Culture & Countries - Intercultural Insights
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Culture & Countries

Culture & Countries
Freedom, Equality, Fraternity through the Franco-American prism
November 3, 2020
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We ask ourselves every day how we will approach our intercultural trainings on the United States and France without triggering passionate and heated debates due to the special relationship that reigns between these two countries, often referred to as a "love-hate" relationship.
Culture & Countries Intercultural & Business
Is the LEAN approach cultural?
June 9, 2020
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Despite its longevity, the LEAN method has not aged a day. But it can only succeed if the cultural aspect is taken into account.
Culture & Countries
The Coronavirus Epidemic Across Cultures
May 26, 2020
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Are All Cultures Equal When It Comes to Coronavirus? Although it should be remembered that culture is only one explanatory factor ...
Culture & Countries
Coronavirus: Going Out Masked, A Question of Culture!
April 28, 2020
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Is Wearing a Mask Cultural?  If you go out without a mask in Hong Kong, Seoul or Tokyo during an epidemic, you risk becoming a “social pariah” when elsewhere, in Europe or the United States for example, it is perfectly acceptable.  It’s not just a matter of government directives and medical advice, it’s also a matter of culture […]
Culture & Countries
The Culture Of Digital Learning Through Crises
March 17, 2020
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From E-Learning to Digital Learning  Who remembers the Internet bubble? At the end of the 1990s, it was a time of euphoria. “Young shoots” proliferate: the more money they lose, the more their valuation increases and the more money they raise! It’s a race against time, you have to have the best idea first, it […]
Culture & Countries
Chinese Facts vs. French Concepts
November 26, 2019
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There is a Chinese proverb that says: Facts are better than words. Unreceptive to concepts, the Chinese see and understand things through facts.
Culture & Countries Intercultural & Business
Social conflict in South Korea
June 11, 2019
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Why do some French companies experience difficulties resolving labor disputes that sometimes arise in their Korean subsidiaries?
Culture & Countries
The new Silk Road
March 19, 2019
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The Chinese dream is being realised externally through the new Silk Road and internally through the Made-in-China 2025 strategic plan.
Culture & Countries
French-style meetings
March 5, 2019
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Why are there so many prejudices about French-style meetings? Where do they come from? How can we overcome them? Philippe Cartallier goes back over three preconceived ideas about French people in meetings.
Culture & Countries
Chinese New Year and Business Etiquette
February 5, 2019
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The Chinese New Year of 2019 falls on Tuesday, 5th February and lasts to February 19th. Usher with me confidently in the Year of the Pig and understand the background, traditions and rituals.
Culture & Countries
Managing a Polish team
November 13, 2018
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Is being a good manager in France sufficient to manage a Polish team? Ewa Gallou gives us the keys to understanding the differences between the Polish and the French.
Culture & Countries
Danish egalitarianism
October 16, 2018
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The Danish way of life is strongly imbued with "Janteloven", shared by all, meaning everyone is equal. How does this egalitarian system translate into professional life?
Culture & Countries
Mongolia, a land of contrasts
June 12, 2018
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Mongolia is a country about which most of us know nothing or very little here in Europe. Nevertheless, many large international companies do business there.
Culture & Countries
The French passion for strike action!
May 15, 2018
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Strike is a French cultural phenomenon. Can the cultural profile help us understand the French?
Culture & Countries
An innovative strategy in China’s Music Valley
April 17, 2018
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Pinggu in China is the world’s leading centre for the production of stringed instruments.
Culture & Countries
Negotiating with the Iranians
March 20, 2018
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You can’t negotiate with the Iranians as you would with your European, Russian, Chinese or Indian partners.
Culture & Countries Intercultural & Business
Doing business in India: some pointers
March 6, 2018
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Thierry Lepercq, Assistant General Manager of ENGIE and founder of Solairedirect, discusses his international experience, particularly in India, where he quickly found that it was necessary to think outside the box to succeed.
Culture & Countries
Happy Cross-Cultural Year 2018!
January 10, 2018
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The Akteos and Intercultural Insights teams wish you an happy cross-cultural and digital year 2018 and invite you for a new adventure
Culture & Countries Intercultural & Business
The French management style
November 30, 2017
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The French management style had not yet assumed the importance that multinationals gave it during the 2000s.
Culture & Countries
How foreigners see the French
June 25, 2017
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French behaviour which often surprises “incomers” Being aware of the image others have of us is important, because through our behaviour foreigners will subconsciously seek confirmation of the stereotypes they have of us. Below, we have prepared a selection of comments expressed by foreign participants in our “Working with the French”, training sessions, beginning with […]
Culture & Countries
The Indian concept of time
June 22, 2017
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For the Indians, time is seen as being cyclical, following a recurring cycle of four ages, involving the appearance, degeneration and end of the universe before a new era begins, identical to the previous ones.
