Cross-Cultural Business and Virtual Team Communication

CCBM – Cross-Cultural Business and Virtual Management Communication Analyzing and Awareness Tool – is a scientific methodological tool designed for the purpose of awareness raising, counselling and coaching in the areas of intercultural management and virtual team communication. CCBM was developed by the M2C Institute for Applied Media Science and Culture Bremen and the Centre for Intercultural Management of the University of Applied Sciences Bremen.

The CCBM-tool TRAILS is a cross-cultural business and virtual team communication training and eLearning platform based on a highly experienced blended learning methodology. It consists of analysis, awareness and training tools. It is the result of the current research and development at the M2C Institute and the Centre for Intercultural Management of the University of Applied Sciences Bremen. The project is a result of the “Smart Cities – Smart Culture – Smart Humans” strategy of the European “ThinkBETA – Evolution of Smart Cities” think tank for research and development, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research – International Office (BMBF).

In TRAILS the M2C Institute and the Centre for Intercultural Management explore and develop demand-oriented use cases that already have been deployed successfully. The aim of TRAILS is to develop a platform for a full service regarding the work inside and the leadership of virtual teams. Therefore enterprises’ staff and senior management can use TRAILS as an information tool and for the purpose of coaching and counseling. The eLearning platform is an appropriate tool for knowledge development in the phase of preparing and creating virtual team structures.

High Mobility against the background of increasing global networks based on economy and media characterizes future dimensions of intercultural communication, especially in virtual working environments. Online collaborations at work have the potential to trigger and shape significant changes within the working environment in a way future societies will function. Modern technologies enable the companies’ personnel to communicate actively and interdisciplinary at an international level, over wide distances and beyond cultural borders. For this reason intercultural competence is considered to be a key qualification; in combination with virtual competencies it appears as a vital factor of success.

Recent studies point to deficits regarding know-how of intercultural networking and its implementation in technically supported virtual cooperation between global actors. Former approaches disregarding the current state of research have not anticipated the technical visualization of an increasing share of intercultural communication. To close this gap, TRAILS and the further research and development of CCBM join and integrate applied research and development of digital tools with individually designed integrative methods of media-supported learning.

Only this technical and methodological interconnection allows solving huge deficits regarding the quality of management, communication and apprehension in such a way that economic efficiency as well as sustainability in social, political and cultural concerns of global players can be augmented considerably. TRAILS plays in the area of cultural, organizational and educational development within the think tank ThinkBETA. The innovative potential of the TRAILS tool lies in the option to develop novel instruments and methodologies for analysis and learning within intercultural and virtual working environments.


TRAILS offers different analysis tools:

- The Intercultural Competence Screening

- The Intercultural Preference Profile

- The Intercultural Preference Leadership Profile

- The Virtual Team Development Model

- The Virtual Team Competence Analyser

- The Virtual Emotional Leadership Profile etc.


Besides these analysis tools TRAILS offers multiple applications:

- Te-Learning

- Attendance courses

- Counselling

- Coaching

- A web portal for participants


TRAILS offers a platform for blended learning in the areas of virtual teamwork and distance leadership. The platform contains of different elements:

- Module 1: Analysis tools

- Module 2: Counselling

- Module 3: E-Learning 1: Knowledge bases

- Module 4: Attendance courses

- Module 5: E-Learning 2: In-depth knowledge

- Module 6: Certificate



Centre for Intercultural Management of the University of Applied Sciences Bremen.

SMARTIC Smart Innovation and Creativity Cluster

International think tank „ThinkBETA“