This course will introduce a constructivist approach to intercultural communication in business contexts – management of multicultural workforces, mergers and acquisitions, and global operations. Communication as the “mutual creation of meaning” will be explored as both a tactical issue of improving understanding and as a strategic issue of creating value from cultural diversity.

The Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity will be presented as a guide to resolving issues of ethnocentrism and developing the ethnorelative capabilities of recognizing cultural complexity in others and using an expanded repertoire of behavior for cross-cultural adaptation. Applications will be made to how intercultural communication competence can be sustained at an organizational level in global organizations.

Upon completing this course, the participants will:

  • Develop more awareness of their own cultural contexts and the complexity of their own and others’ cultural identity
  • Acquire a framework for identifying cultural differences relevant to communication and for predicting cross-cultural misunderstanding
  • Understand the differences among positivist, relativist, and constructivist approaches to cross-cultural issues in global business contexts
  • Be able to recognize the strategies for avoiding the destruction of human capital in mergers and acquisitions and for creating a climate of respect for cultural diversity
  • Learn a well-researched model that will allow them to consider their own and others’ developmental level of intercultural communication competence
  • Gain insight into the long-term need for turning access to global resources into assets for the organization

C-suite leaders, business heads and executives of Indian and Global companies faced with the complexity of managing a diverse workforce in a multicultural environment emerging due to cross boundary operations or mergers and acquisitions.


• Definitions of culture and cultural identity

• Tactical intercultural communication

• Constructivism and the development of intercultural competence

• Strategic intercultural communication applications

Dr. Milton J. Bennett

Dr. Milton J. Bennett is the founder and director of the Intercultural Development Research Institute co-located in Oregon, USA and Milan, Italy and was a founding director of the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, Oregon. He was a tenured faculty member in the Department of Communication Studies at Portland State University, where he created their graduate program in intercultural communication, and he is now an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Sociology at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy, where he teaches in the graduate program of Social Service Management and Political Policy. He has served on the faculty of executive Motorola University, Boeing Leadership Center, Tuck School of Business, Stockholm School of Economics, and currently, INSEAD and the Global Leadership Program of Mesa Research Group. Dr. Bennett is known for originating the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity and he is the co-author of American Cultural Pattern: A Cross-Cultural Approach, author of Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication: Paradigms, Principles, & Practices(published in English, Italian, and Chinese), and a contributing co-editor of the Handbook of Intercultural Training, 3rd Edition (also translated into Chinese). He consults with corporate and academic organizations in Europe, Asia, and the US on topics of multicultural diversity, intercultural competence, and global leadership.

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