On July 13, 2022, Professor Christoph Barmeyer organised an intercultural workshop for staff members of the department as well as students. The aim of the workshop was to teach the participants various methods of intercultural competence development based on experiential learning, such as simulations, role plays, case studies, communication and feedback exercises. The exercises were each accompanied by introductions and reflection phases with discussion in order to adopt an appropriate meta-level. The restaurant Mariensäule in Wernstein am Inn and the beautiful summer weather provided an appropriate setting for concentrated and stimulating collective learning.
On July 11, 2022, a joint intercultural picnic took place at Bschütt Park. Students from the intercultural encounter space coordinated by the chair (Dr. Martina Maletzky de García), the mentoring programme as well as the refugee programme met for a joint picnic with intercultural exchange. The group with people from more than 10 countries of origin exchanged not only recipes but also discussed about stereotypes and cultural peculiarities and proved once again: Intercultural experiences can not only be gained abroad!
Due to a joint research cooperation, Professor Kerstin Kuyken visited the Chair of Intercultural Communication in Passau from June 28 to July 6, 2022. Ms. Kuyken is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the École des Science de la Gestion of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and founder of the Research Center for International and Intercultural Entrepreneurship.
The aim of the research stay, which was funded by the Ministry of International Relations and Francophonie in Québec (Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie), was to continue working on the topic of "Intercultural and Migrant Entrepreneurship", which had already been addressed in recent years together with Sina Großkopf. During the stay, Professor Kerstin Kuyken gave a lecture on "Entrepreneurship in Québec" and participated in a presentation and ideation workshop with PATEC representatives. She also spoke with the International Office about the Erasmus exchange between UQAM and the University of Passau. Together with Sina Großkopf and Professor Barmeyer she was working on finalizing a joint article entitled "Transforming context through knowledge creation: A culture-based study of migrant entrepreneurs in Germany". In addition, a meeting took place in Munich together with Michael Kriegel (Founder consultant - Ideation - Publishing and lecturer for Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation), Maria Wilhelm (PATEC/Transfer center), Constanze Ruesga Rath (PATEC) and Sina Großkopf. Work was also done on developing further start-up activities of students in Québec and Bavaria, especially related to a joint project seminar that could be combined with the planned Intercultural Entrepreneurship Community (PATEC). Finally, the planning for the stay in Montréal of Constanze Ruesga Rath, Sina Großkopf and Professor Christoph Barmeyer in fall 2022 was discussed.
As part of the lecture "Introduction to Intercultural Communication" by Dr Martina Maletzky de García, Ms Nina Heinz spoke about her intercultural experiences in development cooperation in Africa. After a brief introduction to development cooperation, the speaker used lively examples to show how important it is to take off one's own cultural glasses and understand cultural specifics from the inside in order to be able to carry out development cooperation successfully.
The Groupe d'Étude Management et Language (GEM&L) conference took place from May 19 to 21, 2022 at the Redoute and the University of Passau. Under the title "The multiple facets of language in international organizations: New directions for research", current research, practical issues and projects on language in organizations and multinational companies were presented and discussed by an international community and audience.
The conference, organized by GEM&L under the presidency of Dr. Philippe Lecomte in cooperation with the Chair of Intercultural Communication, was attended by around 60 internationally renowned researchers as well as PhD students from 15 different countries, presenting and discussing the state of research from different disciplinary, paradigmatic, thematic and methodological perspectives, with questions on the role of language, multilingualism, culture and communication in international companies and organizations. Practical references were created, among other things, by a round table discussion on cultural and linguistic challenges in international companies, in which responsible persons from ICUnet, AUDI and the German-French cultural broadcaster ARTE participated.
The conference was sponsored by the Neuburger Gesprächskreis and the University of Passau. In organizing the conference, Professor Barmeyer and Dr. Philippe Lecomte were assisted by Dr. Madeleine Bausch, Constanze Ruesga Rath and Tuzienka Chenet Ugarte, research assistants and doctoral students in the Department of Intercultural Communication at the University of Passau.
Here you can find a further report about the conference.
