Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.


Global Management Communication

Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China - July 2014

Sabrina Bresciani

on 24 February 2015

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Global Management Communication

Cultural Differences
Cultural Regions
Intro & Motivation
Managerial Implications
Managerial Implications
1. Color
2. Direction
3. Icons and symbols
4. Humor
5. Visual metaphors
6. Focus of attention
7. Nature of thought
7 main factors of cross-cultural differences
Visualization is a universal language.
Source: United Nations ESCWA public report
Jamae Mosque, Singapore
Conventions of pictorial representation are culture-bound (Scott, 1990)
In the United States it is typical and welcome to use humor in business conversations (Lewis, 1999),
but in many other countries it is perceived as inappropriate, offensive and might not even be understood as humor
Metaphors fulfill their function only if they can be understood cross-culturally (Hogan 2007)
Only a handful of sports are well known globally (Beamer & Varner, 2008)
Field dependence-independence (Witkin and Berry, 1975)
Change blindness (Masuda & Nisbett, 2006)
Westerners: favor abstract and analytic reasoning, rules, categorization
East Asians: holistic view of the world, focus on relationships and similarities
(Nisbett & Miyamoto, 2005)
1. Overcoming
linguistic barriers
2. Providing double
3. Seeing the
Big Picture
4. Surface
5. Prevent
personal conflict
and the relations
* Power distance
Optional reading: Bresciani S., Eppler M. (2010). Glocalizing visual communication in organizations,
In: Bertagni, B., La Rosa M., Salvetti, F., Glocal working (pp. 233-251). Milan: Franco Angeli.
Non verbal
No general approach
Consider individual differences
Vroom 1964
"Belief that effort leads to a specific level of performance"
Paid on the base of
time vs. output
Number of vacation days linked to
seniority or performance?
Culturally dependent:

pay, promotion

social benefits

job security




quality of life

To strengthen the link:
provide support, coaching, self-efficacy ("Yes, you can")
Types of reward
Distribution Criteria
Desired outcomes
1. Financial/material

2. Social (extrinsic)

3. Psychic (intrinsic)
Retain talented people
Recognition, impact
Salary, bonuses, benefits (I.e., health insurance)
Self-esteem, accomplishment,
sense of competence
1. Results

2. Behaviors

3. Other
Performances: quantity/quality
Teamwork, cooperation, creativity
Type of job, tenure, level in hierarchy
Strategy communication across cultures
Communicating strategy
- with text vs. visual
- with culture-specific visuals
Does it work?
360 experienced managers in Europe and Asia
- strategy is perceived as better

when it is visualized
- subjects are more committed to implement it!

Cultural preferences:
- Westerners prefer linear abstract diagrams
- Non-westerners prefer metaphors and story-telling
Source: Bresciani S., Eppler M., Tan, M., (2011). Communicating Strategy Across Cultures with Visualization: An Experimental Evaluation. Academy of Management annual meeting, 12-16 August 2011: San Antonio, Texas. Carolyn Dexter Award nominee.
Leadership across cultures
Required reading: Javidan, M., Dorfman, P. W., De Luque, M. S., & House, R. J. (2006). In the eye of the beholder: Cross cultural lessons in leadership from Project GLOBE. The academy of management perspectives, 20(1), 67-90.
The the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members
(House & Javidan, 2004, p.15)
“It is important for a manager to always have precise answers for most of the questions followers ask.”

Different expectations on the attributes of good leadership across cultures

Understand attributes of a good leader:
GLOBE study
Classic Model of Communication:
Face to face, telephone, e-mail, videoconference, visuals, written memos, charts, etc.
Translating thoughts into a code or language
Process of interpreting and making sense
=> Culture, language
Poor connection, illegible handwriting, poor hearing
language issues
different background
i.e., finding the right words
Body movements
and gestures
Facial expressions
Eye contact

