Cultural Detective® helps you increase global business performance, productivity and profits by building loyalty, teamwork and return on investment. You and your employees can use these downloadable global effectiveness tools immediately to achieve the bottom-line results that intercultural competence can bring to your organization.
Use them to enhance your personal performance, in executive coaching, staff or team meetings to build team competence, in lunch and learns, webinars, and face-to-face learning events. Use them as pre-work or follow-up, to be sure intercultural competence and global communication and collaboration retain the mindshare they deserve. Practical, engaging, real, ready to go.
To learn about the content of the Cultural Detective® series, scroll down or use these convenient quick links:
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New Package Now Available: Generational Harmony
|Global Diversity and Inclusion
Cultural Self Discovery
|Global Business Ethics||Generational Harmony|
Cultural Detective® Arab Gulf
While the Middle East has taken the lead in international political news in recent years, Arab Gulf countries are increasingly active on the international economic and business front. The region is attracting more and more investors, entrepreneurs, job seekers and tourists. While the propaganda and media machines have been promoting these countries as tourist destinations for shopping and business opportunities, the cultural and social components have largely been ignored.
Indeed, most of the people of the Gulf countries are Muslims and they are also Arabs, but what most expatriates forget is that they are different. The differences are greater than the similarities. In this Cultural Detective: Arab Gulf, the focus will be on the specific cultural values and norms of the indigenous people of the Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman).
Cultural Detective® Arab Gulf contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- An Unofficial Religious Occasion: A minority Shia staff member requests a day off from the general manager of a Bahraini advertising agency.
- Signing the Contract in Saudi Arabia: US American marketing executives’ expectations are not met during a contract-signing trip.
- A Matter of Respect: An Emirati general manager’s treatment of a visiting expatriate woman suddenly cools.
- In the Eye of the Beholder: A German accountant in Qatar is baffled by a sudden decision by his company’s owner.
- Time to Decide? An expatriate coach wants to promote an employee, but misinterprets the Kuwaiti team owner’s response.
- Feedback at The Call Center: The call center manager for a British bank in Oman conducts ineffective performance appraisals.
- A Different Party Plan: A teacher at a private school in the UAE is invited to a student’s wedding.
Cultural Detective® Argentina
As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango,” but if your business partner is from Argentina, it’s best to know the right moves. Cultural Detective® Argentina provides of crucial information about the Argentine mentality that will help you interact with understanding and grace.
Cultural Detective® Argentina contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- How to Promote the Cars: U.S. and Argentine creative directors disagree on an advertising campaign.
- Contracting a Printer: < of out considered is suggestion employee’s English>
- Urgente: A German receives an “urgent” request from an Argentine co-worker.
- Assessment by Driving: An Argentine makes a first impression on a U.S. American.
- Thank-You Cocktails: A Welsh manager tries to show appreciation to the office staff in Buenos Aires.
- Argentine Expatriate: A Brazilian human resources manager assesses an Argentine’s adaptation after a transfer.
- On Time at Last: A Japanese expatriate attempts to plan meetings with fellow managers in an Argentine office.
Cultural Detective® Australia
To understand Australian culture is to understand paradox. It is an ancient land of incongruities, settled more than 60,000 years ago and again in modern times, with a vast and dry interior that the newcomers still love to dread, a place of flightless birds, a country with an Anglo-Celtic consciousness and multicultural aspirations, with a sense of humour derived from irony, national days that celebrate defeat and heroes on the wrong side of the law. Join us in discovering the complexities of our culture with the Australian Cultural Detective®.
Cultural Detective® Australia contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Side Conversation: Chinese respond to new ideas presented by Australian project managers in the engineering industry.
- Account Review: An account update meeting between an Australian supervisor and his Singaporean subordinate in the banking industry.
- Bypassing Authority: An Australian expatriate site manager in the steel industry takes action in the face of his Indian project manager’s absence and a looming deadline.
- New Joint Venture: A joint venture in the oil industry between firms from Australia and United Arab Emirates struggles with communication.
- What Did He Mean: An Australian expatriate president makes his first presentation to his newly acquired U.S. American leadership team and leaves them feeling confused.
- Relocating to Sydney: The professional and personal concerns of a Chilean expatriate family living in Sydney leaves them feeling frustrated.
- Relationship Building: An English human resources director and his wife relocate to Australia for a two-year assignment.
Cultural Detective® Belarus
Nestled between Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, Belarus is a virtually unknown nation to much of the world. After 70 years as part of the USSR, it gained its independence in 1991. Politically it has remained essentially a one-ruler state since the first presidential elections of 1994. Despite its political isolation, Belarus is possessed of a vital independent culture and a people whose patience and endurance through centuries of war and change has given them a unique view on the world and connection to each other.
The Cultural Detective® Belarus will open your eyes to the core values of a people rich in history, culture and art, to a flat land of agriculture and industry, to a people who have absorbed the unspeakable pain of World War II and the scalding tragedy of Chernobyl with endurance and determination, a people above all dedicated to taking care of each other and those who come their way—as the Belarusian proverb runs, “One without a friend is like food without salt!”
Cultural Detective® Belarus contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Household Furnishings: A Swedish home furnishings representative fails to connect with potential business partners in Belarus.
- Planning a Round Table: U.S. and Belarusian colleagues differ on planning timetables.
- The Wedding Cake: A Belarusian artisan gives away her work rather than selling it.
- Shaping the Program: Belarusians find the program proposed by Swedish academics to be too light.
- Happy Dragon Trading Company: Belarusian partners in a Chinese-owned company distrust their Chinese owner.
- When is Easter: Polish organizers of a professional meeting fail repeatedly to respect the Russian Orthodox calendar used in Belarus.
- Making Tea: A Belarusian student feels insulted during a summer job in Germany.
Cultural Detective® Belgium
Available March 2008
The Cultural Detective® Begium will enable anyone who works with Belgians to better understand their colleagues’ working style, preferences, motivations and to function more effectively. Scenarios include a broad mix of Belgian colleagues—French and Flemish, young and old, male and female, in both large corporations and smaller companies.
The Cultural Detective® Begium contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- A Belgian plant manager starts work at a new production site in Rayong, Thailand.
- A Belgian sales representative visits customers in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- A Belgian sales manager lays down his working methods to Congolese workers, only to find out later they have set up their own system.
- A Belgian consultant who was involved in an organizational restructuring of a German company uses the same method in Belgium.
- A Belgian marketing manager gives instructions to an Indian intern prior to a trip, only to return to find the intern demotivated.
- A US financial director meets his Belgian team for the first time.
- A French manager arrives in Belgium to shape up revenue results.
Cultural Detective® Blended Culture
Available July 2008
The term “blended culture” is used to describe individuals who, by birth and/or upbringing, hold multiple frames of cultural reference within themselves. These individuals include; 1) those who have extensive international life experience, including internationally-assigned employees and their families, immigrants and refugees, 2) those who have grown up as members of ethnic minority communities within a dominant culture, and 3) people raised by parents of different cultural backgrounds.
While recognizing the vast differences among the life paths and cultures involved, this Cultural Detective® presents the common core values of third culture individuals such as contextual flexibility and creative negotiation. It also speaks to the ways in which third culture individuals may reference and access their multiple cultural perspectives, and how these influence their behaviors as they navigate their lives.
Cultural Detective® Brazil
Covering nearly half of the South American continent, Brazil has a tremendous ethnic diversity. Some mistakenly assume it is the same as other Latin American cultures. Brazil was colonized by Portugal and not Spain, and historically has had little integration with its neighbors. Despite the friendliness and informality, you will only interact with Brazilians successfully if you understand some fundamental aspects of their culture. Cultural Detective® Brazil provides experts’ insightful information to help you feel at home with the Brazilian values and behavior patterns.
Cultural Detective® Brazil contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Project Management: Mathias Smit, a Dutch manager, doubts the competence of the Brazilian engineering team when project timelines are not met.
- A Friend’s Promotion: Howard Thomas, from the United States, and Luis Armando, a Brazilian, both managers in the Brazilian branch of a large multinational corporation, struggle with friendship and promotion.
- Transfer to São Paulo: Bob Sharp, of Toronto, Canada, tries to obtain compensation details before accepting a transfer to the São Paulo office of a large pharmaceutical corporation.
- Whose Fault: A Japanese engineering team involved in a partnership with a Brazilian high technology company encounters difficulties meeting a timeline for prototype development.
- A Guru Speaks: Lorenz Borchert, a renowned Swiss financial consultant, is upset when people do not show up on time for his presentation to the managers and directors of a Brazilian bank.
