overcoming cultural barriers to collaboration


Globalization and international communications has enabled people from the same company, but on the other side of the world, to work together on projects with a common goal. But quite aside from the issues of time zones, international collaboration creates a few esoteric  problems for managers to overcome.

Prime amongst these are the cultural differences between workers. While people from one culture have been coming to work in another for centuries, its only with international, instant communications like on-demand video conferencing, where cultures are thrown together abruptly.

So how do managers bring these cultures together to work harmoniously and not let someone who is seen as enthusiastic in one culture come across as rude in another? One of the key researchers in this area is Fons Trompenaars and we spoke to him at length about how to reconcile these cultural differences. You can read the article in full in our magazine.

Anthony Plewes

After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.