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Riding the Waves of Culture (by Hampden-Turner & Trompenaars)

Hosted by the Consul of the Duesseldorf Reading Group
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Took place 2 months ago
Sun 23 Sep 16:00 - 18:00

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This book is an inspirational guide to cross-cultural management, introducing us to culture and business conduct in a variety of countries. It helps people who move in different cultural environments to get some orientation, e.g. have you ever wondered why the French seem to be never on time and Americans are often perceived as "superficial" by some nations? This book offers insights into some deeply ingrained patterns that form the basis of culturally programmed behaviour of which we are often not aware.
First published nearly 20 years ago, the book became one of the two standard guides (the other being by Geert Hofstede) to being effective in an international business context. Now, the third edition takes us beyond cross-cultural awareness to help take strategic advantage of cultural differences.

The 7 Dimensions of culture:
1. Universalism vs. particularism.
2. Individualism vs. communitarianism.
3. Specific vs. diffuse.
4. Neutral vs. affective.
5. Achievement vs. ascription.
6. Sequential time vs. synchronous time.
7. Internal direction vs. external direction.

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Fons Trompenaars on culturally diverse teams:
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Some questions for our discussion:
1. What is your understanding of the 7 Dimensions?
2. “Humor is making 2 opposing logics logical.” – What are your humorous stories cross-culture?
3. Culture or Personality: what drives our behavior?
4. Do you have tips for working with different cultures?