According to E.Schein*, culture can be defined as the way a group of persons resolve problems and dilemmas to which it is comfronted.

Culture has multiple layers:

  • country or region
  • company or organization
  • business or profession. 

Culture is uneasy to grasp

It is made of elements that are visible ( fashion, architecture, the arts,...) and of others, norms and values, that are not, at least immediately.

The perspective on one's own culture as well as on other's is biased:

  • One is immerged on his/her culture, and other cultures are seen through the filters of one's own culture.
  • Our perception on cultures that seem the most distant spontaneously enhance the differences rather than similarities.
  • We are cumbersomed with images (cultural stereotypes) which may alterate our perception of reality.

at stakes with the cross cultural approach

Knowing one's culture and understanding oneself. acknowledging cultures and individuals' diversity. Identifying differences as well as similarities in order to facilitate communication and exchanges.


*E Schein. Organizational Culture and Leadership

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