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International Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Università Bocconi via Coursera

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Leaders in business and non-profit organizations increasingly work across national borders and in multi-cultural environments. You may work regularly with customers or suppliers abroad, or be part of a globally dispersed cross-functional team, or an expatriate manager on an international assignment. You may be a member of a global online community, or a development aid worker collaborating with an international network of partner organizations. In all of these contexts, your effectiveness as a leader depends on how well you understand and are able to manage individual and collective behaviors in an intercultural context.

In this course – together with a team of Bocconi expert faculty and Bocconi alumni – we’ll explore the theory and practice of international and intercultural leadership and organizational behavior. Social science research has revealed systematic ways in which our behavior differs across cultural contexts – enabling us to more effectively work across borders. Insights from psychology, neuroscience, sociology and anthropology, from communication studies and from management scholarship allow us to understand what shapes individual and group decision making, what enhances or weakens team performance, and how we can build and use our social networks. And the shared practical experience of international leaders allows us to identify concrete steps to enhancing intercultural leadership competence, and to be cognizant of common leadership challenges.

Learning about organizational behavior provides a great opportunity to develop your leadership skills and to reflect on your own behavioral tendencies. How do you usually make important decisions? What motivates you and how do you try motivating others? How successfully do you leverage and integrate diverse skills and views in a team? Do you prefer professional relationships with a close-knit group of trusted colleagues, or with a far-flung network of acquaintances from all walks of life?

If you really want to learn how organizations behave and take decisions and at the same time develop leadership skills, then this is the course for you.

We are looking forward to welcoming you and supporting you on this journey of learning and discovery.

Week 1 - Leadership Acumen. International perspective on leadership, common traps & challenges, and opportunities of intercultural leadership.
Week 2 - Navigating Culture. Impact of cultural differences on organizations, decoding culture, culture classifications and stereotyping, developing intercultural intelligence.
Week 3 - Communication. Communication and its impact on leadership identity and relationships, managing communication to improve decision making, steps for developing your intercultural communication skills.
Week 4 - Motivation. Views on individual motivation, cultural differences in motivation, developing motivation and commitment in teams.
Week 5 - Networking. Patterns of interpersonal relationships in/across organizations, strategically developing social networks and social capital, norms for networking across cultures.
Week 6 - Conflict. Effective / defective conflict management approaches, dealing with ethical dilemmas.

Thanks to the participation of our alumni and of the Bocconi Alumni Association, participants will have practical insights on international leadership.

All are welcome! Some prior exposure to basic issues of organizational behavior (communication, decision making, motivation, etc.) is useful, but not required.

Taught by

Franz Wohlgezogen and Luigi Proserpio


3.9 rating, based on 14 Class Central reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Nice well-organized course with an interesting professor. I have a pleasure not only listening but also viewing the lectures -- if Coursera courses nominated for Oscars this would got one for Best Cinematography. Theory is accompanied with VIP interviews, case studies with experts and Bocconi students. Peer-to-peer assignment allows to apply some theory to a real life situation from your own experience. Quizzes are very simple, statement of accomplishments can be easily gained. You should not miss the forum activity with an optional but useful discussion topics involving interesting people from all over the world.
  • Profile image for Hassan Yousry
    Hassan Yousry
    The professor is cool:) Speaking a bit fast, he introduces some key points and concepts in the international business context. The discussion with other Bocconi students is also interesting.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I found the course to be quite insightful and well organized. Motivated me to learn the material and complete all the tasks. Very good external links and additional information provided for those who want to delve further into a subject. Very happy with it. Would gladly partake in a course that is designed and executed just as well.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Great Teacher, very well structured course with clear explanations focusing on the key messages. Good quality videos recorded on different locations to break the routine. The course is highly reccommended to get an overall view on Leadership in International environments.
  • Maboroshi completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    The professor is cool:) Speaking a bit fast, he introduces some key points and concepts in the international business context. The discussion with other Bocconi students is also interesting.
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  • Aitor Morgado completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

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