Culture & Countries
Southeast Asian Business Culture – Anecdotes From Outside the Fishbowl
May 23, 2017
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An important step towards becoming a competent player in the international work environment is having a good understanding about one’s own culture. Like water to a fish, the influence of our own culture is often invisible to us. Getting an outsider’s perspective can help us to explore the waters we swim in and learn more […]
Culture & Countries
Feedback and Culture
May 11, 2017
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  Feedback at work: a question of culture? Everyone agrees that feedback can be a valuable management tool, used to forge a relationship based on trust and confidence, to help staff develop (including the manager himself in many cases!) and to more easily reach their professional goals… But how many managers really take account of […]
Culture & Countries
Are French and Americans arrogant?
February 16, 2017
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We’ve heard it over and over as fingers point across the Atlantic: THEY are so arrogant! When the topic comes up in intercultural trainings, people from other countries usually laugh and say: Both French and Americans are arrogant! What’s there to talk about? Beyond a fun but ultimately sterile debate over who is the most […]
Culture & Countries
Modern Asia: Tradition vs Progress
November 17, 2016
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To what extent is the apparent “westernization” process in Asia simply a superficial outcome of modernization. Are people rejecting their traditional values?
Culture & Countries
Managing an unusual conflict in the Caribbean
September 20, 2016
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While being French départements in their own right administratively, over the centuries the French Antilles have maintained a number of specific socio-cultural characteristics
Culture & Countries
A lesson from Argentina
July 15, 2016
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Passing through the toll gates for free in Argentina!... Viewed from the other side of the Atlantic, the same experience isn't considered in the same way.
Culture & Countries
What makes a “good boss” in Indonesia?
June 23, 2016
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Among the different management aspects for which we study the influence of culture, there's the question of the management "styles" which characterise each country.
Culture & Countries Intercultural & Business
Franco-Chinese Joint-Ventures: An Impossible Dream?
June 9, 2016
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Chloe Ascencio is a trainer and coach specialising in Chinese management and business culture. In her book Travailler avec les Chinois, she proposes 8 operational factors to ensure success when doing business in China. Below, she shares a few principles for successful joint-ventures between French and Chinese businesses. Contrasting Views of the ‘Joint-Venture’ The Chinese and French […]
Culture & Countries
Procurement in China
May 26, 2016
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How should you go about procurement in China? There is no simple answer to this question, however one thing is certain: the ideas behind buying and selling differ greatly from one culture to another. We are often tempted to go with the cheapest option, but have we given enough thought to what people’s true motivations […]
Culture & Countries
Competition Law: An Intercultural Perspective
May 12, 2016
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Olivier d’Ormesson, a lawyer specialising in competition law and a member of the French Competition Authority’s board, has analysed the requests for leniency submitted to the European Commission and the French competition authorities. Here, he expresses his astonishment at the different reactions observed according to the nationalities in question. Interview with Olivier d’Ormesson Could you […]
Culture & Countries
How to Successfully Negotiate in China
April 14, 2016
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What if the success of a negotiation in China did not only depend on the signing of a contract? Philippe Vigoureux shares practical advice to help you succeed when negotiating in China.
Culture & Countries
The Importance of Feng Shui in China
February 4, 2016
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Feng Shui is serious business in China, and the workplace is no exception. Philippe Vigoureux, a leading intercultural consultant, shares a narrative that highlights the importance of understanding local beliefs before imposing your own. During my time in Shanghai I had a chance to meet the General Manager of the Chinese subsidiary of a major luxury […]
Culture & Countries
“I Chose France” – Ross McInnes
January 21, 2016
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Ross McInnes, the Chairman of Safran’s Executive Board, kindly accepted our invitation to discuss his career. We talked about that all-important sense of belonging, which involves a “dual culture” and about the French in the international environment. Would you like to tell us a little about the cultural context in which you began your career? […]
Culture & Countries
International Perception of French Managers
November 26, 2015
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National culture has a considerable influence on management style. So, how are French managers viewed abroad? Let's discover the good, the bad and the ugly…
Culture & Countries
French and American… can you be both at the same time?
November 12, 2015
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How do you combine being both French and American from an administrative, personal and cultural viewpoint? Administratively, it’s completely possible. Many of us have two passports, vote in both countries and declare our taxes in both countries! Two countries… Poles apart! So how does a Franco-American or an American-Frenchman find peace of mind in life […]
Culture & Countries
The Volkswagen affair: an intercultural analysis
October 29, 2015
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The greatest automotive scandal ever erupted with the revelation of large-scale cheating by Volkswagen. We examine this from an intercultural viewpoint.