- I Disagree: Franz Schubert, a German engineer working for a multinational manufacturing organization, is frustrated by his Brazilian partners’ reaction to his disagreement with their ideas.
- Hiring Personnel: Marcos Rocha, the Brazilian administrative director, is uncomfortable with decisions made by Jeff Guo, the Chinese HR director of a new joint company.
Cultural Detective® Bulgaria
Those who know the geographical location of Bulgaria would say it is a land on the crossroad between Europe and the Orient. Those who have experienced Bulgaria would say it is a land of crossing roads. Sometimes one might wonder which way to turn. Sometimes one might wonder which is the right way here. Bulgaria can be described by the word “contrasts”—small, but having a variety of landscapes—mountains, valleys, a sea, lakes, peaks. Old in history, art culture and crafts, (as being the earliest state in Europe, founded by Proto-Bulgarians and Slavic tribes in 681), now it has to go through a vast shift in values and build from scratch its new traditions of a market economy, as a former Communist block territory. Bulgaria is a country where throughout the ages Christianity has played a crucial role for preserving the culture from Muslim influences. It’s a nation that has never been deeply religious; a land where everyone is a political “expert,” and most share their opinions in the café or at the pub; a business environment where lots of work can be done during leisure time, and where one can enjoy an office birthday drinking party for hours.
Cultural Detective® Bulgaria will help you understand all those contrasts. It will show you the pulse of society the way it is here and now. It will make you enjoy the wide range of behavioral nuances, beliefs and values. It will facilitate you through finding your own ways to live and work with Bulgarians.
Cultural Detective® Bulgaria contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- The Staff Meeting: A story about a young US small business consultant working in a Bulgarian small town.
- Invitation from a Co-worker: HA visiting professor from the UK is invited to dinner at a Bulgarian colleague’s home.
- The Private Medical Center: Two business partners, a Bulgarian and a U.S. American, have problems with the state authorities and corruption.
- A Pleasant Trip to the Tax Office: Victoria McMillen, a Canadian businesswoman living in Bulgaria, is surprised at how quickly she is served at the tax office.
- Never the Two Shall Meet? Mathias Beckenbauer, a German consultant, and the Bulgarian head of a new Institute have different perceptions of the consultant role.
- The Hierarchy: Anita Vulchanova, a Bulgarian internal Human Resources consultant, is frustrated by the Greek management team’s hierarchical approach to running the company.
- Women’s Issues Club: Plans by a Women’s Issues Club for a two-week camp in the mountains fails due to cultural inappropriateness.
Cultural Detective® Cameroon
As the author of Cameroon, I have had the opportunity to use the Cultural Detective® model in a training setting with the model’s creator, Dianne Hofner Saphiere. The reception and appreciation we received from the audience was very encouraging. Trainers will find Cultural Detective® Cameroon to be comprehensive and helpful, covering topics from Cameroonian core values and the perception of these values by various foreigners, to ways of bridging Cameroonian cultures with foreign cultures, using real life critical incidents. The content of Cultural Detective® Cameroon is drawn from years of experience training foreigners to understand this “Africa in Miniature.”
Cultural Detective® Cameroon contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- An Inauspicious Speech: U.S. Americans, French, and Cameroonians in the electrical power industry.
- Promotional Materials: James Markus, U.S. African-American marketing director on assignment in Cameroon, responds to a request from his Cameroonian assistant.
- Lifelong Education: A French expatriate human resources director hears doubts about his professionalism and the expatriate system.
- Protecting from Personal Harm: An English manager, George Aitkens, arrives in Cameroon to find his assistant is gone without leaving his schedule or keys to his files.
- The Washroom: A Canadian banker on a business trip to Cameroon experiences “washroom discrimination.”
- Cashing a Check: Japanese administrative assistant Eiko Tai’s interaction with a cashier in Cameroon.
Cultural Detective® Canada
There are a number of strong unifying values in Canada despite vast geographical distances, regional differences, and talk of separation. While Canadians are not usually a difficult people to get along with, certain interpersonal approaches will get Canadians’ backs up and hinder the achievement of business goals. Insights from this program into Canadian values and their relevance to business will give you a competitive advantage and can make your life easier. Various workplace scenarios are provided to help U.S. Americans as well as nationals from around the world to better connect with Canadians and aid in successful collaboration.
Cultural Detective® Canada contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Expand to Canada: A U.S. retail electronics company plans to open stores in Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver.
- Beer Partners: A Mexican marketing executive, Pablo Juarez, travels to Canada to locate a distribution partner.
- Just Call Me Sunny: Rafiq Sharif, a Pakistani soil engineer, is invited to conduct a briefing in the Canadian office.
- My Way or the Highway: The vice president of sales in a Japanese electronics firm, Kazuhiko Takayama, focuses on developing teamwork among his Canadian district sales managers.
- On Your Own: Ibrahim Kadarsan, a Pakistani accountant on a development assignment in Canada, dialogues with his manager.
- Send in the Peacekeepers: Canadian and British delegates to the United Nations discuss plans of action in a war-torn African country.
- Slash That Budget: Members of the executive team of a U.S. automobile manufacturer’s Canadian division disagree on cost-cutting procedures.
- Snow Much in Common: Two Canadian women, Jane Michaels, a “westerner” from Alberta, and Giselle Savard, Québecois, bond and confound one another at a joint Chamber of Commerce event.
- The Crumpled Org Chart: A French IT professional relocates to Montréal and is shocked by decidedly non-French behaviour in the world’s second largest French-speaking city.
- Two Official Languages: Two executives in the energy industry, Ken Walters, Canadian, and Paul Robbins, U.S. American, get to know each other.
Cultural Detective® China
During the last 2500 years, China has interacted with other civilizations of the world creating one of the most particular, well-defined and evolved cultural systems on the planet. Today, Chinese culture may appear quite homogenous on the surface; Cultural Detective® China attempts to introduce the values and especially the rich “hidden” cultural, ethnic and social diversity that have shaped one of the oldest yet fastest changing communities on earth.
Cultural Detective® China contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- We’d Like to Do Business: Mexican businessmen planning a commercial tour of China.
- Consulting Ethics: An American freelance consultant in Shanghai working for multinational consulting firms.
- Rural Health Training: A Peruvian Chinese engineer working on a rural health project in central China.
- Screening Prospective Employees: A Taiwanese manager looking to hire local Chinese staff.
- Correcting a Product Defect: A New Zealander working in a manufacturing plant in southern China.
- Hiring During Downsizing: A German manager with East German/Soviet upbringing, restructuring a subsidiary in eastern China.
- Procedures and Relationships: A Congolese graduate student working in a key Chinese university laboratory in Beijing.
Cultural Detective® Deaf Culture
Although it may not yet be widely recognized, Deaf Culture possesses all the elements of a rich culture. Shaped by sign language and a strong group affiliation, deaf cultures have existed in almost every country of the world for hundreds of years. Often hidden from the gaze of outsiders, deaf people continue to pass on their values, traditions, folklore, and most importantly their sign languages to succeeding generations of deaf children. Because deaf people are often not viewed as members of a “foreign” culture, misunderstandings between them and their “hearing” associates due to differences in language, time orientation, communication style, group loyalties, and information sharing are common.
Cultural Detective® Deaf Culture explains many features shared by deaf cultures worldwide and provides tips on how to interact with deaf neighbors and co-workers in a spirit of mutual respect.
- A Meeting with the Supervisor: A well-intentioned, hearing supervisor is disappointed in a meeting with one of his Deaf employees.
- Face Time in the Workplace: Frustrations arise when Deaf employees socialize after company-wide meetings.
- Too Much Information: A Deaf and a hearing co-worker have a less-than-rewarding conversation in the lunchroom.
- Talk is Cheap; Understanding is Priceless: A Deaf patient has communication difficulties with her cardiologist.
- One of Us: A Deaf couple reacts indignantly to suggestions offered during a pre-natal checkup.
- College Class: A hearing professor discounts a Deaf student’s requests.
Cultural Detective® Denmark
Denmark, a very small nation in the northern part of Europe-Scandinavia, is the world’s oldest monarchy. The Danes are especially known for good design, food & beverages, the pharmaceutical industry, soccer, badminton and the storyteller Hans Christian Andersen. You may have heard names like Georg Jensen, Royal Copenhagen, Carlsberg, Bang & Olufsen, Novo Nordisk, Lego and Maersk. Many of these brands are recognized all over the world. Denmark is a modern society with a homogeneous population that enjoys a high standard of living with many small and medium-sized companies. The families are usually small, the majority of all men and women work, and Danes value their free time. Cultural Detective® Denmark explores some of the underlying values of business interaction in the Danish context that may explain some of these achievements.
