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Zurich bniversiLy o Applied Sciences winLerLhur (Zw)


School o HanagenenL

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AuLhor: AuLhor: AuLhor: AuLhor: ascal Lyholzer

LecLurer: LecLurer: LecLurer: LecLurer: ro. lic. phil. Jessa HeuLer

0aLe: 0aLe: 0aLe: 0aLe: winLerLhur, 17
Lh
0cLober 2003
2rcher
hochschuIe
w!nterthur
HiLglied
der Zurcher
Iachhochschule
2ur!ch un!vers!ty of AppI!ed Sc!ences w!nterthur 0I - 0!pIoma Ihes!s 2003
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I
2
Management Summary
The main objective of this handbook of intercultural communication and intercultural
competence for the financial sector is to acquire practical, immediately applicable intercultural
communication skills. The study of this thesis provides the reader with valuable practical
knowledge so as to be able to build and retain better relationships in the financial sector and to
manage the pitfalls and challenges of intercultural communication in a world of increasing
globalization and internationalization of companies which require intercultural competence as a
key dimension of success.
What is more is that the interested reader will benefit from the vocational experience of more
than 55 client advisors and international managers who either have participated in the
representative online-survey, which was carried out via the World Wide Web on
www.eyholzer.ch/survey, or who have been interviewed. The analysis and assessment of their
answers and explanations as well as their recommendations help developing effective ways of
behaviour, sensitivity and attitude towards other cultures in daily business.
The handbook consists of two parts. In the first part, the reader has the possibility to take part in
a discussion about intercultural communication and gain interesting theoretical insight into this
topic. In the second part, if you feel up to the theory of intercultural communication and cross-
cultural competence, you will profit from the practical experience and recommendations of
intercultural managers in the status quo analysis. Furthermore, ideas and training methods on
how to improve your cultural awareness and how to achieve intercultural communication
competence (ICC) are presented in the strategic target concept. Additionally, it provides you
with worthwhile know-how on how to develop and maintain a prosperous and successful
relationship with another culture.
Studying this handbook will serve as a precaution against falling into a pitfall in an intercultural
meeting and will allow you to become an interculturally competent manager.
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Preface and Acknowledgements
During my studies in business and management at the University of Applied Sciences
Lausanne (HEG Haute cole de gestion), at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences
Winterthur (ZHW Zrcher Hochschule Winterthur) and at the University of Applied Sciences in
Rotterdam (ERASMUS term), I had the opportunity to not only experience intercultural
communication but especially to improve my intercultural competence and cross-cultural
management skills. This thesis gave me the opportunity to make use of my intercultural
knowledge and to become absorbed in a topic which is becoming more and more important
nowadays.
With the study of this thesis, the reader will glean a valuable knowledge of how intercultural
communication helps building and retaining intercultural relationships. It is intended to scrutinize
how international companies prepare their employees and their task force who are doing
business with other cultures. It suggests ways of enhancing the training of these employees
which shall result in an increase in intercultural communication and cross-cultural competence
and delivers an outlook of this interesting topic.
I would like to express considerable gratitude to the five interview partners Mr. Paul Schneider,
Thomas Gubser and Joanny Dalloz of UBS, Mr. Lars van den Bosch of Credit Suisse and Mr.
Andreas Schiller of Winterthur Insurance for their interesting comments and professional
cooperation. Special thanks to Tessa Meuter for her excellent support and enthusiasm to
compile this thesis.


