University of Technology Sydney

21717 Managing in a Multicultural World

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Management
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject explores many of the fascinating aspects of managing across cultures. It aims to help students develop a range of personal strategies to enhance their ability to understand how managers in different countries conduct business and manage their staff. After completing this subject, students should have greater appreciation of the reasons behind a variety of management practices and cross-cultural interactions, and understand how managers operating in offshore organisations can be more effective. Students gain a more integrated world view which gives them a better basis for decision-making within the international business arena.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Interpret, and make appropriate evaluations of, core managerial functions such as communicating, leading and collaborating from a variety of cultural perspectives
2. Analyse and demonstrate awareness of the ways in which culture shapes cognitions, behaviours, attitudes and values (ours and others’) during intercultural interactions
3. Apply a repertoire of knowledge and behaviours that go beyond ‘culture-specific’ and which are transferable to a global context

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject is aligned with the graduate attributes of (i) social responsibility and cultural awareness, (ii) communication and collaboration, and (iii) professional and technical competence. The primary intent of this subject is to equip students with the skills, knowledge and global outlook necessary to manage confidently in different contexts and in culturally diverse settings. An important part of this involves students analysing the suitability of their culturally-derived management assumptions and practices when operating internationally.

This subject also contributes specifically to develop the following Program Learning Objective(s) for the Master of Management:

  • Communicate information clearly and fluently to a diverse range of stakeholders (2.1)
  • Integrate advanced knowledge of complex management concepts, including Indigenous perspectives, and technical skills in forming stewardship judgments to lead professional practice in general management (4.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

Classes will incorporate a combination of cognitive and experiential learning approaches. Cognitive approaches include theory and knowledge-based learning. Because management as a discipline is strongly influenced by concepts grounded in psychology, seminar content will cover some of the main theoretical aspects of cross-cultural psychology and management in order to help develop general knowledge. This will include exploring the impact of the global business environment to functional aspects of management (e.g. leading, communicating and managing teams). However, one critique of a purely cognitive approach to learning is that it fails to build required skills to become globally agile and alert to long term impacts on communities. It is not possible to review, internalise and memorise all important theories, related reading materials and cultural nuances that students might eventually operate within or with. Therefore we will use interactive-experiential components (e.g. experiential assignments and activities) to help build the critical awareness and skills required to have a global mindset. Ultimately, this course is about your self-definition as a manager in a multicultural context, helping you define and broaden this vision, and moving you closer to that reality.

Content (topics)

  • The global and cultural contexts of international management
  • Understanding one’s own enculturation
  • Practicing stewardship in a global context
  • Managing with a global mindset
  • Global leadership competencies
  • Managing a global career


Assessment task 1: Team Project (Group)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Weight: 30%

20-25 minutes

  • Preparation (evidence that all team members were involved in planning the discussion & were well prepared during the discussion)
  • Facilitation (evidence that the discussion was well structured and facilitated in a way that led to equitable, respectful & productive involvement by all participants)
  • Quality of discussion (evidence that the discussion was a valuable & engaging learning experience for all participants in relation to this subject’s key outcomes).

Assessment task 2: Critical reflective portfolio (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Weight: 30%

10-15 pages (2-3000 words). You have some flexibility here because reflections like these can sometimes take longer to explain. Don't feel that you have to 'fill space' with unnecessary description. Most important is that you aim for concise and clear examples demonstrating that you have understood the concepts we are studying and been able to apply these accurately and appropriately to the activities, situations, experiences and/or contexts you identify. It is the quality, not quantity, of your analysis that will be rewarded.

Please do NOT include a cover page or table of contents. Do include clear section headings to demarcate different parts of your portfolio. Include your name and student number on each page (header or footer). Include a full reference list using the APA 7th format.

  • Your ability to identify and appropriately apply relevant learning concepts
  • The depth and quality of analysis presented in the portfolio
  • The professionalism of the written work presented

Assessment task 3: Final Examination (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Weight: 40%

The final examination is expected to take two hours (120 minutes). There is no word limit although quality will be rewarded over quantity.

  • Your ability to appropriately apply relevant learning concepts to questions and cases
  • The depth and quality of analysis in responses

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks.

Required texts

There is no required textbook for this subject. However there are required learning materials for each class. These centre on a set of customised Briefing Notes which can be downloaded for free. Details of where to find these can be found at the subject's Canvas website. These Briefing Notes summarise core concepts and theories that will be discussed and explored further in class. They also include activities and reflection questions, links to relevant websites and academic articles, and some activities and case studies that students are expected to review before class.

Other resources

1. Preparing for the first class: Like all subjects, there are a series of preparation activities that you are asked to complete before the first class. These won't take more that 45 minutes. See the 'How to prepare for the first class' in the 'Getting started' module at the subject Canvas website for details.

2. Additional learning materials: The Briefing Notes include details of some targeted (optional) academic reading articles. The details of these (including some information to help you understand their relevance to the subject content) can be found at the back of the Briefing Notes, while the articles themselves can be downloaded via the Reading List at Canvas.

In addition to the Briefing Notes, the 'Class materials' pages of Canvas have links to relevant additional materials relating to the topics we cover. These include videos, podcasts, news articles, corporate reports, and other bits and pieces that might help you understand and/or apply the core concepts in the Briefing Notes. Feel free to avail yourself of these before or after class (preferably not during class please!).

A range of quality academic journals publish research relating to this subject. An example of these can be found in the 'Subject resources' page of the 'Orienting Yourself' module of Canvas. All of these journals can be accessed through the UTS library databases. You are encouraged to explore these during the semester and to use relevant additional articles from these sources as part of your assignment work.