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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Spring 2007

F C 345 • Doing Business in France

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36520 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
HRH 3.102A
GUILLOTEAU

Course Description

This course will be taught in English. The trend of internationalizing business and services forces companies to cope with cultural differences inside a company and when sending executives and their families abroad. In a foreign country there are more than language barriers to overcome. Methods which work at home can lead to failure abroad. Likewise, the most competent manager can damage an operation if not properly prepared for his or her stay in the host country.

This course is designed to help you cross cultural boundaries, whether you are planning on living abroad as a student, an intern, or an employee. It is not meant to be a technical business course, but rather a course that will help you understand what culture shock is, and how you can prepare yourself for it.

Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary.

May not be counted toward fulfillment of the foreign language requirement for any bachelor's degree.

Includes cross-cultural content.

Grading Policy

  • Course Exams (20%)

  • Historical Summaries (2) /Article Analysis (1) / Advertisement Analysis (1) (40%)
  • The first two papers you will write this semester will treat important events or people in French history (May 1968, Charles de Gaulle, François Mitterand, etc.), or something you find interesting and want to learn more about (i.e., organization of the French government, the impact of the euro in Europe and abroad, how the creation of the EU has impacted France, etc.). Each of these papers will be 3 pages, double-spaced, typed.
    Later in the semester, you will also be required to locate a newspaper, magazine, or Internet article that illustrates issues in French (business) culture or cross-cultural interactions. This article analysis is a paper (3 pages, double-spaced, typed) that begins with a summary of the article followed by an analysis which delineates the relevant cultural elements.
    At the end of the semester, you will analyze a French advertisement, pointing out the elements that make this particular ad appealing to French consumers versus Americans.
    On the day that you turn in your paper, you will also present your topic in a 2-3 minute mini-presentation.

  • Participation: Readings/French Advertisements/Case Studies/ Role Play Negotiation Simulations (10%)
  • This grade is based on student preparedness and participation in class discussions. You will be graded on your participation and how well you apply the cultural elements learned in the course.

  • Final Report and Presentation (30%)
  • At the end of the semester you are expected to have completed a project on one of the following:
    I. You may contact and research an American company of your choice with operations in France and how that company prepares its American employees for living, working, and successfully functioning there, or a French company with US operations and how their employees are prepared before coming to the US.
    II. You may create a fictitious case study about a company along the lines of those we discussed in class.
    III. You may create a negotiation-simulation exercise on the model of those we used in class.
    IV. You may create two ad campaigns of a single product to be sold in both the American and French markets.
    You will give a presentation to the class on your findings AND submit a written paper. Your presentation should last between 12 and 15 minutes. Your paper should be 8-12 pages in length, typed and double-spaced. This is a group project. Groups will consist of 2-3 members.

    This course contains a substantial writing component and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing. The quality of your written expression will be an important component in determining your course grade.

    There is NO FINAL EXAM in this course.

    Texts

    Asselin, Gilles & Ruth Mastron. 2001. Au Contraire! Figuring Out the French. Intercultural Press.

    Course Packet (Speedway Copies on the ground floor of Dobie Mall)- Spring 2007

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