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Intercultural training

Étude de cas : Intercultural training. Rechercher de 47 000+ Dissertation Gratuites et Mémoires

Par   •  29 Juillet 2020  •  Étude de cas  •  3 269 Mots (14 Pages)  •  31 Vues

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Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction

  1. Theoretical Background
  1. Role Play
  • Presentation of the role play
  •  Analysis of the role play
  1. Critical Incident
  • Presentation of the critical incident
  • Analysis of the critical incident
  1. Case Study
  • Presentation of the case study
  • Analysis of the case study
  1. Conclusion

List of references


It has been in the corporate world over the past two decades that the issue of cultural differences has become increasingly popular. Mergers and acquisitions have increased, and investments have increased. This is how globalization has gradually intensified the intercultural context within multinationals.

Many different mutations are not without consequences on the world market. In parallel with economic changes, migratory movements are also taking place around the world. The latter had an impact on the socioeconomic fabric but also caused tensions at the level of intercultural relations in an organizational environment.

Management in an intercultural context is one of the biggest challenges facing multinational companies. Thus, working in a multicultural environment means having to think of several essential factors of cultural differences, namely the concept of time or personal space, individual or collective behaviour, hierarchical relationships, etc., which are key values specific to each culture.

In order for companies to cope with globalization and to facilitate their development, they must contribute to a new intercultural dynamic and anticipate intercultural difficulties for better communication.

Therefore, it is essential for each manager to establish an efficient communication with all of his/her collaborators and more particularly, those coming from a different culture. Because companies are increasingly confronted with intercultural environments, made up of teams, which are in turn made up of several nationalities and therefore different cultures.

It has become very important, even crucial for any manager in a multicultural space to develop their intercultural communication skills.

It would therefore be interesting to study the peculiarities of intercultural issues in different countries (Morocco, United States, Hong Kong, Japan), and to detect the specificities that characterize the dynamics of intercultural teams in multinationals, school exchanges.

Therefore, this research work aims to assess the complexity of cultural diversity within groups. In order to attain these objectives, three study instruments are elaborated: Role play, critical incident and finally a case study.

Theoretical Background:


The notion of culture and the different meanings it has acquired have appeared in the social sciences and particularly in anthropology, which has made it its privileged object. The term culture is adopted, whether we speak of hereditary characteristics, identity considerations, artistic heritage, or even material productions. Culture is therefore infinitely enriched with extensions. Different meanings have been granted to it by anthropologists and even long before them, philosophers and thinkers.

According to Hofstede: Culture is the “collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category from those of another”.

Toyne/ Walters state that culture encompasses “the learned ways of group living and the group‘s responses to various stimuli”.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary culture embodies the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time.

Other important definition that are significant in management across cultures are mentioned below:


All the processes - psychic, relational, group, institutional ... - generated by the interactions of cultures, in a relationship of reciprocal exchanges and in a perspective of safeguarding a relative cultural identity of the partners in relation.

Role Play:

Role-play is a technique that allows to explore realistic situations by interacting with other people in a managed way in order to develop experience and trial different strategies in a supported environment.

In this activity, it allows as to determine the major differences between cultures and make it easier to understand the situation from the opposite point of view.

Critical Incident:

The critical incident technique (CITis a research method in which the research participant is asked to recall and describe a time when a behaviour, action, or occurrence impacted (either positively or negatively) a specified outcome.

It is a useful methodology to uncover critical requirements for people, systems, and processes. In this activity, it allowed us to see a real incident of culture shock and be able to identify the different culture dimension between the two countries.

Case Study:

A case study is a research strategy and an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon within its real-life context. It can be defined as an intensive study about a person, a group of people or a unit, which is aimed to generalize over several units. In this module, the focus was on building the capacity for critical thinking and mimic the real world.

Role play:


Presentation and Analysis of role plays:

  1. Specific vs. diffuse:

Laura: So how was the meeting this morning?

Mickel: Well, it was so weird.

Laura: Why? What happened?

Mickel: Ahmed was so excited. He talked and laughed a lot and asked many personal questions.

Laura: But did you come to an arrangement?

Mickel: Yes, yes, after a long discussion about everything and nothing.