Tip: avoid gestures
West: People tend to touch those they like
Impression on warmth and caring
Arab World & Asia: no touching
Westerners: impolite not to look
at the speaker
Asian: avoid eye contact with
Judgmental heuristics
"Rules of thumb or shortcuts that people use to reduce information-processing demands"
Systematic mistakes when making decisions
Kazakhstan, a country with 17 million inhabitants and a territory of 2,727,300 square kilometers (larger than Western Europe)
1. Dimensions
2. Metaphors
3. Geography
- of Thought
- of Time
-Specific cultures
- Hofstede
- Hall
- Trompenaars
What is the purpose of life?
Money Happiness

What is the purpose of a company?
Make money Give a contribution to the society

Which nations are more developed?
The Pursuit of Gross National Happiness: the case of Bhutan

“Wangchuck still maintains that economic growth does not necessarily lead to contentment.”
Source: Time
Additional resources: http://kosmos9.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/what-is-wealth-anyway/
“Although we are the wealthiest people that ever lived, we are by no means the happiest”
 Human Development Index
«It’s not bad, it’s just different»
Stereotyping: assumption that every member of a society or subculture has the same characteristics or traits
1. Awareness of differences & avoid stereotyping
2. Respect
3. Use cultural differences as a resource
Source: TLC conference 2011
Sources of communication

Some (over-)generalization is necessary

Point of view: communication, specific cultural background

What this module is not: a course on theories of culture, on anthropology, on international management or international marketing
We & Them
Source: http://www.worldmapper.org/
Is the World Flat?
Nike recalls 800.000 pairs of sneakers
Source: Sen, A. (2005) The Argumentative Indian. Ch 6: Our Culture, their Culture: 121-138.
Basic ingredient of traditional Indian cooking
Brought to India by the Portuguese
From the “new world”

Noodles from China
Tomato from the “new world”

From the middle East to India
Now a staple British diet
Source: Wall Street Journal Europe, November 17, 2008: 16
may be evaluated, indeed ranked, but only
on the basis of facts and evidence according
to precise criteria and for very specific culture-related activities

is identity
is a sort of collective fingerprint

exhibits differences but may not be judged as globally superior or inferior

*The dilemma of understanding another culture is that it has to be compared to one’s own culture”
Interview: Sting
“I'm an alien I'm a legal alien
I'm an Englishman in New York”
© Holden (2002) Cross-cultural Management
Reverse cultural shock: W-curve
“I’m a stranger here myself”, Bill Bryson, 2000
Sample: 117,000 employees in 53 nations
Culture’s consequences (1997) 10.000 citations
Software of the mind (1984) 15.000 citations
(surpassed Karl Marx as most cited researcher in Social Science Citation Index)
Why Hofstede?
Noted that each culture had a dominant orientation
Optional reading: Hofstede, G. (1984) Cultural Dimensions in Management and Planning, Asia Pacific Journal of management
Individualism (and collectivism)

Power distance

Uncertainty avoidance

Masculinity (and femininity)

Time orientation
Source: http://www.geert-hofstede.com/
Degree to which individuals are integrated into groups.
Individualist: the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family.
Collectivist: people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.
Arab World
Extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.
This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society's level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders. 'all societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others'.
Arab World
Society's tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations (novel, unknown, surprising).
Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures.
Uncertainty accepting cultures, are more tolerant of opinions different from what they are used to; they try to have as few rules as possible
Distribution of roles between the genders.
Women's values differ less among societies than men's values;
The assertive pole has been called 'masculine' and the modest, caring pole 'feminine'. The women in feminine countries have the same modest, caring values as the men; in the masculine countries they are somewhat assertive and competitive, but not as much as the men, so that these countries show a gap between men's values and women's values.
Dimension added by a Chinese study
Added subsequently to Hofstede Dimensions (Hofstede ’94)
Problematic measurement

Long Term Orientation: thrift and perseverance
Short Term Orientation: respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations, and protecting one's 'face'.
Innovation and entrepreneurship:
more individualistic and less uncertainty-avoidance national cultures tend to be more innovative and entrepreneurial
(Franke, Hofstede, and Bond, 1991)

It’s answer B
Hofstede's Identification of National Cultural Differences and Their Consequences: A Triumph of Faith - A Failure of Analysis. McSweeney, B. 2002 In : Human Relations. 55, 1, p. 89-118.

