International and intercultural management. A Challenge for managers.
21. September 2021
What is actually meant by international management and what position does intercultural management take in international contexts? Which challenges do companies have to face in case of internationalisation? This lecture is dedicated to these questions and addresses the challenge of international and intercultural management for companies and their employees.
Our speaker Klaus Lichtenauer worked for more than 17 years as a senior manager of a large German energy company. Among other things, Klaus Lichtenauer was entrusted with various positions in IT management, he was CIO of a decentral national business subsidiary as well as a decentralised managing director of an IT organisation. As an expat in various European countries, Mr. Lichtenauer was able to gain valuable experience in international management in addition to intercultural expertise. In this presentation, he will use his knowledge to introduce you to important aspects of managing international teams.
Internationalisation is a challenge for all levels of a company. This is especially evident in intercultural management, which deals with the topic of international human resources. Employees who are deployed abroad have to adapt to the cultural conditions prevailing there. It is also important to ask to what extent the employee should hold on to his or her own cultural values.
Intercultural competence means the ability to perceive, appreciate and respect cultural influences in one’s own and other people’s thinking, feeling, judging and acting. It also involves making productive use of existing differences, i.e., being able to adapt to circumstances and remaining tolerant of possible incompatibilities.
For companies that are going along with internationalisation as well as the growing interconnectedness of business and politics, intercultural management nowadays takes on a key function. It transcends borders, but above all cultures – and offers assistance to actors who work on site with people of different socio-cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds.
Skills in intercultural management are becoming increasingly relevant. This is due to the realisation that intercultural competence is not just another soft skill but influences the economic performance of companies. In practice, for example, it has become apparent that poorly run joint ventures are often due to so-called “soft” factors such as poor communication between the parties involved. Cultural friction is a term often used in this context, suggesting that many employees working abroad are unable to perform their tasks satisfactorily due to such factors.
This lecture shows which role socio-cultural differences can play in international cooperation. Although intercultural competence is no cure-all for conflicts and confusions in the relevant contexts, it does train awareness of culture-specific influencing factors. Especially in everyday business life, the values, norms and behaviors of the culture in which one finds oneself play a major role. Specific examples on international cooperation will show how to best shape team communication and facilitation by the team leader.
The presentation aims to illustrate to participants how to prevent culture-related difficulties in management. How can specialists and managers of internationally active companies succeed in developing their intercultural competence? How can international managers adapt their behavior to intercultural standards and thus operate successfully in a foreign cultural environment?