Monday, May 26, 2008

Ethnocentricism - barrier to understanding and business growth

So many organizations fail to grow outside their heartlands because they do not realize that many of the things they take for granted are just not valid elsewhere. This goes beyond such obvious issues as language or religion, but down to attitudes towards work, whether one wants to fit in or stand out, attitudes towards patriotism, social class, education, what kinds of foods are acceptable, or how you behave to loved ones. I have found whenever I have moved to a new country, that I need to re-discover where to shop for obvious items. How to socialize with people. Visiting a country, however often, is not enough. Even living in a country may not be adequate, particularly for people who live among expats. The most important ability is the one to recognize that cherished assumptions about anything may not be true.

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