Human resource management

Your choice from the topics. Flexibility to encourage you to link your learning to ‘real life’. Must be clearly related to the concept of management across cultures.


Length: 2000 words, 10 references(peer-reviewed academic journal articles)

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development:

  • Predict and evaluate the kinds of opportunities and challenges that managers are likely to face in a global environment.
  • Identify and evaluate local and global environments and make suitable choices amongst available alternatives.
  • Integrate a range of insights, skills and abilities in ways that advance cross-cultural competence.
  • Identify, synthesise and evaluate a range of theoretical accounts proffered to help managers succeed within a global business environment.


In many ways, what you write about in this essay is up to you as long you remember that it must be clearly related to the concept of management across cultures. This assessment task is designed to provide you with maximum flexibility and to encourage you to link your learning to real-time, real-life experiences from your life and workplace.


The following is a list of recommended considerations for this essay:

  • Select a topic
  • Undertake further, independent critical research into that topic.
  • Define the topic; then consider it from a range of critical perspectives.
  • Analyse any conflicts in the literature in relation your topic.
  • Answer the question: Why is (topic x) important to me if I want to pursue a career as manager across cultures?
  • Answer the question: What have I learned about (topic x) and how will I use that knowledge in the future?


Marking Guidelines:In assessing your work in this essay we will attend to the following:

  • evidence of research and critical analysis:Highly original or insightful work. Exceptional clear understanding of subject matter and appreciation of issues. Evidence of creative insight and originality in terms for comprehension, application and analysis with synthesis and evaluation.
  • analysis of contentious issues:Evidence of formulated and sustained strong arguments with sophisticated distinctions in analysis, drawing inferences, synthesisingmaterial and identifying flaws in published work.
  • reflections and conclusions:Demonstrates creativity and initiative in scholarship and a range of contexts for professional practice. Could not be improved upon given the experience level and the conditions under which the assessment was conducted.
  • evidence of application of learning to your career planning
  • writing structure and flow.


Cannot use the first person, although you may need to use your own experience. This is a formal essay.

Topics: select any one from the list, and I put some provided readings in “topic and readings”.

Topics Some Related recommended readings
Global Realities

Globalisation, change and competitiveness

Management and multicultural competence

Reisinger, Y. and Crotts, J. C. (2010) ‘Applying Hofstede’s National Culture Measures in Tourism Research: Illuminating Issues of Divergence and Convergence’, Journal of Travel Research, 49(2), pp. 153–164.
Managers in global business environment

Traditional views of management

Rethinking managerial roles

Culture and the managerial role

Types of global assignments

Deng & Gibson, 2009,   ‘Mapping and modelling the capabilities that underlie effective cross-cultural leadership’,  Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 16, pp 347 – 366.

Griffith, DA &Hoppner, JJ 2013, ‘Global marketing managers: Improving global marketing strategy through soft skill development’, International Marketing Review, 30(1), pp. 21-41.  [This article critically considers advice and training given to global marketing managers who need to make strategic decisions across multiple markets, economically, legally and culturally. The article considers those managers’ responsibilities in terms of hard skills (e.g., technical skills) and soft skills (e.g. interacting with others, decision making). The article posits that the frequently undervalued or overlooked soft skills are imperative for effective decision making in a global market.]

The cultural environment

Cultures and sub-cultures

Cultural complexities

Ethnocentrism and culture-general competence

Matsumoto, David R, Juang, Linda P. (2016). Culture and Psychology (Sixth ed.). Boston, MA, USA: Cengage Learning.Chapter One: Please read form page 14 to end of chapter.

Peterson, B. (2004), Cultural Intelligence, Intercultural Press Inc., Yarmouth, Maine, USA. Pages 15 to 29 in Chapter 1

Very Important Website, incorporating journal reading and videos:

On this website, please look for the ‘Culture’ drop down menu and read ‘what is culture’.  Under the same drop down menu, please read ‘the 6D model of national culture’.

On the same (Hofstede) website, you will find a link to a reading that provides an excellent overview of cultural dimension theory.  In case that link is missing, here it is:Hofstede, G. (2011), DimensionalizingCullures: The Hofstede Model in Context, Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, International Association for Cross-cultural Psychology.  Accessed  30/1/2018,

The organisational environment

Regional models of organisations

Organisational culture

Control, participation and decision making

Hofstede, G. (1994). The business of international business is culture. International business review, 3(1), 1-14. [This week please read this journal article from page 9 onwards, from the heading ‘organisational culture’. This article gives a good overview of the work of one of the originators of cultural dimension theory. The work of Hofstede and others in relation to dimensions of national culture is referred to in the above mentioned text book. It is highly recommended that you supplement this particular reading with some individual research in order to understand cultural dimension theory, particularly if you have not encountered it before.]

