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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: 
Marit Sjøvaag
Product category: 
Bachelor
Portfolio: 
Bachelor of International Marketing - Programme Courses
Semester: 
2019 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

This course is relevant for people who plan to do business in an international, multi-cultural context and who would like more insight into the ethics of business.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  1. Intercultural awareness. Students will acquire knowledge of a broad 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). Using these ideas and through a process of self-reflection, students are expected to acquire an awareness of how cultural patterns of thinking can influence one’s experience of a given, business situation. To aid them in this process, the supplementary reading list (see below) provides students with an opportunity 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.  Students are also expected to acquire a critical awareness of the scientific challenges in the field of intercultural awareness. 
  2. Ethical awareness. Recognising its limited time in the course, 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. Additionally, students will be able to use theoretical ideas to explore how people with different cultural assumptions might choose to practice common business activities. In doing so, they will also be able to reflect upon their own academic practice.
  2. Ethical awareness. Students will apply ethical theory to practical 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.
General Competence

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, and to be able to communicate these effectively in writing .

Course content

1. Intercultural Communication

The syllabus materials 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). The supplementary reading list (see below) provides students with an opportunity 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 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.

Teaching and learning activities

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 use.

The course is designed to provide 65 hours of contact (13 weeks at 5 hours per week) of varying form between faculty and students. The delivery of these learning opportunities is organized to be the same across the four physical campuses, running from 9:00 am to 13:45 pm as follows:

  1. 13 2-hour lectures delivered by a member of faculty.
  2. 13 2-hour problem-solving workshops at which a member of faculty and student learning assistants are available to support student learning.
  3. 13 1-hour national webinars in which a member of faculty discusses how to solve the problem from the workshop and students can submit questions into the webinar chat room.

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 three voluntary writing assignments and it allocates faculty and student learning assistant resources to providing students with written feedback on them. 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.

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
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
100
Workload activityDurationType of durationComment student effort
Teaching26Hour(s)Ordinary classes
Other in classroom26Hour(s)Problem solving with professional support in class.
Prepare for teaching40Hour(s)Writing assignments & checklist assessment
Group work / Assignments35Hour(s)Writing assignments & checklist assessment
Webinar2Hour(s)National Webinar
Self study63Hour(s)Contextualization of feedback
Examination8Hour(s)Contextualization of feedback
Expected student effort:
Workload activity:Teaching
Duration:26 Hour(s)
Comment:Ordinary classes
Workload activity:Other in classroom
Duration:26 Hour(s)
Comment:Problem solving with professional support in class.
Workload activity:Prepare for teaching
Duration:40 Hour(s)
Comment:Writing assignments & checklist assessment
Workload activity:Group work / Assignments
Duration:35 Hour(s)
Comment:Writing assignments & checklist assessment
Workload activity:Webinar
Duration:2 Hour(s)
Comment:National Webinar
Workload activity:Self study
Duration:63 Hour(s)
Comment:Contextualization of feedback
Workload activity:Examination
Duration:8 Hour(s)
Comment:Contextualization of feedback
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.