Current Courses

and Experience





and Journalism

College of Arts
and Sciences

Judy Sims - communication journalism



"People fail to get along because they fear each other; 
They fear each other because they don't know each other; 
They don't know each other because 
they have not communicated with each other." 

                      Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Communication/Journalism 301

Prerequisites:  Minimum sophomore standing (or graduate standing); Grade of C or above in CJ 201 or 202 or 204;
Minimum resident & total GPA of 2.50; GE-IA;  Cultural Diversity: 2 Credits.


  • Martin, J. N. and Nakayama, T. K. (2010). Intercultural communication in contexts (5th ed.).  Mountain View, CA:  Mayfield.

  • Ferraro, G. P. (2006).  The cultural dimension of international business (5th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall. 

  • Desire2Learn (D2L)

Cultural Intelligence, Global Competence, and Mindful Communication

Communication is fundamental to all social interactions and relationships, especially in business and educational settings. The study of intercultural communication, which concerns the interaction between people of different cultural backgrounds, attempts to discover how people from distinctly different cultures endeavor to communicate. Intercultural communciation presents many possible barriers to shared understanding because individuals from different cultures often do not share a common background, values, codes, or conventions.

The study of interucltural communciation is mandated by issues of globalization, changing patterns of domestic and international migration, advances in internet technology that allow people worldwide to connect with each other, the need to understand ethical issues from a cultural perspective, and opportunities for peace (Martin & Nakayama, 2010). Intercultural communication competence or "the degree to which one is able to effectively adapt their verbal and nonverbal messages to the appropriate cultural context" (Neuliep, 2009) is crucial in a multicultural world with an international marketplace. Business in the twenty-first century is global, and the need to deal effectively with others who are culturally different has become a necessity. Today's world demands globally competent, mindful communicators. The key to such competence is cultural intelligence. This course, which is designed to sensitize cultural intellgience and develop global competence, is essential for those pursuing a career in business, education, and/or work within any multicultural environment.

Catalogue Description

Develops an awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the complexity of communicating across different cultures. 
Analysis and application of appropriate principles and theories. 

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes (by the completion of this course, you should):

  • Be able to articulate six imperatives or reasons why it is useful to  study intercultural communication, e.g., demographic, economic, ethical, etc.

  • Know the historical origins of the study of intercultural communication.

  • Understand three traditional research paradigms (approaches) that characterize the study of culture & communication, i.e., social science, interpretive & critical.

  • Be familiar with the dialectical approach to understanding culture and communication, which emphasizes the processual, relational and contradictory nature of intercultural communication.

  • Be able to think in terms of six dialectics that characterize intercultural communication, i.e., cultural-individual; personal-contextual;
    differences-similarities; static-dynamic; history/past-present/future; privilege-disadvantage.

  • Know various definitions of the word, "culture."

  • Understand the meaning of diverse social and cultural identities, e.g., racial, ethnic, gender, disability, and religious.

  • Know about different verbal styles (e.g., direct vs. indirect) and how they vary culturally.

  • Be familiar with a variety of nonverbal communication behaviors (e.g., oculesics, haptics, proxemics, etc.) as well as how they differ culturally.

  • Be able to discuss the major research concerning values  (e.g., individualism vs. collectivism, power distance, masucline/feminine, uncertainty avoidance (structure), orientations to time and perceptions of time, relationship between humans and nature, Confucian work dynamism, long-term/short-term oreination to life, etc.).

  • Comprehend how values influence communication behaviors and the workplace.

  • Understand terms such as diversity, discrimination, prejudice, ethnocentrism, globalization, diffusion of innovations, hegemony, and cultural imperialism, and cultural intelligence.

  • Know about intercultural transitions, e.g., culture shock and re-entry shock.

  • Understand how negotiation strategies differ culturally.

  • Understand the relationship between culture, communication, and conflict.

  • Be familiar with the differing perspectives of conflict (e.g., opportunity vs. destructive), types of conflict (e.g., goal, values) and styles of managing conlfict (e.g., compromising, integrating, etc.)

  • Know the prominent intercultural communication scholars (e.g., Adler, Gudykunst, Hall, Hofstede, Kuckhohn and Strodtbeck, Oberg, Ting- Toomey, etc.) and theories (e.g., Adaptation, Communication Accommodation, Anxiety and Uncertainty Management, U-Curve, etc.).


    "Cross-cultural people skills are important because managing people effectively is a key to organizational effectiveness,
    and the people in organizations are increaslingly multicultural"  

Cultural Intelligence: People Skills for Global Business (2003) 


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Comments: Simsjr@uwec.edu
Updated: April 2011