SIEM / Spaces of International Economy and Management

Events & Conferences

Contact information

Professor Dr. Rolf D. Schlunze

Humboldt University of Berlin, Department of Economic Geography / Ritsumeikan University, College of Business Administration

Manager training events

Reducing Risk through International Business Communication and Cross Cultural Management

On November 16, 2010, students from the International Business Communication and Cross Cultural Management courses of the Business Administration Department of Ritsumeikan University participated in the fall SIEM Workshop. More than 30 students participated with five managers from international businesses. The workshop was organized with the goal of bringing the classroom theory studied by students into contact with the daily experience of foreign business managers. The students were joined by five managers with international experience:

Other participants included Dr. Inga Połeċ (Poland); Sabrina R. (Germany); and Dr. Arto Ojala (Finland). These visitors to the Workshop contributed positively to the cross cultural conversation with their experiences and viewpoints from outside the business world.

Working toward a goal

Students brought interview questions they developed in the classroom based on readings and their own curiosity. Managers responded to the questions allowing students to gather specific information for the reports they will submit later this semester. The students agreed that these were productive interviews, but too short! After the interviews, students proceeded with a role play in which they selected individuals for jobs in a cross cultural workplace. In order to reduce the risk of failure and mismatch, the students had to consider carefully the facts about the hiring company and all the candidates. The role play provoked thinking and discussion on corporate culture, experience, age, language skills that are necessary in a globalized workplace. Although the information was brief due to time limits, the conversation was intensive.

Learning with Diversity

In all, the workshop included more than 10 nationalities with participants from Japan, Indonesia, Germany, Poland, China, Sweden, Brazil, USA, Finland, Thailand, and France.

Student Comments

Students offered numerous positive comments such as these:

"The role play helped me to...think about something from different perspectives."
"...made me think logically and reasonably in order to persuade ..."
"It was a bit tough but learned a lot."
"It was really interesting and fun."
"Good way of learning!"
"I could learn a lot of things from their real experiences!"

Additionally there were some useful constructive critiques, most frequently along the lines of, "We want more time for interviews, role play, etc." and the need for a clearer resolution of the role play.

"If these students are the future of Japan, it will be splendid"

The participating managers made positive comments such the one above by Mr. Takashi Kasagami. All five managers indicated that they were impressed with the quality of comments from the students. The Fall 2010 workshop was produced by Prof. Will Baber in the absence of Dr. R. Schlunze who was on sabbatical at that time.

SIEM Fall 2010 Workshop