|University||Leland Stanford Junior University (LSJU)|
|Subject||Cross Cultural Management|
Reflective thinking is an important aid to adult learning. To that end, I ask you to write a reflective essay related to your experiences in the context of the module’s topics. You need to start the assignment a couple of weeks (or more) before the deadline to allow yourself time to reflect and revise the essay. Successfully completing this task requires that from the beginning of the module, you devote some time to reflect on what you have experienced during your day.
It could be applied at the end of any workday, workweek, project, or assignment at work or at the university. You can spend several minutes–more if it involves reflecting on a prolonged period of time–thinking about the experience you have been through and what you can learn from it, about yourself and the society you live in. Supplement these ‘immediate’ reflections with your recollections and analysis of critical encounters you had during the past year, which revolve around culture.
If you did not have recent experiences that involved meeting other cultures (e.g., travel), I encourage you to do so by visiting a cultural community in Dublin (or other cities you live in) and observe some of the behaviors and activities of community members. A core element in this essay is writing about how you have experienced your culture (Irish, Chinese, German, etc) during the past few months/year.
- Which encounters made you aware of your culture?
- When do you feel that you behaved in a typical way for your culture?
- When did you behave in a non-typical way?
- What were the circumstances?
I encourage you to use examples that include working with colleagues and other Smurfit students and, especially, your experiences with culturally mixed teams, such as for the country presentation assignment in this module.
- How did the teams’ composition affect its functioning?
- Performance of goals?
- What did you learn about yourself from your reactions, experiences, and encounters?
I want you to keep the material we covered at the back of your mind and apply it when relevant in this essay. For example, you can mention values that you think guided your actions or cultural factors that affected your way of communication. Give concrete behavioral examples for the various concepts you mention. At the same time, be careful not to force theoretical concepts from the module on your experience; only use them when relevant and when you are sure they make sense for you.