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The World is
No boundaries for business & commerce
The ability to execute financial transactions
instantaneously on a global basis
The ability to locate business, particularly
manufacturing, wherever the cost is lowest
The ability of information and
communication technology to
transcend time and distance
Cross-cultural competence is
no longer an option
It is survival
Cultural intelligence is the capability to deal effectively
with people from different cultural backgrounds
Cultural intelligence is not difficult to understand
but it is difficult to put into practice on an ongoing basis
Three Components of Cultural
intelligence Knowledge of culture: [Definition]
what culture is
how culture affects human behavior
how cultures vary
being aware of our own assumptions, ideas, words, and behavior
being aware of other person’s assumptions, ideas, words, and behavior
using all the senses in perceiving situations
viewing situations from several perspectives
Behavioral skills: [Competence & Choice]
choosing and displaying the appropriate behavior
for each particular intercultural situation
The collective programming of the mind which distinguishes
the members of one group or category of people from another.
Beliefs, norms, and attitudes that are used to guide our
behaviors and to solve human problems.
Guo-Ming Chen, William Starosta
The customs, beliefs, art and all other products of
human thought, made by a particular group of
people at a particular time.
Richard D. Lewis
The way we dress
The way we communicate (verbal and non-verbal)
The way we relate to others and authority
Our outlook and attitude toward life
Our perception of self and role in society
Our perception of time
Our space perception
The way we learn and study
A way of life
Culture is below the
Culture hides more than what it reveals, and strangely enough,
what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants.
Culture is like an iceberg:
only a part of it is seen;
all the rest is hidden under the
Avoiding the Risks
Loss of face
Loss of business
Loss of credibility
Enjoying the Rewards
Increased market share
Higher sales and profitability
Enhanced cash flow
Truly global presence
Ability to compete
Start from the Home
$ Understand the Values of your own Culture
$ Consider your assumptions
$ How do we conduct business?
$ How do we establish business relationships?
$ What are our expectations of the other person?
$ What does it take to establish trust and respect?
$ How do we make decisions?
$ How do we view time, power & space?
$ How do we persuade others?
$ How do we communicate?
Consider the other person &
$ Understand the Values of the new Culture
$ Consider their assumptions
$ How do they conduct business?
$ How do they establish business relationships?
$ What are their expectations of you?
$ How do they establish trust and respect?
$ How do they make decisions?
$ How do they view time, power, & space?
$ How do they persuade others?
$ How do they communicate?
Consider the other person &
Hofstede’s Culture Dimensions
1. Power Distance
2. Individualism vs. Collectivism
3. Masculinity vs. Femininity
4. Uncertainty Avoidance
5. Long-term Orientation
Dimensions of National
A Middle-eastern Example
• Establish personal rapport
• Establish personal status/family context
• Express admiration; use flattery; be indirect
• Close distance and informal
• Long range
• Generosity and and hospitality
• Emotional support and harmony
Communication is the interchange of messages [verbal & non-verbal]
It is the fundamental building block of social
We always communicate whether we are selling, buying,
negotiating, leading or working with each other
Up to 90 % of our communication is non-verbal
Supportive body language Non-supportive body language
Forms of address (names)
Exchange of business cards
The American bubble
Extends about 12-15 inches
(combined 24-30 inches)
Asian, especially the
Japanese, stand even further
Latin Americans, Mexicans, Mediterranean people stand much closer
•Spain and Portugal
•Some Asian cultures
•Middle Eastern countries
(only the same gender)
•United States and Canada
•Northern European countries
In direct convention of communication most of the
message is placed in the content of the communication –
the actual words that are used
In indirect convention the context is more important, such
elements as the previous history of relations between the
participants, power distance, the physical setting, nonverbal
clues and others
High context cultures Japanese
Low context cultures
Perception of Time
• Do one thing at a time
• Concentrate on the job
• Take time commitments
• Are committed to the job
• Adhere religiously to plans
• Are accustomed to short-term
• Do many things at once
• Are highly distractible and
subject to interruptions
• Consider time commitments
an objective to be achieved if
• Are committed to people and
• Change plans often and easily
• Have strong tendency to build
Individualism stands for a society
in which the ties between
individuals are loose:everyone is
expected to look after himself or
herself and his or her immediate
• Individual is treated as the most
important element in any societal
• Self-esteem, self-identity, self-image
and self-expression are
• Personal goals supersede group
• Individuals are task-oriented and
seek individual reward and
• Competition is encouraged
Collectivism stands for a society in
which people from birth onwards
are integrated into strong ,
cohesive ingroups, which
throughout people’s lifetime
continue to protect them in
exchange for unquestioning
• Individual is interdependent and
shows conformity to the group’s
• Self-concept plays a less
significant role in social
interaction, people are emotionally
dependent on the success of the
• Only ingroup views and needs are
• Cooperation is encouraged
Second language strategies
• Be patient
• Speak distinctly, enunciate the words
• Use short, simple sentences
• Use action words – verbs etc.
