Welcome to the MIC Case Studies page.
Here you will find more than fifty different case studies, developed by our former participants from the Master of Advanced Studies in Intercultural Communication. The richness of this material is that it contains real-life experiences in intercultural communication problems in various settings, such as war, family, negotiations, inter-religious conflicts, business, workplace, and others.
Cases also include renowned organizations and global institutions, such as the United Nations, Multinationals companies, Non-Governmental Organisations, Worldwide Events, European, African, Asian and North and South America Governments and others.
Intercultural situations are characterized by encounters, mutual respect and the valorization of diversity by individuals or groups of individuals identifying with different cultures. By making the most of the cultural differences, we can improve intercultural communication in civil society, in public institutions and the business world.
How can these Case Studies help you?
These case studies were made during the classes at the Master of Advanced Studies in Intercultural Communication. Therefore, they used the most updated skills, tools, theories and best practices available.
They were created by participants working in the field of public administration; international organizations; non-governmental organizations; development and cooperation organizations; the business world (production, trade, tourism, etc.); the media; educational institutions; and religious institutions. Through these case studies, you will be able to learn through real-life stories, how practitioners apply intercultural communication skills in multicultural situations.
Why are we opening our "Treasure Chest" for you?
We believe that Intercultural Communication has a growing role in the lives of organizations, companies and governments relationship with the public, between and within organizations. There are many advanced tools available to access, analyze and practice intercultural communication at a professional level.
Moreover, professionals are demanded to have an advanced cross-cultural background or experience to deal efficiently with their environment. International organizations are requiring workers who are competent, flexible, and able to adjust and apply their skills with the tact and sensitivity that will enhance business success internationally.
Intercultural communication means the sharing of information across diverse cultures and social groups, comprising individuals with distinct religious, social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. It attempts to understand the differences in how people from a diversity of cultures act, communicate and perceive the world around them. For this reason, we are sharing our knowledge chest with you, to improve and enlarge intercultural communication practice, awareness, and education.
We promise you that our case studies, which are now also yours, will delight, entertain, teach, and amaze you. It will reinforce or change the way you see intercultural communication practice, and how it can be part of your life today. Take your time to read them; you don't need to read all at once, they are rather small and very easy to read. The cases will always be here waiting for you. Therefore, we wish you an insightful and pleasant reading.
These cases represent the raw material developed by the students as part of their certification project. MIC master students are coming from all over the world and often had to write the case in a non-native language. No material can be reproduced without permission. © Master of Advanced Studies in Intercultural Communication, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland.
Case Studies in Intercultural Communication
|A Case of Mixed-Religion Marriage|
|Keywords: Catholic, Convert, Ethnocentrism, Family, Judaism, Marriage, Mediation, Mexico, Religion, Stereotypes, Stigmatisation, Values|
|Adapting to the French Culture|
|Keywords: Cultural Dimensions, Cultural Values, Culture Shock, Erasmus, Finland, France, Integration, Proximity, Studying Abroad, Time Orientation|
|A Finnish – Italian Collaboration|
