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Using popular movies in teaching cross‐cultural management

Satish Pandey (School of Petroleum Management, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), Gandhinagar, India)

European Journal of Training and Development

ISSN: 2046-9012

Article publication date: 6 April 2012




The present study aims to understand context and dynamics of cognitive learning of students as an outcome of the usage of popular movies as a learning tool in the management classroom and specifically in the context of a course on cross‐cultural management issues.


This is an exploratory study based on qualitative analysis of reflection notes of 14 students who participated in an elective course on “managing cross‐cultural issues (MCCI)” in the second year of their MBA programme. Students were asked to submit reflection notes focused on classroom learning as an outcome of the course MCCI with specific reference to used movies Outsourced and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Students' reactions in their reflection notes were analyzed through qualitative content analysis.


The findings of this study reveal that students found selected movies very relevant and effective in learning cross‐cultural theories, issues and developing cross‐cultural competence. They also enjoyed movies as learning experience in the classroom. Both instructor's observations and students' reactions regarding the effectiveness of movies as classroom learning tool are very positive.

Practical implications

Popular movies, if appropriately selected and included in cross‐cultural training programmes for expatriate managers, immigrant workers and managers who travel to different countries, could be very useful as a learning tool for developing multicultural perspective and cross‐cultural competence.


This paper could be very useful to academicians and researchers who want to use popular movies as an instructional or research tool for exploring the psychodynamics of classroom learning in management and social sciences courses or professional training programmes focused on cross‐cultural management skills, global leadership skills, diversity management.



Pandey, S. (2012), "Using popular movies in teaching cross‐cultural management", European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. 36 No. 2/3, pp. 329-350.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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