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The Global You by Philip Whiteley, Susan Bloch

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Same aims, different emphasis

Differences in interpersonal relations also exist. In Latin America, it is customary for people to express warm emotions and convey excitement, even quite early in a business relationship, whereas in Northern Europe this may be disapproved of, and even considered a symptom of immaturity. North America probably lies somewhere in between those two extremes.

An example of a central corporate initiative not translating well to diverse locations occurred at an international hotel chain a few years ago. A very “American” edict on “How to smile at guests” was sent out from Boston to all its global offices, but was not always interpreted or enacted locally in the way envisaged. For example, in Turkey, where you don’t have ...

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