What does intercultural management stand for?
It stands for a holistic and research-based approach to international management. Holistic means all aspects of management: from the individual to the company-wide level. Individual management actions flow downwards, upwards and sideways on the hierarchical ladder. Company-level actions include organizational restructuring and the crafting of business partnerships such as mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. In our globalized economy, all these actions and, of course, sales performance (B2B, B2C) are influenced by diverse cultures. Intercultural management shows awareness for cultural variations and transforms them into strengths. Good managment in the 21st century is intercultural management.
What is culture and why is it relevant for businesses?
Culture is a of diverse mixture of attitudinal and behavioral patterns that most members of a group of people - such as a nation - share to a larger or lesser degree. The proverb "The exception proves the rule" applies here. Every person is an individual but cultural differences are measurable and actionable. Minor business actions - such as motivating an employee - and major business actions - such as the acquisition of another company - can succeed or fail becuase of them.
What research informs intercultural management?
The body of literature on intercultural communication is expansive. No serious business study can do without cultural references. Recent best-sellers attest to this fact: In "Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?", Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones mention culture as crucial for situational leadership. In "Quiet", Susan Cain shows that the Western ideal of extroverted-ness does not necessarily apply to Asians. In "The Culture Map", INSEAD professor Erin Meyer provides a systematic approach to intercultural communication, based on her own research and the groundwork laid by famous Dutch researcher Geert Hofstede.