Culture Shock: Hiding in Plain Sight—An Experiential Exercise

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In Culture Shock, participants explore the potential influence of organizational culture and national culture differences on communication, interaction, and reaching agreement. The role play, with observers, involves two employees from different organizations involved in a strategic alliance who come together to plan an upcoming meeting. Their respective role information instructs them to behave and communicate in ways consistent with their own organization's culture, which also is affected by national culture. During debriefing discussions afterward participants explore the impact of cultural differences—as well as other kinds of differences—and how employees can more effectively work across organizational cultures and national cultures. Facilitators can suggest “cultural due diligence” as a way to increase the likelihood of successful interaction and discuss steps that could be taken if the role play interaction does not achieve its objectives.


Published: Trefry, M. and V. Christian. "Culture Shock: Hiding in Plain Sight—An Experiential Exercise." Organization Management Journal 9.2 (2012): 120-138.