MULTI CULTI - Discussion


Multicultural conflicts - some thoughts to discuss and think about:

Which general rules and hints exist (independent from a concrete situation)


There are few general rules. You should observe, try not to make up your mind too fast, and try to see everything in its whole environment.


Which conflicts are bound to countries, which to companies and which to groups?


It is always a mix. A German company in France acts differently from an American company in France. The nationality is dominant, but the organization is more dominated by the corporate culture and the interaction between departments is more dependent on the group culture of its members. Group cultures are more general and less dominated by the corporate or country culture (like the conflicts between the finance and the sales department, between the cooks and the waiters ..)


How to handle multicultural conflicts: ignore / adapt / fight or some of everything?


Ignoring or fighting can be suicidal. Adaptation or some of everything seems to be better. In some conflict situations some independence can be gained by enforcing the differences in areas where they do not cause problems for the other side, but subtilize others in critical areas.


How to learn?


Very few rules can be learned. But - besides language - geography and history are a good preparation. Case studies can be reviewed and help understanding. But knowledge from one situation are difficult to tranfer to other situation.


Can cultural conflicts be avoided?


No, even after years. But they can have less consequences.