- Showing Respect or Speaking One’s Mind? The CEO of a Danish subsidiary in Portugal fails to get candid views from his management team.
- Dinner Conversation: A Thai scientist is lectured by Danish academics around the dinner table.
- Too Much Informality? An English banker joins a Danish company and finds the teambuilding activities somewhat puzzling.
- Pragmatic Conflict Resolution? Creative Danish approaches are offered to circumvent a “no alcohol” policy for the annual Christmas lunch.
- Independence and/or Teamwork? Reconciling family commitments with management responsibilities in a Japanese-U.S.-Danish context.
- Humour Misunderstood: A Danish joke is not appreciated by Swiss counterparts.
Cultural Detective® East Asia
Available January 2008
East Asia is one of the fastest changing areas in the world. Beginning with the Four Dragons of the mid-1980’s, super-speed economic development has continued progressing. Change in economic condition is one of the major causes of recent changes in people’s values systems. How can we catch up with the speed of change in East Asian cultural values? Despite the attention that has been focused on the area, there continue to be many misunderstandings about the region. Cultural Detective® East Asia will guide you to an understanding of the current East Asian mindset, and help you to enjoy interactions with East Asians.
Cultural Detective® East Asia will not limit its focus by geographical location, but will include the region influenced by the Chinese character, primarily China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. It will highlight the similarities shared in the region, and the shades of variance that distinguish each individual country.
Cultural Detective® Egypt
Egypt’s rich history, contributions to modern society, and location on the northeast corner of the African continent, at the edge of the Middle East region, have made this dynamic country a source of fascination. The capital city, Cairo, is North Africa’s largest city and the cultural and scientific hub of the Middle East. In the Egypt of today, a deep appreciation for its ancient civilization is still evident, existing side-by-side with the activities of a growing, modern society. Few places offer such a striking perspective of the impact of the old upon the new as modern Egypt—a continuously developing country facing the challenges and opportunities of finding its place in the global village.
In education, business and politics, the Muslim majority co-exists with a sizeable Coptic Orthodox Christian population, sharing a strong history and desire to remain a peaceful nation and to improve a struggling economy. Given Egypt’s unique position in the political, social and global marketplace and world affairs, it is easy to see how foreign professionals may encounter unexpected and confusing situations when interacting with Egyptians.
Cultural Detective® Egypt contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- The Overlooked Scholarship Finalist: An Egyptian student in a U.S. University MBA Program and her Egyptian father believe her father’s professor friend can use his influence in the scholarship selection process.
- English Shirts on Egyptian Time: A British buyer contracts with an Egyptian factory to manufacture shirts for his department store in England.
- The Safety Committee Meeting: French and Egyptian employees react differently to a recent safety breach at a French engineering company in Egypt.
- The Research Team Plan: Research team members from China and Egypt disagree on the best approach to insure their project’s successful completion.
- Handling an Undependable Committee Member: Russian and Egyptian committee co-chairs have different strategies to handle a committee member who does not complete assigned tasks.
- Diving for Business at the Red Sea: A German Red Sea resort owner and his Egyptian business partners have varying approaches to provide the most comfortable vacations for their clients.
- Last-Minute Proposal Changes: Egyptian Ministry of Health officials make unexpected changes to a proposal that may be funded by a U.S. organization.
Cultural Detective® England
The United Kingdom is made up of the four entities of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but the English make up over 80% of the total population, and have a culture distinctly their own. The English are a complex people, shaped by a unique colonial history and not given to easy definition. They prefer understatement, ironic humour and verbal cleverness to hide as much as they reveal about themselves. To understand the ambiguities and nuances of English culture, it is not enough to be a fluent speaker of English. This Cultural Detective® is designed to help you navigate your way through the many subtleties of the culture and prepare you for rewarding and productive interactions with the English.
Cultural Detective® England contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- How to Deal with Gerard: A Swedish human resources manager tackles a discrimination complain in the English subsidiary office.
- Fixing a Problem: Korean engineers install a manufacturing line in an English factory.
- Who’s to Blame: A German company is fined for modifying its London office.
- Seeking Help for a Problem: A female English manager is charged with transferring a French quality control process into the Manchester factory.
- The Transatlantic Divide: A UK marketing team of a pharmaceutical company is meeting in London with their U.S. American counterparts.
- A Question of Image: A Japanese bank hires an experienced yet eccentric Englishman for its Birmingham branch.
- Alberto Mentions Maradona: The president of the Argentine subsidiary of an insurance company requests new investment from the CEO and executive team in the London head office.
Cultural Detective® Fiji
Available May 2008
The Republic of Fiji is a multicultural country of 300 islands located in the South Pacific along the International Dateline. The shared values of the peoples of Fiji form the basis of Cultural Detective® Fiji. This evolving culture originated with the values of the indigenous Fijians and has been influenced by multiple waves of immigrants that have included indentured workers from India, Chinese workers and entrepreneurs, other Pacific islanders, and British colonials. Nearly 100 years of British rule, Australian businesses, the Christianisation of most Fijians, and today’s globalisation have also influenced the local culture.
Cultural Detective® Fiji looks at the shared Fiji values and explores areas where outsiders often feel confused and frustrated. The background materials and the critical incidents will assist you in being more effective in Fiji.
Cultural Detective® Finland
How does a country with a population of 5.2 million living on an area 70% forests manage to produce the world’s largest maker of cellular handsets, the world’s most popular orange scissors, the most literate 15-year-olds, the least corrupt government, the highest economic growth rate and 9% unemployment, all at the same time? Welcome to Finland, a country of contradictions! Modern traditionalists, high-tech nature worshippers, rule-obeying innovators…welcome to Cultural Detective® Finland and get to know the Finns!
Cultural Detective® Finland contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Competitive Bidding: A Finnish company conducts a bidding competition for a computer system and encounters unexpected behaviour from a French bidder.
- Honesty and Face: A Chinese-Finnish telecom joint venture dissolves in a conflict over interpretations of a contract.
- Loser or Winner: At a midsummer track meet in Finland, an American visitor and a Finnish runner are baffled at each other’s behaviour.
- Local Know-how vs. Outside Experts: The Finnish subsidiary of a Dutch multinational resents expert help from the home office.
- That’s Company Policy: The account director of a Finnish shipyard’s sales office in Mexico loses her job for violating company policy by accepting a relative’s help to produce a better report.
- How to Impress Investors: The vice-president for corporate information for a Finnish pharmaceutical corporation in Helsinki disagrees with his Australian director of investor relations on how to woo foreign investors.
Cultural Detective® France
Cultural Detective® France provides a succinct approach to the core values that make French people tick. It outlines what to expect from a French colleagues in a business environment. Illustrated by a few dialogues among French and other nationalities, this interactive training tool will enlighten the newcomer to French culture, or, for those more experienced, it will give a thorough understanding about ideas formed about the French.
Cultural Detective® France contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Synergy through Acquisition: A California software development and marketing company acquires a French company.
- Qualifications: A long-time French expatriate helps a French electronics manufacturer hire a plant manager to open a maquiladora facility on the Mexico-United States border.
- Sushi, Anyone: A Japanese sushi chain aims to open a Paris location.
- On Strike: A Swedish furniture manufacturer purchases French textiles.
- Excuse Me: A French waiter’s response to an Anglo-Canadian family.
- Whose Forest: A French company exports timber from Cameroon.
- Behind the Veil: North African Muslim schoolgirls are told not to wear their veils to school in France.
- Applicances: A Mexican expatriate in France goes shopping for electronic appliances.
Cultural Detective® Generational Harmony
How do four distinct generations with a wide range of experience, expectations and requirements manage to get along together in the workplace, while at the same time meet organizational demands and objectives? CD® Generational Harmony explores the interpersonal dynamics among the four generations now working together in offices across the United States: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and the Millennials. By learning where each group has been, and where and how they wish to move forward within the context of work life, it becomes much easier to understand, empathize, and respect those from other generational cultures, and get down to the business at hand.
Cultural Detective® Generational Harmony will examine each generation separately and then explore how they interact together in the workplace. An emphasis will be placed on interactions within a hierarchical environment, such as a small business, large corporation, and university setting.
Critical Incidents include:
- The Four Generations, Each Bringing Brilliance and Bluster: The CEO sees differences among his staff and wonders what is going on.
- To IM or Not to IM: Technology comes naturally to Gen Xers and Millennials, often leaving Boomers and Traditionalists in the dark and at odds with the younger generations.
- Will You Join the Praise Parade? Millennials need lots of praise and attention and don’t expect to work their way up the ranks, which often gets them into trouble.
