This work addresses both undergraduates and graduates of Economics Universities, as well as a wider range of specialists wishing to improve their cross-cultural communication skills, be they teachers, trainers, coaches, or other professionals, who are fully aware of the benefits of ongoing training and self-development.
The choice of the theoretical framework, of the case-studies, and of the (optional) tasks following each topic (especially those on marketing, human resources management, or on strategies aimed at optimizing the functioning of a multicultural team) was dictated by the main challenge of language teaching / learning - French, in particular - in Economics Universities, namely tailoring the contents of learning to the professional needs of multinational companies. Hence, the need for a thorough search into a conceptual network aimed at managing the issues arising from the divergent conceptions or styles in conducting business internationally; also the need for a cross-cultural approach, for developing such techniques of analysis and negotiation that will lead to success in cross-cultural interactions, or strategies aimed at avoiding obstacles - generally caused by an ethnocentric perspective, and by persistent stereotypical representations - namely, strategies of creating similarities within a culturally heterogeneous professional team.
The modules which are developed in this work alternate theoretical reflections on certain cultural patterns, with the way they are applied in the business world, on the ‘cross-cultural’ as ‘inter-subjective’ interactions, but also on mastering cross-cultural communication competence, with examples and tasks meant to stimulate the practice of a foreign language inside a professional environment where protagonists are guided by diverse cultural references.
Finally, the paper aims at defending that type of education which values the egalitarian ethics especially in relation to the attitudes adopted during professional communication, and, simultaneously, to the ways of thinking or practising the dialogue. On the other hand, egalitarian ethics encourages reciprocity with regard to understanding and tolerance, as well as the efforts to build a set of meanings shared by all the players, which is fundamental to the synergetic actions aimed at implementing the professional project they have assumed.