Journal URL Publisher StudentNote
  Obligatory audio slides - Gesteland Theory. Published in SPÅ 2901 Digital Learning Arena (DLA) on Itslearning Obligatory audio slides - Gesteland Theory. Published in SPÅ 2901 Digital Learning Arena (DLA) on Itslearning Resource   Its Learning under Learning Syllabus 2.6

Anbefalt/Recommended

Book
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
    En engelsk-engelsk ordbok, for eksempel: Collins Cobuild, Longman, Webster's eller Oxford      
    En tospråklig ordbok      
Brown, Mark; Cleaverley, Peter 2010 Three ethical dilemmas for discussion and writing practice: student handbook   BI Norwegian School of Management, Institute of Communication , Culture and Languages  
Journal
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote
    Journals: The Economist, Newsweek or Time      

No importance set

Audio-visual document
Authors/Editors Tittel Journal URL Publisher StudentNote
  Obligatory audio slides - 7 national business cultures. Published in SPÅ 2901 Digital Learning Arena (DLA) on Itslearning. Obligatory audio slides - 7 national business cultures. Published in SPÅ 2901 Digital Learning Arena (DLA) on Itslearning. Resource    
  Obligatory audio slides - Hofstede Theory. Published in SPÅ 2901 Digital Learning Arena (DLA) on Itslearning Obligatory audio slides - Hofstede Theory. Published in SPÅ 2901 Digital Learning Arena (DLA) on Itslearning Resource    
  Obligatory audio slides - Trompenaars Theory. Published in SPÅ 2901 Digital Learning Arena (DLA) on Itslearning Obligatory audio slides - Trompenaars Theory. Published in SPÅ 2901 Digital Learning Arena (DLA) on Itslearning Resource    
  Obligatory audio slides - GLOBE Theory. Published in SPÅ 2901 Digital Learning Arena (DLA) on Itslearning Obligatory audio slides - GLOBE Theory. Published in SPÅ 2901 Digital Learning Arena (DLA) on Itslearning Resource    
No type set
Authors/Editors År Tittel Edition Publisher StudentNote

Notes to students:

 

 

You can obtain information about how this syllabus material relates to your achievement of the course's intended learning outcomes in the SPÅ 2901 Digital Learning Arena (nasjonalt kursrom). In the first, (level 1) folder, "About the course", video 1.6 explains how you can best use the items in this compulsory literature in your learning progression through the semester. The link to the SPÅ 2901 DLA is here: https://www.itslearning.com/ContentArea/ContentArea.aspx?LocationID=13376&LocationType=1

Notes to students:

If you experience any problems in accessing the electronic resources, you can contact the BI library: library@bi.no, 46410250 during opening hours.