Sylvia Mello is doing her PhD at the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) in Rio de Janeiro and stayed at the Chair of Intercultural Communication from May 1 to 31, 2022 to work on her dissertation on humility as a competence of expatriates. Sylvia Mello worked for more than 20 years in international HR for multinational organizations and her research focuses in the area of Global Mobility and Intercultural Management. Some of her recent articles are „Expatriate's engagement and burnout: the role of purpose-oriented leadership and cultural intelligence” and “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on expatriates: a Pathway to work-life harmony?”
She now enriches the research on Global Mobility with the concept of humility. Her current research approach is to discover the “lived meaning" of expatriate humble behavior, by learning from human resource managers, and expatriate managers themselves, about how expatriate humble behavior operates in corporate international assignments, what is considered as humble behavior, and what humble behavior adds to the set of competences that stand out in the life of a successful expatriate.
She attended various courses at the Chair of Intercultural Communication, and participated in scientific exchanges, such as the PhD colloquium with Professor Mary Yoko Brannen, the GEM&L Congress, and presented her own research in colloquia and courses herself.
The photo shows Sylvia Mello (left) and the chair team.
Within the framework of the Franco-German Master's program of Aix Marseille Université and the University of Passau "Cultural Economics/International Cultural and Business Studies (ICBS) - Langues Étrangères Appliquées (LEA)", which is sponsored by the Franco-German University, Dr. Catherine Teissier stayed at the Chair of Intercultural Communication from May 23 to 25, 2022. The goals of the stay were to organize an information session for interested students, an exchange with the students of the current cohort, a meeting with colleagues from the university, and to work on an image film of the study-program.
The photo shows Dr. Catherine Tessier, Constanze Ruesga Rath, Professor Christoph Barmeyer and the German and French students of the Master's program.
"Cross-Cultural Management & Cultural Identity: Past Perspectives and Present Prerequisites" was the guest lecture given by Professor Mary Yoko Brannen. Mary Yoko Brannen is Professor Emeritus of International Business at San José State University, USA, and Honorary Professor at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. She was associate editor of the Journal of International Business Studies from 2011 to 2016 and is currently consulting editor. In the lecture, she discussed how people identify (or not) with their respective cultural groups: Identity is central to all aspects of adaptation, including workplace adaptation and, more broadly, cultural adaptation, which directly affects well-being and performance. However, in the face of migration, workforce mobility, and global corporate expansion, often in the form of cross-cultural mergers and acquisitions or international joint ventures, the construct of cultural identity is becoming increasingly blurred. The aim of her presentation was therefore to bring the construct of cultural identity more formally and explicitly into the research field of cross-cultural management (CCM) in order to provide a basis for shared understanding and critical discussion.
As part of the international GEM&L conference "The multiple facets of language in international organizations: New directions for research", organized by the Chair of Intercultural Communication from May 19-21, 2022, Professor Mary-Yoko Brannen participated in the Chair's PhD Colloquium on May 17, 2022. She is Professor Emeritus of International Business at San José State University, USA, and Honorary Professor at the Department of International Economics, Government, and Business at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. She commented in detail, through constructive feedback, on the presented doctoral theses of Birgit Gabriel on collective boundary spanning at Arte "30 years of 'regard croisé' - the headquarters of ARTE in Strasbourg in its role of intercultural coordination" and of Tuzienka Chenet Ugarte on "Biculturalism: implications for leadership styles in Latin America".
On May 09, 2022, the launch of the joint intercultural entrepreneurship community between Bavaria and Québec took place. The event was organized by Professor Christoph Barmeyer, Constanze Ruesga Rath and Sina Großkopf from the Chair of Intercultural Communication, together with Professor Kerstin Kuyken from the E S G UQAM (École des Sciences de la Gestion of the Université du Québec à Montréal).
The goal of the joint Entrepreneur Community is to connect founders, students and researchers from Bavaria and Québec. For this reason, the event was hosted via the virtual showroom Agora - a software created by the Québec company: Atypic Labs.
This particular venue represented a new and interesting experience for many: Atypic Labs' mission is to overcome the typical interpersonal hurdles of a usual online meeting and thus provide an interactive experience. In this way, it was possible to successfully pursue the main goal of the event: The emergence and deepening of a Entrepreneur community between Bavaria and Québec, in order to further exploit the cultural and economic potential of the two regions and to inspire each other interculturally and entrepreneurially.
