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Cultural Awareness


Effective Interaction with other cultures requires

- a good understanding of your own and the other culture, 

- reflecting the different preferences in communication and behaviour. 

- knowledge and experience how to bridge the differences through interaction and case studies 

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Cultural Differences

In all areas of modern life, we are dealing with people with a different background.

The mix is expected to keep increasing due to global demographics, political and economic development worldwide. At school, in shops, in businesses and in entertainment, we interact with people that have different values, different communication patterns - and if we don't understand that, we often judge too quickly. 


All groups of people have to deal with these basic dilemmas:

  • Equality vs Hierarchy,

  • Individualism vs Collectivism,

  • Competition vs Consensus,

  • Structure vs Spontaneity,

  • Pragmatic vs Normative Approach, 

  • Indulgence vs Restraint.


Communities have developed different solutions for these dilemmas. They represent the basic values in this community and are passed on from generation to generation. These sets of values are generally alike for the people of one country, but different from the people of another country.

So each country has a different cultural profile that explains the preferences, reactions, and communication practices of this community.

One model to understand the world

Prof. Geert Hofstede started in 1965 a worldwide study on cultural differences in communication, preferences and probable reactions. The cultural dimensions that he formulated in the 'Hofstede model of national cultures' serve to identify and distinguish average preferences and behaviours influenced by national cultures. The results have been continually revalidated and form the basis of a variety of courses and workshops to facilitate cross-cultural communication and any interaction across cultures. 

His findings and conclusions are interpreted and translated by trainers and consultants at Hofstede Insights.


About Hofstede Insights

Hofstede Insights (formerly itim International) is a global training and consulting organization with a large number of culture and management consultants in over 25 countries who draw on over 30 years of experience in improving cultural competence and effectiveness, successfully extending the global reach of companies large and small. Based on the research of Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede, and Michael Minkov, Hofstede Insights integrates national and organizational culture in an innovative approach which assists you in going beyond cultural awareness, measuring the impact of organisational culture and visualizing the role culture has in enabling or hindering your business.

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