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Managing Cultures Pellegrino Riccardi Vettre Hotel: March 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing Cultures Pellegrino Riccardi Vettre Hotel: March 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing Cultures Pellegrino Riccardi Vettre Hotel: March 2007


3 A DEFINITION OF CULTURE a complex pattern of ideas, emotions and behaviours … that tend to be expected, reinforced and rewarded by and within a group

4 Levels of Culture National Professional Organisational Departmental Individual EXPECTED REINFORCED REWARDED


6 "Nordmannen er en nøktern person. Hans forhold til Gud er omtrent som hans forhold til Kongen: Han synes Gud (og Kongen) er grei nok - forutsett at han oppfører seg som en skikkelig nordmann og ikke tror at han er noe spesielt.” ”The average Norwegian is a down-to-earth kind of person. His relationship to God is more or less the same as his relationship to the King. He thinks that God (and the King) are OK kind of guys – provided that they behave like proper Norwegians and don’t go around thinking they are anything special!”

7 Nordmannen sier det ikke rett ut, men han mener at Gud (og Kongen) tross alt ikke er mer enn et menneske han heller. Nordmannen ville ikke bli forbauset om han en dag så Gud (eller Kongen) f. eks. foran seg i busskø eller på Karl Johansgate i Oslo.” ”A Norwegian will not say it straight out, but basically he believes that God (and the King for that matter) is, after all, no more a person than he is. Your average Norwegian would not be surprised if one day he saw God (or the King for that matter) standing in front of him in a bus queue in the centre of Oslo.”


9 Percentage of respondents that feel that it is important for a boss to act and look like a boss

10 Equality (Small Power Distance) cultures - Too much power in only a few hands is a NEGATIVE thing - Powerful people often play down their status and power - Employees expect to be consulted before important decisions are made (consensus) - People do not adjust their communication style when speaking to other people higher than them in the hierarchy - People are relatively less afraid of speaking their minds (especially to people in higher positions

11 Hierarchy (Large Power Distance) cultures - Leadership style tends to be top-down - People at the top of the hierarchy have much more power than people at the bottom - Those who are lower in the hierarchy expect direction and guidance from the people above them - The ideal boss should be a “good father” (able to combine power with kindness) - People lower down will not disagree with people above them in the hierarchy (at least not in public)

12 Hierarchy people who agree that when you ask a manager a question, the manager should know the precise answer

13 Customers don’t buy products or services, they only buy the SATISFACTION they imagine they will get by using them



16 the YOU as others see you the YOU as you see yourself the YOU as you would like to be seen

17 the YOU as others see you the YOU as you see yourself the YOU as you would like to be seen

18 EXPECTATIONS of others the YOU as you see yourself the YOU as you would like to be seen

19 Cultural & Ethical DILEMMA You are the passenger in a car driven by a close friend Your friend hits a pedestrian Your know your friend was driving at 50km per hour in a 30 zone There are no witnesses Your friend’s lawyer says that if you testify under oath in court that your friend was only driving at 30, it might save him/her from serious consequences Would you lie in court to help your friend?

20 SWI GER SWE NOR NETH Percentage of respondents who said they would probably NOT lie in court SPA POL IND CHI INDO RUS KOR VEN 20 40 60 80 100

21 Rules vs. Relationships Rules (aka Universalist) Relationships (aka Particularist) “One-rule-for-all” attitude Procedures and standards should be applied consistently and universally NO EXCEPTIONS The same rules cannot apply to everyone Procedures and standards should allow room for discretion Rules applied on a more case-by-case basis



24 RULES application of rules (one-law-for-all principle) CONSISTENT OBJECTIVE PREDICTABLE FAIR CONSISTENCY RELATIONSHIPS application of rules (case-by-case principle) UNIQUE PERSONAL FLEXIBLE FAIR DISCRETION



27 FIXED-TIME cultures - Time is divided into units so it can be measured and tracked accurately - Time is a straight line - Order, precision, detail, agendas, deadlines, structure, action plans, predictability, budgets, reliability, process, systems - Business interactions focus on task details rather than the relationship with the person you are working

28 Typical Examples of FIXED-TIME Cultures Finland Germany Hong Kong Netherlands Norway Sweden USA UK Japan

29 FLUID TIME cultures - More “relaxed attitude” to time – loose and flexible schedules - Time is fluid, cyclical - Focus is on relationship building as well as tasks and deadlines - Interruptions and “distractions” can be common during meetings - It is often disrespectful not to "spend" time with people

30 Typical Examples of FLUID-TIME Cultures Brazil China France India Indonesia Italy Mexico Philippines Saudi Arabia Vietnam

31 Japan Singapore Algeria BELGIUM Switzerland Denmark USA Netherlands France Russia Italy Greece Venezuela Saudi Arabia Turkey INDIA Philippines Korea China Vietnam Finland UK Germany Sweden Hong Kong BASED ON A MODEL BY RICHARD LEWIS Angola Bangladesh CANADA

32 Typical Anglo-Saxon Meeting Segmentation of issues (tasks) Discussion Solutions Fixed Agenda

33 Typical Latin Meeting In random order Preliminary discussion of issues Wide-ranging, all-embracing discussion Inter-related issues / tasks Extensive small talk Looking for some support

34 Meetings in YELLOW Cultures OpposingConvergingClosingMerging

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