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University of California, Davis

Introduction to Multinational and Cross-Cultural Teams

University of California, Davis via Coursera


Do you (or do you want to) work on a multinational team? Do you want to become a manager or improve your current management style to get better results? Are you unsure if culture is impacting your ability to communicate and collaborate? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this course – and its associated specialization – is for you! We have entered an era where multinational and cross-cultural teams are now the norm. As a result, it is nearly impossible to conduct business without interacting with people from places far from home. In order to be an effective manager, one must understand the challenges that arise because of culture, how to navigate them, and, most importantly, turn them into opportunities for success. Thankfully, this is not new. We all have a culture that is unique to ourselves and we have all been part of a team with people different than ourselves. The secret truth is that this has always been an essential tool. We are lucky that now we have incentive to examine it and build the skills to use it. So if you’re ready to learn all about how to be a more effective and valued manager of multinational teams, join us and fill your cross-cultural toolbox!


  • Getting Started and Why Culture Matters
    • In this module, you will be able to define culture and identify your own culture. You will be able to demonstrate how your culture shows up differently depending on the setting that you are in. You will be able to discuss cultural practices and how those practices can be perceived. You will be able to discuss where culture shows up in your organization and illustrate how it can impact an organization.
  • Opportunities and Challenges of Teamwork
    • In this module, you will be able to define the role of team within diverse cultures and identify opportunities and challenges of such a team. You will be able to analyze the importance of teams and define various personality traits that show up in teams. You'll be able to explain how the Hawthorne Effect and Maslow's Hierarchical needs play into teams and discuss the role diversity has on a team.
  • Opportunities and Challenges of Multinational and Cross-Cultural Teams
    • In this module you will examine use cases of real teams and be able to analyze how different cultures define good teamwork. You will be able to describe what a high-functioning multinational, cross-cultural team looks like and recognize the opportunities and pitfalls of a multinational, cross-cultural team. You will be able to define the concepts of linear versus flexible time and high-context versus low-context in regards to culture.
  • Practicing Cross-Cultural Management
    • In this module, you will be able to identify who the stakeholders are in your multinational, cross-cultural team and explain why you need multinational and cross-cultural team skills in your team. You will be able to discuss why communication is essential to multinational, cross-cultural team success and identify how technology is the future of teams. You will be able to define the qualities of a successful cross-cultural leader and practice three tools for enhancing multinational, cross-cultural teams.

Taught by

Daniel Student and Dr. Cleveland Justis


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