- In Over Your Head: Sometimes asking for explicit instructions and communicating face-to-face is best.
- Live to Work or Work to Live? Flexibility is a key component in retaining workers of all ages.
- One Size Does Not Fit All: Generations working together have different preferences regarding work style.
- Getting Everyone On Board: The recruiting landscape has changed drastically in the past few years.
- Cultural Detective® Generational Harmony is authored by Gretchen Neels and HuQing Piemonte.
Cultural Detective® Germany
The Cultural Detective® Germany explores some of the historic and geographic influences shaping the German culture of today. How did the Germans move from being “people of poets and thinkers”, to being amoung the most admired engineers of the world? Are order and structure still as important as the age-old stereotype suggests? Cultural Detective® Germany attempts to give answers to these and other questions, painting an up-to-date picture of one of the most influential countries in the European landscape.
Cultural Detective® Germany contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Prototyping: A global engineering team encounters challenges developing a prototype engine.
- Which Comes First: A French pharmacist and his German co-leader of a global team find differences when preparing for a presentation.
- Hiring Skills: A U.S. American manager in a German-owned biotech company in the United States is confused by his German hiring manager’s approach to finding new sales engineers.
- Q&A Session: A Japanese manager in a joint venture with a German automotive company feels he has unintentionally offended his German colleague.
- At the Beach: A Belgian tourist encounters German tourists in the south of France.
- Double Your Order: A German customer is furious with his Mexican auto supply manufacturer.
- The Research Project: An Australian Aborigine supervising a German researcher at a university in eastern Australia invites her to a department welcome dinner.
Cultural Detective® Hungary
“A Hungarian is a man who can enter a revolving door after you and emerge before you,” goes an American saying, an apt observation on the national character. But like all such observations, it is far from being universally true, especially when it comes to the business world or to the mundane life of the man on the street. Hungary is a small country of 10 million people in Central Europe, but it borders on seven nations. It is where North meets South and West meets East—not only by virtue of its geography, but also because of its cultural qualities. The Hungarian language is an island in the sea of the surrounding German and Slavic languages and peoples, which fortifies the national consciousness and cohesion of its people.
The Cultural Detective® Hungary is a helping hand in making sense of the values and thinking of Hungarians through a number of case studies, pointing out the features that bind them to other European nations and the ones that distinguish them from other cultures.
Cultural Detective® Hungary contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Who is the Best: Local governments provide diverse treatment to members of a visiting EU delegation.
- Language Deficit: A Dutch CEO of a multinational company gives preference to the younger of his two Hungarian employees.
- A Culture-driven Understanding of Performance: Ferenc, an employee of a Japanese company operating in Hungary, is judged not by his performance but by his lack of commitment.
- A Conflict of Interests: The long-term interests of a multinational company conflict with the income-centred expectations of the Hungarian employees.
- Who is Who: A German manager disregards the expertise and professionalism of her Hungarian counterpart.
- An Ethical Conflict: Hungarian attempts to protect the copyrights of software do not satisfy a US American industrial group.
Cultural Detective® India
For an outsider, India can be a confusing and enigmatic experience: it is an ancient civilisation with 18 recognized languages, a large population which represents all ethnic strains known to humanity, more than 200 political parties of diverse ideologies, and followers from all major world religions (besides being the birthplace of four of them). India is simultaneously modern and primitive: its population includes one of the world’s greatest proportions of illiterates and the second largest pool of technically qualified professionals. It is a poor agrarian country and is also one of the fastest emerging economies. India boasts indigenously developed space technology and software prowess, and also a proliferation of primitive superstition.
And yet, cutting across this diversity are some common threads which underlie the Indian cultural ethos. Cultural Detective® India provides an engaging platform to understand and appreciate these common cultural values.
Cultural Detective® India contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Vishvakarma Pooja: A U.S. American executive, Herbert Nelson, introduces changes in an Indian manufacturing plant.
- Business Plan Meeting: Bernard Schmidt, a German manager, conducts the annual business plan meeting with his Indian colleague, Deepak Anand.
- Joint-Venture Negotiations: Ms. Bengtsson leads a team from a Swedish telecom equipment company visiting India for joint-venture negotiations.
- Outsourcing: Albert Robbins, an English executive, tackles the problems in outsourcing work to India with his Indian project manager, Vimal Bannerjee.
- Technology Transfer: A team of Indian engineers spends three months in the United States training on new equipment.
- Construction Project: A team of Japanese engineering consultants, led by Takeshi Abe, works with an Indian team on a construction project.
- Sales Turnaround: A young Indian M.B.A., Subash Chandra, tries to negotiate changes with an older Indian on his sales team.
Cultural Detective® Indonesia
Indonesia has often been described as a shining chain of emerald islands scattered across the equator from Asia to Australia. Few countries in the world are comprised of more distinct cultures and languages than Indonesia. The diversity of peoples and belief systems makes it certain that the foreign professional working in Indonesia encounters confusing and unexpected situations. Add to this mix a struggling economy, a nascent democracy with a co- opted bureaucracy and the world’s largest Muslim population—the result is a fascinating culture in one of the largest and most important countries in the world.
Cultural Detective® Indonesia contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- How Many Mothers: A French expatriate becomes suspicious when his Indonesian general affairs manager asks for time off.
- To Drink or Not to Drink: An Argentine delegation in the oil and gas industry is stymied by an Indonesian government official’s response to their project proposal.
- Putting Out the Fire: An Indonesian supplier sues a British customer over differing perspectives on liability and contractual obligations.
- The Strike: A Taiwanese manufacturer meets with difficulties surrounding Indonesian labor law.
- Dirty Work: Australian and Indonesian geologists come to grips with differing work practices in a gold-mining operation.
- The Promotion: An Indonesian director refuses a major promotion in a U.S. American insurance company
- A Smile is not a Smile: Miscommunication about production levels has serious consequences for an Indonesian and an Australian manager.
- Why Work: The termination of a Papuan worker by a Javanese manager turns into threats of community violence, highlighting the cultural differences within Indonesian society.
Cultural Detective® Islam
Over 1.2 billion people, or one-fifth of the world’s population, from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe—from India to the southern Philippines to Nigeria—are united by their common Islamic faith. Ethnic and cultural issues have shaped the practice or interpretation of Islam, thereby adding to the complexity and danger of generalizing about Islamic practices, in addition to underscoring the flexibility of interpretations that Muslims employ. Nevertheless, Islam maintains its central role in establishing ethical and daily behavior for many in the varied cultures where it is practiced. Cultural Detective® Islam gives a greater appreciation and awareness of how Islamic values and principles present a window of opportunity for non-Muslims to be more effective in their dealings with organizations that incorporate them. Further, it presents an opportunity for others to apply some of them in their own organizational practices.
- Shaking Hands: A U.S. American female student is confused and hurt over a male Senegalese Muslim’s refusal to shake hands with her or her friends.
- Prayer Time Issues: In a U.S. factory, native-born and African immigrant workers experience mutual frustration over prayer time logistics and inconsiderate behavior.
- Finalizing the Deal: Lack of understanding of norms of politeness and miscommunications about a proposal’s status have unfortunate consequences for a U.S. American consulting company with a Kuwaiti client.
- Performance Management: A British consultant is frustrated in his attempts to implement a best practice human resource process and policy in a Bangladeshi nationalized financial institution.
- Health Care Training: U.S. training providers are confused by the seemingly inconsistent behavior of Somali nursing assistant trainees.
- Business Travel: A U.S.-born Muslim woman of Indian descent has culture vs. career conflicts on a business trip with her American male manager.
- Investing: A Lebanese Christian woman finds her investment advice to a Jordanian Muslim colleague goes unheeded.
- Assessing Training Needs: A German training manager is frustrated in her attempt to build an efficient professional training function in an Emirati financial services organization.
- More Prayer Time Issues: An Indonesian Chinese retail store owner has misunderstandings with the Indonesian Muslim staff over time off for prayers.
Cultural Detective® Israel
In Israel, the boundaries between professional and social spheres are blurry, as are those between clients and vendors, managers and subordinates, hosts and guests, strangers and friends. Loosely defined borders are easier to cross than those that are sharply delineated. Israelis find it hard to stay within clearly defined limits because, in Israel, they scarcely exist.
Our goal is to provide an understanding of Israeli culture and the way in which loosely defined borders affect Israeli behaviors and attitudes. We will focus on your professional counterparts—Israeli businesspeople, high tech professionals, government officials, diplomats and heads of philanthropic organizations. Their values, behaviors and attitudes provide the raw material for our case studies and the source of the examples we present.
