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Narcissism and competitive communication in individualistic cultures

"When the healthy pursuit of self-interest and self-realization turns into self-absorption, other people can lose their intrinsic value in our eyes and become mere means to the fulfilment of our needs and desires." - P.M. Forni, The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude- *** Conversational Narcissism, described by sociologist Charles Derber…

Category : Articles   04-11-2020   by Maria Antonietta Marino

The Sub-Saharan Africa Cluster

“If everyone helps to hold up the sky, then one person does not become tired.” - Askhari Johnson Hodari, Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs - The Sub-Saharan Africa cluster - that, according to the Globe Project, includes Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa (Black population. White population considered as part…

The Middle East Cluster

"This Proto-Indo-European term ghosti referred to a kind of unspoken etiquette, a notion that on seeing strangers on the horizon, rather than choose to fell them with spears or sling-shots, instead we should take the risk of welcoming them across our threshold – on the chance that they might bring…

ACAMS DUBLIN - Cross-cultural communication, the costly risk of misunderstandings

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." - George Bernard Shaw - *** One of the main characteristics of intercultural communication is that it usually takes place between "strangers": people born and raised in different environments, accustomed to often divergent sets of values and beliefs, which…

Category : Articles   25-09-2020   by Maria Antonietta Marino

II/II: Buyer Personas and the role of lifestyle, values, and beliefs in market segmentation

If I have a handful of silver it is because I work and my wife works, and we do not, as some do, sit idling over a gambling table or gossiping on doorsteps never swept, letting the fields grow to weeds and our children go half-fed! - Pearl S. Buck…

Category : Articles   03-09-2020   by Maria Antonietta Marino

The Latin Europe Cluster

I had forgotten how gently time passes in Paris. As lively as the city is, there's a stillness to it, a peace that lures you in. In Paris, with a glass of wine in your hand, you can just be. - Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale- ***   This week, our series on Global Leadership and…

The Germanic Europe Cluster

I remember learning German - so beautiful, so strange - at school in Australia on the other side of the earth. I liked the sticklebrick nature of it, building long supple words by putting short ones together. Things could be brought into being that had no name in English -…

The Eastern Europe Cluster

“But they could neither of them persuade me, for there is nothing dearer to a man than his own country and his parents, and however splendid a home he may have in a foreign country, if it be far from father or mother, he does not care about it.”   - Homer, The…

The Nordic Cluster

“The Swedish system is best understood not in terms of socialism, but in terms of Rousseau," he continued. "Rousseau was an extreme egalitarian and he really hated any kind of dependence --depending on other people destroyed your integrity, your authenticity-- therefore the ideal situation was one where every citizen was…

Crisis Management and the influence of cultural diversity on national responses to emergencies: an East v West comparison

  Individuality and freedom are undoubtedly the greatest achievements of modern culture. . . . But we have fallen into the trap of individualism . . . and have lost sight of the relationships between the individual and the social system, between freedom and responsibility. . . . Our young adults—even…

Category : Articles   14-05-2020   by Maria Antonietta Marino

II/II Virtual Teams: the implications of socio-emotional distance

“Every once in a while, people need to be in the presence of things that are really far away.”   - Ian Frazier - *** Dear readers, While in the previous article we’vetalked about proxemics, territoriality, and contact to introduce the topic ofspace management across different cultures, this week we’re going toexplore some of thefactors…

Category : Articles   23-04-2020   by Maria Antonietta Marino

The Latin America Cluster

Yes, Latinos dream more. When you live in poverty, when your president is imposed upon you, when they kill someone and no one gets indicted, and when only a few get rich, of course you dream more. It's no coincidence that magic realism happens in Latin America, because for us…

The Southern Asia cluster

“India lives in several centuries at the same time.” - Arundhati Roy, Power Politics - After the Anglo- and the Confucian-Asia cluster, this series about effective global leadership continues with the Southern-Asia cluster. - How important is hierarchy in Indian business culture? - What does the Filipino concept of “Pakisisama” (a term that comes from…

