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Why global management requires knowledge of cultural differences

Trevor Sutton, Starcross, Flowers Gallery

On the website of Fortune magazine, Anne Fisher discusses the art of global management with Charlene M. Solomon and Michael S. Schell, co-authors of the book Managing Across Cultures: The Seven Keys to Doing Business with a Global Mindset.

According to Schell, global companies require managers who are trained to acknowledge and adapt to cultural differences. Solomon says there are mistakes that are frequently made regarding different cultures, times and deadlines.

American employees have more autonomy whereas in India or Mexico the decision-making process is much more hierarchical. Also, there is more of a reliance on 'gut-feeling' in the US whereas people in Germany and Britain are more risk-averse.

The challenge is to train people to recognise these cultural pitfalls. This isn't always easy. Schell warns: "Even when you spell it out, people often will deny that there are any real differences, or they will just go ahead and act as if they don't see any."

How To Be a Better Global Manager
Anne Fisher