This subject is designed to explore cross-boundary international
business communication styles, methods and procedures. An
accent is placed on the effects of culture and the rapid move
towards globalisation. Although the direction is international, a
focus is made on the regions of Australia, Japan, and South
This subject is multi-disciplinary and has been designed to allow students to
investigate the procedures, methods and styles of international business
communication from a number of perspectives. Accordingly, the subject draws its’
content from the following related fields of research:
♦ intercultural communication
♦ business communication
♦ information technology, and :
The design of the subject also acknowledges that each of these aspects is interlinked
with the other and thus cannot be analysed in a vacuum. As a result, ‘International
Business Communication’ (Victor, 1992), has been chosen as the prescribed text.
This text outlines a rational approach to the study of international business
communication around which the subject can be structured and from which further
practical investigation and analysis can be pursued. Victor outlines 7 factors that shift
across cultures in a business setting namely:
♦ environment and technology
♦ social organisation
♦ authority conception
♦ nonverbal communication
♦ temporal conception
This basic structure (or ‘LESCANT’ approach) will be complimented in each module
by specialist research and practical investigation and assessment.
In addition, the subject includes a separate module focussing on the specific cultural
and communication issues within the context of Australia/Asian business relationship.
More specifically, there is a focus on intercultural and business communication with
Japan. Students will be encouraged to apply the general intercultural business
communication theory, as outlined in the LESCANT approach, with this more
specific Asian focus.
TEACHING AND LEARNING
Techniques and Strategies
Teaching and learning will be conducted through:
♦ face-to-face seminars
♦ web based readings, resources, and activities
♦ directed readings
♦ group projects centered on application of theory to practical situations
• The meaning of culture
• Culture in a communication context
The LESCANT approach as a basic structure.
Seven factors that shift across cultures in a business setting.
• Environment and Technology
• Social Organisation
• Authority Conception
• Nonverbal Communication
• Temporal Communication
Australian – Asian Cultural and Communication Issues in a Business Context.
• Business etiquette
• Technology in Asia
• The anthropology of manners
• The anthropology of identity
The Japanese Experience
• Establishing business relations
• Interpersonal Communication and sales presentation
• Contract negotiation and conflict resolution
• Decision making in Japanese Business Organisations
Week Topic Format/ Assessment
1 Introduction. Seminar Form groups
Subject aims and for Web Topic
2 1. Key Concepts. Web Topic 1 Nil
1.1 Culture Readings
1.2 Communication in a
3 2. Language Seminar Web Topic 1
2.1 Introduction to Lescant Readings Due Friday
approach 4th August
24-28 July Web Topic 2
4 3. Environment and Web Topic 3 Web Topic 2
Technology Readings Due Friday
3.1 Introduction and social 5%
4 August context
5 Environment and Technology Seminar Discuss mid
(cont.) Readings semester exam
3.2 Internet in the cultural
August communication context
6 4. Social Organisation Public Web Topic 3
Holiday Due Friday
AUGUST 21-SEPTEMBER 8 MID-SEMESTER BREAK
7 Exam based on theory from Exam Mid-Semester
week 2 through and including Exam on
week 6. Monday 11th
8 4. The Australian-Asian Seminar Discuss major
Relationship Readings assignment
5.2 The Japanese Experience topics.
9 The Australian-Asian Seminar Group
Relationship (cont.) Readings discussion of
5.1 The Cultural Perspective weeks 8/9.
10 6. Contexting and Authority Readings NIL
11 7. Non-verbal Seminar Verbal
Communication and Readings presentation of
Temporal Conception plan/approach
12 TO BE DECIDED Individual
ACCORDING TO STUDENT assignment
13 TO BE DECIDED Individual
ACCORDING TO STUDENT assignment
END OF SEMESTER
MAJOR ASSIGNMENT DUE FRIDAY NOVEMBER 3 (40%)
Web Topics (15%)
These are practical exercises designed to enable students to explore the
appropriate theory in relation to real world situations.
Refer to subject website for details. (From Monday 17th July)
Each topic will have a number of choices.
Students are expected to form into groups of 3 for all three topics and to
interact personally and via the forum page on the subject website. One
person from each group will submit a summary of the findings.
Each group is to submit a summary of their findings on the FORUM page
of approx. 400-600 words. An arbitrarily chosen member of the group
can author this however:
NB. Individual student contributions to each topic must be evident on the
FORUM page to receive the group mark.
You will be judged on:
♦ Completion of activities.
♦ Ability to apply theoretical principles to practical situations.
♦ Ability to demonstrate understanding of the readings.
Topic One: Friday 4th August (end week 4)
Topic Two: Friday 11th August (end week 5)
Topic Three: Friday 18th August (end week 6)
Mid Semester Exam (30%)
Date: Monday 11th September (1st Monday after break)
This will consist of 40 multiple choice questions and three short answer
The questions will be drawn from the readings outlined for weeks
two to and including week six.
Major Assignment (55%)
This is broken up as:
♦ Assignment Blueprint/Plan of Action. (15%)
- This is to take the form of a brief presentation to the class (5 min.)
- A written outline of approximately 500 words.
DUE: Monday 9th October (in class)
♦ Assignment (40%)
- 2000-2500 words
Topics and requirements will be discussed during class and listed on the
website in due course.
DUE: Friday 3rd November
WEB TOPIC ONE
DUE FRIDAY 4TH AUGUST (note this has changed)
This exercise is designed to encourage students to investigate the
possibilities of the web as a provider of useful information about all
facets of international and intercultural business communication.
Successful completion of this exercise will provide you with a wealth of
hands on information and appropriate links which will be of use for the
At the end of the exercise, we will compile everyone’s findings into a
database on the subject website, which you can all access for future
Please note that I do not expect the results of this first exercise to be
applied to any theory from the readings.
1. Each group is to compile a list of 10 websites which could be useful in
ANY way to the international business communicator. There is no
restriction on the subject or style of website. For each site, you are to
write a very brief (3 to 4 lines) summary of the useful information
contained on it.
2. Each group is to submit a brief ( 300-500 word) review of one of these
sites. Your review should deal with the following issues:
- Who might benefit from it?
- What information does it contain?
- In what circumstances would this information be useful?
- How could you and the class benefit from the site?
- Is this information universal or is it appropriate only for readers of
certain nationalities ie American
- Does it have any useful links?
- What are they?
The above is to be submitted via the forum page on the website. We will
discuss this in class on Monday 24th.
NB. The websites you choose may be completely diverse as long as you
can identify their value to the international business communicator and/or
the class. Each site may only have a small section that is appropriate to
Your sites may be government, private, or university based. They may be
about topics as diverse as language, customs, academic resources,
culinary preferences, climate, timezones, local culture, technology etc etc.
The only restriction is that each site must be of use and you must be able
to tell me why. Have fun, explore.
The following is a brief list of examples of useful websites I have chosen.
You may use these as starting points to find links.
‘International Business Resources on the World Wide Web’
‘World Trade Organisation’
‘Cross Cultural Information on a Number of Topics’
‘Scholarly Internet Resource Collection’
Site hosted by Elaine Winters provides an enormous amount of
information about cross cultural business communication especially the
‘Business Netiquette International’ is devoted to cross cultural business