Cultural Detective® Israel contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Surprises: A U.S. American project team leader in Israel for technical discussions.
- Explosion: A meeting between British and Israeli team members.
- Lending a Hand: An Israeli at a business dinner in Argentina.
- Honest Feedback or Humiliation: Jewish and Arab Israelis working together in a Northern Israel semiconductor plant.
- Shock: A Russian immigrant teaching in a high school in Jerusalem.
- The Shortcut: A German textile importer discusses maintenance procedures with the Israeli manufacturer.
- Neglect: A Filipino computer engineer working for an Israeli team leader in Israel.
- Overwhelmed: A Swedish manager leads a consulting discussion with an Israeli team.
- The Big Change: A U.S. American CEO reorganizes a newly purchased Israeli software company.
Extra! Cultural Detective® Israel includes extended debriefs and a slang dictionary.
Cultural Detective® Italy
Culture Detective® Italy provides insights into the complexity of Italian culture. As the authors illustrate and explain the core values of Italians, important cultural differences distinguishing the South from the North of Italy are discussed. Cultural Detective® Italy explores aspects of Italian business practices and social life that, although separate, should be interdependently analyzed. The practical applications and illustrations of Italian values are meant to give a better understanding of how cultural values and behaviors influence peoples’ perceptions of Italians.
Cultural Detective® Italy contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Email Business: A Finnish telecom manager and a business analyst in Bologna experience a lack of progress and mutual understanding on a project.
- Fashion Experts: A Japanese textile specialist working in Milano feels stymied by her Italian colleagues.
- Like a Chicken: A US American is sent to Bologna to implement a new manufacturing tracking system.
- Engineers at Work: Two Russian engineers work with a southern Italian team to develop a machine prototype that uses alternative energy.
- We All Want to Get Things Done: A German project manager is frustrated with productivity at a steel plant in southern Italy.
- Import and Export: A senior manager from Shanghai is taken aback when the son of the owner of a long-time Italian partner company takes over.
Cultural Detective® Japan
Much media attention has been paid to Japan, but it remains a culture of mystique and misconception to many outsiders. Working or living with Japanese, or traveling to Japan, many people report that the Japanese are polite and charming, yet surprisingly distant and difficult to understand. Rapidly changing, Japan is a country rich in tradition and quick to embrace new technologies and trends. Cultural Detective® Japan will assist you to better understand Japanese colleagues’ motivations and to collaborate more effectively and enjoyably together.
Cultural Detective® Japan contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- International Sales Quotas: Senior international sales managers deal with their Japanese president’s optimistic sales forecasts.
- Selecting Production Material: An Italian-Japanese manufacturing team disagrees on production materials.
- Globally Consistent Software: A U.S. American manager advocates Japanese use of a corporate software program.
- The Expatriate Who Wants to Go Home: An overseas work group hosts a Japanese expatriate who requests to return to Japan just nine months into his two year assignment.
- Global R&D: A global research and development team is tasked with implementing use of a technology perfected by their Japanese teammates.
- The Landlord: A German family living in a Tokyo flat experiences unexpected landlord issues.
- The Scolding: A Brazilian in the precision instruments industry resigns after perceived mistreatment by his Japanese supervisor.
Cultural Detective® Jewish Culture
Available November 2007
Jewish culture does not easily fit into common Western categories, such as nationality, religion, race, ethnicity, or language. Professor Daniel Boyarin says, “Jewishness disrupts the very categories of identity, because it is not national, not genealogical, not religious, but all of these, in dialectical tension.” Jewishness is all of these and then some: an entire civilization, with everything that word implies.
Cultural Detective® Jewish Culture aims to increase understanding and awareness of Jewish culture among Jews and non-Jews alike. It will help build cultural bridges in any organization where Jews and non-Jews come together, or any group that wishes to become more aware of Jewish cultural issues, including businesses, schools, universities, religious groups, non-profits, and community organizations.
Cultural Detective® Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender
Available May 2008
Creating an inclusive workplace is essential to maintaining a competitive advantage. The Cultural Detective® Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender program offers a safe and effective way to bridge differences while fostering a climate of respect.
Cultural Detective® Malaysia
Malaysia’s emerging culture is a mixture and blending of more than 23 million people of mixed descent who are Malays, Bumiputras, Chinese, Indians and others who consider themselves citizens of the country. Culture, therefore has a significant influence in determining the way people communicate with members of their immediate family, their relatives, work peers, elders, strangers and local dignitaries. It influences the styles Malaysians use to persuade others and the languages they speak with fellow colleagues and foreigners.
Cultural Detective® Malaysia is an attempt to assist you in identifying the common values that are found among the multicultural population, and their influence on how business is conducted, how relationships are built, and how conflicts are resolved to maintain understanding, harmony and unity in the country.
Cultural Detective® Malaysia contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Creating a Good Working Environment: Malaysians and French react differently to plans for Saturday office cleaning.
- Launching a Pipeline Project: An Australian has difficulty with project management in Malaysia.
- A Sticky Performance Appraisal: A Dutch manager implements a corporate performance feedback system at a Malaysian production facility.
- We Need a Change: A U.S. American manager is charged with improving profit margins at the Malaysian production site.
- The Social Side of Accounting: An accountant from the UK experiences frustrations working with Malaysians.
- A Supervisor’s Dilemma: A Japanese sales manager questions his staff’s activities.
Cultural Detective® Mexico
Mexico makes sense. Its own sense! Cultural Detective® Mexico enables the professional to see cross-cultural interactions in a more insightful way. It will enable the professional to understand how culture critically impacts communication.
Cultural Detective® Mexico contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Mi Tío: A U.S. American expatriate product development manager wrestles with the family connections in a Mexican company.
- Lunch, Anyone: The Puerto Rican president, César Flores, of the Latin American division of a U.S. company holds a business lunch in Irapuato, Mexico.
- Rejuvenation: U.S. American Jerry Marshall is sent to head up a newly acquired soft drink company in Mexico.
- A Visit from the In-Laws: A French woman and her Mexican husband, Luis, host her parents in Mexico.
- Looking Good: Carolina, a third generation Mexican-American woman working in Mexico, experiences what she feels are inappropriate compliments from her Mexican supervisor, Eduardo.
- New Management System: An English expatriate, George Blake, has trouble motivating his Mexican managers.
- Harassment: Carlos, a Mexican male working in the United States, is charged with sexual harassment.
- Sharing: The new Plant Manager, a German named Günter May, is tasked with reorganizing and streamlining the Mexican organization.
- Apple Pie: A newly arrived U.S. American woman, Louise Simmons, attempts to get to know her Mexican neighbors.
- Outsider in Her Own Country: Mexican and Japanese colleagues are having challenges working together.
Cultural Detective® The Netherlands
In order to make your business encounters with the Dutch successful right from the start, learn what to expect when you first meet. How do you approach the multilingual Dutch? Read about their direct communication style and how they make decisions. Become aware of how your own cultural values may differ from those of the Dutch. This training tool will help you, as well as your Dutch colleagues and customers, bridge differences and make cooperation productive and pleasant. Cultural Detective® The Netherlands helps you create new business opportunities together.
Cultural Detective® The Netherlands contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Not Quite Connecting: A German and Dutch researchers work on an engineering problem in an auto parts manufacturing company.
- Let’s Get On With the Work: A Dutch expatriate supervises Indonesian engineers on a water management project in Jakarta.
- Time Difference of a Different Sort: A Brazilian bank supervisor works on a global salary scale system with a Dutch counterpart at corporate headquarters.
- Disagreement on a Product Line: A French product manager supervises a Dutch sales manager in the bicycle industry.
- Returning “Home”: A Dutchman repatriating to his own country after 20 years abroad.
- The New Computer System: A U.S. American consultant works with the Dutch IT department to set up a home office computer system.
Cultural Detective® New Zealand
“I am a New Zealander,” used to be an introduction whispered hesitantly. This is not the case any longer. Today’s dominant image of New Zealand is that of youth and vigour—a dynamic, resourceful people positioned on the cutting-edge of adventure, knowledge and creativity. “Kiwis” live with an extraordinary opportunity to create their future. Cultural Detective® New Zealand will give you invaluable clues to making the most of your relationships with New Zealanders.
Cultural Detective® New Zealand contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- What Rules: Gaps in understanding widen between an innovative New Zealand engineering company and its new Japanese owners.
- An Expensive Lesson: New Zealand owner-operators working in China miss an important cue and lose their intellectual property.
- Bouncing the Bottom: A fire forces a New Zealand-Netherlands joint venture to address the cultural issues.
