Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Escaping Cultural Marketing Trap

The experienced expat international marketing manager may have worked in someplace resembling Korea. As a trained professional, he or she thus looks for signs by which to classify problems and opportunities. These signals can give the marketer clues as to whether the company 's products are properly positioned. Yet, encountering the Korean marketplace can be confusing. For example, if the marketing manager concludes the sales force is doing its job well and yet the sales results are disappointing, is it simply a matter of product positioning – or is there some other, hidden factor? Could the problem be a cultural difference?

There may be a cultural "gotcha," but too often foreign marketing professionals have prematurely jumped to that conclusion. It seems that a "cultural wand " is being waved about whenever there is a need to explain why sales are not up to standard. Foreign managers can be sorely tempted to pigeonhole the cause of their problems as "Korean culture " when there may be a lack _ or misapplication _ of marketing diligence.

Read more: Korea

Putting multiculturalism under the spotlight

Is there anything inherently wrong in placing multiculturalism under the spotlight to critically examine it and assess its ills and virtues? The obvious answer is no. The problem is not with the question itself, but with its context, assumptions and terms.

The current debate about multiculturalism takes place in the wrong context: terrorism. Like the non-heroes in Kafka's tragic plots, who find themselves embroiled in situations in which they had no hand, multiculturalism has been dragged into the discussion of terrorism. It does not belong there.

Read more: UK
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:46 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

Is the Netherlands expat friendly?

Complaints by expats in the Netherlands are nothing new, but an internal survey by the International Organisations Staff Associations (IOSA-NL) set the cat among the pigeons recently.

One of the startling findings was that 70 percent of the expat staff of international organisations based here do not want to stay in the Netherlands.

Read more: Expats

nearly half of china can't speak official language

While increasing numbers of foreign students grapple with the challenges of learning Chinese putonghua, or Mandarin, a senior official has said at least 40 per cent of China's own population is unable to communicate in the country's official language.

A national survey released in 2004 found that only 53 per cent of the country's 1.3 billion people could speak putonghua, said Yuan Zhongrui, director of the putonghua popularization department under the Ministry of Education.

Read more: China

Significance of cross cultural communication can't be underestimated

At the 2006 Cross Cultural Communication Forum held in Beijing on August 31, twelve well-known experts shared their views on the theme of "cross-cultural exchange and soft power building". At the one-day cultural feast, Wu Jianmin, former Chinese ambassador to France and President of the Chinese Foreign Affairs University, accepted an exclusive interview with People's Daily Online.

Reporter: Culture is a component of China's soft power strategy to develop national strength, and culture can only extend its influence through communication. What do you think is the significance of cross-cultural communication in soft power building?

Wu Jianmin: Cross-cultural communication is a major task for China and the world today. The development of cross cultural exchange is essential to building a harmonious society as well as an internal force promoting world peace, development and cooperation.

Read more: China

'TERROR' SCHOOL USED BY COPS for 'diversity' courses

Police were sent for "diversity training" at a Muslim school raided by anti-terror of ficers, the Mirror reveals.

An alleged suicide bomber cell used the grounds of the rambling Victorian college in East Sussex to train in - one of several sites in the London and the South East hit in the weekend swoops.

Read more: Mirror
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:40 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

Dutch language made compulsory for Pakistanis before visa

The Dutch Government Sunday approved of a special law for Pakistanis that conditions visa sanctioning to compulsory learning of Dutch language.

According to the details after terrorist acts in England the Dutch government has taken this strict measure. According to the special law if a Pakistani living in Netherlands wishes to call his family than the family requires to learn the Dutch language before being allowed a visa.

Read more: Dutch

word of the day: arcane

arcane \ar-KAYN\, adjective:
Understood or known by only a few.

Under Indonesia's arcane system of land tenure, disputes between local residents, and between locals and developers, are commonplace. -- "Not Fair.", TheEconomist, July 26, 1997

While addressing a problem in the arcane field of mathematical logic, he imagined a machine that could mimic human reasoning. -- Paul Gray, "Alan Turing", Time Pacific, March 29, 1999

Posted by Kwintessential at 5:35 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Monday, September 04, 2006

word of the day: surcease

surcease \SUR-sees; sur-SEES\, noun:
Cessation; stop; end.

One of his clearest remembrances from childhood was the feeling that swept over him when, on a Saturday morning, the sun had sequestered itself behind a cascade of clouds and rain, thick, relentless walls of rain, came pounding down with no promise of surcease, black greasy rain that eradicated all hopes of an outdoor day. -- Stanley Bing, Lloyd: What Happened

When flights are delayed and the airport concourse looks like the subway at rush hour, children crawling among luggage and lines winding to pay phones, anxious travelers yearn for surcease. -- Betsy Wade, "Airline Clubs: Worth the Cost?", New York Times, August 24, 1997

Posted by Kwintessential at 4:58 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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