Confederation of. DI Dansk Industri. Danish Industry. Culture

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1 Culture DI Dansk Industri

2 Content Case 1 Case 2 What is culture? Case 3 Rules versus relations Basic principles for working with cultural differences Case 4 Pieces of good advice when working across culture

3 Content Case 1 Case 2 What is culture? Case 3 Rules versus relations Basic principles for working with cultural differences Case 4 Pieces of good advice when working across culture

4 Case 1 Imagine this: You are in a business meeting in an Asian country with your future business partners. You are having lunch and are about to seal your future partnership with an Asian company. You would like to celebrate this by proposing a toast and you raise your glass to the air and say: A toast for the future partnership! Suddenly the room becomes all silent and everybody just looks down and some people leave the room immediately and you start wondering what did I do wrong? A kind colleague whispers in your ear: In this country you don t do that you have insulted them. The eldest person in the room is the one toasting and his glass should be the one above the others.

5 Why invest time and resources in working with cross cultural relations?

6

7 Content Case 1 Case 2 What is culture? Case 3 Rules versus relations Basic principles for working with cultural differences Pieces of good advice when working across culture

8 Case 2: Car accident How would you react?

9 What Right has your friend? A. My friend has a definite right as a friend to expect me to testify to the lower figure. B. He has some right as a friend to expect me to testify to the lower figure. C. He has no right as a friend to expect me to testify to the lower figure.

10 Content Case 1 Case 2 What is culture? Case 3 Rules versus relations Basic principles for working with cultural differences Case 4 Pieces of good advice when working across culture

11 When we meet others OK box Not ok box

12 Interoperationality is a question of attitude!

13 What is culture? A definition of culture: The beliefs, customs, arts, habits, language, etc. of a particular society, group, place or time A way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (Source: Merriam-Webster 2013)

14 What is culture?

15 A perspective of understanding culture Public emotion Physical contact Work ethics Language Food Architecture Music Pace of life Noise Climate Literature Clothing Reworked from: F. Trompenaars, D. Eaton, R. Gesteland

16 A perspective of understanding culture Explicit Culture Reworked from: F. Trompenaars, D. Eaton, R. Gesteland

17 A perspective of understanding culture Explicit Culture Implicit Culture Reworked from: F. Trompenaars, D. Eaton, R. Gesteland

18 Content Case 1 Case 2 What is culture? Case 3 Rules versus relations Basic principles for working with cultural differences Case 4 Pieces of good advice when working across culture

19 Case 3: Copyright or the Right to Copy?

20 Copyright or the Right to Copy? Reworked from: F. Trompenaars, D. Eaton, R. Gesteland

21 Content Case 1 Case 2 What is culture? Case 3 Rules versus relations Basic principles for working with cultural differences Case 4 Pieces of good advice when working across culture

22 National Culture Rules Rules Relations Reworked from: F. Trompenaars, D. Eaton, R. Gesteland

23 National Culture Rules DI Dansk Industri DEN ITA SPA MEX SIN CHI SAU NOR U.S. U.K. GER MAL POL CZE S.A. S.Korea. FIN SWE H.K. BRA FRA JAP IND RUS Rules Relations Consistency Systems, standards and rules Uniform procedures Demand clarity Relationships Flexibility Pragmatic Make exceptions It depends At ease with ambiguity Reworked from: F. Trompenaars, D. Eaton, R. Gesteland

24 Content Case 1 Case 2 What is culture? Case 3 Rules versus relations Basic principles for working with cultural differences Case 4 Pieces of good advice when working across culture

25 Culture Basics

26 The Cross-Cultural 3R Recognize Respect Reconcile

27 The Cross-Cultural 3R Recognize 3R Be aware of own cultural assumptions and values Work actively to uncover your counterparts' key values Meta-communicate about differences to establish common ground Respect Accept your own cultural standpoint Accept your counterparts standpoint Don t assume that what you meant was understood Don t assume that what you heard was what was meant Reconcile Listen actively and test for understanding Uncover propositions Ask for background to understand Work with positives and negatives Reconcile for progress

28 Looking at the case again with the 3R principle in mind what should have been done?

29 Clashing Values Universal Copyright (Rules) Split the difference (5,5) And irritate both Particular relationship with organization Reworked from: F. Trompenaars, D. Eaton, R. Gesteland

