|With the advent of globalization and the development of modern communication technologies, the scope of business operations, large and small, has changed tremendously during the past several decades. For a growing business, it is now nearly imperative to engage in new geographic locations and cultures. In such an international environment, where languages and cultures are different, one of the most important element for success might very well be the appreciation and respect for regional, country and cultural differences. This page provides a guide to the best sites related to business and culture, cultural diversity, cross-cultural and intercultural communication and understanding.|
Last updated June 27th 2012
|Sites are reviewed individually and rated mostly according to content depth and value added, while also considering ease of navigation and speed of loading. For each category best resources are listed first.|
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Set up by Global Business Media Ltd, a UK based business to business (B2B) media company, this site provides information on different cultural approaches that can be encountered when working in the global business environment. 39 countries are covered (including China, India, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, etc. in addition to the main European and North American countries) Each country profile contains information on a range of topics of immediate commercial relevance to anybody working in international trade. Truly excellent site. Do not miss the general section on cultural issues and the country Top Tips section.
Culture Crossing is a community built guide to cross-cultural etiquette and understanding. The information posted in the individual country guides is submitted by people who are either natives or residents of the featured countries. More than 200 countries are covered. Excellent site. Do not miss the section on your own cultural baggage.
Centre for Intercultural Learning
The Centre is Canada's largest provider of intercultural and international training services for internationally-assigned government and private sector personnel. Their section on Country Insights provides on a country by country basis, answers to intercultural questions on a variety of issues such as Conversations, Communication Styles, Display of Emotions, Dress, Punctuality & Formality, etc. Excellent site which is rather unique in the way it presents answers to intercultural questions not only from a Canadian point of view but also from a local perspective. My only regret is that not much importance seems to be given to learning the local language even though it is still in my view the best way to understand the other culture.
This UK based translation services and intercultural training company also offers free tools such as country etiquette guides, business culture guides for more than 40 countries, intercultural articles and news, cultural quizzes, online translation dictionaries. Excellent site.
Communicaid is a culture and communication skills consultancy firm, with training centres in London, Paris, Frankfurt and New York. The Communicaid Blog posts are filed under several categories such as communication skills training, cross cultural training, cultural training for relocation, culture, culture training for business & management, language training, negotiation skills, etc. Excellent blog with very interesting posts even though one of the objectives is to induce the reader to enroll into one of the company training courses.
One World - Nations Online
The Nations Online Project is a portal to the countries, cultures and nations of the world. In addition to providing information on area, geography, government, country flag, maps, population, spoken languages, major cities, ethnic groups, religion, economy, history, etc. it aims to make its contribution towards international understanding, to create awareness for cultural diversity and the necessity of cross-cultural understanding. Even though not directly focused on cross cultural issues, it is a very good site offering a starting point for exploring the various countries of the world.
Institute for Cultural Diplomacy
The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD) is an international, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization with the objective to promote global peace and stability by strengthening and supporting intercultural relations at all levels. The ICD believes that inter- and intra-cultural relations can be strengthened and maintained through dialogue. This, in turn, leads to a better understanding and greater trust between cultures, prevent misunderstanding, improve communication and cooperation. Very interesting site. Do not miss the publications in the research section.
Cultural Savvy is a cross-cultural training, coaching and consulting firm which has worked and developed training methodologies in South East Asia, India, China, Japan, the Arab Gulf, Israel and South Korea. In addition to details on their key practice areas, the site offers interesting articles and interviews as well as useful tips and infos.
This site presents essential business guides for the international traveller covering 49 countries and with a focus on business etiquette. Each guide is divided in nine sections : Generalities, Appointment Alert, Business Dress, Conversation, First Name or Title, Gift Giving, Let's Make A Deal, Prosperous Entertainment, Public Behaviour. Despite its rather simplistic design it is a very useful site where you find quickly the key informations about business etiquette in each of the countries covered.
Culture at work
Produced by business anthropologist and mediator Jennifer Beer, this site is designed to help you work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Divided into several sections : Culture at Work, Japan, Communication, Working with Conflict, the site offers very interesting and relevant comments and views. I particularly liked the following : « The language barrier is a more formidable and immediate obstacle than cultural differences, and it is in learning another language that we come closest to understanding the cultural universe of others ».
International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies
The International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies (IAICS) originated from a series of Asian-American conferences run at the University of Alaska and Arizona State University. In 1985, the first international conference on "Cross-Cultural Communication: East and West" was held in Seoul, Korea. Since 2003, the conference has been held on an annual basis with the objective of providing a forum for the exchange and dissemination of scholarly research on issues relating to communication across language and culture. What is most interesting about the site is that in addition to the IAICS newsletter you can access in pdf format all the papers submitted at the various conferences.
International Business Etiquette and Manners
Etiquette, manners, and cross cultural, or intercultural communication have become critical elements now required for all International and Global Business executives, managers, and employees. The site provides basic information on appearance, behaviour, communication for 32 countries.
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