Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1KM14


  • 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

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. The summative assignments are based on the analysis of case studies to test students' understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned in specific business contexts.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of lectures, case studies, videos, in-class exercises and discussions) 28
Preparation and reading 122
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written assignment Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Report on a case study 2500 words maximum 100%
Component: Written exercise Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written exercise requiring short questions to be answered on a case study 1000 words approx. in total 100%

Formative Assessment:

In-class exercises

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