Podrug, Najla. (2011). Influence of National Culture on Decision- Making Style. South East European Journal of Economics and Business, 6(1), 37-44. [This article is a useful example of a country specific analysis of decision making styles. It also provides a succinct but thorough overview and analysis of culture-based decision making literature.]

Sokro, Evans. (2012). Analysis of the relationship that exists between organisaitonal culture, motivation and performance. Problems of Management in the 21st Century, 3, 106-119. [This article is relevant to our topic because it investigates the relationship between organisational culture, employee motivation and performance, and it is also interesting because it the research is set in the context of a multinational automobile company operating in Ghana.]

The situational environment

People and behaviour

Individual roles and responsibilities

Culture-specific learning

CHAPTER FIVE: Steers, RM, Nardon, L & Sanchez-Runde, CJ 2016, Management Across Cultures. Developing Global Competencies, 3rd ed., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. [This weeks’ chapter of the prescribed text discusses the relationship between locus of control and cultural factors, amongst a range of other factors related to personality (e.g., from page 30 onwards).]

Bennett, M.J. (2017) Intercultural Communication Training Overview, The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication, John Wiley and Sons. (Links to an external site.)[Intercultural communication training is frequently recommended by academics and students alike, as a panacea to remedy the negative effects of cross cultural contact for managers.   However, what this ‘training’ might be, what would be included and excluded and how it might be provided are frequently crucial details that are overlooked. This introduces interested students to the answers to some of those questions.  Those of you who are interested in this sub-topic could do well to read the remainder of the chapter in this online edition of International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication.]

Optional readings:

Günter K. Stahl, Christof Miska, Hyun-Jung Lee, Mary Sully De Luque, (2017) The upside of cultural differences: Towards a more balanced treatment of culture in cross-cultural management research, Cross Cultural & Strategic Management,  24 (1), pp.2-12 [As we discussed in previous weeks, cultural contact can be problematic and very challenging.  This article takes a different perspective and explores how cultural diversity, distance and foreignness can create value for global organisations. ]

Hechavarría, D.M., Terjesen, S.A., Ingram, A.E., Renko, M., Justo, R., Elam, A., (2017) Taking Care of Business, the impact of culture and gender on entrepreneur’s blended value creation goals. Small Business Economics 48 (1) pp 225-257 [This article considers ‘culture’ and ‘gender’ as variables in the context of entrepreneurial social value goals and post-materialist societies (e.g., affluent societies which place importance on goals such as self-expression, autonomy, gender equality etc.).  This article is provided here as an example of the kind of article you could find to support your essay topic (in this case culture and gender, or CSR).]

Karkoulian, S., Srour, J., Sinan, T., (2016), A gender perspective on work-life balance, perceived stress, and locus of control, Journal of Business Research, 69 (11) pp. 4918-4923 [Your text chapter for this week talks about the relationship between a manager’s ‘locus of control’ and their capacity to work within the ambiguity encountered in daily global work engagements.  This article gives us further insight into the concept of locus of control (LOC) and – interestingly – considers LOC from a gendered perspective.  The original research was undertaken in the banking sector of Lebanon.]

Excellent Website Resource:

Intercultural Development Research Institute (2014) The Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity.[This website run by the seminal interculturalist Milton Bennett, PhD., outlines a developmental model of intercultural sensitivity that is widely used in intercultural relations training around the world. This website provides an overview of the stages that Bennett proposes we all experience when we are developing intercultural sensitivity. Those who are seeking deeper understanding of this very useful model could read Bennett’s original work from 1986: Bennett, Milton J. (1986). A developmental approach to training for intercultural sensitivity. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 10 (2).]

Communicating across cultures

Interpersonal communication

Culture and communication

Models of cultural dimensions

Varey, R.J. (2000). A critical review of conceptions of communication evident in contemporary business and management literature. Journal of Communication Management, 4(4), 328-340. [This article supplements the text by critically examining the extant management literature in relation to commonly accepted models of communication. Like our text, this article reflects that communication is widely taken to be the transmission of information and reproduction of intended meanings, particularly in the ‘encoder- message-decoder’ model which is so popular in management theory. The article examines the communication process more deeply, considering social, political and cultural phenomena.]

