Intercultural Business Communication
Coursework 1: Group presentation on "Communicating with Business People In / from North America Interculturally" (see Section 10 below for more details)
Size/length of assessment
Your presentation should last around 30 minutes.
(In previous years it was a real-time presentation consisting of your 20-min talk followed by a 10-min question/answer session with the examiners. This year the interactive part is removed, hence more time given to your presentation.)
Arrangements for submission
Your presentation will be delivered orally by all members in your group. The presentation will be submitted as a recorded video using WebEx. Here is how:
- Find the ‘record’ button on your WebEx interface
- Select either ‘record on my computer’ or ‘record in cloud’.
- Press the ‘record’ button or ‘stop’ button to begin or end the recording.
- i) If you selected ‘record on my computer’, you will have been prompted to save the recording as an .mp4 file in your local drive. (Note that it may take a while for the file to be generated after you finish the recording.) In this case, upload this .mp4 file to your IBC Coursework 1 submission box on Moodle. The maximum size of the file you can upload is 1GB.
ii) If you selected ‘record in cloud’, you will receive an email (it may take a while) with a link to your recording. Simply enter this link to your IBC Coursework 1 submission box on Moodle.
The IBC Coursework 1 submission box will go live once the groups have been allocated. On Moodle, members of each presentation group will be linked to each other under your group number. The submission (either the recording or the link) can be made by any one member. Please decide on who is to do this and avoid duplicate submissions.
It is your own decision to support your presentation with materials such as slides, printed materials and video clips, but these are not required. Simply talking will be fine.
Requests for extensions must be made to the Module Leader / tutor in writing, giving an appropriate reason. If granted, extensions will normally be 1 week (can go up to 10 working days) following the original submission date and those over that time will normally be required to be considered under the “Extenuating Circumstances” procedure – find more details at http://my.napier.ac.uk/Student-Administration/Extenuating%20Circumstances/Pages/Extenuating-Circumstances.aspx
All assessments are subject to the University Regulations.
Available at: http://staff.napier.ac.uk/services/sas/Regulations/Pages/Regulations.aspx
Your presentation will be assessed on a distinction (D5, D4, D3, D2, D1), pass (P5, P4, P3, P2, P1), fail (F1, F2, F3, F4, F5) scale. Please refer to the Session 1 tutorial slides for information about how these grades correspond to percentage marks.
The task for the assessment
Groups are allocated by the module team. The aim is to set groups of four, but the numbers may vary in some groups.
Your group will present a detailed argument about "how to communicate interculturally with business people in / from North America". You are expected to demonstrate your own research about this topic, as well as an analysis of a typical IBC case study that is related to this question (see Appendix 1).
Rhetorically, you are welcome (actually, encouraged) to structure your presentation creatively, for example, how to open your presentation, how to sequence the points in your argument, and where to end.
However, you must address three broad elements (not necessarily in this order):
- What can be learnt from the appended case study about “how to communicate interculturally with business people in / from North America”?
- Do you think there is anything missing or problematic in the way this case study presents intercultural business communication (as far as North America is concerned)? What are your concerns?
- What do you offer in addition to the ‘message’ in this case study to help people gain a richer understanding about “how to communicate interculturally with business people in / from North America”?
Where you cite others’ work, please follow the APA referencing style (available at: http://staff.napier.ac.uk/services/vice-principal-academic/academic/LTA/Lists/Resources/Attachments/49/Business%20School%20Referencing%20Guidelines%202016.pdf
Return of grade and feedback
Students within each group will receive the same grade. Formative feedback will be provided in written form through Moodle within three working weeks from the date of submission.
Appendix 1: The case
Two companies had been short-listed for a major infrastructural contract in Mexico. One was from the United States, the other Swedish. Both companies were invited to Mexico to present their proposals to the relevant ministry and to start negotiating the terms of the deal.
The Americans put a lot of effort into producing a high-tech, hard-hitting presentation. Their message was clear: ‘We can give you the most technically advanced equipment at a price our competitors can’t match.’ The team – which consisted of senior technical experts, lawyers and interpreters – flew down from their New York head office to Mexico City, where they had reserved rooms in one of the top hotels for a week. In order to put on the best possible performance for the minister and his officials, the Americans had arranged to give their presentation in a conference room at the hotel; and they had brought all the necessary equipment with them from the States. All the arrangements had been written down in great detail and sent to the Mexican officials two weeks earlier.
At the agreed time the American team were ready to present, but they had no one to present to. The people from the ministry arrived at various times over the next hour. They didn’t apologize for being late, but just began to chat amiably with the Americans about a wide range of non-business matters. The leader of the American team kept glancing anxiously at his watch. Finally, he suggested that the presentation should start. Though the Mexicans seemed surprised, they politely agreed, and took their seats. Twenty minutes later the minister – accompanied by some senior officials – walked in. He looked extremely angry and asked the Americans to start the presentation again from the beginning. Ten minutes later, he started talking to an aide who had just arrived with a message for him. When the American presenter stopped speaking, the minister signalled that he should continue. By this time, most of the audience were talking amongst themselves. When invited to ask questions at the end, the only thing the minister wanted to know was why the Americans had told them so little about their company’s history.
Later, during lunch, the Americans were very surprised to be asked questions about their individual backgrounds and qualifications, rather than the technical details of their products. The Minister had a brief word with the American team leader and left without eating or drinking anything.
Over the next few days, the Americans contacted their Mexican counterparts several times in an attempt to fix a meeting and start the negotiations. They reminded them that they had to fly back to the States at the end of the week. But the Mexican’s response was always the same: ‘We need time to examine your proposal amongst ourselves first.’ At the end of the week the Americans left Mexico angry, frustrated and empty-handed.
- This case is retrieved from Carté, P., & Fox, C. (2008). Bridging the culture gap: A practical guide to international business Communication
ed.). Philadelphia: Kogan Page.
Appendix 2: Assessment criteria
Your presentation will be graded against the following criteria. The criteria are presented according to the alphabetical order of the headings (not according to their levels of importance).
Clarity of argument (20%)
Present your argument clearly and with adequate details. Demonstrate a good command of the theoretical concepts and frameworks that you use. Integrate the chosen sources convincingly into your argument.
Demonstrate criticality in a constructive way.
Presentation and teamwork (20%)
Demonstrate teamwork in terms of effective division of roles and collaboration. Organise and present your argument in an audience
-friendly way. Reference all
information that is not originally yours in an appropriate and consistent format, including both
in-text citations and
the reference list in the end.
Demonstrate sophisticated understandings in relation to reliable academic sources.
Demonstrate that your arguments in different parts of the presentation are coherently linked with each other and collectively contribute to a sensible, overall argument.