Bilingual Business Leader Program,Core Curriculum of Department of Business

Activities
Mr. Nathan DeWitt and Mr. Michael Corbett talk to EAP 2 students about intercultural competency in b...

Updated on: August 08, 2017|  PrintPrint

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On July 7th 2017, two guest speakers, Mr. Nathan DeWitt and Mr. Michael Corbett joined the EAP 2 class to talk to students about the ‘Three Pillars for Successful Global Business People’. To begin with, they introduced students to their company “Link Global Solution” and the type of work they do. Following this, they presented the three essential pillars to be a successful global businessperson, which included: English skills, business skills and international communication skills. They mainly focused their presentation on the third point, international communication skills. Next, Mr. DeWitt and Mr. Corbett explained about the complexity of culture, describing how culture inhibits three factors. These consist of hidden factors that pertain to more individual principles, natural factors that relate to the surrounding environment of a person, and artificial factors that are affected by wider society. They discussed how people behave and interact, comparing culture in the USA and Japan to illustrate how people communicate in relation to cultural factors. These included such things as titles, greetings and respect towards others. In order to better understand cultural differences, Mr. DeWitt and Mr. Corbett introduced students to two concepts: the ‘Power Distance Index (PDI)’ and the notion of ‘Appearance of Equality’. To explain, Mr. DeWitt and Mr. Corbett drew students’ two cultural maps, showing a ‘top down culture’ and a ‘flat culture’. They explained that in countries such as Japan the work culture tends to be top down, meaning there is a large relationship gap between the boss and the employee. In comparison, western culture may be considered more flat. However, they argued that to better understand the PDI it is also important to examine the ‘appearance of equality’ to truly comprehend the power dynamics of cultures. For instance, while a teacher may be top down in his or her approach in setting work deadlines, it is also possible for them to be more flat in their teaching approach. Likewise, companies, bosses and employees will embody such diversity. Mr. DeWitt and Mr. Corbett’s lecture was very timely for students in relation to the EAP 2 class content. It also helped students to further appreciate the diversity of cultural differences between countries.

Article by Yuka Kago (EAP 2 Student)
Photos by Prof. Herbert Donovan

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