Clyne, M. (2006). Some thoughts on pragmatics, sociolinguistic variations, and intercultural communication. Intercultural Pragmatics, 3(1), 95-105. [This article looks at the different styles of speaking between cultures, such at the succinct and subdued style (Southeast Asian) as opposed to the instrumental or exacting style (Anglo, Northern, and Western Europe). Clyne identifies six different styles contained within the literature, emphasising that they are not stereotypical of cultures, but illuminate tendencies that ‘are underpinned by cultural values and history’ (Clyne 2006, p. 102).]

Additional reading

Hall, E.T., & Hall, M.R. (1987). Hidden Differences. New York: Anchor Books. Read pages 1 – 35. [Whilst this book is old, the work of E.T. Hall is absolutely seminal in intercultural communication.]

Negotiation across cultures

Preparing for global negotiations

Conflict resolution across cultures

Ethics in global negotiation

Adler, Nancy J., & Graham, John L. (1989). Cross-Cultural Interaction: The International Comparison Fallacy? Journal of International Business Studies, 20(3), 515-537. doi: 10.2307/155189

Lee, S., Brett, J. and Park, J. H. (2012), East Asians’ Social Heterogeneity: Differences in Norms among Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Negotiators. Negotiation Journal, 28. 429–452.[The above article is from the prolific human resource researcher A. Osman- Gani, who is based at NTU Singapore. Whilst many management and business texts focus on culture-based negotiation differences between ‘East’ and ‘West’, this article looks at those differences within a South East Asian context (e.g., amongst ethnic sub-cultures in Singapore)]

Groves, K.S., Feyerherm, A., & Gu, M. (2015) , Examining Cultural Intelligence and Cross-Cultural Negotiation Effectiveness. Journal of Management Education, 39(2), 209–243. [This study demonstrated that CQ predicted negotiation performance while interest-based negotiation behaviors partially mediated the CQ–negotiation performance relationship. CQcapabilities facilitated negotiators’ ability to demonstrate cooperative, interest-based negotiation behaviors in a negotiation context that demanded behavioral adaptation.]

Xiashu Zhu & Dian Gao (2014), Nothing Succeeds Like Success. International Studies of Management, 43(4), 26-38. Doi: 10.2754/IMO0020-8825430402[The study looked at Chinese negotiators’ views of the causes of failure in intercultural negotiations. The most frequent precursors to failure included the lack of communication skills, lack of cultural awareness, and the use of inappropriate business behaviour protocols]

Leading global organisations

Management and leadership

The GLOBE leadership study

Patterns of global leadership

Javidan, M., & House, R.J. (2002). Leadership and cultures around the world: findings from GLOBE. Journal of World Business, 37, 1-2. [The GLOBE study was published in a very large and very costly book. Copies are available in the RMIT library. The book is a valuable resource for your assessment tasks in this course and is cited frequently in our text. This brief reading provides an overview of the GLOBE study by its coordinating author, R.J. House.]

Bird, A., Mendenhall, M.E., (2016), From cross-cultural management to global leadership: Evolution and adaptation, Journal of World Business, 51 (1), p. 115-126 [This is a very interesting article in relation to our topic for this week and also an excellent example of a literature review of cross-cultural/global leadership theories over the past eighty or so years. Therefore, it is a useful resource for students on several levels. The article traces trends in the field of cross-cultural management from the 1960’s.  The accompanying analysis provides varied insights into not only the roles, strategies and competencies of managers and leaders but also the cultural biases of researchers over the years.]

Michael Clark, J., Quast, L. N., Jang, S., Wohkittel, J., Center, B., Edwards, K., &Bovornusvakool, W. (2016). GLOBE study culture clusters: Can they be found in Importance ratings of managerial competencies? European Journal of Training and Development, 40(7), 534-553. [This article addresses the very important question of how organisations should develop (‘train’) global and/or expatriate leaders. It does so whilst analyzing the efficacy of culture-based cluster models (like the GLOBE study) for informing ‘training’ design.  In presenting recommendations for the case study assessment task in this course, students frequently recommend ‘training’ as something that organisations need to do better.  This article is one of the thousands out there that goes into depth on how that ‘training’ should be designed, what research should inform it and what assumptions leadership ‘trainers’ should be wary of.]