|Keywords: Cultural Dimensions, Cultural Values, Finland, International Collaboration, Italy, Miscommunication, Task Vs Social Orientation, Time Orientation|
|A Highly Explosive Gas Deal|
|Keywords: Economics, Intercultural Negotiations, Iran, Media, Politics, Public Relations, Switzerland|
|A Parish Council in Nigeria|
|Keywords: Africa, Critical Incident, Gender, Generation, High Context/Low Context, Individualism/Collectivism, Nigeria, Public Position, Religion, Time Orientation|
|A Short Guide to Understanding Business Communications in China|
|Keywords: Business, China, Directness, East-West, Individualism/Collectivism, Intercultural Collaboration, Miscommunication, Temporality|
|An Unintended Offence|
|Keywords: Cultural Prejudice, Generalisation, National Identity, National Past, Offence, Stereotypes, Swiss Banks, Switzerland, WWII|
|Christian Christmas Eve Celebration at Multireligious Schools|
|Keywords: Christianity, Christmas, Education, Foreign Influence, Islam, Mediation, Parents, Religious Freedom, Schools, Switzerland, Tolerance|
|Clothing Styles in an Intercultural Setting|
|Keywords: Airport, Awkward Feeling, Burka, Clothing, Critical Incident, International Setting, Local Customs, Neutral Setting, Stereotypes, Travel|
|Conflictual Situation among Counterparts in a Pharmaceutical Company|
|Keywords: Collaboration, Company, Employees, Face Loss, Gender, Intercultural Collaboration, Mediation, Turkey|
|Creation of Forums for Intercultural Exchange and Formation in Nigeria|
|Keywords: Africa, Competence, In-Country Diversity, Nigeria, Religious Conflicts, Representations, Social Capital, Stereotypes|
|Culture Shock in a Professional Environment|
|Keywords: Collaboration, Culture Shock, Ethnocentrism, Integration, International Organizations, Management Styles, Mexico, Working Relationship, Working Styles|
|Culture Shock in China|
|Keywords: China, Cultural Adaptation, Culture Shock, Developmental Model, Going Abroad, Living Conditions, Stages Of Culture Shock, Studying Abroad, Unhappiness|
|Difficult Collaboration or Difficult Communication|
|Keywords: Bureaucracy, Collaboration, Critical Incident, Cultural Etiquette, Netherlands, Rules And Procedure, Saudi Arabia, Status And Hierarchy, Western Vs Oriental|
|Drop the Tie – the Challenges of Reverse Culture Shock|
|Keywords: (Reverse) Culture Shock, Attire, Clothing, Cultural Configuration, Dress Code, Formality, Job Interviews, Non-Verbal Communication, Work Setting, Working Culture|
|Edo the Bosnian Driver|
|Keywords: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Collaboration, Cultural Perception, Employees, Hierarchy, Individualism/Collectivism, Power Distance, Time Perception|
|Emergent Conflict in an NGO for Torture Victims|
|Keywords: Arbitration, Cultural Presupposition, Discrimination, Ethnocentrism, Mediation, Rumania, Torture, Trauma, Xenophobia|
|Fasting the Month of Ramadan at the Workplace|
|Keywords: Ramadan, Religion, Workplace, Conflict, Mediation Strategies, Inter-Religious Dialogue, Professional Environment|
|Female Priests in Finland|
|Keywords: Christianity, Church, Equality, Finland, Gender, Gender Equality, Media, Religion, Religious Beliefs|
|Field Visit in Afghanistan|
|Keywords: Afghanistan, Critical Incident, Cultural Assumptions, Gender Relations, Hierarchy, Islam, Religion, Work Abroad|
|For or Against Religious Instruction for Children|
|Keywords: Agnostic, Atheist, Baptism, Christianity, Cultural Norm, Education, Mediation, Parents, Personal Choice, Switzerland, Upbringing|
|Geert Wilders and Islam in the Netherlands|
|Keywords: Geert Wilders, Immigration, Immigration Policy, Islam, Netherlands, Politics, Religion, Religious Stereotypes, Terrorism|
|Identity Crisis – Flight and Return|
|Keywords: Britain, Culture Of Origin, Expat, Going Abroad, Language, Multiple Identities, Stranger, Switzerland, Two Cultures, Values|
|Immigrating to One’s Country of Origin|
|Keywords: Culture Of Origin, Identity, Identity Shock, Immigration, Language, Stranger, Switzerland|
|Keywords: Collaboration, Cultural Dimensions, Egypt, Employees, Intercultural Competence, Management Styles, Working Abroad|
|Meeting New England|
|Keywords: Adaptation, Culture Shock, Exchange Year, Expectations, Host Family High School, Stereotypes, Study, Teenager, USA, Way Of Life|