How Not Do Cross Cultural Analysis: Predictive Failure and Construction Flaws in Geert Hofstede's Case Study. / McSweeney, Brendan ; Brown, D. ; Iliopoulou, S..
Problems with Hofstede study?
*Correlation between collectivism and high-context
Source: The Silent Language (1959)
The Hidden Dimension (1966)
Beyond Culture (1976)
one thing at a time
organized and methodical
a chain of isolated successive blocks
Eg. Germans
usually also low-context
Source: Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (1997)
Riding The Waves of Culture: Understanding Diversity in Global Business
Source: Trompenaars (1997) Riding The Waves of Culture

Trompenaars (2003) Did the Pedestrian Die
Specific - Diffuse
Source: Trompenaars (1997) Riding The Waves of Culture
Lewin’s circles of private-public relationships
So how can we describe cultural differences?!
-primacy of a culture
-Western reasoning
Problems with Dimensions
Cultural metaphor = “some unique or distinctive institution, phenomenon or activity expressive of a nation’s values”

Examples (Gannon):
American football, German symphony, Italian opera, Chinese family altar, Japanese garden, Swedish stuga, etc.
American football:
individualism and competitive specialization
complex plays (playbook)
high risk, aggressive (violent), rich rewards
people from different backgrounds and abilities come together periodically to solve short-term problems.
ceremonial celebration of perfection
United States
German symphony:
focus on enduring achievement
precision and synchronicity
Individual goals are subordinated to group goals
Italian opera:
operatic overture
exteriority. The belief that the individual cannot keep thoughts and emotions to himself/herself.
interaction between soloists and chorus, similar to the interaction between the individual and the group
Chinese Family altar:
Harmony with the family
Capacity of changing while maintaining solid traditions
Well-integrated social unit uniting generations (including the dead)

Find a metaphor for a specific culture
(your own or a culture that you know well)
Metaphors of intercultural encounters
Optional reading: Fang & Faure (2011). Chinese Communication Characteristics: A Yin Yang Perspective. International Journal of Intercultural Relations.
Geographical maps are NOT objective depictions of reality
they are a product of what the author wants to emphasize

Traditional world map: product of conventions
Many types of world maps exists with different orientations
<- i.e., Japanese map of 1671
Source: Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. 2010. The WEIRDest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Cambridge University Press, 33 (2-3): 61-83.
WEIRD = Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic
Westerners East Asians
Categories vs. relationships
“perceptual processes are influenced by culture”
East Asians:
attend to the relationship between the object and the context in which the object is located

Favor reasoning that is:
-holistic view of the world
-focus on relationships
-focus on similarities
The Geography of Thought:
consequence of the influence of prominent philosophers over 2500 years ago.
Humane interactions across boundaries

Ethical behavior is different across cultures!

Decision Making

Adapted from: Gannon (2001): 81

Source: Deresky (2002) Global Management, ch 4
Hall‘s Dimensions - implications for management communication
(Samovar & Porter)
Managers spend >50% of their time talking to people

Cultural variables affect the communication process
Social organization
Thought patterns
Roles (status)
Non verbal communication
Sichuan mistranslates Xiaoxin huadao 小心滑倒
Lost in Translation
E Vaara, J Tienari, R Piekkari Language and the circuits of power in a merging multinational corporation, Journal of Management, 42 (3), 2005.
Language and Power
Chinese prefer to think about the situation for over 30 seconds before they speak
Paralanguage: styles of verbal communication
Source: Trompenaars (1997) Riding The Waves of Culture
Source: Trompenaars (1997) Riding The Waves of Culture
Paralanguage: tone of voice
Global Manager
“I always thought I was right, until I went overseas.”
(Lewis, 2008)
Hispanic America
(Lewis, 2008)
Audience expectation during presentations
(Lewis, 2008)
Communication patterns at meetings
Arab World
Effectiveness of global teams
Required reading: Adler, N (2001) International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior, 3rd ed.; Taylor, chapter 5.
- creativity and effectiveness tend to be enhanced with diversity
- critical to address conflicting values and attitudes directly
- "trained incapacity" of functional specialists
multicultural teams have the potential to be: - the
most productive
- the
least productive
homogeneous teams tend to be of average effectiveness