Dickson, M.W, Castan, N., Magomaeva, V., & Den Hartog, D.N. (2012). Conceptualizing leadership across cultures. Journal of World Business, 47, 483-492[This article commences with an overview of the meaning of culture, which we have covered previously this semester. The article then reviews cross-cultural differentiation of the meaning of leadership. Subsequently, the article analyses the conflict that is found in the management literature between a quest for universally applicable leadership models, and the identification of cultural contingencies in leadership theory. The article provides some useful discussion of implications for management practice]

House, R., & Global Leadership Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research Program. (2014). Strategic leadership across cultures: The GLOBE study of CEO leadership behavior and effectiveness in 24 countries. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.[This book is from the original authors of the GLOBE study. The GLOBE study identified the relative level of nine leadership-related cultural attributes in 62 countries and formed ten cultural clusters based on cultural similarities identified (House et al., 2004).  RMIT Library has several books that draw upon the study and is in the process of obtaining access to the e-book (please check to see whether it is available now).  These books are a valuable resource for your assessment tasks in this course and are cited frequently in our text.]

Managing a Global workforce Culture and the psychology of work

Performance management on a global stage Expatriation, repatriation and localisation

CHAPTER NINE: Steers, RM, Nardon, L & Sanchez-Runde, CJ 2016, Management Across Cultures. Developing Global Competencies, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Kwon, Jong-Wook. (2012). Does China have more than one culture? Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 29(1), 79-102.  [This article is valuable reading for this week, and also for the entire course. It analyses work values within China, but at the same time reminds us that perhaps there is no such thing as an omnipresent ‘Chinese culture’: China is a huge country and, like almost anywhere, there are regional cultural differences in work values that global managers would be well advised to consider. Of course, whilst this article is about China, the same points could be made in relation to almost any country. Moreover, this article also provides a worthwhile analysis and critique of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions.]

Merriman, K.K. (2010) Lost in Translation: Cultural Interpretations of Performance Pay. Compensation Benefits Review, 42(5), 403-410. [Often cultural difference in business is considered most relevant to ‘soft skills’, for example, interpersonal communication etc. By contrast, this article demonstrates how cultural differences influence considers pay systems, and demonstrates that monetary compensation systems need to be congruent with the values of the people being compensated.]

Pan, Yue , Song, Xuebao, Goldschmidt, Ayalia, & French, Warren (2010). A cross-cultural investigation of work values among young executives in China and the USA. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 17 (3), 283-298. [This article compares work values cross-culturally, in particular focusing on the individualism/collectivism dichotomy and questioning research findings that the author claims are predominantly based on the work values of previous generations.]

Rehman, Sumaira, &Roomi, Muhammad Azam (2012). Gender and work-life balance: a phenomenological study of women entrepreneurs in Pakistan”. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development., 19(2), 209-228. [This article contributes to our consideration of work-life balance, values, and gender bias in the context of a country where societal and cultural norms are significant challenges that women face in a predominantly patriarchal society this.]

Luo &Shenkar. (2011). Toward a perspective of cultural friction in international business. Journal of International Management, 17(1), 1-14.[This article introduces a new lens that addresses cultural interaction in global business. Shifting away fromviewing culture in terms of its differences, the cultural friction lens captures the nature and magnitude of interaction between the cultural systems engaged in cross-border businesses. In this study we present that (1) cultural distance may not transform into a clash, or yield any meaningful interaction effect, negative or positive, until organizations truly engage in interactions; (2) cultural friction is situation-specific, subject to the influence of “drag” parameters, such as entry mode (e.g., contract vs. equity; greenfield vs. acquisition), workflow interdependence, breath of local stakeholders, speed and stage of international expansion, and depth of localization; and (3) cultural friction can be curtailed through a series of managerial mechanisms, or lubricants, around the points of cross-border contact (p.1).]

Working with global teams

Global teams

Virtual global teams

Key success factors in global teams

Bartel-Radic, A (2006). Intercultural Learning in global teams. Management International Review, 46 (6), 647-677.[This article is highly relevant to our subject, in that the author’s main point is that global teams help to develop intercultural competencies at the same time as contributing to performance. The article considers global teams within and external to organisations including expatriation (which we cover in depth next week).]

Joshi, A., Labianca, G., & Caligiuri, P.M. (2002). Getting along long distance: understanding conflict in a multinational team through network analysis. Journal of World Business, 37, 277-284. [Multinational Companies create virtual teams to maximize the capacity of their global talent. Traditional (usually Western) conflict management techniques gather team members together in the one place, which is obviously problematic in geographically dispersed teams. This article identifies key impediments to virtual team progress and also shows that conflicts can occur not only between head office and country subsidiaries, but cultural analysis can also lead us to expect conflict between country subsidiaries.]

