Theories of Intercultural Communication

Instructor:Andrei Kuznetsov
Updated:4 February, 2016

Course Summary

The materials of this course are carefully tailored to consolidate the previous intercultural communication skills and experience obtained by MA students professionally and personally. Both the course content and the project work of students help to fight stereotypes within and around intercultural communication and build up students’ awareness of the key issues in generalized and particular professional fields, along with the intercultural research techniques. It develops students’ skills to integrate interdisciplinary knowledge in Business Management and Administration, Political Studies, Political Geography, Economics, Human Resource Management, Executive Psychology, etc.

Course Format

Hours of lectureHours of discussionHours of independent studyTotal numbers of hours

Course Content

The course will cover the following topics:

  1. Key concepts of ICC (2 hours)
    • Phenomenon of ICC
    • Theory of Activity
    • Theory of Communication
    • Units of Communication
    • Cultural Specificy and Cultural Relativism
    • Non-verbal communication
  2. Culture and verbal behaviour in the context of ICC (2 hours).
    • Verbal behaviour as a cultural phenomenon
    • Ethnic attribution
    • National attribution
    • Territorial attribution
    • Social attribution
  3. Levels of Cultural Competency (2 hours)
    • Intracultural competency
    • Intercultural competency
    • Incorporacultural competency
  4. Interdisciplinarity of ICC and intercultural research (2 hours)
  5. Key and Secondary Data Sources in ICC Research (2 hours)
  6. Key Theories of ICC (2 hours)
  7. Language Picture of the World and ICC research (2 hours)
  8. Stereotypes (2 hours)
    • Causes of stereotypes
    • Levels of stereotypes
    • Impact of stereotypes
    • Preventive measures
    • Overcoming of stereotypes.
  9. Culture Shock (2 hours)
    • Causes of shock
    • Levels of shock
    • Impact of shock
    • Preventive measures
    • Overcoming of shock.
  10. ICC Theories: Practical Outcomes (2 hours)
    • Development of the Secondary personality
    • Development of the Third Culture

Reading List

Required reading:

  1. Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede, Michael Minkov. (2010). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill, USA.
  2. International Journal of Intercultural Relations. Elsevier.

Recommended reading:

  1. Maalouf, Amin (2000). On Identity. Random House, UK.
  2. Gibson, Robert. (2008). Intercultural Business Communication. Oxford University Press.
  3. The White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue. (2000). Council of Europe.

Online resources:

  1. Materials of the research publications available on,, https://eLibrary,

Homework Assignments

Homework will be assigned weekly. You will be expected to study the books from the reading list.

The course presumes your undertaking and presenting of a project on one of the topics of the course; the expected length of the project is 5,000-plus words.


It is a graded course of study. You should complete all the assignments and take an exam.