Multiple perspectives and interpretations
Richer alternatives & more ideas
Increased creativity and problem solving skills
Increased flexibility
Limited groupthink: less likely to engage in
1. self-censoring
2. sharing an illusion of unanimity
3. directly pressuring
4. emergence of self-appointed mindguards
Diversity-Related Advantages
Increased ambiguity and confusion
Difficulty to converge meanings
Lack of trust
Harder to reach agreement
Lower cohesiveness
Harder to make decisions and agree on specific actions
Diversity-Related Problems
Source: Adler, N (2001) International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior, 3rd ed.; Taylor
Effectiveness of global teams
Optional reading: Tan et al. (1998) Reducing Status Effect with Computer Mediated communication: Evidence from Two distinct national cultures. JMIS

- Increases team knowledge sharing and recall

Parallel processes
Detachment of ideas from proponents

Effectiveness of global teams

Largest democracy on earth
>1 billion people and counting
18,000 colleges and universities
Language: Hindi (40% of the population),
+14 official languages
Major inventions: zero, decimal
system and God
Average income = 20 Renminbi per day
Population below poverty line: 37% (400 million!)

Religion: place of origin of Buddhism and Hinduism.
How many Hindus?
How many Buddhist?
East vs. West - the myths that mystify (Devdutt Pattanaik)

Culture and Business
“Ghandi realized that trust in leaders is extremely important if the followers have to commit to sacrifices.
He unleashed the most powerful instruments for gaining trust – leadership by example”
(Murthy 2009, pg: XV)

Source: N.R. Narayana Murthy (2009) A Better India A Better World
Leadership: lessons from Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys
“Communication is crucial to the success of a manager.
Given that we are to work in multicultural teams, we have to use universally understood words, simple but powerful words and metaphors to communicate with people across the globe”

“Creating a team, transcending biases of nationalities, races, religious beliefs and classes, and embracing both multiculturalism and diversity is your big challenge.”

“We will be better human beings if we are open-minded about learning from other cultures while retaining the good in our own.”
(Murthy 2009, pg: 24-25)
Social Information Process Model
Fundamental attribution bias
Self-serving bias
tendency to attribute another person behavior to his/her personal characteristics, as opposed to situational factors
attribute our success to internal factors and failures to uncontrollable external events
Miscommunication is costly!
Which is the best country on earth?
U.S.A. Switzerland Bhutan Norway China .....
- ethnocentrism
- subjective truths
Are you happy?
Culture shock
"Americans were fixating focal objects at a greater proportion than backgrounds, compared with Chinese. Averaging the data from 1,100 to 3,000 ms, Chinese were fixating more often to the backgrounds and less to the objects, compared with Americans."
Source: Chua, Boland, and Nisbett (2005). Cultural variation in eye movements during scene perception. PNAS August 30, 2005 vol. 102 no. 35 12629-12633,
Almost half of expatriates leave the assignments earlier
and 25% of repatriated resign within 1 year!

Over 50% of international M&A fail after a few years
Definition of culture
GLOBE (2004): “shared motives, values, beliefs, identities, and interpretations or meanings of significant events that result from common experiences of members of collectives that are transmitted across generations”

Hofstede (1983: 89): "the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.“

Culture is learned and not inherited.
Ignoring cultural differences is costly!
Reverse culture shock
Strategies to cope
with culture shock
More dangerous than culture shock
because unexpected
1. Training to overcome prejudice
2. Exposure to people with different backgrounds (personal approach)
3. Constant mentoring/coaching

=> Mutual adaptation
Poor career planning
Unsupportive work environment
Work-life balance
due to job dissatisfaction and problems adjusting to the host country
(Source: Pricewaterhouse Coopers)
The role of gender
Only about 20% of all expatriates are female
more successful than male expatriates
(Source: Knicki and Kreitner (2011). Organizational Behavior)
High-Low context cultures

