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The Working and Managing Across Cultures Blog

Browse, print, share, subscribe and comment on the Working and Managing Across Cultures Blog. In it you will find useful articles on global management, cultural competency as a business skill, doing business with India, working with Americans, and offshore outsourcing best practices by Dr. Karine Schomer and other experts. These resources provide succinct information and useful tips for managers, teams and professionals working in today's interconnected and constantly changing global business world.

Our advanced technological world is also a global world. And while it may be "one world" in many ways, it's still astonishingly diverse. If you're one of today's "global professionals" who works with, manages, sells to or engages in business relationships with people from different parts of the planet, you need global personal and team leadership skills.
When you do business or manage globally, you encounter cultural differences in how tasks get accomplished, projects are carried out, and innovation takes place. Six management best practices can help you deal with the tension that can occur between free-flow spontaneous cultural approaches and approaches that place more emphasis on more structured adherence to plan, goals and timeline.
On September 24, 2014, India became the first Asian nation to reach Mars. India's Mars Orbiter Mission successfully entered orbit around the Red Planet, two days after NASA's MAVEN orbiter. The Indian space venture had cost $74 million to NASA's $671 million. What made this possible? What strength of the Indian way of innovating and getting things done accounts for this technological feat on a shoestring?
When offshore outsourcing or other cross-border business ventures run into implementation difficulties, managers and team members often point to “communication problems” as the root cause. This attribution occurs both in anecdotal responses and in formal surveys.
Who has it easier when it comes to work-life balance: American professional women or their Indian counterparts? Many of the issues are common to women throughout the global corporate world, but the specifics in India and the U.S. differ due to policy, socio-economic and cultural differences.
When I present seminars on Indian business culture to American managers and technical professionals involved in offshoring or offshore outsourcing to India, someone inevitably asks, “So what are our offshore teams and counterparts in India being taught about American business culture?”
When Indian and U.S. corporations work together or operate on each other’s soil, all levels of management need to understand differences in the workforce diversity challenges of the two countries. This article provides an overview of the main differences in workforce demographics, diversity categories, and legal frameworks between India and the U.S.
Five special challenges Indian offshore teams face in working with Americans at the level of mindset, values and approaches to interactions, and the need to seriously educate offshore teams in the fundamentals or American business culture.
You've established your offshore center. You've navigated the initial transition hurdles. You have competent management in place at both ends. You've hired, oriented and trained the first hundred employees. The work has started to flow between the onshore and offshore teams. No major catastrophe has occurred in terms of missed deadlines, botched projects or information security breaches. As the start-up phase of your offshore undertaking comes to a close, you're breathing a sigh of relief.
A 2010 Working Mother Research Insitute and Diversity Best Practices report by Dr. Karine Schomer. Details the most effective initiatives, programs and policies multinational corporations in India can use to attract and develop women employees. Includes case studies from Deloitte, IBM, Infosys and Johnson Controls.
When companies decide on an offshore outsourcing strategy, select service providers and plan their onshore-offshore integration, due diligence and risk assessment are a normal part of the process. Until recently however, systematic attention to the cross-cultural dimensions of risk assessment has been rare.
Understanding India’s holidays is important to avoid work schedule disruption and unnecessary stress, and as a tool for relationship building and motivating Indian teams. Learn how the Indian holiday system works and tips for navigating the Indian holidays.
Globalization is today's buzzword, but the level of international awareness is surprisingly low among most managers and employees. There is poor communication of global vision from the top, cultural stereotyping, and cultural segregation among employees. Here's what can be done to increase awareness and commitment to a global vision.
Of all the cultural differences that tend to irritate Americans, one of the most fundamental has to do with attitudes and behaviors around time, appointments and punctuality. Here are five basic tips for everyday behavior around appointments and punctuality that are sure to help global counterparts get ahead with their American colleagues.
Indian IT professionals often seem to become Americanized within months of landing in the US. But the “honeymoon” phase soon gets over, giving way to disorientation, loss of confidence and even alienation. How can this be overcome?
Intercultural awareness and skill are not something you can achieve just by reading a "how-to" manual or learning a simple formula. To become a successful manager in the global IT workplace, you need to develop cultural awareness and the soft skills needed for managing in a culturally diverse environment. Here is a checklist of these key skills.
Employees from different countries respond differently to workplace incentives. Learning to understand these differences is a wise managerial strategy. This article discusses India-U.S. differences in five key areas: management style, job security and compensation, career development, performance evaluation, and motivational strategies.
Over the past several years, I’ve attended numerous conferences on offshore outsourcing. The presentations have tended to focus mostly on the “hard” components of establishing profitable outsourcing arrangements: strategy, scope definition, risk assessment, cost savings, operational advantages, vendor selection, contracts, governance, information security, performance metrics, technical infrastructure and legal compliance.
The workforce of most high-tech companies is diverse. But is it truly multicultural? It's possible for a company to have diversity, but without inclusiveness. Here is a checklist of suggestions for what company leaders can do to foster a more inclusive corporate culture and derive benefit from the diversity of its employees.
Two insightful books to increase your cultural literacy about 21st-century India. Read Dr. Karine Schomer’s mini-reviews of In Spite of the Gods and Planet India.
In high-tech companies, multicultural diversity is the norm rather than the exception. By design or by necessity, high-tech workplaces are increasingly "looking like the world." This diversity can be a problem or an opportunity. This article offers basic principles for avoiding common dysfunctions and successfully building multicultural teams.
Misunderstanding of the differences in business cultures and etiquettes around the world can derail business and professional goals. Being culturally savvy is an increasingly important global management skill. Here are some of the key elements of business culture and etiquette to which it pays to be attentive.