|No Going Back – Coming to Terms with an Intercultural Identity|
|Keywords: African Immigrant, Culture Shock, Immigration, Monoculturality Vs Multiculturality, Multicultural Environment, Multiple Identities, Saudi Arabia, Studying Abroad|
|One Size Does Not Fit All|
|Keywords: Business Culture, Collaboration, Communication, Compensation, Complaint, Individualism/Collectivism, Local Market Knowledge, Translation, Turkey|
|On Friday We Meet in the Back Yard|
|Keywords: Discrimination, Islamophobia, Mediation, Minarets, Religion, Right-Wing Politics, Stereotypes, Switzerland|
|Peace Building in Rwanda|
|Keywords: Africa, Ethnic Communities, Genocide, Intercultural Competence, Mediation, Peace Building, Rwanda, Stakeholders|
|Reflexions on the Case of Bosnia-Herzegovina|
|Keywords: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cultural Values, Ex-Yugoslavia, Mediation, Peace Building, Perception, Religion, Religious Belief|
|Save the Project on Indigenous People|
|Keywords: Choice Of Register, Common Ground, Development Cooperation, Ecuador, Indigenous People, Intercultural Negotiations, Negotiation, Non-Verbal Communication, United Nations|
|Keywords: Collaboration, Cultural Dimensions, Intercultural Awareness, Intercultural Competence, Portugal, Stereotypes, United Kingdom, Working Styles|
|Swiss Germans and Germans: Divided by a Shared Language|
|Keywords: Communication, Cultural Dimensions, Germany, Immigration, Language, Linguistic Register, Politeness, Switzerland|
|Tense Negotiations at the World Youth Forum|
|Keywords: Forum, Gender, Homosexuality, International Setting, Islam, Mediation, Politics, Polygamy, Values, Western Vs Oriental, Youth|
|The Alptransit Consortium|
|Keywords: Collaboration, Language, Mediation, Neat, Röstigraben, Stereotype, Switzerland, Tunnel|
|The Case of the Jerusalem’s Temple Mount|
|Keywords: Archeology, Cultural History, Isreal, Mediation, Middle-East Conflict, Palestine, Religion, Religious Symbols|
|The Chinese Bride|
|Keywords: Acculturation, China, Cultural Pressure, Family Expectations, Generation, Italy, Marriage, Overseas-Chinese, Parents, Traditions, Two Cultures|
|The Chinese Restaurant // Invitation by a Stranger|
|Keywords: Awkward Feeling, Critical Incident, Cultural Values, Discrimination, Gender, Immigration, Individualism/Collectivism, Intercultural Competence, Money, Politeness, Social Reflex, Stereotypes|
|The Name of the South African Capital|
|Keywords: Apartheid, Colonialism, Cultural History, Intra-National Diversity, Minorities, Names, South Africa, Symbols|
|The Pope’s Speech at the University of Regensburg|
|Keywords: Islam, Mediation, Offence, Religion, Religious Belief, Stereotypes, Vatican, Violence, Western Vs Oriental|
|The Reception in Pakistan|
|Keywords: Assumptions, Business Meeting, Critical Incident, Etiquette, Gender Relations, Islam, Pakistan, Public Event|
|The Referendum on Minarets in Switzerland|
|Keywords: Inter-Religious Dialogue, Islam, Media, Mediation, Minarets, Muslim Communities, Norms, Public Opinion, Religion, Switzerland, Symbol, Values, Vote|
|The Visit of the Indian Consultants|
|Keywords: Collaboration, Critical Incident, Eating Habits, Hierarchy, India, Mediation, Non-Verbal Communication, Outsourcing|
|The Vote on Minarets|
|Keywords: Islam, Mediation, Minarets, Religion, Religious Symbols, Religious Values And Identity, Switzerland, Symbol, Vote|
|Keywords: Critical Incident, Dancing, Intercultural Relationship, Meeting The Parents, National Symbol, Non-Verbal Communication, Stereotypes, Turkey, Western Vs Oriental|
|Wearing a Veil in a Danish School|
|Keywords: Asylum, Conflict Resolution, Denmark, Education, Immigration, Islam, Mediation, Parents, Religion, Stereotypes, Veil|
|Yes is not the Answer|
|Keywords: Collaboration, Critical Incident, Going Abroad, International Setting, Linguistic Meaning, Management, Miscommunication, Philippines, Stress, Time Orientation, Working Style|
|You Don’t Belong Here|
|Keywords: Australia, Being Different, Discrimination, Generalisation, Hostility, Immigration, South-East Asian Immigrants, Stereotypes, Two Cultures|
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