The Blog for Culture Vultures

Satiate your inner Culture Vulture with regular news and posts about cultural awareness, doing business abroad, working in a multicultural environment, HR diversity and global mobility.

Cultural Differences Troubling Air France-KLM Merger

Cultural Differences Troubling Air France-KLM Merger

A research report commissioned by Air France-KLM to try and work out what is causing tensions within the airline company has discovered that cultural differences between Dutch an French employees is potentially ripping the merger apart.

Air France-KLM, which is the result of a 2004 merger, asked Philippe d’Iribarne from the French Institute of Science and Niels Noorderhaven of Tilburg University, to carry out the research which involved 47 interviews with Air France and KLM staff between January and April 2017.

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Cross-Cultural Training Sector Predicted to Grow 15% by 2021

Cross-Cultural Training Sector Predicted to Grow 15% by 2021

Commisceo Global have been identified as being in the top five 'key vendors' globally in new research which predicts the market for cross cultural training courses is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of just under 15% from 2017-2021.

Global Cross-Cultural Training Market 2017-2021, a newly published market research report from Technavio, sees a healthy future for cross cultural training.

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150+ CEOs Commit to Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

150+ CEOs Commit to Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ will "Improve Corporate Performance, Drive Growth, and Enhance Employee Engagement" says founding companies

In a sign of the growing importance of diversity issues within the workplace, a group of more than 150 CEOs from some of the world’s leading companies have put their names againt CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ -  the largest ever CEO-driven commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

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Culture Affects The Language We Use When We Tell Lies

Culture Affects The Language We Use When We Tell Lies

Researchers believe they have discovered a link between someone's culture and the language they use when they are telling porkie pies (Cockney slang for 'lies').

Psychologists, led by Professor Paul Taylor of Lancaster University in the UK, have just published the findings of their research, entitled "Culture moderates changes in linguistic self-presentation and detail provision when deceiving others", in Royal Society Open Science.

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UK Getting Cheaper for Expatriate Relocation Packages

UK Getting Cheaper for Expatriate Relocation Packages

Traditionally one of the more expensive destinations to send expatriate staff, a survey has found that the UK is now becoming cheaper for foreign companies.


The MyExpatriate Market Pay survey (published annually by ECA International) states that for the past few years the fall in the value of UK Sterling has meant that for companies outside the country, operating mainly in USD, sending resources to Britain has become around 11% cheaper.

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Lack of Language and Cultural Skills Risks 'Global Britain' After Brexit

Lack of Language and Cultural Skills Risks 'Global Britain' After Brexit

Can Theresa May's vision of a 'Global Britain' really come true when even the Institute of Translation & Interpreting question if the UK has the language or cultural skills necessary to compete globally?


Once unshackled by the chains of the EU, the future of Britain is being positioned as one of a global trader. However, to be a global trader you need the skills to do so.

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Cultural Diversity Explains Why Americans Smile So Much

Cultural Diversity Explains Why Americans Smile So Much

Researchers believe they have finally disovered why the wide, white-teethed smile is so important in American culture - immigrants and cultural diversity.

Across different cultures, a smile can mean many things. In more expressive cultures such as the USA, where showing emotions is not necessarily a bad thing, and in which hierarchy and social differences are less acute, the smile is a lot more common.

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Doing Business in Muslim Countries During Ramadan

Doing Business in Muslim Countries During Ramadan

Do you work with or travel to Muslim majority countries? Do you know Ramadan is a matter of weeks away?

For 30 days’ life gets flipped upside down for most Muslims – this impacts business.

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Media Throw Confusion Over Wearing of Hijab in Saudi Arabia

Media Throw Confusion Over Wearing of Hijab in Saudi Arabia

Some recent news coverage focusing on Theresa May not wearing a headscarf on her business trip to Saudi Arabia has caused some major confusion over etiquette and protocol in the Kingdom.

Certain news outlets and media seemed to use terminology that suggested that the British PM May somehow 'refused' the idea of covering her hair.

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Do You See a Nanny or a Mother? Unconscious Bias and Racial Stereotyping

Do You See a Nanny or a Mother? Unconscious Bias and Racial Stereotyping

The recent viral video of Professor Robert Kelly talking to the BBC via Skype has perfectly illustrated how unconscious bias works.

When his kids break into the room and interrupt the interview, an Asian lady comes to get them. Did you see a Nanny or a Mum? 