30 Clashing values Universal Copyright (Rules) Finding a joint publisher (10,10) Particular relationship with organization Reworked from: F. Trompenaars, D. Eaton, R. Gesteland 30

31 What s a Dane like? How do others perceive us? DI Dansk Industri Or?

32 Danish cross-company communication Results What is good about it: Communication between experts and decisionmakers possible Faster decision making Time saving (GM s does not have to meet with GM s over trivial matters) What is bad about it: Decision-makers not always briefed on decisions Competences and education different (can harden communication if e.g. an engineer talks to a marketing person) Brazilian cross-company communication What is good about it: Communication from specialist to specialist The decision level is clear from both sides The relevant departments and managers have full knowledge on decisions What is bad about it: Decisions are not made when managers cannot meet If you are a lower level employee/manager you cannot close a deal with a higher level decision-maker in another company Decisions are not made by the specialists Titles Reworked from: F. Trompenaars, D. Eaton, R. Gesteland

33 (10,10) Reworked from: F. Trompenaars, D. Eaton, R. Gesteland 33

34 Content Case 1 Case 2 What is culture? Case 3 Rules versus relations Basic principles for working with cultural differences Case 4 Pieces of good advice when working across culture

35 Case 4: The Malaysian Case Joanne Smith was investigating a serious error made by a Malaysian worker at the Malaysian subsidiary of a US multinational. As a result, a component had been inserted upside down and the entire batch had been pulled out of production to be reworked. The cost of this was high. The US company had a management culture, and the rules very precisely stated that the person responsible should be interviewed in order to have the error corrected. The subsidiary had an elderly Japanese as the Plant Director and a young 2IC from the US. Joanne called the young 2IC whom she knew from the US and asked him to address the problem, but nothing happened. So after a while she decided to go to Malaysia herself. Joanne met the Plant Director and the 2IC in order to cope with the problem. She started the conversation by asking the 2IC why nothing had been done so far. The answer was I don t know. Then Joanne, clearly frustrated, asked in a very loud voice the Japanese Plant Director which employee had made the error. Had she been identified? What action was being taken against her? She was amazed when the Director in a very unfriendly tone claimed not to know. The whole work group has accepted responsibility he told her. As to the specific woman responsible, they have not told me, nor did I ask. Even the floor supervisor does not know and if he did, he would not tell me either. But if everyone is responsible, then in effect no one is, Joanne argued. They are simply protecting each other s bad work. This is not how we see it. The plant manager was polite but firm. I understand the woman concerned was so upset, she went home. She tried to resign. Two of her co-workers had to coax her back again. The group knows she was responsible and she is ashamed. The group also knows that she was new and that they did not help her enough or look out for her or see that she was properly trained. This is why the whole group has apologized. I have their letter here. They are willing to apologize to you publicly. No, no. I don t want that, said Joanne. I just want to prevent it from happening again. She wondered what she should do. Questions Should Joanne insist on knowing who the responsible individual was? Should the responsible person be additionally punished? What should she have done? What cultural issues are at stake here?

36 National Culture Individualism U.S. DEN GER U.K. NOR SWE POL FIN CZE SPA S.A. H.K. CHI FRA MEX IND SIN SAU ITA BRA RUS MAL S.K. JAP I We I Decide on the spot Achieve alone Assume personal responsibility We Refer back to organization Achieve in groups Joint responsibility Reworked from: F. Trompenaars, D. Eaton, R. Gesteland

37 Content Case 1 Case 2 What is culture? Case 3 Rules versus relations Basic principles for working with cultural differences Case 4 Pieces of good advice when working across culture

38 Cultural understanding No one can be said to be a typical member of a given culture No culture exists in an original, pristine form Focus on one cultural difference leads easily to stereotypes and an "us"- "them" mindset The cultural dynamics are the same for professional, organizational, national, and personal differences Do not exaggerate the importance of nationality. Focus on that only one difference exaggerate the importance of this difference. It is not cultural differences as such that are interesting, but the meaning we attach to them! Individuals' multiple identities given to them by education, age, occupation, gender, etc. Differences should be seen as a resource and not just as a problem All cultures are dynamic

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