- A Family Affair: A New Zealand retailer attempts to expand his business through an Indian manufacturer.
- Focus On Task: A failed strategy threatens a New Zealand consulting firm’s IT contract in Malaysia.
- In Your Place: A U.S. American “tall poppy” meets the New Zealand clobbering machine and gets mowed.
- Clash With the Colonials: A high-performing New Zealand team culture encounters a new British CEO.
Cultural Detective® Oceania
Oceania is a geographical and cultural region in the tropical zone of the Pacific Ocean. It extends from Belau (Palau) in the west to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the east and from Hawai’i in the north to French Polynesia in the south. The indigenous peoples of this large sea of islands share many values and customs. At the same time, there are differences between the island cultures, including differences related to the several colonising metropolitan powers.
Cultural Detective® Oceania looks at the shared values of these islanders and explores areas where outsiders often feel confused and frustrated. The background materials, case studies and exercises will assist you in being more effective in Oceania.
Cultural Detective® Oceania contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Performance Review: A U.S. American hotel manager conducts performance reviews in Pohnpei.
- Questions: A New Zealand consultant working in Kiribati and local staff feel mutually confused and frustrated.
- Conference Design: A U.S. American HIV/AIDS educator is puzzled by the behaviour of Samoan participants at a conference she has organised.
- Mining Venture: A protracted contracting process in Papua New Guinea frustrates a German manager of a mining company.
- Constructive Feedback: Suggestions from a Dutch manager of a European Union project in Tuvalu to his local colleague have unexpected results.
- Overseas Studies: A Solomon Island technician encounters a different teaching style while on a management course at an Australian university.
- Groundbreaking Ceremonies: A Tongan official and the Belgian manager of a European Union project in Tonga attend groundbreaking ceremonies.
Cultural Detective® Philippines
The Philippines, described since the 16th century as the Pearl of the Orient Seas, is home to a people whose complex and fluid cultural identity is a product of a Malay-Indian-Chinese mix overlaid by four centuries of Spanish and American colonial experience. The Philippines is the only predominantly Christian nation in Asia, and English is widely spoken. Filipinos’ adaptiveness is key to their resilience. This is born out by the fact that there are currently seven million Filipino skilled and professional expatriate workers in 150 countries, and the number continues to rise. To work effectively with Filipinos in the Philippines or anywhere in the world, it is necessary to look beneath the warm and friendly exterior and answer Filipinos’ efforts to adapt with an effort to understand how Filipino values and convictions about life motivate their behaviour and actions.
- All in the Family: Work relationship between a British manager and Filipina subordinate in a retailing business in England.
- Surprise: An interaction between a German manager and a Filipino IT engineer.
- Just Do It: A conflict involving a Dutch team leader and a group of Filipinos on a ship-based project.
- Business Partners: Contracting between a Saudi business owner and Filipino recruitment-and-selection partnership.
- Whose Side Are You On? An interaction between a Filipino manager and an Indian member of staff.
- Hospital Issues: A Filipina nursing supervisor’s role as “shock absorber” between her US American boss and a multi-ethnic staff.
- Mind Your Own Business: The experience of a Filipina nurse in an Australian aged care home.
Cultural Detective® Philippines contains the following stories and critical incidents:
Cultural Detective® Poland
Available November 2007
There is a joke: “God, while creating Europe, made fun of the Poles; he put Poland between Russia and Germany to see what would happen.”
The history of Poland is complex. In the 16th century it was one of the most powerful countries in Europe, but after that it remained conquered and partitioned for over 120 years. Poland finally became independent in 1989, starting a chain reaction of destruction of the Communist system. Lech Walesa and Pope John Paul II have become international symbols of this struggle for freedom. The long period of fighting against aggressors has left its traces on the Polish mentality and behavior in both business and private life. Cultural Detective® Poland will help you learn how to understand and work more effectively with Poles.
Cultural Detective® Romania
Available January 2008
In this new century, Romania is a country of contrast: from the heights of the Carpathian mountains to the depths of the Black Sea, Romania is a land rich in natural resources seeking to address poverty. At the same time, Romania is quickly moving towards European integration, 15 years after the Ceausescu regime. To the casual observer, many historical and societal myths still abound: Was “Dracula” a real person? Does the Ceausescu “personality cult” play a role in contemporary society? Why is Romania a “breeding ground” for IT professionals, similar to India? Cultural Detective® Romania will help you understand how Romania has been a region of European cultural diversity for centuries. It explores how Romanians, Hungarians, Germans and Roma, by developing a unique cultural history, use diversity as a culturally creative resource.
Cultural Detective® Russia
Most druzhby! “Bridges of Friendship!” This popular Russian salutation underscores the opportunities for cooperation and understanding with the people of today’s Russia. Cultural Detective® Russia gives you insight into the Russian mindset, values and behavior patterns, illustrated with concrete, realistic examples from a variety of settings.
Cultural Detective® Russia contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Software Partners: Russian and US American teams struggle to work together on developing a new software product.
- Sakhalin Joint Venture: Japanese and Russian teams meet to explore the possibility of a joint venture, but the Japanese wonder if the Russians will be reliable partners.
- Website Copy: A Russian translator and an Australian editor clash over translation of a website.
- Los Novios: A Russian painter maries a Mexican and returns to live with him in Mexico City.
- New Product Launch: A Russian marketing group carries out consumer market research for a German firm.
- Making the Effort: An African-American engineer builds relationships with her international colleagues but her US American colleagues are resentful.
Cultural Detective® Singapore
From an Asian perspective Singapore is perceived as western; from a western perspective Singapore is considered quite Asian! The mix of tradition and continuity with modernity and change, plus the “rojak salad” of Singaporean cultures—Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian, contribute to making Singapore an enigma to many and confusing to most. Cultural Detective® Singapore helps you find the common core values, attitudes and behaviors of the multicultural Singaporeans. It allows you to recognize influences in action in business, communication and relationships.
Cultural Detective® Singapore contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- A Colleague Gets Steamed Up: A U.S. American sales person wants to sit in on a colleague’s presentation.
- Working on Saturdays: A Dutch expatriate product designer is concerned about deadlines.
- An Offer of Help: A German engineer in Singapore recommends technical improvements.
- Seeking Information and Guarding It: Australians and Singaporeans on a regional management team disagree about how to collaborate.
- Collaborating with a Singaporean Company: A Middle Eastern businessman pursues a manufacturing collaboration with a Singaporean industrial machinery company.
- Where are Those Ideas: A US American expatriate engineering manager feels frustrated that his Singaporean colleagues don’t contribute more actively.
- A Failed Courtship: An Indian executive initiates a new partnership with a Singaporean firm.
- What Does It Take to Convince Them: A Hong Kong supplier attempts to build business with a Singaporean customer.
Cultural Detective® Slovakia
Available February 2008
Slovakia is a small Central-European country with a very turbulent history. It has struggled throughout its history to preserve its national identity. Slovaks are also a peace-loving nation—the split from Communism in 1989, dubbed the “Velvet Revolution” because of the lack of bloodshed, is a testimony to this. Since Slovakia gained independence in 1993, major transformations of the social, political and economic environments have taken place. Slovakia has become a favourite destination for foreign investors, mainly due to a favourable tax policy, its highly educated and skilled workforce, and its recent rapid economic growth.
The Cultural Detective® Slovakia will help you to understand the Slovak culture, making your private and professional relationships with people from this beautiful country easier and more efficient.
Cultural Detective® Slovenia
Available December 2007
After God had created the world, there remained a handful of beautiful things in his hand that he threw on a small piece of land: a bit of the Alps, a small part of the Adriatic, a patch of the Panonean lowlands, some rivers, valleys and woods in between. He created Slovenia, now counting two million people; another two million is scattered around the world. Disagreeing about things is a national sport, but the Slovenians, independent since 1991, become united when they need to defend their position as a nation, as well as their cultural and historical heritage.
The Cultural Detective® Slovenia will give you insight into the behavioural patterns and mentality of the Slovenians, thus helping you to find useful contacts and favourable working conditions in a friendly atmosphere.,/p>
Cultural Detective® South Africa
South Africa is known as “The Rainbow Nation.” There are eleven official languages and a multi-coloured landscape of people. Cultural Detective South Africa will help you understand the complexities and paradoxes of life in South Africa. The country is both first world and third world. The values of the different groups are on both sides of most spectrums. The dynamics of life in South Africa encompass the transition processes from the apartheid era to an egalitarian society. Legal and social methodologies to ensure the swift redressing of imbalances have been established, with this, ambivalence regarding change is evident.
