The purpose of the course is to help students whose careers will take them into business, government, nonprofits, educational institutions, and religious institutions do better in environments that are increasingly intercultural (in various senses). Within an institution, how can we do better by taking advantage of the diverse characteristics of its members? In what senses do institutions have their own cultures, and how might these be taken into account? Beyond a particular institution, policies are implemented in diverse social and cultural settings. How might a better appreciation of these settings lead to better policies, processes, treatments and systems?
The course considers working in a different culture (or with people from a different culture) and working in a culturally diverse setting (multicultural). We explore what is known about the educational effects of diverse classrooms, the productivity effects of diverse workplaces, and the social effects of diverse communities. We review the state of knowledge about how to take advantage of cultural diversity to improve outcomes. The course draws from many disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, economics, management and organization theory, statistics, and the humanities.
Applications include education, health care, business, economic policy, international development and marketing. Examples are drawn from the United States and around the world.
Students will work on collaborative projects that identify and analyze examples of success in working across cultures.