Winterthur, 17
th
October 2003

Pascal Eyholzer __________________________

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III
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Summary of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................... 1
2 INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION A THEORETICAL BACKGROUND.................. 3
3 INVESTIGATION AND ANALYSIS OF THREE THESES................................................ 12
4 STATUS QUO ANALYSIS OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AWARENESS .. 15
5 STRATEGIC TARGET CONCEPT HOW TO BECOME AN INTERCULTURALLY
COMPETENT MANAGER............................................................................................... 41
6 CONCLUSION, DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK.............................................................. 49
7 CLOSING WORDS.......................................................................................................... 53
8 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................ 54
APPENDIX A: SURVEY 'INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION' ......................................... 58
APPENDIX B: INTERVIEWS WITH EXPERTS ...................................................................... 70
APPENDIX C: PROJECT 'VIP ADVISOR' OF WINTERTHUR INSURANCE ......................... 84
APPENDIX D: OTHER CONTACTS WITH EXPERTS ........................................................... 85
APPENDIX E: CONCEPT AND PROCEDURE OF THIS DIPLOMA THESIS......................... 86
APPENDIX F: LETTER OF CONTACT .................................................................................. 88
APPENDIX G: LETTER OF THANKS .................................................................................... 89
DECLARATIONS.................................................................................................................... 90
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IV
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Table of Contents
1 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Objective and Demarcation...................................................................................... 1
1.2 Concept and Structure of the Thesis ...................................................................... 2
2 INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION A THEORETICAL BACKGROUND.................. 3
2.1 What do they mean Intercultural Communication and Intercultural
Competence?............................................................................................................ 3
2.2 What is Culture?....................................................................................................... 5
2.3 Cultural Dimensions................................................................................................. 5
2.3.1 Collectivism versus Individualism............................................................................. 9
2.3.2 Low- versus High-Context Communication .............................................................. 9
2.3.3 Verbal versus Non-Verbal Communication ............................................................ 10
2.3.4 Stereotypes and their Influence on Intercultural Communication............................ 11
3 INVESTIGATION AND ANALYSIS OF THREE THESES................................................ 12
3.1 Thesis 1................................................................................................................... 12
3.1.1 Assessment and Discussion .................................................................................. 12
3.2 Thesis 2................................................................................................................... 12
3.2.1 Assessment and Discussion .................................................................................. 13
3.3 Thesis 3................................................................................................................... 13
3.3.1 Assessment and Discussion .................................................................................. 13
4 STATUS QUO ANALYSIS OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AWARENESS .. 15
4.1 Objective ................................................................................................................. 15
4.2 Demarcations and the Survey's Rate of Return ................................................... 15
4.3 Confrontation of the Theses with Statements from the Interviews and the
Results from the Survey......................................................................................... 16
4.3.1 Is Intercultural Communication a Strategic Important Corporate Value? ................ 16
4.3.2 The Increasing Pressure to succeed and its Influence on Client Advisors.............. 17
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4.3.3 Cultures and their Influence on the Portfolio Risk or on the Success of the Project 19
4.3.4 Cultural Differences and their Chances and Threats.............................................. 20
4.3.5 Obstacles in Connection with Intercultural Communication in the Financial Sector 24
4.3.5.1 The 'Language-Barrier'....................................................................................... 24
4.3.5.2 Stereotyping Just a Matter of Overgeneralization?.......................................... 24
4.3.5.3 Other Problems Mentioned in the Interviews and in the Survey ......................... 25
4.3.6 Skills and Abilities Necessary to be Successful in Conducting an Intercultural
Business Meeting .................................................................................................. 26
4.3.7 Evaluation of Different Statements Concerning Intercultural Communication......... 29
4.3.8 Critical Analysis of the Intercultural Education and Preparation Methods in the
Financial Sector ..................................................................................................... 31
4.3.8.1 Experience of Client Advisors/Project Managers in Intercultural Communication31
4.3.8.2 Language Training............................................................................................. 32
4.3.8.3 Preparation Methods for an Intercultural Business Contact................................ 34
4.3.8.4 Education and Evaluation Methods Concerning Intercultural Communication.... 35
4.3.9 Globalization and Intercultural Communication...................................................... 36
4.3.10 Statements Concerning Intercultural Communication ............................................ 37
4.3.11 Personal Information of the Participants ................................................................ 38
4.3.12 Interest in the Results of the Survey ...................................................................... 39
4.4 Final Scrutiny and Critical View of the Theses and the Status Quo Analysis .... 40
5 STRATEGIC TARGET CONCEPT HOW TO BECOME AN INTERCULTURALLY
COMPETENT MANAGER............................................................................................... 41
5.1 Globalization and its Influence on Intercultural Communication........................ 41
5.2 Diversity Management a Strategic Competitive Advantage.............................. 41
5.3 A Strategic Intercultural Concept .......................................................................... 42
5.3.1 Recruitment of Interculturally Competent Managers .............................................. 43
5.3.2 Intercultural Training Methods and Learning Styles ............................................... 43
5.3.3 Focussing on Intercultural Communication Competence (ICC) .............................. 44
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5.3.4 A Knowledge Management Approach.................................................................... 44
5.3.5 Prerequisites for an Effective Intercultural Communicator...................................... 46
5.3.6 Key Factors for the Retention of Intercultural Clients ............................................. 46
5.3.7 Intercultural Relationship Management a Key to a Long-standing Relationship .. 47
5.3.8 The Way of Understanding States of Mind............................................................. 48
6 CONCLUSION, DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK.............................................................. 49
6.1 Conclusion and Discussion................................................................................... 49
6.1.1 'Think global, act local' ........................................................................................... 49
6.1.2 Intercultural Communication Competence in the Financial Sector ......................... 49
6.2 Outlook.................................................................................................................... 51
6.2.1 Trends and Significance of Intercultural Communication in the Financial Sector.... 51
7 CLOSING WORDS.......................................................................................................... 53
8 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................ 54
8.1 Books and Working Papers ................................................................................... 54
8.2 Articles .................................................................................................................... 55
8.3 Internet .................................................................................................................... 57
8.4 CD-Rom................................................................................................................... 57
8.5 Movie....................................................................................................................... 57