Cultural Detective® South Africa contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- AIDS Project: Erika de Klerk, an Afrikaaner woman, and Tebogo Thulare, a Northern Sotho, visit a rural community to assess the community’s needs.
- Sharing Information: Amanda Williams asks one of her colleagues for help on a marketing project.
- Market Research in South Africa: Matthew Peters, a US American businessman, employs Moses Dlamini, a Zulu South African, to help him do market research in Africa.
- Family Responsibilities: Sipho Mahlangu, an Ndebele South African, asks for compassionate leave when his father dies.
- New Operations Manager: Dr. Helmut Kraus from Germany interacts with his South African (Tsonga) floor manager.
- Building the Embassy: A Japanese team and a South African company have problems regarding a new embassy in Pretoria.
Cultural Detective® South Korea
Welcome to Cultural Detective® South Korea! Once the “Land of Morning Calm,” South Korea is now the “digital Mecca” of the world. With few natural resources but powerful human capital, South Korea has become a dominant player in the global economy. One can easily observe cultural changes. Korean values are in transition from traditional, authoritarian Confucian values, to more democratic and individualistic ones. With a 5000-year-old history, the old and the new coexist in every aspect of Korean life. Koreans take pride in their cultural heritage; however, they try to define new Korean values as the society changes with globalization, industrialization and digitalization.
Cultural Detective® South Korea contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Technical Problem: Resolution of a technical problem involving U.S. and South Korean engineers.
- Detoured Grievances: A US American expatriate human resources manager attempts to deal with grievances of the South Korean staff.
- Noncompliant Vendor: A German expatriate in South Korea negotiates with a local vendor through his secretary.
- Professional Appearance: A South Korean manager is puzzled by the behavior of the company’s receptionist in Beijing.
- Management-Employee Relations: South Korean and Mexican managers disagree over appropriate management-employee relations.
- Uncomfortable Buddies: A US company introduces a “buddy” system for South Korean expatriates that does not quite work.
- Returning the Favor: A South Korean professor invites a Japanese colleage as a guest scholar and experiences a surprise.
Cultural Detective® Spain
Cultural Detective® Spain provides crucial information about Spanish values, attitudes and customs that will help you interact and understand your Spanish colleagues and friends, both at work and at home.
Cultural Detective® Spain contains stories and critical incidents about the importance of networks, the need for feelings of security, the role of family, a polychronic approach to time, and other key Spanish values critical to communication.
Cultural Detective® Spain contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Improvements: Markus, a young German engineer, encounters resistance when he tries to implement changes to improve production in the company’s Spanish factories.
- The Coaching Workshop: Leif, a Swedish national, is frustrated with the early results of company-wide coaching-skills workshops.
- Let’s All Pull Our Weight: A British project manager and the Spanish team are surprised by each other’s actions or lack of action.
- Expatriate Life in Barcelona: A U.S. American executive and his family struggle to adapt to life in Spain.
- Expansion in Spain: Paul, a brilliant executive from Belgium, encounters differences in workplace styles.
- The New Therapist: Ines, a physiotherapist from Buenos Aires, tries to be a contributing member of a newly formed team.
Cultural Detective® Sweden
In the eyes of an outsider, the larger Nordic countries—Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland—seem almost identical. Mention this point to someone from these countries, and you will meet with strong disagreement. The Cultural Detective® for the Nordic countries will help you see the similarities and the differences of the Nordic countries. Participants will gain insight into interactions with these cultures, whether an outsider or an insider.
Cultural Detective® Sweden contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Rewarding Employees: The new Swedish management of an old Italian tie manufacturer changes the way holiday bonuses are distributed.
- Punch Cards or Individual Responsibility: The managing director of a Swedish chemical multinational disagrees with his French management team on the use of “punch cards” for reporting working hours.
- Showing Empathy and Respect: A Costa Rican microbiologist is upset about apparent Swedish indifference to somebody in need at the company cafeteria.
- Contract Competition in Kiev: The local agent of the Swedish team in Kiev suggests ways for a Swedish team of architects to promote their project.
- Measuring Performance: The Swedish vice president of a European toy manufacturer’s Asian sales office disagrees with his regional management team in Singapore with regards to reward and recognition.
- What Is Fair: A Canadian undergraduate guest student at Stockhom University is unhappy with the grading of term papers.
Cultural Detective® Switzerland
Best known for its banks and mountains, its cheese and chocolate, the real Switzerland is unique and intriguing. This thought-provoking Cultural Detective® invites you to uncover the key values and contradictions of Switzerland’s complex society.
Cultural Detective® Switzerland contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- The Confusing Boss: A Swiss expatriate in the engineering field adjusts to his new position in the U.S.A.
- An Urgent Request: A U.S. American expatriate in Lausanne responds to an urgent request from U.S. headquarters.
- Adding Swiss Value: A team of Swiss engineers is in Indonesia to assist with a joint venture.
- A European Training Program: A Swiss woman responsible for rolling out a sales training program receives input from the British head of sales.
- The Coffee Break: A German-Swiss and Indian IT team introduce themselves as they begin working together.
- A Meeting That Went Better Than Expected: A German multinational acquires a family-owned Swiss engineering firm in St. Gallen.
- The Bicycle Ride: Cultures collide on a Swiss-U.S. bicycling tour.
- A Saturday of Many Surprises: Expatriates from Taiwan Republic of China living in Geneva become puzzled by the local laundry and car dealership.
- Moving to Switzerland: An expatriate couple from Puerto Rico, newly arrived in Zurich, are troubled by the neighborhood welcome.
- Weekly Shopping: An expatriate from Ghana living in Zug experiences some difficulty while grocery shopping.
- An International Art Exhibition: A bicultural team of French-Swiss and German-Swiss organizes an international art exhibition.
Cultural Detective® Thailand
For decades, indeed, centuries, Thailand has been known by outsiders as “the exotic land of smiles.” Millions of tourists visit Thailand every year, experiencing the always-smiling, friendly and accommodating Thai people. Yet behind the happy facade there is another world that is difficult for most foreigners to understand, especially in the Thai business context. Working with the Thais requires more than an ability to control one’s emotions and a readiness to smile in all circumstances—although this is a good start. Cultural Detective Thailand will help you to better understand the Thais and what motivates your Thai colleague to superior performance.
Cultural Detective® Thailand contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Recruitment Based on Merit or Social Status: Ms. Jennifer Watson, the sales director from Britain, is advised by Thai senior executives to recruit the least qualified candidate on the shortlist due to his superior social status.
- Deviation from Target: Thai call centre supervisor, Khun Pornpan finds it appropriate not to worry the Swedish general manager with results that deviate from the target.
- Why Worry about Deadlines: Singaporean managing director, Mr. Tony Wang, fails to motivate Thai executives to make one final review of a project after months of hard work.
- Respect and/or Responsibility: Changes in work organisation put forward by Ms. Karen Hayden, the Australian department head, are disliked by Thai supervisors, but they offer no alternatives.
- Repaying an Old Debt: Khun Teeramit, department head in a German subsidiary, is unwilling to lay off a subordinate to whom he is indebted for an old favour.
- Failing to Apologise: Japanese VIPS are offended by the treatment they receive at a Thai luxury resort.
Cultural Detective® United States of America
Dealing with U.S. Americans is one of the world’s greatest challenges. A country rich in resources, ideas and diversity, the U.S.A. provides some of the most daunting challenges in the world today in the area of politics, finance, business, technology, human rights and ecology. Cultural Detective® U.S.A. provides you with an understanding of some of the key values and the behavioral tools to influence those coming from the U.S. culture and those found in its pluralistic populations.
Cultural Detective® U.S.A. contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Finalizing a Contract: A U.S.-Brazilian negotiation in the telecommunications industry is frustrating to all involved
- Performance Evaluation: A Spanish professional on three-year assignment in New York City receives a performance review
- Customer Solutions: A Saudi government ministry official seeks services from a high-tech firm in Silicon Valley
- Informal Barbecue: Taiwanese visitors are invited to a barbecue at an upper level manager’s home
- Response Time: A Croatian petroleum mechanical services manager reports to a U.S. American operations manager
- Pay for Performance: A Japanese executive is puzzled by his U.S. subordinate’s behavior
- Change Order Specifications: A Chinese customer is disappointed with its U.S. vendor
Cultural Detective® West Africa
West Africa, consisting of 14 countries and 250 million people, is located from Senegal north to Nigeria next to Central Africa. West Africa is unique in many important respects—Nigeria is the most populous black country on earth; Ghana was the first African country to gain its independence from Europeans in 1957; Liberia is the continent’s oldest republic. It is also from this region that millions of slaves were captured and transported to the Americas. Unlike any other region of Africa, this is where the two major colonial powers transformed the region, creating today’s Francophone and Anglophone countries. Without exception, the West African countries are ethnically heterogeneous, creating a rich amalgam of traditional cultures. In no other region do indigenous cultures find themselves challenged and mixed with two other foreign cultures, the French and the British.
