Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1D317
Tied to N1D217
Tied to N1D314


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To make students deeply aware of the role of national culture in shaping business practices and organisational behaviour.
  • To provide students with the specialised knowledge and tools required to analyse differences across cultures in organisational behaviour and management practices.
  • To provide students with the advanced knowledge and skills needed in order to maximise the performance of a multi-cultural workforce.
  • To provide students with the in-depth knowledge needed to successfully manage ex-patriation and re-patriation.
  • To provide students with knowledge, awareness and skills that will enable them to maximise their own probabilities of success in a complex, multi-cultural business environment.


  • The internationalisation of business and the increasingly multi-cultural nature of the workforce.
  • Elaboration on the concept of culture.
  • National culture and models of national culture.
  • What is the evidence for national cultural convergence.
  • National culture and economic performance.
  • National cultural clusters and their characteristic management approaches.
  • The effects of national culture on business practices and management approaches with special emphasis on leadership, work motivation and teamwork.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of a multi-cultural workforce.
  • Ex-patriation and re-patriation: problems and remedies.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will, from both an analytical and a managerial perspective:
  • have a critical appreciation of the use of appropriate leader behaviours according to the national cultural composition of the workforce;
  • have advanced knowledge and understanding of the key factors involved in designing human resource management systems according to the characteristics of the national culture in which they will be applied;
  • have a critical appreciation of how to exploit the advantages and minimise the disadvantages of a multi-cultural workforce;
  • have a critical awareness of strategies to minimise the problems inherent in ex-patriation and re-patriation.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • be able to analyse national cultures using the most validated models of national culture.
Key Skills:
    Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is delivered in discrete Units. These are designed to enable the learning outcomes to be achieved through a combination of specially written material, directed reading, reflection through self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading. Module tutors provide feedback on formative work and are available for individual consultation as necessary (by email, telephone, post or fax).
  • The written assignment will test students’ understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned to the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
DL Study Units (a combination of specially written material, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading) 150
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 4000 words maximum 100%

Formative Assessment:

Written assignment of 1,500 words (maximum) and self-assessed assignments.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University