Intercultural Competence in Business


Intercultural Competence in Business is a project that is financed by the Lifelong Learning programme of the European Commission and by the Swedish Council for Higher Education, as part of the Comenius programme.


Participants

The project brings together six schools in six European countries.

Central theme
The central theme of the project is to explore cultural aspects of operating a business in a range of cultural, social and legal contexts.


Method
Our method is to establish a model company, with branches in each of our different countries, and to then compare aspect of setting up and running such a business. 

Outcomes
The outcomes of this project will be published on this site.

Actions
The actions of the project are presented below:

Year 1

A student conference in Bratislava.
 
At this conference, students from each country introduced each other to intercultural differences by presenting themselves and "typical" national features in sketches that they had prepared.


The students then developed a number of alternative business ideas and selected the one to be used as the model company.


The students then created a number of logos and selected the one to be used for the business.


Founding a fictitious international company with branches in six different European countries. 


This was undertaken at each of the schools in the partnership and it was the main task of the first year. The key areas of consideration were:

The legal aspect of founding a business
A five year budget plan
Staff needed for the branch (presented as an organigram)
Advertising the branch in the form of a poster
Regional products and services

Presentation in Istanbul of the results of the schools


The results of the work of each of the schools was presented at a teachers conference in Istanbul, Turkey.


A method was decided for the comparison of the results.


Comparing the corporate concepts of the different partner countries in a chart. 
This was carried out at the end of the first year of the project. The comparison enabled us to see the intercultural differences that are involved in founding a branch of this company in each of the respective countries.

Meeting in Stockholm
Students and teachers from Obchodná akadémia, Nevädzová 3 in Bratislava visited YBC in Stockholm, where, in addition to cultural exchange, the students could work together in carrying out the comparison of our schools.


Year 2

Teachers' meeting in Oradea:


At the teachers' meeting in Oradea, Romania, the progress of the work to date was reviewed and the second stage in the project was planned.It was decided to develop a quiz that focusses on different aspects of the cultural differences that exist between our societies. Each country is to write six questions on each of the following categories:
  • Food and drinks
  • Sights
  • Social codes
  • Economy
  • Business behaviour
  • Sports
  • Entertainment
For each question, there should be for alternative answers, with a picture for the correct answer.

The student conference in Poland is planned for 9-13 March 2015

The final product of the project will be a Handbook of Intercultural Behaviour, which will combine the results of the two project years and which could then be used by anyone wishing to work or doing business in an EU country.