OEL 610: Intercultural and Global Perspectives (Graduate Level)

Course Description

This course examines the role of culture, its impact on organizational effectiveness, and the interaction between culture within an organization and the diverse and emerging cultures that prevail in a global economy characterized by rapid demographic change, new technology, and shifting values as companies seek to reach out to more diverse population of both customers and employees. Students will explore the dimensions of this diversity and examine how it represents both a challenge and an opportunity depending on how effectively it can be integrated into the culture of an organization. The premise of the course is that managing diversity is a source of competitive advantage; that there is a “business case” as well as an ethical case for diversity. Because all organizations of any significance now operate within a global economy, the culture that drives behavior and values may differ from traditional American business practices. Understanding how these cultural differences affect human resource management, marketing, and operations can determine success or failure for anyone working in this global economy. Finally, ethical challenges and clashing values present significant challenges and require a solid framework of knowledge and sensitivity for creating workable solutions. (3 credits)


  • OEL 501: Learning Community

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Critically examine the demographic and generational changes in the workforce over the past 20 years.
  2. Examine the concepts and theories related to the dimensions of diversity, inclusive approaches and cross cultural models.
  3. Examine challenges associated with issue of diversity and inclusion for a global workforce.
  4. Analyze and apply various cultural theories as they relate to leading and interacting with a diverse workforce or customer base.
  5. Assess the influences of personal leadership styles (behaviors and beliefs) on an organization's success in achieving strategic initiatives.
  6. Develop workplace policies based on an understanding of ethics as it relates to an international/intercultural environment.
  7. Develop a diversity strategy that will identify, attract, retain, and motivate the best human resource talent.

Applicable Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

  • PLO 2. Evaluate and formulate an individual leadership style.
  • PLO 3. Develop professional communication skills.
  • PLO 4. Recommend how one develops effective groups.
  • PLO 5. Construct organizational leadership strategies.
  • PLO 6. Explain the complexities of organizational design and the interconnection between organizational structure.
  • PLO 7. Design and implement organizational change processes.
  • PLO 8. Create strategies to support intercultural/global inter-relationships.
  • PLO 9. Develop strategies that support the advancement of organization's vision and mission.

Course Activities and Grading


Discussion Questions (Non-Gradable): 1 Discussion Question @ 0 points each


Discussion Questions: 10 Discussion Questions @ 30 points each


Short Research Papers: 3 @ 100 points each


Case Analysis: 1 @ 100 points each


Application Papers: 1 @ 100 points each and 1 @ 200 Points each


Total Points


Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak State College's online bookstore

  • Collins, Jim. Good to Great. 1st ed. Harper Publishing, 2001. ISBN-10: 0-06-662099-6
  • Trompenaars, Fons and Charles Hampden-Turner. Riding the Waves of Culture. McGraw Hill Publishing, 2012. ISBN-13: 9780071773089

Additional Required Materials

  • Denend, Lyn. Nike’s Global Women’s Fitness Business. Stanford Business School Publishing, 2007. ISBN: Case SM-152 (See week 7 course content folder for instructions on how to purchase.)

Supplemental Required Readings/Resources

  • Links to the supplemental readings and articles are provided in the course shells.

Course Schedule




Readings and Exercises





Topics: What is Culture and why is it important to organizations?

  • Readings:
    • Article: Strategy + Business Organizational Culture
    • Trompenaars, Chapters 1-3
  • Discussion Question 1 (Non-gradable)
  • Gradable Assignment # 1: Discussion Question 2
  • Gradable Assignment # 2: Research Paper # 1
  • Review lectures material




Topics: Demography and Diversity

  • Readings:
    • Read material from listed web links in Course Content Folder
  • Gradable Assignment # 3: Discussion Question 3
  • Gradable Assignment # 4: Short Research Paper # 2
  • Review lecture material




Topics: Diversity Policies and Practices

  • Readings:
    • Read material from listed web links in Course Content Folder
    • Thomas and Ely, Making Differences Matter
    • Livingston, How to Promote Racial Equity in the Workplace
    • Ely and Ammerman, Managing Differences
  • Gradable Assignment # 5: Discussion Question 4
  • Gradable Assignment # 6: Discussion Question 5
  • Review lecture material




Topic: The Cultural Theory of Diversity

  • Readings:
    • Trompenaars, Chapters 5, 8, & 11
    • Read material from listed web links in Course Content Folder
  • Gradable Assignment # 7: Discussion Question 6
  • Gradable Assignment # 8-Application Paper # 1 (100 Points)
  • Review the Lecture material




Topics: Leadership Styles and Challenges

  • Readings:
    • Jim Collins, Good to Great
    • Read material from listed web links in Course Content Folder
  • Gradable Assignment # 9: Discussion Question 7
  • Gradable Assignment # 10-Short Research Paper # 3
  • Review the Lecture material




Topics: Ethics and Ethical Relativism in a Global Economy

  • Readings:
    • Trompenaars, Chapters 12 & 13
  • Gradable Assignment # 11: Discussion Question 8
  • Gradable Assignment # 12-Discussion Question 9
  • Review the Lecture material




Topics: Diversity Strategies and Business Strategy

  • Readings:
    • Assigned Case Study
  • Gradable Assignment # 13: Discussion Question 10
  • Gradable Assignment # 14: Case Analysis
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Begin work on Application Paper # 2




Topics: Diversity Strategies and Business Strategy

  • Readings:
    • Trompenaars, Chapters 14 - 16
  • Gradable Assignment # 15: Discussion Question 11
  • Gradable Assignment # 15: Application Paper # 2 (200 Points)
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Course Evaluation


COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.