Leading Across Cultures: Principles and Practice

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Course Information
International Relations
International Business
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 


Additional student cost: 

Course Case Studies Fee


No course can teach an individual to become a leader, but it can teach one to think about the subject in a meaningful way. It can also help students understand the path that others have taken and how they might advance their own. That is the objective of this course. Key theoretical approaches to leadership are introduced, and students examine why and how several individuals have succeeded or failed in a variety of settings. This course places particular emphasis on the difficult cross-cultural leadership challenges that exist today in our corporations, governments, international institutions and communities. Students draw upon a variety of course materials including case studies (with cases involving Europe and Spain to make the Barcelona experience even more compelling) and readings from business, international relations, psychology, biography, history, and literature. Throughout the semester, students are asked to examine three principal questions:

  1. What does leadership mean?
  2. Do cultural differences matter when it comes to leadership?
  3. How is the subject of leadership relevant to my life?

This course uses case studies as a teaching tool, which will be supplied in pdf format on the course Moodle page. These case studies are purchased from The Case Center and require payment of a per-student copyright fee. Your instructor will tell you how to access the case studies, and when to use them. All students taking the course will be charged the per-student fee for the case studies, whether they access them or not. You will receive a mail after the end of the add/drop period with an explanation of these costs, which will be similar to textbook costs for a standard business course.