In the dynamic and interactive spaces of Agora, aspiring entrepreneurs from Bavaria and Québec were able to exchange ideas, and the already successful founders were able to share their experiences and intercultural challenges in starting a business. Promising contacts were made, helpful information was exchanged and the entrepreneur community between Québec and Bavaria was deeply strengthened. Thus, the community event and the launch can be considered a full success!
Professor Christoph Barmeyer and Constanze Ruesga Rath stayed from April 11th to 14th, 2022 at the partner university AMU (Aix Marseille Université) in Aix-en-Provence. The University of Passau and the Aix Marseille Université for decades already have a bi-national degree program "Cultural Studies/International Cultural and Business Studies (ICBS) - Langues Étrangères Appliquées (LEA)", sponsored by the Franco-German University. The aim of the stay was to work on the joint cooperation, teaching topics, as well as the improvement of structures and processes of the double degree, and to shoot an image film for the study program. For this purpose, numerous working meetings with colleagues and graduates of the study program took place. There was also participation in courses at the AMU. Among others, Constanze Ruesga Rath gave a lecture on "Culture and Biculturalism" to Master's and exchange students at Aix-Marseille Université.
The photo shows (from left): Constanze Ruesga Rath, Marie-Françoise Mercadier, Andrea Tamiazzo, Catherine Teissier, Christoph Barmeyer.
On April 7, 2022, students under the supervision of Dr Martina Maletzky de García conducted an intercultural Escape Room on behalf of Caritas with participants in the voluntary service, which had previously been designed with a lot of energy and ingenuity as part of the project seminar "Interculturality and Practice". Following in the footsteps of a crew lost on the alien planet Vanhoa (translated: culture), the participants had to work their way through a series of puzzles to pass through different stations involving tasks and puzzles related to culture, religion, stereotypes and prejudices, and language barriers. With sound and light effects as well as appropriate decoration, the participants were thus transported into another world for almost three hours and sensitised to what people experience when they come to a foreign culture. In the end, all four groups managed to escape from the spaceship and received a treasure of international sweets as well as a small iceberg with the inscription: "No culture is better or worse. Cultures are just different".
The preparation and implementation of the Escape Room was highly complex and time-consuming, but all eight students of different nationalities were involved, sometimes until late in the evening, with a lot of heart and commitment. They demonstrated analytical and creative skills and learned a lot about project management and interculturality . Based on the experiences of this first run, the Escape Room will be further adapted and will be used regularly in the future.
On April 1, 2022 Madeleine Bausch successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Intercultural Transfer of Management Practices of German MNC to Brazil: The Interplay of Recontextualization and Translation". In keeping with the spirit of the Chair of Intercultural Communication, the defense was international, interdisciplinary, and took place across three different time zones: The international review committee consisted of Professor Christoph Barmeyer (University of Passau), Professor Rebecca Piekkari (Aalto University, Helsinki), and Professor Jean-François Chanlat (Paris Dauphine Université, Paris). Based on multiple case studies, Madeleine Bausch's dissertation highlights social micro-processes of transferring quality management practices from German companies to Brazil and discusses the complementarity of the recontextualization perspective and the "translation theory" of Scandinavian institutionalism. The main contribution of the dissertation is a transfer model that presents intercultural transfer as an iterative, complex and multilevel process, showing the cultural and institutional characteristics of Brazil from the perspective of multiple cultures.
Since Madeleine Bausch has already been working at the Universidad de Chile, Faculty of Economics, in Santiago de Chile since the beginning of March 2022, the defense was held online via Zoom.
The photo shows the participants together with the Vice Dean for Research and International Affairs, Prof. Dr. Maximilian Sailer.
Innovative teaching formats are both the aim and the theme at the Chair of Intercultural Communication. The creative format of the proseminar "Creativity as a Form of Intercultural Synergy in Music and Art", conceived by Madeleine Bausch in the summer semester 2021, aimed to analyse topics on intercultural synergy and complementarity in music and art and to present them in a creative way. The project was developed as part of participation in the Digital Learning Media Pro (DLMP) teaching certificate at the University of Passau. The students developed interactive presentations with the help of self-designed podcasts, Instagram and Twitter pages, YouTube videos or even a concert programme on case studies such as the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Berlin band Seeed, or Brazilian samba and US-American blues. Thus the title of the seminar can also be understood as method. The complete report of the project can be found here.
