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Ational-Cultural-Differences-and-Multinational-Business

In: Business and Management

Submitted By angelachiew
Words 10010
Pages 41
Globalization Note Series
Pankaj Ghemawat and Sebastian Reiche

National Cultural Differences and Multinational Business
The eminent Dutch psychologist, management researcher, and culture expert Geert Hofstede, early in his career, interviewed unsuccessfully for an engineering job with an American company. Later, he wrote of typical cross-cultural misunderstandings that crop up when American managers interview Dutch recruits and vice versa: “American applicants, to Dutch eyes, oversell themselves. Their CVs are worded in superlatives…during the interview they try to behave assertively, promising things they are very unlikely to realize…Dutch applicants in American eyes undersell themselves. They write modest and usually short CVs, counting on the interviewer to find out by asking how good they really are…they are very careful not to be seen as braggarts and not to make promises they are not absolutely sure they can fulfill. American interviewers know how to interpret American CVs and interviews and they tend to discount the information provided. Dutch interviewers, accustomed to Dutch applicants, tend to upgrade the information. To an uninitiated American interviewer an uninitiated Dutch applicant comes across as a sucker. To an uninitiated Dutch interviewer an uninitiated American applicant comes across as a braggart.”1 Cultural differences, while difficult to observe and measure, are obviously very important. Failure to appreciate and account for them can lead to embarrassing blunders, strain relationships, and drag down business performance. And the effects of culture persist even in life-and-death situations. Consider the example of Korean Air’s high incidence of plane crashes between 1970 and 2000. As an analysis of conversations recorded in the black boxes of the crashed planes revealed, the co-pilots and flight engineers in all-Korean cockpits were too…...

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