Thomas Kurz. (2014). Learning Histories as a Narrative Approach in Mindful Intercultural Communication Research. In FENG Yuan, SUN Youzhong (eds.), 《语言·文化·跨文化交际》Language·Culture·Intercultural Communication. 光明日报出版社Guangming Publishing House, pp. 46-70. [ISBN 978-7-5112-7389-5]



T. Kurz (2013). Learning Histories as a Narrative Approach in Mindful Intercultural Communication Research. In Proceedings of 10th China Association for Intercultural Communication (CAFIC) International Conference, November 21-24, 2013, Haikou, China.

There was never a time when people could travel, move or do business across the whole world as easily as today. We often seem to know about national mindsets on a general, cognitive level, but not on an emotional or empathetic level. The transition of cognitive learnings to everyday life therefore can be difficult. This paper utilises storytelling for intercultural learning, through modifying the so called learning histories approach, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It shows that the latest findings from interpersonal neurobiology support the usefulness of storytelling for intercultural learning. The first application of the so called intercultural learning histories is presented. It deals with the interpersonal communication between Austrian and Chinese stakeholders in business contexts. First results from the narrative interviews were analysed and alternative application areas are suggested. In order to support emotional learning this paper is illustrated with comics rather than process diagrams.

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T. Kurz and T. J. Lampoltshammer (2013). Local Stories as a Driving Force for Intercultural, Corporate Development. In Proceedings of Appreciating Local Knowledge Conference, November 21-22, 2013, Salzburg, Austria.

Intercultural theory supported by empirical studies and consequent analysis by Schwartz, Hofstede or the Globe Study provided a valuable language to describe cultural differences and commonalities across cultures. Last year, Monaghan, Goodman & Robinson, in “A Cultural Approach to Interpersonal Communication“ pointed out that interpersonal communication practices are culturally variable and there is no ’right’ way to communicate. In turn, it will be difficult to extract guidelines for a context dependent and broad field like interpersonal, intercultural communication in a corporate context.

The paper at hand is concerned with local stories and narratives as a driving force for intercultural communication and presents a prototype for their geographic and semantic visualisation. Rather than focussing on developing guidelines, it tries to present the variety of experience as a kind of digital storytelling approach. Grounded on theories from psychology and interpersonal neurobiology, it will show how narrative approaches could facilitate intercultural, corporate development and learning. Besides the analysis of narratives in intercultural, interpersonal and corporate research, the paper will also present a first prototype for visualisation and first semi-automatic semantic analysis of intercultural stories. The paper demonstrates how such a visualisation can enhance the understanding of “the other” and how organisations can utilise stories for enhancing their local, regional and global knowledge by learning from each other.  






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Thomas Kurz

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Learning Histories

The Story About The Stories


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