Communicating Corporate Norms

Communicating Corporate Norms

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consider the following scenario: A manager from the corporate office is working in another country. The manager schedules meetings and expects them to begin on time, as they do in the corporate office. It is a corporate norm. The employees, however, come from the local culture where meetings never start on time. When they are 30 minutes late for a meeting, they do not understand why the manager is upset. “It’s how things are done here,” one employee tells the manager. “But that isn’t how we do things in this company,” the manager replies. Both sides are confused. The manager wants the local culture to adapt to the corporate norm of having meetings start on the scheduled time, although the employees do not see why the manager is not willing to adapt to the local ways. What would you advise the manager to do in this situation?


Browaeys, M-J., & Price, R. (2015). Understanding cross-cultural management (3rd ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson Education. Chapter 13, “Business Communication Across Cultures” Chapter 14, “Barriers to Intercultural Communication” Chapter 18, “Developing Intercultural Communicative Competence” The Hofstede Centre. (n.d.). National culture.

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