Having gone viral across the globe many US and other news outlets described the lady as Professor Kelly’s ‘maid’.  Her ethnicity clearly contributed to the rather preconditioned assessment that she was working for Professor Kelly.  The fact that this lady, Jung-a Kim may have been Professor Kelly’s wife failed to register.

This is, unfortunately, as clear a case of Unconscious Bias that I have witnessed in a long time. 

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‘Foreigners’: Tebbit's Language is a Dying Relic of the Past

‘Foreigners’: Tebbit's Language is a Dying Relic of the Past

Seriously, who uses the word ‘foreigners’ as a brush reference to the diverse nationalities living in and beyond the borders of the UK? This word surely is a relic? Something from the past? 

Sitting on my perch last night in my normal nightly semi-comatose state after a hard day's work in front of the TV,  I was aroused from my stupor by the following reaction of Norman Tebbit when discussing the right of EU nationals to remain in the UK post Brexit:

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Hyatt Join the Battle for Cultural Diversity with New Marketing Campaign

Hyatt Join the Battle for Cultural Diversity with New Marketing Campaign

I recently penned some musings about the privitization of cultural diversity in a blog post; the central theme being that politics and politicians don't know how to handle the boiling hot potato that is multiculturalism. The result, I predict, will be the private sector championing cultural diversity and multiculturalism with the politicians glady handing responsibility over.

To summarise the blog, I believe the private sector see the failings of politicians to positively engage and counteract the harmful anti-difference agenda as bad for business.

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The Apprentice – Horrendous Racism or Cultural Ignorance?

The Apprentice – Horrendous Racism or Cultural Ignorance?

For those that follow The Apprentice, you can’t have missed the recent outburst by contestant Dillon St Paul in Episode 6, entitled ‘Discount Buying’.

Sticking to the traditional programme format, contestants were required to spend the night identifying the whereabouts of 9 items in and around London and then negotiate the best possible price for their purchase.

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'Budgie Nine' - Culturally Belligerent or Innocently Ignorant?

'Budgie Nine' - Culturally Belligerent or Innocently Ignorant?

Have you heard about the 'Budgie Nine'? If not then here comes another perfect example of foreigners acting cuturally-inappropriately when abroad.

To celebrate their countrymen's victory at the Malaysia Grand Prix these 9 men from Australia stripped down to Malaysian-flag-printed swimwear — or "budgie smugglers" as they are known in Australia.

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Erasmus is Key for Developing Cultural Awareness in UK

Erasmus is Key for Developing Cultural Awareness in UK

If UK loses out on Erasmus, we lose the next generation

One of the OMG moments I had during my post-Brexit bewilderment was what would happen to funding for the Erasmus programme; an EU initiative to support students to study abroad for one year. I was, and still am, genuinelly concerned about the impact it would have on us should we leave it. Why? Because I saw first hand the impact it has on improving young people's confidence, characters, employability and cultural awareness.

So it was with glee that I came across an article with my morning coffee on the Guardian which highlights calls for the government to protect British participation in the programme.

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Brexit and our Cross Cultural Future

Brexit and our Cross Cultural Future

As bridge-builders, interculturalists have a lot of work to do

I’m going to be honest with you. I have written this blog once already – I fully expressed my views and vented my frustrations as to the recent events in the UK. I am now taking all those words back and starting again.

Why? I can pick holes and point to the lies all day but nothing is going to change. The only thing that will change is the future.

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The Fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany Today

The Fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany Today

Understanding a country's past helps you understand its present. Kathinka gives her viewpoint on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall; a physical and symbolic wall that shaped the Cold War and today still influences German culture.

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Women in Export and Doing Business in the Far East

Women in Export and Doing Business in the Far East

As part of the 2014 Export Week, Commisceo trainer Joyce Jenkins was invited to speak at UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) Women in Export event.

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Etiquette and Doing Business Abroad

Etiquette and Doing Business Abroad

Would you drink fermented mare’s milk with your new potential Mongolian business partners to seal a deal? Or would you politely decline? The answer may come down to the strength of your stomach or your awareness of local etiquette.

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New Soft-Skills Business Training DVD Titles

New Soft-Skills Business Training DVD Titles

I'm really happy to announce the release of some new soft-skills DVDs which we think you'll soon be passing around the office. These DVDs have been added due to customer demand and we have a great choice now covering a range of topics from customer service to management to listening skills.

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