International Business Ethics in the MBA Program

Dr. Andreas Grabenstein is a lecturer in the International Business Ethics module. In a blog post of the Institut persönlichkeit+ethik , he reports on the findings why conflicts arise in management teams with different cultural backgrounds and the approaches students take to solve them.

Can this turn out well? - Five people, four cultures in the management team of a medium-sized company: one Iranian, two people from India, one German, one Chinese. They discuss loudly and enthusiastically which conflicts can boil up in their team due to their cultural differences - and what they could do to prevent them.
Although the situation was virtual - the team members were students in the MBA program at Ohm Professional School Nuremberg - the conflicts are real: What role do family and friendship play in hiring employees? How to give feedback on critical points: Directly, indirectly or not at all? Is leadership bound by rules or do leaders directly play out their power?

What could help in such conflicts? - Some insights from the discussion: Respect for each other as a basis. To perceive and acknowledge cultural differences, not to overplay them, but to approach them intrepidly. Giving „User Manuals“ for oneself: What helps me to make a good contribution; what would block me? Jointly agreed rules help - not just sharp checklists, but core standards and points of reference. An agile approach helps instead of rigid and detailed processes: Start, trial and error, reflect in between and go further. And of course – what helps to cope with intercultural differences in management teams are workshops like this!

Institut persönlichkeit+ethik has been accompanying the International Business Ethics module in the MBA program at the Ohm Professional School in Nuremberg for many years.