Working in the global village companies and organizations very often find extremely difficult managing their business because of the cultural differences they encounter. Negotiating, cooperating, managing human resources and building relationships highlights many different aspects in the way we communicate, organize work and lead a group of collaborators…
Unforeseen conflicts and misunderstandings may then arise from cultural unawareness and jeopardize the success of projects based on excellent technical, financial and business starting points.
In our big global village communication and transportation speed shortens distances and “throws” us in faraway countries. So that we often lose the perception of the effective geographical and cultural distance between different countries.
Cultural shock is a syndrome affecting many expatriates nowadays: in the past travelers had time, during their journey, to “feel” the distance and reasonably expect great cultural diversity.
Knowing the cultural values reflected in behaviors, mind paths and social rituals different from our owns, allows us to understand in depth a different culture and to gain effectiveness in business relationships, using communication processes and management styles coherent with different contexts.
Today, companies and organizations increasingly need a “compass” allowing them to find the right way and to “disentangle” themselves among all the cultural differences of our village.
“Does and don’ts” of international etiquette are very useful, but not enough to explain why certain rituals exist.
The research conducted by Professor Geert Hofstede on cultural diversity provides a valuable tool for interpreting differences between cultures: a compass which can lead us more safely along the streets – real and virtual – of our global village and open up new, interesting and profitable routes