Hertel, G, Geister, S, &Konradt, U (2005). Managing virtual teams: A review of current empirical research. Human Resource Management Review, 15(1), 69-95.[This article provides a thorough examination of research into the management of virtual teams. Although it dedicates a surprisingly small amount of attention to cultural issues, it nevertheless provides a useful supplement to this week’s other readings.]

Breuer, C, Hüffmeier, J & Hertel, G (2016). Does Trust Matter More in Virtual Teams? A Meta-Analysis of Trust and Team Effectiveness Considering Virtuality and Documentation Journal of Applied Psychology 101(8). Doi: 1151-1177 [Team trust has often been discussed both as requirement and as challenge for team effectiveness, particularly in virtual teams. However, primary studies on the relationship between trust and team effectiveness have provided mixed findings. This article summarizes existing studies on team trust and team effectiveness based on meta-analytic methodology. In general, it finds that team trust facilitates coordination and cooperation in teams, and therefore to be positively related with team effectiveness. Moreover, team vitality and documentation of interactions were considered as moderators of this relationship because they should affect perceived risks during teamwork.]

Zander, L., Mockaitis, A.I., & Butler, C.L. (2012). Leading Global Teams. Journal of World Business, 47, 592-603. [This highly recommended article is extremely relevant in combination with the article by Hertel et al. (2005). This article addresses the rather limited research on the cultural aspects of leading multicultural global teams, focusing on concepts we have already considered such as biculturalism, global mindset and cultural intelligence with respect to global team leaders.]

Living and working globally

Global assignments

Cultural adaptation

Challenges of living and working globally

Baruch, Y., Altman, Y., Tung, R.L. (2016) Career Mobility in a Global Era: Advances in Managing Expatriation and Repatriation, Academy of Management Annals January 2016, 10 (1) 841-899.[This paper considers global careers within the broader discourse on HR theory and practice. It is particularly useful to students who are writing about expatriation and repatriation because it charts the evolution of scholarly publications on career mobility over the past four decades and highlights current trends, in particular the emergence of self-initiated expatriation and outlines managerial implications]

Bolino, M.C., Klotz, A.C., Turnley, W.H.  (2017) The implications of turning down an international assignment: a psychological contracts perspective, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28:13, 1816-1841[Many articles and even the general population tend to focus on people’s willingness to accept expatriation assignments.  Not so much is available about the fascinating core topic of this article: the potential career consequences of declining an international assignment.  In explaining these potential negative outcomes, the article draws on the psychological contract theory that we covered earlier in this course.]

Chiang, F.T., van Esch, E., Birtch, T.A., Shaffer, M.A., (2017). Repatriation: what do we know and where do we go from here? The International Journal of Human Resource Management.  Vol. 0, (0) Published online 19 October, 2017.  [Whilst there are many articles that focus on the outward-bound expatriation process, academic consideration of repatriation remains fragmented and incomplete.  Plagued with problematic re-adjustments, high turnover rates, and a range of other obstacles, there is an urgent need for an improved understanding of repatriation. This study is useful for students because it reviews the repatriation literature over the previous four decades, identifies its major themes, gaps and limitations, and provides a consolidated framework.]

DeFrank, R.S., Konopaske, R., & Ivancevich, J.M. (2000). Executive travel stress: perils of the road warrior. Academy of Management Executive, 2000 (14), 2.[Although this is an older article, not a lot has changed in relation to its core topic. Anyone who is considering an expatriate lifestyle and perhaps thinking it is ‘exotic and luxurious’ could benefit from considering the authors’ reflections and recommendations. The article reviews travel stress, before, during and after sojourns and offers suggestions to organisations and ‘flexpatriates’ for coping with the challenges of the lifestyle]

Neuliep, J.W., (2017) Culture Shock and Reentry Shock, The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication[Provides a useful overview of concepts supplemental to those covered in the required reading

Pate, J., Scullion, H.  (2016): The flexpatriate psychological contract: a literature review and future research agenda, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2016.1244098 [As the title of this article indicates, the authors focus on the often-neglected topic of ‘flexpatriation’: that is, managers who ‘fly-in, flyout’, and don’t stay long in any one country. As we have already discussed, this is a growing phenomenon and one that the requires more attention from researchers and organisational HR teams. This article again draws upon the psychological contract to help understand the forces for and against flexpatriation in organisations.]

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