The EIBA (European International Business Academy) conference was held at the University Complutense of Madrid from December 10 - 12, 2021 on the topic of "Firms, Innovation, and Location: Reshaping International Business for Sustainable Development in the Post-Pandemic Era". The Chair of Intercultural Communication was jointly represented by Professor Christoph Barmeyer, Madeleine Bausch, Constanze Ruesga Rath, and Tuzienka Chenet Ugarte. In the poster session, Professor Barmeyer and his Ph.D. students presented two posters on the topics "Challenges and Solutions in Culturally Sensitive Research in Brazil" and "Intercultural Entrepreneurship: An Emerging Field of Research and Practice?". The first poster presented the challenges of culturally sensitive research in Brazil and the solutions from a self-reflexive view of the research process. The second poster laid out the emerging field of Intercultural Entrepreneurship and its distinction from other research streams.
Despite the uncertain development of the Corona pandemic, which presented the organizers with a lot of challenges, it was a great opportunity for much-desired personal exchange and networking with other colleagues. The inspiring research contributions from colleagues from different countries conducting intercultural research were dedicated to exploring the role of culture in business and IB research using quantitative and qualitative methods.
On the occasion of the publication of the second extended edition of the book "The Spy who impressed me" PD Dr. Jörg Scheffer (Geography) and Professor Christoph Barmeyer presented various central themes of the James Bond films, which are also addressed in the anthology at the invitation of the Neuburger Gesprächskreis under the title "The new normal der Populärkultur. Welche Welt zeigt uns James Bond? Wirkmächtige Repräsentationen von Kultur und Raum in den 007-Filmen" on December 7, 2021. For 60 years, James Bond - the most successful cinema series in the world - has been showing viewers the good and bad in the world, representing countries, occupying spaces with associations, and creating world views. 007 embodies ideals, identities as well as a certain style and exemplifies intercultural competence. By analyzing the cultural and spatial representations of the films, this lecture took a critical look at the power of the famous secret agent to influence perceptions of certain countries, regions, cultures, and our worldview.
From November 30 to December 2, 2021, Madeleine Bausch taught the master course "Constructive Intercultural Management" virtually at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, as part of the Eurocampus program. The course consisted of theoretical inputs, interesting case studies on Constructive Intercultural Management presented by the students, and exciting discussions in which students from Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland and France actively participated. The Eurocampus program is a Europe-wide joint project of nine universities from different European countries, each of which sends master's students to a partner university for one semester. A maximum of 45 students then attend various courses on topics related to intercultural communication and intercultural management. Three students from the University of Passau participated as well.
On November 3, 2021, strong entrepreneurial spirit blew through the seminar rooms of the University of Passau. The seminar Intercultural Entrepreneurship & Design Thinking by Constanze Ruesga Rath had four successful and international entrepreneurs as guests who presented their life and entrepreneurial journeys as well as a current Design Thinking Challenge of their businesses to the students. The challenge will be worked on in small groups and presented at the end of the seminar.
The seminar aims to link two current and relevant research areas: entrepreneurship and intercultural communication. This knowledge is not only conveyed theoretically, but is also directly put in practice using the innovative and human-centered Design Thinking method.
Ahmet Deniz kicked off the seminar with Establi, a start-up whose mission it is to support people with a migration background in Germany in founding a company and, among other things, to build up a start-up community. Furthermore, we had the US-American founder and CEO of ESSTAR, Krista Anderson, as our guest. After a serious illness, she set herself the goal of making healthy snacks more accessible and thus contributing to a healthier society under the motto: “Making the healthy choice, the easy choice”. Finally, the bicultural entrepreneurial tandem of Ernesto H. Ruiz from Mexico and Jan Sliva from the Czech Republic presented their company RUIZ Modedesign, a high-fashion business in Passau, which designs and manufactures high-quality leather bags according to the principle of quality over quantity.
We are very curious which insights the students will draw from their Design Thinking Challenges and present to the companies in the final session on January 28, 2022.
