Course Description

Overview: This course will provide an introduction to topics in cross-cultural communication and leadership. Students will be placed in mixed groups of students from Temple University Harrisburg or Temple University Japan and will create a presentation using information gained through sessions and meetings throughout the course. Following an introduction session, this course will include the following modules, followed by two sessions of student presentations:  


 Module 1: – Leading Sustainable Organization Change and Development

  • Sustainable organization change and development is a key to continually winning in this fast changing global economy. However, as many studies indicate, more than 70% of change efforts fail, without meeting their goals. This session will give an overview of some best practices of successful organization change and development toward achieving high performance results. We will learn why organization change fails as indicated by research and explore some key success factors and approaches to organization change and development.

Module 2: Cultural Humility

  • We each have many different cultural influences that impact our values, beliefs and behaviors. In this session we will explore a broad definition of culture and participants will leave with an understanding of their own cultural influences regarding their own attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. The group will explore Cultural Humility as an approach to strengthening cross-cultural relationships.

Module 3: Conflict Resolution and Transformation

  • The purpose of this session is to help participants understand how intercultural conflicts occur and develop positive problem- solving strategies to address such conflicts. This session explains the culture-based situational conflict model integrating both theory and practice. It covers various practical situations that are applicable to personal as well as group work-related conflicts, and strives to help participants develop valuable people management skills relevant to any discipline.

Module 4: Conversations About Culture 

  • Conversations about culture can be challenging. In this session we will discuss how our individual cultural influences influence our perspectives towards others. Participants will learn strengths-based communication techniques which are crucial to the practice of cultural humility. The group will practice discussing culture and cultural differences using these techniques.

Module 5: Cross-cultural Communication Strategies

  • Employees, middle managers and HR professionals alike face real and ongoing cross-cultural challenges.  This session focuses on cross-cultural communication issues that these professionals face in the course of their duties: training and development, performance appraisal, decision-making, conflict management and more. The cultural value dimensions frameworks and the organizational culture frameworks are employed to develop cross-cultural communication strategies. The session provides an opportunity for discussion and interaction to "talk out" and develop solutions and guidance to better manage cross-cultural challenges.

Course Outline

The purpose the International Collaboration course is to prepare community members interested in the work of nonprofit organizations alongside NGO professionals in the US and Japan. Guest speakers from both countries will help prepare participants to serve in our increasingly complex and connected world. Through engaging discussions and the use of technology, participants will gain a deeper understanding and wider perspective on topics such as current issues in development, leadership, financial management, program management and human resources and help them to take on more active roles within their organizations or communities. The course will offer a rare opportunity for participants seeking a more global perspective on the nonprofit sector.


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