Intercultural Business Practices



Sometimes global business can result in significant disasters for the people of the host country. One such disaster occurred at the Germano mine in the Bento Rodriguez region of Brazil. The mine is owned by Samarco Mineração SA, a joint venture between Vale, a Brazilian based multi-national company and BHP Billiton, an Anglo-Australian multi-national company. How these companies responded to communications leading up to and after the disaster raises questions about their ability to act and communicate ethically in an intercultural and intracultural setting.

Kale (2015) suggests that we can appeal to the human spirit to guide us in our ethical intercultural communication.  He suggests four principles for a code of ethical intercultural communication. These principles can also be used as a basis for any interaction, not just communication, as they reflect elements of various ethical theories.



Prepare a report that evaluates the responses of the owners of the Germano mine and the Brazilian government agencies to the tailing dam disaster that occurred in the Bento Rodriguez district. To start your research, use the search topic ‘Bento Rodriguez Dam Disaster’.


This task is designed to measure the following learning outcomes where students should be able to:

  • be able to outline ethical theories in western moral philosophy and apply them in inter and intra cultural organisational contexts
  • resolve a range of real life ethical dilemmas
  • critically reflect on their role as business professionals and how their future actions as business professionals can affect society in positive and negative ways

Also, this assessment tests your developing skills in relation to the following graduate learning outcomes:
Charles Sturt University aims to produce graduates who:

  • are capable communicators with effective problem-solving, analytical and critical thinking skills and can work well both independently and with others;
  • practice ethically and sustainably in ways that demonstrate "yindyamarra winhanga-nha" - translated from the Wiradjuri language as "the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in"; and
  • are digitally literate citizens, able to harness technologies for professional practice and participate independently in online learning communities.

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