Together with Professor Ernst Struck, Professor Christoph Barmeyer organized an international conference on "Towards Constructive Intercultural Management. A conference on research approaches and perspectives" at the Turkish-German University in Istanbul from October 7th to 8th, 2021. Constructive Intercultural Management (CIM) deliberately focuses on constructive aspects of interculturality and understands the encounter of cultural difference as a resource, for example, in the joint negotiation of management and organizational practices. In this way, it explores how cultural differences can be enriching and complementary and create added value for individuals, organizations, and societies.
Internationally renowned researchers from Turkey, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland and South Africa as well as PhD students and undergraduates participated in the conference and presented and discussed the state of research from different disciplinary, paradigmatic, thematic, and methodological perspectives. The focus was also on cultural pluralism in the sense of multiple cultures, dynamic aspect of interculturality in organizations. Intercultural practical references, especially Turkish-German, were created, among others, through a round table discussion on best practices in human resource management, in which HR managers from the companies Bosch, Mercedes, and Siemens participated.
At the Turkish-German University, founded in 2010, in which the University of Passau participates with a double master program "Intercultural Management", German, Turkish and German-Turkish students and scholars work together. Professor Struck and Professor Barmeyer were assisted by Kira Braun and Melih Pehlivan in organizing the conference.
The photo shows the researchers with Professor Struck and Professor Barmeyer.
Professor Christoph Barmeyer and Sina Grosskopf, research assistant, stayed in Québec (Canada) with Professor Kerstin Kuyken from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) from September 18 to October 1, 2021. The stay, which was funded by the Bayerische Forschungsallianz (Bavarian Research Alliance), pursued various goals. One was to strengthen a collaboration in the field of intercultural and migrant entrepreneurship in research and teaching between the University of Passau and the University of UQAM. In this context, Professor Barmeyer and Ms. Grosskopf gave lectures to Bachelor and Master students, exchanged ideas with cooperation partners, such as the representation of the Freistaat Bayern and BridgeMtl, a company that supports the integration of migrant entrepreneurs in Montréal. They also attended meetings of the Groupe Entrepreneuriat Société Transformation (GEST) research center there. Furthermore, the planned network ("Intercultural Migrant Community") between entrepreneurs in Bavaria and Québec was concretized and Canadian entrepreneurs were won for this international and intercultural network. This network will bring together (migrant) entrepreneurs from Québec and Bavaria and enable them to exchange good practices regarding innovation, cooperation and distribution channels (Europe and North America). Furthermore, this community will be a place to connect research and education. Likewise, an agreement for the exchange of students between UQAM and the University of Passau could be initiated. Completion of this project would also enable closer cooperation and exchange of lecturers in the future to advance projects and publications on intercultural entrepreneurship, such as PATEC (Passau the Entrepreneurial Campus). Professor Barmeyer and Ms. Grosskopf also met with representatives of the International Office and the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences at the partner university Laval in Québec City - with which a successful student exchange has been conducted for almost 30 years (as part of the International Cultural and Business Studies and European Studies program) - and discussed possible changes and developments.
Our congratulations go to Constanze Ruesga Rath, who won the Fachschaftspreis for Digital Teaching 2021 of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in the category seminar with her proseminar “Grundlagen der Interkulturellen Kommunikation“. The award is aimed at teachers in the categories lecture, seminar, language course, and tutorial who have shown great commitment in dealing with the challenges of online teaching and who have convinced the jury with their innovative and student-friendly concepts. The nomination and voting for the award were carried out by the students of the University of Passau. Constanze Ruesga Rath's seminar was characterized not only by the musical accompaniment of the Zoom sessions and the facilitation of exchange in break-out sessions, but also by the fact that the students had to prepare the core messages of their topics through innovative e-learning inputs. There were no limits to the formats, for example Instagram/Twitter posts, videos, digital illustrations, podcasts etc. could be chosen. The best three e-learning inputs were selected within the seminar and competed with the best e-learning formats of the seminar “Kreativität als Form interkultureller Synergie in Musik und Kunst“ by Madeleine Bausch in a final session with an expert jury. The jury consisted of Professor Christoph Barmeyer, academic staff of the chair as well as Florian Tettenhammer from the Center for Information Technology and Media Services and Maria Wilhelm of the Transfer Centre of the University of Passau. The winning teams were awarded with book prizes.
