Drawing upon research by Hofstede (2001), Hogan & Warrenfeltz (2003), Mintzberg(2002), Kaiser & Kaplan (2006) and others, this paper examines how students from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds who differ substantially in their gestalts, self-concept, social skills and personality traits may be trained to become effective managers and leaders, within the structural confines of a typical undergraduate business curriculum. Practical tools and suggestions, based on a theoretical framework, are offered. For busness schools in the U.S., catering to an increasingly diverse undergraduate student population, this is a very real challenge that needs to be addressed without delay. A number of authors and researchers have commented about the lack of effectiveness of business schools in preparing executives to face the competitive challenges of the modern business world, but such research has almost always focused on graduate programs or executive education. This paper postulates that while the KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities) required for routine job performance are often acquired after an individual joins the organization, areas such as cultural sensitivity, interpersonal communication and critical thinking skills are early determinants of corporate success or failure. Therefore, an unprepared novitiate may find his or her career forever marred. This paper suggests ways to minimize this risk.
|Keywords:||Undergraduate Management Education, Multicultural Training, Enhancing Commuication Skills, Cultural Immersion, Curriculum Integration|
Professor and Department Chairperson, International Business Department, Northwood University, Midland, Michigan, USA
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