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Intercultural business education: The role of critical theory and experiential learning

Holmes, Prue; Zhou, Vivien Xiaowei


Prue Holmes


Jane Jackson


Workplaces, both locally and globally, are increasingly characterised by complexity, ambiguity, and diversity, but also by individual distinctiveness and local relations. People in the workplace encounter this complexity through technology, and other forms of knowledge and interpersonal relations and exchange; therefore, they require the knowledge and skills to navigate these cultural, linguistic, and other differences both for fostering their professional development and handling pragmatic issues. How then is intercultural communication to be delivered in higher education to support students’ learning and prepare them for the contemporary workplace? To explore and elucidate this question, we provide an overview of some key contemporary theoretical perspectives on and approaches to intercultural business communication. Next, we present some approaches, characterised by experiential learning and critical reflective intercultural action, from our own pedagogic practices that support intercultural learning in the contemporary workplace. We detail two cases where students are respectively guided to reflect on their own intercultural competence in intercultural encounters and on the dynamics of multicultural teamwork. The authors conclude the chapter by discussing implications and directions for future intercultural business communication research and pedagogy.


Holmes, P., & Zhou, V. X. (2020). Intercultural business education: The role of critical theory and experiential learning. In J. Jackson (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication. Abingdon: Routledge

Online Publication Date May 28, 2020
Publication Date 2020-05
Deposit Date Apr 4, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 29, 2021
Publisher Routledge
Book Title Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication
Chapter Number 28
ISBN 9781138389458
Public URL
Publisher URL


Intercultural Business Education: The Role Of Critical Theory And Experiential Learning (631 Kb)

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