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Week 3 Lecture

Understanding Culture
 Chapter 3 from Deresky (2011)

Understanding Culture
Topic Objectives:
• Define culture • To understand how culture affects all aspects of international management • To be able to distinguish the major dimensions which define cultural differences among societies or groups • To emphasize the need for international managers to have cultural intelligence in order to interact successfully in international environment • Know how to use culture to define attitudes and behaviours at work • Be aware of the interaction between culture and internet.

“A set of shared values, understandings, assumptions, and goals that are learned from earlier generations, imposed by present members of a society, and passed on to succeeding generations.” Examples:
– Evidence of culture is in peoples language, music, food, beliefs etc.

• Related concept:
– Culture shock
• A state of confusion of not knowing how to behave in a foreign unfamiliar culture.
Copyright ©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall 3



Culture and its importance
Studies show multinationals face major management issues for poor intercultural skills of international managers. Research shows that cross cultural differences are cause of failed negotiations and interactions, resulting in losses to major multinationals of over billions of dollars! Furthermore, examples can be drawn from historical failures of Daimler-Chrysler as a result of cultural mismatch between the Germans and Americans, EBay in Japan, Google in Europe and many others.

Cultural Empathy & Cultural Intelligence (CQ)
• Cultural Empathy
– It is an awareness and an honest caring about another individual’s culture. – Ability to understand from others point of view/state of condition/or in layman's term putting yourself in others shoes! –...

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