Participants of the Intercultural Gathering, which is co-organised by the Chair of Intercultural Communication, learn that intercultural communication is not just a subject of study, but a central part of everyday life. At the Intercultural Gathering (IKB), German and international students meet every two weeks to gain insights into other countries and cultures and to get to know interesting people from all over the world in a relaxed atmosphere. At the same time, the participants learn about theories of intercultural communication through direct contact with people from other cultures. The project is a cooperation between the International Support Services and the Chair of Intercultural Communication at the University of Passau (funded by the DAAD with funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)).
The meetings took place alternately in German and English. In the winter semester 2021/22, there were again several evenings that contributed to Cultural Awareness. The IKB started with two intercultural quiz evenings during the orientation weeks for the new international students, where the participants learned surprising first-hand facts about Japan, Indonesia, Syria, Greece, Nigeria and several other countries. The country evenings, Czech Republic and Georgia, where participants present their home countries, were also represented again in the winter semester. In addition, there was an evening dedicated to "Stereotypes worldwide", which stimulated constructive discussions among the students, which were continued at a virtual spaetzle cooking evening. At the end of 2021, the intercultural Christmas party was also a great success. So, we are already looking forward to a new semester full of exciting IKB evenings that show how intercultural learning can work in practice.
For more information on current IKB topics, please visit the Instagram page of the Refugee Programme of the University of Passau.
At the invitation of Emmanuelle Sauvage, Professor Barmeyer stayed at the IAE (Instituts d'Administration des Entreprises) of the University of Bordeaux as a visiting professor from 31 January to 12 February 2022. In addition to various lectures on interculturality in French and English, he took part in a working group with the CNRS research team led by Philippe D'Iribarne on 9 February (photo). The focus was on the influences of various German philosophers on German culture and social developments. Likewise, Professor Barmeyer gave a lecture on 10 February at the research centre L'IRGO (Institut de Recherche en Gestion des Organisations) on "Coopération transfrontalière ferroviaire et marketing interculturel: le cas de Alleo".
The photo shows (from left) Christoph Barmeyer, Emmanuelle Sauvage, Geneviève Tréguer-Felten, Philippe D'Iribarne, Catou Faust and Jean-Pierre Segal.
The closing event of the proseminar "Intercultural Entrepreneurship & Design Thinking" by Constanze Ruesga Rath on January 28, 2022 was a great success. Just like at semester start, the entrepreneurs Krista Anderson with ESSTAR, Ernesto Ruiz and Jan Sliva with RUIZ Modedesign as well as Ahmet Deniz from Establi were invited as guests. At the beginning of the semester, they presented the students with the following Design Thinking Challenges about their businesses:
ESSTAR: "Design a snacking experience for people in France that takes their cultural preferences and customs into account."
Establi: "Redesign a state's provision of bureaucratic paperwork (for founders) so that it is equally accessible to people with language barriers."
RUIZ Modedesign: "How should/must the environment be designed to make RUIZ Modedesign sustainably successful in Passau?"
The students presented the insightful results of their Design Thinking Challenges, on which they had worked with great dedication and creativity throughout the semester. In the discussion that followed, the entrepreneurs and guests had the chance to ask questions and exchange ideas with the students. The seminar was a great enrichment for both students and entrepreneurs and both sides could learn from each other.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the students for their great commitment and creative solutions, as well as the entrepreneurs who enriched the course with their practical challenges and gave the students a good insight into the life of an entrepreneur.
On the occasion of Dr. Hans-Walter Schlie's 20th "semester teaching assignment", the Chair of Intercultural Communication celebrated at the Syrian restaurant Safi. Dr. Hans-Walter Schlie can look back on a German-French and intercultural career: He completed studies and a doctorate in law in Hamburg and Heidelberg as well as at the ENA (École Nationale d'Administration) in Paris and worked from 1989 to 2010 on the extended board of the European television station ARTE in Strasbourg. There he was most recently responsible for communications and corporate development. He has been closely associated with the University of Passau as an external lecturer since 2012 through various lectures on ARTE and seminars on Franco-German relations and the development of a European value system.
We would like to thank Dr. Schlie for his great commitment so far and hope that he will remain with the university as a lecturer for a long time to come.