Cross-Cultural Management

Assignment 1: Singapore in the Media & Reflective Essay (Individual; 20%)
This assignment aims to help you understand better your own culture, Singapore’s culture (if you are not from Singapore) and the culture of another country. To that end, it has three parts: in the first, you identify, summarise and react to an article about Singapore; in the second part you write a reflective essay and in the third part you make a systematic analysis of your own national culture and then compare it to another country’s culture.

Part 1: Singapore in the News
For this part of the assignment, we ask you to search and select an item from the popular press that features Singapore. It should be a piece that was published in the past year (12 months). The item can come from any paper or electronic media source, published in Singapore or internationally as long as it is a factual news piece (or analysis of news) from a reputable source. Be careful NOT to use internet media sources that are not associated with a reputable newspaper.
The news piece you choose should have in it aspects that relate, refer or inform the reader about some aspect of Singapore culture. First you need to briefly summarise the item and then to respond to it. I want you to give your opinion on what is reported, to agree or argue with it and to write why and you should tell clearly how it relates to an aspect of the Singapore’s culture. Please attach a copy of that news item (or screen shot etc) in the assignment Appendix.

Part 2: Reflective Essay
Reflective thinking is an important aid to adult learning. To that end, we ask you to write a reflective essay related to the topics covered in the course. You need to start the assignment at least a couple of weeks before the deadline. We ask you to conduct observations of your personal, study and work environments for several weeks, while taking notes for the assignment. When writing the essay, try to create a connection between the ‘structured’ academic materials presented in the course and in the reading materials with your own, more personal and spontaneous experiences. The main topic to contemplate and write about is how do you experience Singapore’s culture and society.

Successfully completing this task requires that during the weeks ahead of the deadline, 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 college. 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. What you write may be an insight into a management issue or it could be a new insight about human behaviour or group functioning. It may be a practical idea that you can apply in a particular situation. It may be something about yourself that you just now became aware of. In this assignment, do feel free to express your personal views and to do so in as individual way as possible. The essays are going to be treated as private and will be read only by UCD / Kaplan teaching staff.
You can also supplement or illustrate your essay with references to various media sources. Sample of suggested sources for learning about your culture:
Films about Singapore, or films made in Singapore;
Books about Singapore, or books written by Singapore writers;
Recent articles about life, culture and work in Singapore.

Part 3: Developing Cross-Cultural Effectiveness
The last part of Assignment 1 asks you to analyse a country you choose and compare it to your own culture. First, choose a country where you would be interested to work in. You are free to choose any country outside Asia. That is, you can choose a country in N. America, S. America, Europe, Australia/N.Z. or Africa. Next, we want you to choose one of the following three cultural frameworks to work with on your comparison:
Schwartz Values
Hofstede’s five dimensions
GLOBE dimensions
Present the comparison between your native country and the foreign country according to one of the above models. Then, discuss how these cultural differences would influence or matter for different aspects of your work, including relationships with peers, working with your boss and other managers. Demonstrating your high performance in the company and managing conflicts and disagreements. If you wish, you can select a specific company in the foreign country to refer to as a potential workplace.

Parts 1 and 2 of the assignment are more personal in natures and, as such, it can be written in any format you choose. Your essay should be according to the following maximums (excluding title, reference pages or appendix):
Part 1: 650-750 words;
Part 2: 650-750 words
Part 3: 700-800 words.
Length is less important than conveying reflection and analytical evaluation of your learning experience.
Please see the Guidelines for Written Re

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