• Pause frequently, allow time for the person to formulate responses
• Provide feedback and encouragement
• Avoid idioms, slang, acronyms and sports terminology
• Paraphrase if not understood instead of repeating the whole statement
louder and slower
• Be careful with numbers, write them down or repeat if necessary
• Never assume that people around you do not understand your language
• Use gestures, actions, visual aids to help understanding
Phases of negotiation
Building a relationship
Trying to persuade each other
Making concessions and reaching agreements
Western culture mainly take a “transactional”
approach: they focus mainly on the last two stages
Many other cultures pay more attention
to creating a background relationship:
they emphasize the social side of the
situation over the task side
Strategies For Cross-Cultural
• Understand your own culture as the point of reference
• Develop an international cultural perspective and
global mind-set [Self]
• Gather culture-specific information about the countries
you are doing business with [Others]
• Appreciate the complexities of cultures and individuals
– avoid mindless stereotyping [Others]
• Be aware of on-going cultural changes [Self & others]
• Think beyond local perceptions
• Prepare for new mindset
• Adapt to new realities and ways
• Be open and flexible
• Welcome new experiences
• Show appreciation for other cultures
• Observe behavior; suspend judgment, seek rationale
• Never ignore local sayings and proverbs
• Negotiate differences: I adjust, you adjust, we look for
a third way
Good fences make good neighbors.
In God we trust; all others pay cash.
Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
One today is worth two tomorrows; what I am to be, I am now becoming.
Time is Money.
Where sense is wanting, everything is wanting.
There’s danger in delay.
Middle East in Perspective
Sayings to be guided
“One step at a time” (literally, "Grapes are eaten one by one")
A foolish man may be known by six things: Anger without cause, speech without profit, change without progress, inquiry without object, putting trust in a stranger, and
mistaking foes for friends.
Arrogance diminishes wisdom.
Middle East in Perspective
An Arab Proverb
♞Eat whatever you like, but dress as others do.
♞No cure, no pay.
♞What is learnt in the cradle lasts to the grave.
China in Perspective
Sayings to be guided by
No friends, no business
A drop of water in time of need will be reciprocated forever
A man without a smile should not open a shop
A sweet temper and friendliness produce money
If you pull out one hair, you must rebalance the whole body
The divine dragon exhibits its head but never its tail
India in Perspective
Proverbs to be guided by
1. Unity is strength.
2. One Who could not dance said that the ground was uneven.
3. One's mother and homeland are greater than even heaven.
4. A scalded cat dreads cold water.
5. To lose is to learn.
6. Don’t bargain for fish which are still in the water.
Become a Global Citizen. A global citizen is able to
work effectively together with other people of any
culture, personality, or profession.
Become a cultural commuter, one who can cross
from culture to culture with ease and naturalness.