I developed a report that summarises the knowledge that I acquired over the years and have taught to (MBA) students as a researcher in Cross Cultural Management and Psychology. The report was developed with the aim to inform decision makers in businesses and organisations, who work in an international context. The Financial Times, in fact, stated recently that cross cultural management is a core aspect of leadership and management development. Its available to you at no cost because a) it is important to build a bridge between the real world and academic work as we face a challenging globalised future and b) research needs to have a practical impact.
In terms of globalisation and our future, you are no doubt aware that the worlds regions and countries are mapped according to wealth (e.g., GNP), systems (i.e., political, economical and legal), and development (e.g., infrastructure, level of education). Indices and statistics of these concepts provide us with information about the differences that exist globally between countries. Governments, global organisations (e.g., Worldbank), and multi-national corporations (MNCs) may use it before deciding on investment, aid, and collaborations.
At the individual level, we learn about cultural differences between people through travel, the media and day-to-day living, working, and interaction in a multicultural environment. People vary in terms of what they value and how they do things. We may inform ourselves about the how, what and where of people foreign to us out of necessity or out of interest of the anthropological aspects of (modern) human life.
For some time, knowing the dos and donts often sufficed for any substantial intercultural interaction. In the professional realm, cross cultural training before or during intercultural assignments, projects or mergers usually provided a toolbox of these dos and donts, such as how to greet, what (not) to discuss over dinner, and when to expect a definitive offer on a deal. However, due to globalisation, organisations function within diverse contexts across continents and the modern person has mixed identities (ethnic, national, religious), with x-number of years of experience abroad. This means that a simple dos and donts list is not enough.
Successful interaction requires intercultural insight. This constitutes the know-how as mentioned above but, moreover, it requires the ability to interpret the situation presented to us by being aware of our cultural lenses and keeping the others perspective in mind. It is an updated kind of toolbox, which is adapted to 21st Century working life.
This briefing will address the three core aspects of effective intercultural engagement: Know-How, Cultural Self-Awareness, and Perspective. Each section will describe some important research in an accessible way, illustrated by practical examples. The briefing concludes with advise that can be implemented immediately. Check out the link on the top menu above or click here: Identity Research for Impact – A review for practitioners