For the 5th time, Professor Christoph Barmeyer, together with Professor Sylvie Chevrier (Université Gustave Eiffel, Paris-East) and Professor Mette Zølner (Aarhus University, Aarhus), organized a track at the EURAM conference (European Academy of Management), which took place online from June 16-18, 2021 at the Université du Québec à Montréal, UQAM.
Their section “Management and cultures: qualitative organizational research” was dedicated to the study of cultures in organizations using qualitative methods. Based on the assumption that management practices are culture-specific and require adaptation to local cultural contexts, the aim was to examine emerging management practices, taking cultural differences into account. In doing so, intercultural relations in the work environment, languages in organizations, international transfer and recontextualization of management tools, and the interaction of cultures and power relations in different organizations were examined. Methodological questions like the following were also addressed: How to access international contexts? How can similar work situations in different countries be compared? Which language should be used in the research? What strategies enable researchers to conduct meaningful intercultural research?
From May 17 to 21, 2021, the DAAD Summer Seminar "Companies in West and East - Challenges of Intercultural Communication" took place at the University of Passau under the direction of Prof. Dr. Thomas Wünsch. The research associates Sina Großkopf and Constanze Ruesga Rath of the Chair of Intercultural Communication were in charge of the virtual workshops for the alumni from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The sessions started on May 17, with an introduction to cultural and intercultural studies with explanations of terms and classification models. The second day was a training block on cultural dimensions and a simulation of the Moral Machine, which impressively demonstrates an ethical dilemma. For a comprehensive glimpse into the field of intercultural communication and management, participants of the DAAD Summer Seminar joined Prof. Dr. Christoph Barmeyer's lecture on Constructive Intercultural Management the following day, providing insights into intercultural teamwork. On Thursday, May 20, the workshop concluded with critical incidents of verbal and non-verbal intercultural communication. Throughout the workshop days, the presentations and trainings were accompanied by lively discussion and exchange of experiences, which was an enormous enrichment for participants and trainers alike - for this we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all participants.
We would also like to thank Professor Dr. Thomas Wünsch and Danny Jurjevic for the invitation and the excellent organization and coordination of the Summer Seminar.
In the context of the collaboration as scientific member of the PhD program "Imprenditorialità ed Innovazione" ("Entrepreneurship and Innovation") at the Parthenope University in Naples, Professor Christoph Barmeyer participated on April 22, 2021 together with Professor Antonio Meles (Università degli Studi della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli"), Professor Alessandra Storlazzi (Università Suor Orsola Benincasa) and Professor Alessandra Allini (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) at the disputation of Salvatore Campana on the topic "Mixed Reality, Hybrid Reality, and Serious Game Reality. A cross-country analysis of Italian and English cultural heritage museums".
The starting point of the PhD thesis is the hypothesis that technology-based innovations and disruptive digital technologies permeate not only areas such as video games and entertainment, but also areas such as tourism and cultural heritage institutions. Therefore, the PhD thesis studies two Italian heritage museums and one English heritage museum characterized by different historical, artistic, archaeological values, a specific historical period and strong interconnections with the urban context. These museum contexts feature three different mixed reality projects. The thesis shows how the different Mixed Reality applications and other potential digital technologies are an asset for technology-driven innovation in museums.
On April 15, 2021, the Zeitbildstiftung travelling exhibition entitled "MITEINANDER. Integration gestalten" was opened virtually. This is intended to raise awareness of the topic of integration in all its facets. Both scientific findings and contributions from students are the content of the exhibition. Dr. Martina Maletzky de García is on the scientific advisory board and assisted with the conception as well as the selection of the student contributions. The exhibition will be on display at various stations. Further information and the youtube video can be found here.
