With the global economy more and more people from different cultures have to work together. Whereas in a domestic situation this is normally handled (rightly or wrongly) by assimilation, that is by non-native cultures adapting to the culture of the natives, in a truly international situation this is not feasible, as personnel will be operating under different conditions.
Some managers may need to manage staff in different parts of the world, all operating under completely different conditions and environments. Others are sent as expatriates to foreign countries to run operations there, and are faced with totally different conditions and values than those operating in the home country. Normally superimposing known approaches and methods does not work. What is normally required is a learning process with a great deal of sensitivity and appreciation of how things can work differently.
This requires a whole new set of skills. Just like learning new languages, these skills can take a long time to acquire. Many people do and can learn these naturally, especially in the early years, but it can take considerable time, often many years. Companies can not normally wait for such a natural process to happen, so various training programmes can speed this up. Such programmes may include:
For details on how this may relate to your organisation's objectives or needs, you may need to refer to an intercultural management specialist. For more information you may wish to contact us.