Time: monochronic-polychronic
Implications for management:
tend to do many things simultaneously
‘never-ending ocean extending in every direction’
Eg. Spanish, Arabs, South Americans
usually also high-context
and Hampden-Turner
- more context-rich approach
- leveraging the emotional appeal
- more comprehensive and holistic
Cultural Onion
or Family meal
Example: Kazakhstan
Ideated and drawn by Daniyar Davletbayev
by Tony Fang
for Chinese communication
Required reading: Nisbett, R. & Miyamoto, Y. (2005). The influence of culture: holistic versus analytic perception. TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences, 9 (10): 467-473.
Levine, R.V. (1998). A Geography of Time: The Temporal Misadventures of a Social Psychologist, Basic Books/Perseus, pages 187-206 (chapter 9).
Source: Holenstein
Further optional reading: Nisbett, R. (2003), The Geography of Thought.
Focus on a salient object independently of its context

Favor reasoning that is:
-based on rules and categorization
Ancient Greeks: emphasized freedom and individuality, viewed argumentation and criticism of others’ point of view as a way to advance knowledge

Ancient Chinese: concerned primarily with social harmony, therefore public criticism and disagreement were discouraged.
Relationships are the basis of
East Asia
Type of message
Body movements (kinesic behavior)

Actions are universal, meaning is not
Decision making: ethics
Required reading: Adler, N (2001) International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior, 3rd ed.; Taylor, chapter 7.
Required reading: Adler, N (2001) International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior, 3rd ed.; Taylor, chapter 8.
Niclas, L., Erhardt, N.L., Werbel, J. D. & Shrader C. B. (2003). Board of Director
Diversity and Firm Financial Performance, Corporate Governance, 11 (2): 102-111.
Diversity and Financial Performance
Language pockets
"Members of one team of engineers assumed their American colleagues had more technological expertise than did their Moroccan colleagues simply because Morocco is less technologically and economically advanced"
"An Indian manager described the lack of respect granted him by many of his British colleagues who, he believed, 'assumed that I am underdeveloped simply because I come from an underdeveloped country'. "
Cultural oxymoron
Opposite of western non contradictory principle
both-and instead of either-or
Paradoxical orientation
Yin-Yang: Center of Chinese cognitive process
change- fundamental principle of the universe
Two opposite but complementary forces
no absolute borderline between Yin and Yang
Constant dynamic balance
Weiji (crisis): wei=danger, ji=opportunity
Temporal illiteracy
awkward and
embarrassing situations
"Extreme present-orientedness, not the lack of income or wealth, is the principal cause of poverty"
Banfield (1968) The Unheavenly City.
In school children should behave according to
sequential directions
and temporal expectations
Temporal flexibility
Example: Mexicans commuting daily to California
can switch back and forth between the two different times
"When entering the United States, he would feel his whole being switch to rapid clock-time mode: he would walk faster, drive faster, talk faster, meet deadlines." (pg. 190)
Temporal training programs
Eight lessons:
1. Punctuality: learn how to translate appointment time
2. Understand the line between work time and social time
3. Study the rules of the waiting game
4. Learn to reinterpret 'doing nothing'
5. Ask about accepted sequences
6. Are people on clock time or event time?
7. Practice
8. Don't criticize what you don't understand
(for Westerners -time is money cultures- for surviving in slower cultures)
What is the appropriate time to arrive for an appointment?

When should you expect others to show up?