We congratulate Carina Stumpf on successfully defending her dissertation entitled „From the old into the new – How an international practice transfer fostered an organization’s intercultural development“ at the faculty of psychology and pedagogy of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich (LMU). Her dissertation was part of a cooperation between AUDI AG and the LMU, supported by the Chair of Intercultural Communication of the University of Passau. Supervisor was Professor Dieter Frey (LMU, Chair of Social Psychology), the second corrector was Professor Christoph Barmeyer. Within the marketing and sales department of Audi, the dissertation examines the international transfer of a newly developed sales strategy from Germany to Spain. A main result of this first part of the study is that the headquarter’s transfer strategy changes from an ethnocentric to a more ethnorelavistic attitude towards its subsidiaries – a phenomenon that can be described as intercultural organizational development. This result leads to the second, closely connected part of the research where the organization’s intercultural development is investigated applying an action research approach. Intercultural learning takes place which, first, leads to a change of the transfer strategy from a “one-size-fits-all”-approach to granting more local adaptation. Second, after feedbacks and examples for local adaptations return from the subsidiaries, the headquarter begins to actually appreciate them and actively searches for these local interpretations. The dissertation therefore connects the fields of research on international practice transfer and intercultural organizational development.
In the last months of the lockdown, it has become generally challenging to get together with people and learn more about other cultures. Therefore, every two weeks, interested students meet through Zoom at the Intercultural Gathering (Interkultureller Begegnungsraum/IKB) to talk about certain topics, play games and get insights into other countries and their traditions. On February 18, 2021, the IKB, which takes place in cooperation with the Chair of Intercultural Communication and the International Support Service of the University of Passau, was all about Turkey. At the beginning of the event, participants tried out various video filters so that the evening started with everyone in a good mood right, and their cultural diversity was reflected through costumes. Afterwards, the participant Osman Nergiz told us about the customs and everyday life in his home country. In the process, we learned more about the game of tavla, the Turkish hamam and oil wrestling (Yağlı güreş) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5sl-SCldiU). Of course, there was no shortage of culinary delights, and after an introduction to Turkish breakfast (kahvaltı), participants also learned how the refreshing drink Ayran is traditionally made (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlxDRCc1dsM). During the evening, we discovered not only new insights about Turkey but also its similarities to traditions in other countries, such as Schwingen in Switzerland. Until a face-to-face meeting in Passau is possible again, we will collect more ideas for common activities at our next Zoom meetings and travel together virtually to new countries.
The integration of new immigrants is an important topic for societies such as Germany's. In this context, the Zeitbildstiftung is preparing a touring exhibition in which schoolchildren are actively involved who deal with the topic of integration in innovative projects. A student competition was held for this purpose. On February 12, 2021, a broad jury decided on the best entries.
Further information can be found here: Eine schwere Aufgabe für die Jury - MITEINANDER. Integration Gestalten (integration-gestalten.de)
Dr. Martina Maletzky accompanied the exhibition project as scientific advisor and advised on the conception of the competition, the creation of information material on the topic of integration as well as on the implementation and evaluation of the exhibition.
As part of the project seminar "Interculturality and Practice" by Dr. Martina Maletzky, the participants presented their practical projects developed in recent months in a pitch on February 10, 2021. Together with mentors of the Transfer Center, practice partners and participants in the Refugee Programme, the students had worked out interculturally sound practical projects on various topics in five teams during the semester on the basis of the design thinking method. Topics included, for example, the integration of refugees in rural areas, the integration of refugees and international students into voluntary work, and science communication. The aim of the meeting was to present the prototype as convincingly as possible for the 5 minutes. As different as the themes were, so were the pitches. According to the ideas of design thinking, there were no limits to creativity. The students presented their projects in the form of storyboards, group presentations or a short film and thus made the event a great conclusion to this seminar. We would like to thank Maria Wilhelm and her colleagues for their intensive supervision of the seminar, as well as the practice partners Patrizia Hager (District of Passau), Tobias Schmidt (City of Passau), Perdita Wingerter (Association "Living and Learning Together in Europe"), Luise Haack and Barbara Bauersachs (both University of Passau) as well as the international students for their constructive feedback.
