Unless you are very accustomed with the country or have close friends / relatives already living there to guide you, in most cases an unfamiliar culture will be disorientating. Different social etiquettes and social norms in addition to language barriers can present problems. Furthermore, social etiquette can often be very subtle and even body language can be interpreted differently in another culture. Things you may do subconsciously in your home culture may be construed in a different manner in another country.If you don’t know a resident to pass on local knowledge, there is help available on the internet. It is worth researching before you leave. There are numerous websites dedicated to culture issues. For example, the website www.culturosity.com features free articles such as ‘Strategies for Overcoming Language Barriers’, ‘Tips for Effective Cross-Cultural Communication’ and ‘Cultural Blunders’. There is also a learning centre and guides available to download.If you are posted on an overseas assignment for your company, the book by Dutch author Geert Hofstede ‘Cultural Dimensions for International Business’ may be useful for managing staff and dealing with colleagues. Issues discussed in the book include an analysis of Individualistic Western cultures versus Collectivist Asian societies and problems which can occur in the workplace because of these differences. The book is based on years of research by Hofstede and is a useful aid for managers working on overseas relocation assignments. Five cultural dimensions are evaluated, including Power Distance Index, Individualism (as discussed above), Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance and Long Term Orientation. Hofstede argues that by understanding these differences, working practices and relationships in an international context will become much easier.
John Mason +44 (0)151 449 3938 International House 35 Wilson Road Huyton Business Park
Adapting to a New Culture
Get in touch...
Items that you can and can’t take when moving to New Zealand
27 November 2017
Healthcare in New Zealand and Health Visa Requirements
20 November 2017
Healthcare in Canada and Health Visa Requirements
13 November 2017
John Mason International Awarded FIDI FAIM Quality Assurance Certificate
8 November 2017
Moving to the USA? What you can and can’t take with you
6 November 2017
Moving with children