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Teaching intercultural competence in undergraduate business and management studies: A case study

In times of overwhelming globalisation, fostering intercultural competence has become one of the most important missions of higher education institutions across the world. This competence has become crucial for those aspiring to work in international environments. Students need to be aware of cultural boundaries and the role of instructors in this process is crucial: to provide cultural information is not enough anymore and they need to guide their students’ learning so that learners can competently navigate the L2 culture, knowing which values and behaviour patterns of the target culture will assist them in their future workplaces. This paper introduces a case study of how an international institution of higher education in Croatia teaches this competence in various courses. The paper presents qualitative survey data to measure college students’ self-reported competences in four categories: motivation, strategy, knowledge and behaviour. Results show that students report higher competences in the areas of motivation and strategy, compared to knowledge and behaviour. Implications of these findings for future education in intercultural competence in institutions of higher education are discussed.

KEYWORDS: best practices in higher education; business and management studies; foreign language teaching; intercultural competence; service management

Zrinka Friganović Sain. CSc in Linguistics, Postgraduate Doctoral Studies in Humanities, Faculty of Literature and Arts. Master of Science in Comparative Literature, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology Croatia.

Milena Kužnin. Csc in Linguistics. Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology Croatia. Research interests cover service quality, leadership, customer aatisfaction, intercultural communication, organisational behaviour. Holds RIT Croatia Excellence in Teaching Award, 2009.

Rebecca Charry Roje. Master of Arts, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA. Senior Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology Croatia. Holds RIT Croatia Excellence in Teaching Award (2010, 2015) and Excellence in Research and Scholarship Award (2014).


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