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Culture and Customer Service February 2009

An article written by our consultants Huib Wursten, Pernilla Rorso and Tom Fadrhonc

This article explores the influence of cultural differences in the consolidation of customer service centers on an international level. It outlines the important aspects of culture for international customer service, shows the potential cultural booby traps and why many companies fail to gain maximum value from the consolidation of customer service. High costs often offset the envisioned cost-savings and culture continues to constitute one of the most important reasons for failure when establishing customer service centers across geographical borders, both due to managing cultural differences, but also due to differences in customer cultures. This article offers advice on how to organize international customer service centers optimally while considering cultural issues.

Applying the Six Culture Clusters© allows a business to make strategic choices and capitalize on cultural diversity. For a truly global company, The Six Culture Clusters© represent one of the most efficient (as well as cost-efficient) ways to leverage, manage, and work with cultural diversity.

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The two sides of Diversity - Schools as a means for integration March 2011

An article written by our consultants Tom Fadrhonc and Lena Lauridsen

Already in 1986, Prof Geert Hofstede wrote in the International Journal of International Relations (vol.10, pp. 301-320, 1986), about the archetypal role pair of teacher and student in any society. He explains that when teacher and student come from different cultures, complexities can arise. Teacher and student are an archetypal role pair in virtually any society. When teacher and student come from different cultures, complexities can arise. These can be due to different social positions of teachers and students in the two societies, to differences in the way children are expected to learn in these societies, or to differences in expected teacher/student interaction.

Geert Hofstede further explains that, if you try to bridge the cross-cultural learning gap, the focus should be primarily on the teachers, by learning them about their own culture: getting them intellectually and emotionally accustomed to the fact that in other societies, people learn in different ways. This means taking one step back from their own values and cherished beliefs, which is far from easy. In order to be an effective teacher they might have to adopt methods which in their home culture are considered to be outdated or unpopular.

For example, (s)he has to invite a person to speak up in the class, or learn to use more academic language, or avoid to praise the students openly. Please read the full article written by our consultants Tom Fadrhonc and Lena Lauridsen

Meet Ali, an Iranian student at a Dutch school. Ali’s parents have been called in to a meeting with his teacher because Ali is not doing his homework and is quite noisy during classes. But his teacher and parents do not agree on the problem. His teacher expects him to take responsibility for his learning, to co-operate and show respect towards other students as well as teachers. Ali’s parents expect a school environment with strict discipline; teacher controlled learning situations and respect enforced by the teachers and school management.

International Marketing and Culture April 2012

An article written by our consultants Tom Fadrhonc and Lena Lauridsen

International marketers struggle to find the best way to tailor pieces of the marketing mix to each country or region. Customising to each market is effective yet prohibitively costly, and standardising one approach across the world is efficient and mostly ineffective. An approach based on cultural differences offers the solution, i.e. efficiency and effective impact.

Extensive research of cultural differences among nations has revealed 5 dimensions explaining cultural differences and their implications for marketing. Packaging the dimensions into six regional culture clusters, this article introduces a new approach to segment the globe so marketing efforts are effective, relevant, focussed, and yet efficient.

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