No value or objective is mentioned as often in the European Treaties as "solidarity". When it comes to communicating the idea of a common Europe, even politicians like to talk about European solidarity. But what does solidarity actually mean in practice, in everyday European life? Do the southern countries of the EU perceive it in the same way as the northern countries do? What cultural and political differences arise in the definition of the term? Is solidarity the same depending on whether we are talking about taking in refugees, dealing with Corona or dividing up the EU budget?
We were keen to find out more and contacted MPs from different parliamentary groups and countries. Three of them responded and made themselves available for an exchange with the students. A small group of participants had worked out a Paper in which they had compiled positions, proposals and considerations on how to deal with solidarity with concrete examples. We presented these to the delegates as a basis for discussion in preparation for the talks. Each discussion was chaired by two students who had previously familiarised themselves intensively with the topic. The talks were held with Ms Bischoff (SPD/SD), Ms Keller, former mayor of Strasbourg (list Macron/Renew) and the chairman of the Junge Union Bayern (CSU/EVP), Mr Doleschal. All students who were able to participate in the discussions had a positive impression of the meetings. The MPs were well prepared for most of the questions and answered precisely and sincerely. Contrary to our expectations, the atmosphere was relaxed and allowed for a frank and hopefully mutually rewarding discussion. We were especially delighted when Mme Keller kindly invited us to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. We hope that the visit can take place in autumn. This will also give many of the seminar participants the opportunity to finally get to know each other personally.
Dr Hans-Walter Schlie, lecturer at the chair of Professor Christoph Barmeyer
In the spirit of interdisciplinary and interfaculty scientific exchange, the Chair of Intercultural Communication (Professor Christoph Barmeyer) and the Chair of International Management and Social Entrepreneurship (Professor Suleika Bort) organize a monthly doctoral colloquium. The aim is to discuss the research work of the doctoral students of both chairs from an interdisciplinary perspective. Besides the presentations and feedback rounds, there is also a lively exchange of knowledge based on scientific publications, e.g. on methods or paper-writing.
As part of the advanced course "Potentials of Bicultural Individuals", Professor Christoph Barmeyer, in collaboration with Dr. Alex Frame and Dr. David Bousquet from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, who are leading a Master's in Intercultural Management, organized a Zoom workshop on January 26, 2021. The goal of the workshop, which was attended by 25 students who come from over 15 countries and often have a bicultural background, was to provide a forum for exchange and reflection. Topics were worked on together such as: Through which – socializing – influences has biculturalism developed? How can bicultural individuals deal with it constructively (e.g. by changing the language (code-switching) or by integrating different cultural frames of reference (frame-switching) in finding solutions)? To this end, various dialogical working groups took place in which students could exchange ideas.
An Erasmus agreement with the University of Dijon has been in place for a short time, enabling students to exchange interesting study opportunities. In addition, further cooperation is planned, such as a – hopefully – face-to-face workshop in May 2021 at the University of Passau.
How biculturality - a great opportunity for organisations and society - can be shaped constructively was the topic of the panel discussion as part of the Bachelor's lecture "Introduction to Intercultural Communication and Intercultural Management" on 19.01.2021, which was organised by the Chair of Intercultural Communication.
After a short introduction to resources of bicultural people, i.e. people who have internalised systems of meaning and interpretation from two cultures, a lively discussion took place with the three guests: Katrina Jordan, Communication and Marketing Department and Head of Media Relations at the University of Passau, as well as the Czech landscape ecologist Jan Sliva, who consults European nature conservation projects, and the migrant entrepreneur from Mexico, Ernesto Hinojosa Ruiz with his [ RUIZ ] fashion design in Passau's Theresienstraße. The stimulating event, which showed diverse perspectives on biculturality and in which the audience also actively participated, was moderated by Professor Dr. Barmeyer and research assistant Sina Grosskopf of the University of Passau.