What sort of apologies/excuses are expected and acceptable?
Saudi Arabia
No apologies for not showing up. Why?
- People feelings are more important than accurate information
- Meaning of "yes" and "no problem"
How much time of the work day is spent on-task
and on socializing/chatting/being pleasant?
U.S.: 80:20
India/Nepal: 50:50
Japan: private time is not very relevant, socialization is an essential part of the job
- who is expected to wait for whom
- time is money?
- who should not wait
- what is the protocol for waiting in line?
"Is appearing chronically busy a quality to be admired or to be pitied?"
No plans, waiting for something to happen
constant activity
stops along the way are as meaningful as the eventual destination
Meaning of silence
Take coffee/tea before getting down to business?
Man+woman having lunch together (alone) = love relationship
Love is necessary for getting married
(East Asia)
US: 80%
India: 24%
Thailand: 34%
Pakistan: 39%
ridiculous to make lifelong arrangement
based on an emotional reaction
Clock time
Event time
Example HSG & Nobel laureate
understanding ≠ successful application
Training: no watch
'simulated village'
for Peace Corps volunteers
Western need to make something happen,
to control time
pg. 203
"In cross-cultural management and intercultural communication literature, culture and communication are conceptualized in terms of static bipolar cultural dimensions. [...]
This dichotomist system of analysis reflects a western bias in defining the object as it sets attributes in terms of opposition.
The Chinese logic rather tends to associate them.
The non contradictory principle is a product of Western ideology."
Fang & Faure 2001: 324
Chinese people are collectivists in some situations and individualists in other situations/contexts
Personal space
Open doors
A Chinese bank is merging with an Indian bank:
which corporate language should they adopt?

Which are the consequences?
Corporate case:
Finnish Merita bank merges with Swedish Nordbanken
Relevance of languages:
basic means of communication in organizations
basis for knowledge creation
for organizing
+ power!
Which language?
Power implications of language policy decisions:
1. social interaction

2. identity/subjectivity construction

3. structures of domination
language skills become empowering and disempowering
language skills associated with professional competence
creation of (new) social networks
i.e. language pockets
'circuits of power'
=> Western driven globalization hegemony
legitimate vs. illegitimate power
in organizations (Mintzberg)
(Clegg 1989)
language based networks for accessing information
=> changing specialization instead of learning the language
" Managers with the right language skills may easily occupy gate-keeping positions and channel information"
selection of a particular language creates superiority-inferiority relationships
"If we had chosen English, we would have had all the documentation in a language foreign to both sides"
Evidence from the
Merita-Nordbanken case
"Finnish managers and staff felt handicapped by their limited communication skills"
"In the beginning it was a terrible shock. It felt like... half of our professional competence had been taken away when we had to use a language that was not our own native tongue.
You felt like an idiot... The main thing was to get over the feeling of inferiority"
"With Finnish as your native tongue... you are in a weaker position... Whether or not this is the case, it feels like it when the other person speaks his native tongue... But, turning it the other way around, we have this secret language in which we can speak pretty freely to each other -in the middle of a negotiation."
"Climbing up the corporate ladder to top positions in the bank is not possible without fluency in Swedish. Skills in the Finnish language have, however, not been set as a requirement for reaching the board level"
"Many people decided to leave the bank"
"In Finland, we lost many potential future key figures because they realized that they would never be able to compete with their Swedish rivals"
Diversity =
women and minorities
* definition specific to this study
greater demographic diversity on boards of directors has a positive impact on financial performances
112 large US companies
board diversity
financial performances
ROA 1993 and 1998
ROI 1993 and 1998
percentage of women and minorities to white Anglo-Saxons for executive board of directors
executive board of director diversity was positively associated with both return on investment and return on asset
greater knowledge base
increases creativity, innovation,
quality of decision making
more effective in dealing with org. change
negatively related to consensus
more time and effort to reach decisions
reduced team performances
positive impact on the "controlling function"
minimize group think
Types of Diversity in Teams
Actual productivity=potential activity-losses
Paradox of multicultural team effectiveness
( faulty process )
A successful team should:
-recognize the differences
-Establishing a vision
-Equalizing power
-Create mutual respect
-Giving feedback
Diversity should not be ignored!
pg. 139
Asians, Africans
i.e., from family and friend
numbers, data
future oriented cultures generate more alternatives
Americans pride themselves on being quick decision makers. Being 'decisive' is a compliment.