Culture & Countries
What Churchill had to say about the French
October 8, 2015
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I would like to share with you some of Churchill’s thoughts about French culture. In a short guide intended to be used by British troops, specially written to prepare them for what they would find in France after the D-Day landings in 1944, Churchill gave a description of France at that time, of French society […]
Culture & Countries
Innovation of Korean Managers
September 17, 2015
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This is the second part in our portrait of Korean companies. Following a general overview of the Korean management style and company culture, it’s now time to think outside the box as we meet KIM Hyung-seok, Bookpal’s astonishing chief executive. Innovation of Korean managers Since 2008, the seemingly endless crisis which has affected South Korea has seen the […]
Culture & Countries
The Many Facets of the Korean Management Style
July 23, 2015
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Eric Surdej’s book, Ils sont fous ces Coréens, provides a vital insight into the operating methods of the French subsidiary of one of the largest Korean chaebols, LG. In this insider’s tale, sometimes tinged with disillusionment, the author makes the error of comparing the way LG operates to all Korean companies or even to all […]
Culture & Countries
American Dynamism
July 9, 2015
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In L’Âme des Peuples, André Siegfried considers the future of the United States. He questions whether the “national ideology” still applies. Today, 65 years on, are we now able to answer his question? American culture American culture is a combination of numerous complex factors and is fast-changing. In the author’s view, it has not yet […]
Culture & Countries
The fight against corruption in China
July 2, 2015
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The unexpected effects of the fight against corruption or “how to make profit on a bribe in China” … A true story! The following is the true story of something that happened to a European small business based in Shanghai. James was its managing director in China and was seeking to obtain permission to open […]
Culture & Countries
Russian mysticism
June 25, 2015
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In L’Ame des Peuples in 1950, André Siegfried sought to identify the enduring characteristics of the Russian mindset. How much of this still applies today? After their Asian heritage, followed by attempts at Europeanisation under Peter the Great and later the Soviet revolution, are there any enduring characteristics of the Russian mindset? Are we today […]
Culture & Countries Intercultural & Business
Chinese Social Networks
June 18, 2015
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Gaining a cultural understanding of the way the Chinese use the social networks is vital for any company selling their products in China. The Chinese digital industry The Chinese social networks (particularly Wechat and Weibo) and e-commerce platforms are more interconnected in China than in any country in the world. The digital sector has brought […]
Culture & Countries
The evangelical phenomenon in Brazil
June 11, 2015
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In Brazilian society, the evangelical movement today represents a genuine economic and media empire which wields major political power. There are today approximately 42.3 million evangelicals in Brazil, the second largest Protestant country after the United States. The Theology of Prosperity As its name suggests, this theology is known for its insistence on the prosperity […]
Culture & Countries
A Korean marathon
June 4, 2015
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Where did Mr Eric Surdej, a senior executive trained in a business school, having occupied international managerial posts in prestigious Japanese companies (Toshiba, Sony), find the nerves of steel to manage the French subsidiary of the Korean company LG for eight years? Especially considering the pace at which these eight years went by among the “efficiency […]
Culture & Countries
What can we learn from Chinese thought?
May 28, 2015
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After L’Esprit des Religions, Hesna Cailliau has attracted attention once again with the publication of the book Le paradoxe du poisson rouge – Une voie chinoise pour réussir, by Éditions Saint-Simon in 2015. With its 140 pages making it a perfectly manageable read, this subtle yet far reaching work immediately strikes us for its openness […]
Culture & Countries
Explaining tragic Greece to Lutheran Germany
May 21, 2015
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For Angela Merkel, economic discipline – something incomprehensible to a typical Greek – is firmly rooted in the Protestant culture of the 16th century. That which Max Weber analysed so effectively in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. This is a culture based on moral discipline and the individual’s subservience to divine law, which in […]
Culture & Countries
German discipline
May 14, 2015
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In L’âme des peuples in 1950, André Siegfried seeks to understand the German people and the origins of their “iron will” but his analysis, which differs from previous ones, leaves us rather perplexed. A combination of influences Relationship to nature In Western Europe, nature is much more reminiscent of a garden while the great plains […]
Culture & Countries
British tenacity
April 30, 2015
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Did the severe disruption experienced in Britain after the war in any way change British values? Writing in L’âme des peuples in 1950, André Siegfried explains how the various invasions, the climate, the insularity and Protestantism provide the keys to understanding the British mentality and are the factors underpinning a very particular state of mind. […]