Summer University Course

Intercultural Management
Olof Brunninge, Jönköping International Business School

Target group

  • The course has a management focus and the primary target group are students in business administration, economics and related disciplines who want to be better equipped for intercultural encounters in a business career.
  • While many examples during the course will relate to a business context, also students from other disciplines are welcome to take the course, if they want to prepare for intercultural encounters in their professional career or in other contexts.

Course description

In a globalized and interconnected world, it is important to be able to handle intercultural encounters in a productive and effective way. Companies, government agencies and NGOs are increasingly operating across borders, sometimes on a global scale. Even for people in their home country, increasing diversity in workplaces means that employees from various cultural backgrounds are working together. While this can foster learning from each other’s perspectives it also creates challenges in terms of misunderstandings, conflicts and, if things go wrong, increased resentment towards other cultures.    

During the course, we will investigate various aspects of intercultural management. The creation of cultural awareness and sensitivity, including a better understanding of one’s own culture, is fundamental to being an effective manager in settings involving different cultures. Another emphasis will be put on communication is an intercultural context. We will also look into cross-cultural negotiations, leadership styles in different cultures, the challenges of being an expatriate, and ethical considerations relating to culture. 

While the course will present and address the theoretical foundations of intercultural management, a lot of emphasis will be placed on classroom interaction, case studies, and exercises where we will use the cultural diversity within the group to learn from and with each other. 

Learning outcomes  

Upon completing this course students will be able to

  • Account for concepts and theories related to intercultural management
  • Present their own culture and discuss how they are influenced by it in different everyday settings
  • Analyze a culture they are not yet familiar with
  • Critically discuss opportunities and challenges in intercultural communication
  • Collaborate with people from a different cultural context in an effective manner


To successfully complete the course, participants need to actively participate in class discussions and exercises. They have to prepare a course paper in groups and present it in class. 

Olof Brunninge has a bi-national (German/Swedish) background and is Associate Professor in Business Administration at Jönköping International Business School (Sweden). His main research and teaching interests are in strategic management, particularly organizational identity, international management, social memory in organizations, and family business management. He has managed academic collaborations involving partners from various different countries, including Sweden, Russia, Lithuania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Mozambique and Germany. Olof is currently responsible for academic capacity building projects in Rwanda and Ethiopia, focusing on strengthening local doctoral programs in management.