Middle East : "Americans' unwillingness to take more time reflects the lack of importance they place on the business relationship and the particular work at hand"
Critical incident
Would you report a classmate who cheated in an exam?
Would you report to the authorities if the company you work for is conducting business unethically?
* Universal principle to the extent that it does not specify the type of rewards
collectivistic cultures
high uncertainty avoidance
individualist & low uncertainty avoidance
In Africa: condemnation of self-seeking individualism!
individualist + depends on training
I.e., in India entrepreneurs trained for achievement performed better than untrained entrepreneurs
Mexico, Mediterranean countries
(Tahiti: more fun less cost)
Brazil: typical to help employees with personal financial problems
In Japan: the promotion of a manager separated him from his colleagues, embarassed him and diminished his motivation to work
In fact, the report needed 30 days of regular work. So the Greek worked day and night, but at the end of the 15th day, he still needed to do one more day's work
Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo.

"I look at the amazing diversity of our executive Committee. We have 29 people in the Executive Committee. We have a Sudanese leading Europe, a North American as vice chair, an Italian who is leading North American beverages, a Middle Easterner runs Asia, and I don't even want to talk about the CEO. That diversity is what keeps our company grounded and helps us make market-based, sensible decisions."
second largest food and beverage business in the world by net revenue
India vs. U.S.A.:
Source: The India Way: Lessons for the U.S., Academy of Management Perspectives, May 2010
"Major Indian companies are not succeeding despite the fact they are pursuing a social mission and investing in their employees. They are succeeding precisely because they do so."
The first time my American professor told me "I don't know the answer, I will have to look it up", I was shocked.
I asked myself "Why is he teaching me?"
In my country [Iran] a professor would give the wrong answer rather than ever admitting ignorance.
Problem: "North America cultural norms encourage managers to blind themselves to gender, race, and ethnicity"
Marc Twain: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Especially for Asians compared to Americans
Problem of excessive status effect:
Cognitive inertia and conformance pressure
Global Management

Prof. Dr. Sabrina Bresciani
University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Beijing, July 2014
GPD growth rate 2012: 9.9%
B. Obama "The United States of America is the greatest nation on earth"

Is it?
November 5th 2012 Iowa
...highest child mortality in US than in Cuba and most Western countries
What is the purpose of communication?
convey information
build/maintain relationships
and hierarchy/status
(i.e., "older sister", "uncle")
"Hall and Beadsley (1965) have maintained that, compared to East Asian countries, North America is in the Stone Age when it comes to social relationships."
goal of life: win, be the best
goal of life: harmony,
be recognized by the in-groups
(Dimension: power distance,
ascribed status)
Dimension: collectivism


Open it?
(and comment?)
honesty vs. hiding emotions
Which aspects should be considered for good communication?
Western model
(by Shannon and Weaver)
Semantic Noise
First Model of Communication
"Ethics in Confucian thought are based on relationships and situations rather than on some absolute and abstract good.
From a North American point of view, applying different rules to different people and situations may seem to violate the sacred code of fairness and equality that accompanies the individualistic values"
(Uma Narula)
(Samovar and Porter)
(Samovar and Porter)
What is missing in the model?

-Face issues

indirect communication helps to prevent the embarrassment of rejection
mediated communication:
- asking someone else to transmit the message
- talking to a third person in the presence of the hearer
-acting as delegate (=conveying the message as being from someone else)
Direct communication is sign of honesty.
Rejection is part of the learning process
Indirect communication is perceived as
unwillingness to take responsibility!
Embarrassing for Westerners!
Why involving other people?!
Hierarchy /status
Visualization as a method
for analyzing cultural incidents
Let's practice!
Visualize the cultural incident:
Work in groups of 2 or 3 or 4 (not more)
use a visual method (diagrams, schema, metaphors, icons, maps, etc...) to explain:
- the problem (based on cultural differences concepts learned in the course)
- propose a solution
Yes = ?
No = ?
I will try = ?
Tomorrow = ?
Chinese culture often appeared “seamless, mysterious and impenetrable” in the eyes of a westerner (Matalene, 1985, p. 790).
Fei Xi & Han Guang, Harbin Institute of Technology, China
West: flowers, chocolates, (wine)
India: cloths (don't bring food)
Arabic countries: no wine, no gifts for opposite gender