  • This situation relates to Trompenaars culture dimension “specific vs. diffuse”. Ahmed was asking personal questions (diffuse), which seems weird to Mickel who is used to keep work and personal life separate (specific).

  1. Universalism vs. Particularism:

Sam: Did you know that there is a new opening post as project manager?

Alix: Yes, but forget about it we all know who is taking it.

Sam: Really, I thought they have not started the recruitment.

Alix: They do not need to; the prime minister recommended his son Alae and the director cancelled all the job interviews.

Sam: Oh, I am sorry for you, I know that you were waiting for this occasion for so long... you would have deserved it.

  • This situation relates to another Trompenaars culture dimension “universalism vs. particularism”. Sam suggested Alix to apply for the new job because she deserves it. Unfortunately, it was impossible because the prime minister recommended his son, and his position (particularism) is over Alix’s merit (universalism).


Presentation and Analysis of role plays:

  1. High vs low context:

Juan’s mom: Did you inform the landlord that you are going to leave the apartment next month

Juan: Yes, I told him.

Juan’s mom: Good then everything is ok. You only have to leave the key on the 31st.

Juan: Actually, he wants a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt with one-month notice as a proof.

  • This situation relates to Geert Hofstede’s dimensions of national culture “uncertainty avoidance”. Juan needs to leave the apartment the next month, so he verbally informs the landlord. But this one needs a written proof for legal purposes.

  1. Collectivism vs Individualism:

John: How was your Erasmus exchange in America?

Lidiya: I had lots of fun. It was amazing.

John: What about your studies? Was it hard?

Lidiya: With other Erasmus students we used to work in groups and help each other. However, the American guys were always studying alone, they always divided the groups and worked on their own and mentioned their names pertaining to their parts

John: That is weird. I have never seen such group work before.

Lidiya: Yes, we were surprised too.

  • This situation relates to Geert Hofstede’s dimensions of national culture “Collectivism vs individualism”. John’s American friends prefer to work individually even in group work, and they make sure the teachers know which parts are theirs (individualism).

Critical incident:

Presentation of the Critical incident:

Culture Shock:

Warren Oats was a highly successful executive for American Auto Suppliers, a Chicago-based company that makes original-equipment specialty parts for Ford, GM, and Chrysler. Rather than retreat before the onslaught of Japanese automakers, AAS decided to counterattack and use its reputation for quality and dependability to win over customers in Japan. Oats had started in the company as an engineer and worked his way up to become one of a handful of senior managers who had a shot at the next open vice-presidential position. He knew he needed to distinguish himself somehow, so when he was given a chance to lead the AAS attack on the Japanese market, he jumped at it. Oats knew he did not have time to learn Japanese, but he had heard that many Japanese executives speak English, and the company would hire a translator anyway. The toughest part about leaving the United States was persuading his wife, Carol, to take an eighteen-month leave from her career as an attorney with a prestigious Chicago law firm. Carol finally persuaded herself that she did not want to miss an opportunity to learn a new culture. So, armed with all the information they could gather about Japan from their local library, the Oats headed for Tokyo. Known as an energetic, aggressive salesperson back home, Warren Oats wasted little time getting started. As soon as his office had a telephone—and well before all his files had arrived from the States—Oats made an appointment to meet with executives of one of Japan’s leading automakers. Oats reasoned that if he was going to overcome the famous Japanese resistance to foreign companies, he should get started as soon as possible. Oats felt very uncomfortable at that first meeting. He got the feeling that the Japanese executives were waiting for something. It seemed that everyone, but Oats was in slow motion. The Japanese did not speak English well and appeared grateful for the presence of the interpreter, but even the interpreter seemed to take her time in translating each phrase. Frustrated by this seeming lethargy and beginning to doubt the much-touted Japanese efficiency, Oats got right to the point. He made an oral presentation of his proposal, waiting patiently for the translation of each sentence. Then he handed the leader of the Japanese delegation a packet containing the specifics of his proposal, got up, and left. The translator trailed behind him as if wanting to drag out the process even further. By the end of their first week, both Oats and his wife were frustrated. Oats’ office phone had not rung once, which did not make him optimistic about his meeting with another top company the following week.


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