Understanding Culture and Diversity

Opening night special game of concentrated team work - M18 knows how to cooperate

Everyone’s workplace is becoming more culturally diverse as a result of globalisation. To notice, understand and interpret the cultural influences in communication and daily interaction is so comprehensive that this is now even an independent scientific discipline.

Cultural diversity is particularly high at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management: In the Full-time MBA M18, for example, the 61 students come from 24 different nations and thus also from many different cultural backgrounds – 95 % are non-Germans and all continents but Australia are represented. It is therefore hardly surprising that intercultural training courses are particularly popular at our business school. At the request of many students and due to the very positive feedback on the Cultural Diversity Workshop I of the Welcome Week, the responsible lecturer Raphael Schoen developped a course format and contents that follow on from the first, together with the MBA students.

The contents of the HHL Cultural Diversity Workshop II

  • Case study Global Team Leadership
  • Lecture on Leading in a Global Environment and Team Dynamics
  • Team Role Patterns about different roles in the team and how they affect each other
  • Success patterns of Trust – The base for International Cooperation: Trust is not established in the same way everywhere in the world.
  • Team Simulation: An exercise to promote team cooperation

Raphael Schoen

Raphael Schoen uses a variety of methods and games according to the goals: “I would like to deepen the topic of global teams with the students. The focus is on improving cooperation among each other and preparing future cooperation in international teams and especially for German management. This allows, among other things, a better positioning for the German labor market – an objective pursued by many MBA students.” The diversity expert is not only an experienced negotiator but also a corporate consultant in the fields of international market entry, global management and distribution. As  an HHL Part-Time MBA Graduate and currently PHD Candidate Raphael Schoen has strong ties to HHL and knows about diversity conflicts and chances  in class from his own experience.

Headstart in internationality

After their second training session, the students continued to be enthusiastic: “The workshop provides one with an interesting insight into different cultural perspective, be it in personal or professional situation. At a time when many of us are entering the corporate world, the case studies and scenarios mentioned in the course gives us a headstart in the methodology of working in an international team. Special thanks to Raphael Schoen , who was exemplary in his teachings!”
enthuses Vinay Reddy, M18.

His fellow student Ankur Aggarwal, M18, adds: “Before the course, though I knew that cultural difference does exists in workplaces, I never really connected peoples’ actions with their specific culture. I joined this course with the aim to understand what makes people behave differently in different situation, what drives them to adopt different approaches. With the conclusion of the Cultural Diversity workshop, dust settled with a clear view. The workshop helped me to understand how culture impacts an individual behavior, thus, equipping me with the knowledge of not only dealing with the cultural differences, but also shaping my actions to deliver my message effectively. I would definitely recommend this workshop to every individual who wants to work or stay in a country culturally different from his/her own.”