Conducting business in West Africa requires a profound understanding of the complex relationships history has established between traditional cultures and western ways of life. Cultural Detective® West Africa is a first step in understanding the multidimensional aspects of these cultures.
Cultural Detective® West Africa contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Chief Okonkwo: Delegates from a Dutch oil and gas company meet a Nigerian village chief in preparation for laying pipeline through his village.
- Difficult Choices: U.S., French, and Senegalese executives disagree over whom to hire as new director of marketing.
- The Land Tenure System: The Japanese government nearly halts funding of a major road-building project in Ghana after witnessing what its representatives believe is a dispute over land ownership.
- Using the Company’s Property: An English expatriate in the Ivory Coast forbids his administrative assistant to use the office copy machine to print church bulletins.
- An Uncle’s Auto Accident: A French expatriate urges an employee in the Ivory Coast to attend an important meeting even though his uncle is in the hospital.
- Jobless Relatives: A Belgian expatriate is surprised to learn that his new Ghanaian partner never paid a salary to the family members he employed.
- Not Our Problem: A Franco-German company encounters difficulties when a local village chief will not honor the Senegalese government’s contract with the company.
- Condoms: The international staff of a Nigerian cocoa company seems to make little progress with HIV/AIDS prevention programs.
Cultural Detective® Women and Men
Anyone who has worked with, played with, lived with, or exchanged communication with someone from the opposite gender has little doubt that men and women come from different cultures. While it may not be true that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, it is often the case that men and women struggle to effectively communicate and work with each other. This Cultural Detective® will help participants explore how early socialization patterns can lead to differences in values, styles and behaviors across gender differences.
While gender differences are affected by national culture within any country, our goal is to provide information and tools to help you look at gender culture within any larger national culture group to identify whether men and women could be expected to respond differently, how and why they might respond differently, and how to build bridges across any differences identified to develop effective work environments.
Cultural Detective® Women and Men contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Launch Date: The nature of disagreement between two men on an advertising team results in distress and confusion on the part of a new woman teammate.
- TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Friday): Four colleagues, three men and one woman, differ about how to relax after a hard week’s work.
- The Protégé: A section head of an engineering firm runs into trouble in his attempts to mentor and support a junior woman in his section.
- The Expatriate Spouse: The promotion and transfer of the woman partner causes unresolved anxiety in the relationship.
- Women Hold Up Half the Sky: A woman bank employee in a small village fears for her job, and looks to important men in her life for support.
- Vrouen, vrouen! The sole male member of the Board of a largely women’s organization encounters difficulties influencing the Board’s agenda.
- Hans and Hansel: Generational differences between a father and son result in differing expectations from shared values.
- Wahoo Catering: A male expatriate Marketing Director and female expatriate Production Manager in a Hong Kong catering company experience differences in values and communication styles.
- Requesting a Promotion: A woman considers leaving her company after her request for promotion is denied.
- The Visiting Professor: A male professor from Iran, newly arrived in the USA, seeks advice from his female Department Chair.
- Building Customer Satisfaction: A long-time employee challenges the newly appointed President of a German financial institution because he views her customer service orientation as inappropriate.
- United Nations Health Care Team: A meeting of ten international women encounters challenges in planning a conference.
Cultural Detective® Global Diversity and Inclusion
Available May 2008
“Global Diversity” has become something of a buzzword in recent years as organizations and individuals try to grapple with all the ways people are different and similar across the world. In the USA, differences might focus on race and gender. In Latin America, heritage and socio-economic status. In India, religion, language and caste. But Global Diversity refers to much more.
As well as nationality, sexual orientation, ability, generational diversity, personality type, etc., it might also be an aspect in issues such as the internet, international politics, energy security, stem-cell research, terrorism, the environment, human cloning, global economic development, art, architecture, cookery, humour, parenting, poetry…and even in grave issues such as AIDS, child pornography, human slavery, species extinction and international war crimes.
Global Diversity is important on all levels—from individual differences, to organizational dynamics and team performance, to the political, economic, cultural and historical functioning of society as a whole.
And what about “Inclusion?” While Global Diversity is often about levelling the existing playing field for all parties to be able to compete on an equal footing, Inclusion helps us to create a new kind of playing field, designed, planned and built by the current and future players themselves. In a professional setting, Global Diversity helps us to lead, work and communicate more effectively across cultures; Inclusion creates an environment where everyone can bring their full selves to work and contribute fully to the success of the organization. This Cultural Detective package will highlight key issues in Global Diversity and Inclusion and best practices for managing them.
Cultural Detective® Global Ethics
Available December 2007
It is no great surprise that cultural issues are at the forefront of concerns among many in the ethics and compliance communities of global organizations. It is likely that attention on global programs will only increase, given the prevalence of worldwide scandals such as Parmalat and Enron and recent culture clashes involving legal challenges to the use of helplines for reporting misconduct among multinational companies operating in Europe. Similarly, there is heightened concern around ethical leadership and decision-making in international development and global not-for-profit organizations. Perhaps, though, even more critical for most global ethics and compliance professionals are the simpler and smaller issues that arise due to noncompliant practices in the day-to-day experiences of their multinational workforce—where different attitudes and beliefs coexist about what is and is not considered appropriate and “ethical” behavior. It is inevitable that expectations of how to interpret values will vary across the languages, locations, and cultures involved.
Given the challenge of educating employees on what constitutes ethical behavior in the eyes of organizational leadership, the stockholders, and even the public…what then is an ethics and compliance professional to do? The Cultural Detective® Global Ethics is designed to help relate the typical values found in a Code of Conduct to the range of ways they are likely to be interpreted or “translated” during real world scenarios in different national cultural contexts.
Cultural Detective® Global Ethics first presents a survey of codes of conduct from around the world, laying a platform to then contrast organizational values against the “value wheels” and prevailing belief systems of various cultures. Case studies are then used to help identify where cultural differences are likely to arise regarding “ethical” behavior, depending on one’s worldview regarding what it means to behave ethically in a given context. Then, to help professionals better manage cultural differences and start to bridge the gaps posed by geographic, linguistic, and cultural divides present in their organizations—tools and frameworks are outlined that will help them frame their organization’s particular definitions of misconduct, appropriate behavior, and ethical decision-making in ways that will be meaningful and relevant for all employees.
Cultural Detective® Self Discovery
Cultural Detective® Self Discovery helps individuals to investigate and explore their cultural identities. Through a series of short exercises and discussions, users explore the roots of the cultural influences—from childhood upbringing, key events, people who influenced them, and cultural belonging—that shape who they are and how the behave. Participants identify their core values, the positive and negative aspects of these values, and the thinking and behavior flowing from them. They then discover how their values and behavior may be similar to and different from other cultural groups.
Our core values lie deep within us, and are not easily identified or explained. Yet knowing our core values can help us maintain them, behave more flexibly, and better explain ourselves and negotiate our needs with others. Cultural Detective® Self Discovery helps people discover their values, preferences, and the cultural influences driving their thinking and their actions. This latest addition to the Cultural Detective® series:
- Builds self-awareness and cultural understanding, key skills in working across cultures.
- Facilitates comparison of personal, national, and other layers of cultural influence in both personal and work life.
- Can be directly applied to developing cross-cultural competence in working relationships and communication, teamwork and negotiations, merging organizations or functions in organizations, and preparing for expatriation.
- Can be used by counselors and teachers to assist in self-management and personal development issues where culture is a significant factor.
Complete Cultural Detective® Packages include three things:
1. A Series Guide, with complete instructions on how to facilitate an intercultural effectiveness learning event, including definitions of culture, intercultural communication, and intercultural competence.
2. Participant Materials, which is what you will print or circulate to your participants. This usually includes an introduction to the culture, a Values Lens that explains key motivators and drivers for members of the culture, explanations of frequent negative perceptions, proverbs or sayings that illustrate the values, a minimum of five typical, real-life critical incidents that you won’t want to replicate, a list of best practices for bridging cultures and leveraging diversity, and a bibliography.
3. Facilitator Manual, which includes a story to introduce the Cultural Detective Method, examples of the values and their negative perceptions in action, sample debriefs of the critical incidents, and a list of music that you might play during a learning event.
Often, additional material is included in the package and noted in the descriptions above.