West: open, thank, and make positive comments even if you don't like it
America = I'm working
Africa = come inside, I feel friendly today
Arab world, South Asia: full body coverage
Arab world: way of socializing (for men only)
India, USA: lower classes only, if you smoke = you are low class
South Korea =
Arabs, south Americans: very very close
direct = honest indirect = dishonest
When I was smoking on the roads while I was walking, or shopping, Korean people were
pointing at me and staring in really bad way. On top of this, many people came to me, and said
something on Korean by pointing my cigarette. I am from Turkey; however, I travelled to many
countries but never faced with this reaction other than Korea. According to Korean people, a
woman smoking publicly is not proper act, which even seems like you are a worker of pleasing
2. Advertising / marketing
3. Knowledge work
dramatic Japanese movie dealing with the happenings in Kobe during the Second World War
1. Humor:
purpose of cartoons, manga and anime
for children
serious topics
dramatic topics
(but changing...)
Coca Cola around the world
very structured, clear categories
crowded, people, faces
Implications for business presentations
Visual support
Clear agenda
Clean layout
Max 6 lines per slide
Consistent visual structure
from general
to particular
->diagrams, schema, models
-> examples
the structure
and the visual layout
for your group presentation
You need to sit together with your group for the case study presentation of next week
copying from Japan
Typical Western reading pattern
Rule 1: limited color palette
Rule 2: white space
Rule 3: use a grid
As a manager,
how can you motivate
your people?
(work harder/smarter)
Giving and receiving
Feedback is necessary for improving
yourself/ your actions/ your products
=> be open and thankful
to those who spend their time
giving you suggestions!
Start with positive feedback
then negative feedback
conclude with suggestions for improvements
Recruiting (HR)
Desired employees qualities are culturally dependent!
Western/Multinational companies
- Use heavily Linked-in
- will check your online presence
=> you should have one!
A Norwegian master student
applies for a job in a bank, in London
Is it ethical?
Read the case

Write your answer to the following questions
on 3 post-it notes (one post-it for each answer = 3 post-its)

1. Why FIFA considers their behavior problematic/unethical?

2. Why Mr. Temari thought his behavior is okay?

3. Which ethical principles should we apply?
(= who is right and who is wrong?)

Hong Kong
South Korea
Listening habits
Is it okay to...
steal others' properties?
kill people?
kill animals?
cheat taxes?
death penalty
India's sacred cow
10 commandments
no copyright in Russia
high concern about intellectual property in the West
And what can you do if somebody
stills something from you?
A common practice in many countries
Unacceptable in North America and northern Europe
everyone writes at the same time
"eBay may be a shark in the ocean, but I am a crocodile in the Yangtze river. If we fight in the ocean, we lose - but if we fight in the river, we win."
Jack Ma, CEO Alibaba Group
Western manufacturers, burned by the experience of seeing their former Chinese partners produce copycat versions of their products, increasingly shift (part of) the production to India
Gupta and Wang, 2009
"360-degree review processes are a waste of time: employees from high-power distance cultures are hesitant to be critical of their superior and fail to participate in the process."

Computer Mediated Communication:

-Can reduce status-effect during group communication
"Some of the team members who could have contributed the most remained quiet to allow the more senior persons to lead the problem solving, thus depriving the company of some of the new ideas that the more recently educated employees could have provided."
Imagine you got a job in a company,
and this is their corporate strategy...

please answer the questions
remember to put your name

After you finish I will explain what it was about
and we'll provide your results in the next days

Read the case
Work in small groups

Analyze the case using concepts learned in this course: which are the causes of the problem?
Provide solutions
Jack Welsh
former CEO of GE
Mark Zuckerberg
Founder and CEO of Facebook
Richard Branson, founder and CEO of Virgin
Narayana Murthy, co-founder and CEO of Infosys
Jack Ma, owner of Alibaba and Taobao
"A leader's most important job is to maintain the team's morale and foster a never-give-up attitude"
China and USA

What is leadership for?
A land
of contradictions
Presentation: http://prezi.com/cglqhcal7xaj/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy
Full transcript