International Management Students Conduct Interviews
One of the major requirements for Mr. Ken Wang’s, lecturer of management, international management classes is to conduct a cultural interview with someone from a different cultural background or different nationality. The students need to describe major differences between their two cultures, use a theoretical framework of Hofstede’s or Trompenaar’s cultural dimensions, such as individualism/collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity/femininity, indulgence/constraint, and long term/short term orientation for in-depth analysis. In all, 64 students from three classes interviewed their friends, classmates, faculty members, teammates (such as football team), grandparents, mothers, uncles, aunts, etc. from 34 different countries or regions including Puerto Rico, Honduras, Mexico, Nigeria, Brazil, Peru, United Kingdom, Columbia, Guam, Guatemala, Thailand, South Korea, the Netherlands, Ghana, and China.
Through the project, the students have enhanced their appreciation and understanding of diverse cultural backgrounds, which is important in developing them into effective leaders and for success in workplaces and society.
Truett Haswell interviewed a Georgia Southern MBA student from Honduras. He commented “What I have learned through this project is the vast difference between America’s culture of individualism and entrepreneurship compared to other cultures that think much more about family and values. If I were to do business in Honduras, I would try to immerse myself into the community as a whole rather than just in a business sense. People would respect that, and I’ve realized how important it is to be perceptive of how other cultures do business and adapt to that.”
Lauren Burel interviewed a fellow classmate from Nigeria. She wrote, “I very much enjoyed the cultural interview that I conducted with Bimpe. I really had no prior knowledge of Bimpe’s native country of Nigeria. This interview really opened my eyes up to how much of an important part culture plays in global management. I found it very interesting how the older generation of management in Nigeria is very close minded, I think it’s interesting to see how younger generations change that by implementing more welcoming and open work environment. Learning how culture plays a part in global management will help me in the future understand co-workers from different countries, and it will help me work better with them. Overall, I loved conducting this interview. It was very informative and intriguing.”
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