The Confucian-Asia cluster

The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions. - Confucius - The shame-based Confucian-Asia cluster - that includes China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan - is home to high-context,polychronic cultures, that prefer an indirect communication style (context is more important than words) and that see time as…

The Anglo Cluster

This is the story of America. Everybody's doing what they think they're supposed to do.” - Jack Kerouac, On The Road -   As anticipated in the previous article , the Globe Project - a study on cross-cultural leadership - groups the societal cultures object of the research into ten major culture clusters,…

Global Leadership, an introduction to culture clusters

Dear readers,   Those of you who’ve been following this blog for the past few months might be already familiar with Hofstede’s framework and with the concept of cultural dimensions (infographics available here): let me now introduce you to Project GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research), a study about Leadership…

#AskMudita Current topic: Main cultural differences between Latin- and North America

Dear readers, This is an example of the messages I occasionally receive through the online form:   “Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to ask if you could please point me in the right direction. I am South American and have a hard time understanding certain personality traits Americans have, especially in the workplace.…

Category : Articles   23-01-2020   by Maria Antonietta Marino

II/II. National culture, international business strategy and common misunderstandings between the East and the West

“It's dreadful what little things lead people to misunderstand each other.” - L.M. Montgomery - In the previous article we’ve briefly explored the theory behind social connections, harmony, consensus in the Confucian-Asian cluster: relationships founded on the principles of Confucianism tend to be characterised by continuity and reciprocation, hierarchy and preservation…

Category : Articles   15-01-2020   by Maria Antonietta Marino

I/II. Social connections, harmony, consensus: Confucian beliefs and business culture in China, Japan and Korea

Fundamentally, Japanese culture is based on rice farming. Rice farming requires a lot of water, and water must be shared evenly by everyone. Planting rice also required teams of people walking from row to row, as the same speed. And all of this has meant that uniqueness had to be…

Category : Articles   03-01-2020   by Maria Antonietta Marino

II/II: "Why do we work so hard?”: Introduction to guilt- and shame cultures

“A man must not be without shame, for the shame of being without shame is shamelessness indeed.” - Mencius - “There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us…

Category : Articles   16-12-2019   by Maria Antonietta Marino

I/II: "Why do we work so hard?” Motivation and reward across different cultures

"The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense "   Thomas A. Edison   Why do we work hard? What are the driving forces behind someone’s strong work ethic, and what would be an effective reward system for a multi-national workforce?   Motivation, the process that initiates…

Category : Articles   09-12-2019   by Maria Antonietta Marino

Power dynamics in the workplace and the hidden costs of fearful communication

In her book “Controlling Other People: The impact of power in stereotyping”, researcher Susan Fiske claimed that “Secretaries know more about their bosses than vice-versa; graduate students know more about their advisors than vice-versa” : what happens when communication in the workplace is ruled by power dynamics and the voice of one…

Category : Articles   15-10-2019   by Maria Antonietta Marino

Consumer segmentation: the influence of cultural factors on purchasing behaviour

Authors Thomas Petit and Alan Zakon once observed that "Advertising must be compatible with the values of the consumer if it is to influence behaviour. Advertising is an educating and not a forcing process. It interprets the want-satisfying qualities of the product for the consumer. To do this, it must…

Category : Articles   30-08-2019   by Maria Antonietta Marino

Global Sales and the Customer Journey: the effect of cultural values on individual choices

Note: article originally written for BDD, Biz Development Dynamics   Are individual choices truly “individual” and an indication of our own personal preference In a study conducted for Stannford University in 1999, 29 Asian and 27 European-American citizens recruited at the San Francisco International Airport were asked to fill in a short questionnaire…

Category : Articles   30-07-2019   by Maria Antonietta Marino

The iceberg model

"Culture hides more than it reveals, and strangely enough what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants.”  - E.T. Hall - *** What do people value the most, a legal document or an informal agreement? Words they can hear/read or the meaning in what is not said? How likely is…

Individualism-Collectivism

Why should people in one part of the globe have developed collectivist cultures, while others went individualist? The key is how culture is shaped by the way people traditionally made a living, which in turn is shaped by ecology. In East Asia it' s all about rice. Rice requires massive…