Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Culture Shock Unexpected

In संस्कृति शॉक, choque cultural, cross culture, Культурный шок, global communication competence, globalization, multi culture, 文化冲击 on August 18, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Experience confirms what academia has researched and proven:  Obvious cultural differences are easier to deal with than the unexpected!

My favourite case in discussions on the cultural dimension in business are the close encounters where none of the parties expect cultural differences to play a role.

Cultural differences played a major role in destroying attempts to merge Swedish Telia and Norwegian Telenor.

So a warning need to be issued:  Cultural differences should never be ignored, but be a standard procedure element of any relevant analysis.   

When travelling far, we are mentally prepared to meet a different culture – different way of thinking.  But those differences are actually around us, even within apparently homogeneous cultures.

Anders, from a rainy and chilly Gjøvik, Norway

Stereotypes, Truth and Fun

In संस्कृति शॉक, choque cultural, cross culture, Культурный шок, globalization, multi culture, 文化冲击 on August 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm

How to describe other nationalities, other cultures?  It is very difficult, at best, and most often it ends up as stereotypes.

Stereotypes only serves as entertainment, and can be quite funny.

Scientists like Edward T. Hall and Geert Hofstede have tried to build models, testing given criteria more scientifically.  They do describe interesting differences between cultures, but need to be read with caution as there are no individual who fit into a generic model.

” Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster.”     Prof. Geert Hofstede, Emeritus Professor, Maastricht University.

 Follow the link on Hofsted to some interesting reading.

Edward T. Hall’s early works “The Silent Language” (1959) and “The Hidden Dimension” (1966) are still monumental works within this cross-section of science.

Follow the link on E.T. Hall for a summary of his models.

Anders, from Gjøvik, Norway