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APPENDIX A: SURVEY 'INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION' ......................................... 58
Survey for Human Resources Manager............................................................................ 59
Survey for Client Advisors ................................................................................................ 62
Survey for Project Manager............................................................................................... 66
APPENDIX B: INTERVIEWS WITH EXPERTS ...................................................................... 70
Interview with a Project Manager ...................................................................................... 70
Interview with two Human Resources Managers............................................................. 73
Telephone Interview with a Human Resources Manager ................................................ 78
Interview with a Client Advisor.......................................................................................... 81
APPENDIX C: PROJECT 'VIP ADVISOR' OF WINTERTHUR INSURANCE ......................... 84
APPENDIX D: OTHER CONTACTS WITH EXPERTS ........................................................... 85
Contact with Experts (Interview) ....................................................................................... 85
Contact with Experts (via E-mail or Phone)...................................................................... 85
APPENDIX E: CONCEPT AND PROCEDURE OF THIS DIPLOMA THESIS......................... 86
Procedure ........................................................................................................................... 86
Methods of Enquiry............................................................................................................ 86
Availability and Use of Sources........................................................................................ 87
Time Scheduling ................................................................................................................ 87
APPENDIX F: LETTER OF CONTACT .................................................................................. 88
E-mail (Letter of Contact)................................................................................................... 88
APPENDIX G: LETTER OF THANKS .................................................................................... 89
Letter of Thanks (Survey) .................................................................................................. 89
DECLARATIONS.................................................................................................................... 90
Declaration of Originality................................................................................................... 90
Declaration of Distribution ................................................................................................ 91
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Index of Figures
Figure 1: Concept and structure of the thesis ......................................................................................................... 2
Figure 2: An organizing model for studying intercultural communication ........................................................... 3
Figure 3: The cultural dimensions ............................................................................................................................ 6
Figure 4: Overview power distance versus uncertainty avoidance ....................................................................... 7
Figure 5: Intercultural communication an important corporate value.............................................................. 16
Figure 6: Assigned customers of client advisors and assigned intercultural projects of project managers .. 18
Figure 7: Annual client or project contacts............................................................................................................ 19
Figure 8: The influence of the culture on the portfolio risk and on the success of the project......................... 20
Figure 9: The influence of the culture on the duration of the customer relationship and the project .............. 21
Figure 10: Stereotypes influence intercultural customer relation........................................................................ 25
Figure 11: Problems in intercultural business meetings according to human resources managers............... 26
Figure 12: Rating of skills necessary to be successful in conducting an intercultural business meeting...... 28
Figure 13: Evaluation of different statements concerning intercultural communication................................... 30
Figure 14: Intercultural experience before advising the first client or leading the first project ........................ 31
Figure 15: Experience in intercultural communication......................................................................................... 32
Figure 16: Willingness for permanent education................................................................................................... 33
Figure 17: Preparation methods for an intercultural business contact ............................................................... 34
Figure 18: Education methods concerning intercultural communication........................................................... 35
Figure 19: Evaluation methods concerning intercultural communication .......................................................... 36
Figure 20: Personal information of the participants.............................................................................................. 39
Figure 21: Interest in the results of the survey...................................................................................................... 39
Figure 22: Strategic intercultural concept.............................................................................................................. 42
Figure 23: Learning styles ....................................................................................................................................... 43
Figure 24: Effective intercultural communication ................................................................................................. 46
Figure 25: Key factors for the retention of intercultural clients ........................................................................... 47
Figure 26: Factors that affect intercultural relationship........................................................................................ 48
Figure 27: Time scheduling ..................................................................................................................................... 87
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Index of Tables
Table 1: Rate of return of the surveys 'Intercultural Communication' ................................................................. 16
Table 2: Named cultures in the survey by client advisors and project managers.............................................. 19
Table 3: Statements concerning cultural differences............................................................................................ 23
Table 4: Education intentions of intercultural managers...................................................................................... 32
Table 5: Chosen or intended language education by the survey's participants................................................. 33
Table 6: Globalization and intercultural communication...................................................................................... 37
Table 7: Statements concerning intercultural communication............................................................................. 38
Table 8: The shift in the strategic attitudes of managers in the financial sector................................................ 51























"Choosing not to see cultural diversity limits our ability to
manage it that is, to minimize the problems cultural diversity
causes while maximizing the advantages it allows."

Adler, Nancy J. (1997) cited from 'Fit fr fremde Kulturen' (2002).


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1 Introduction
In recent years, the increasing globalization, the rapid development in information technology
(Internet, e-business, mobile, etc.) and the growing complexity and competitiveness in
international business have led to an increase in the demand of task forces who are able to
communicate with other cultures.
1

The main goal of this diploma thesis is to assess and analyse the importance of professional
and intercultural communication in the financial sector and the consequences on the financial
advisory services and the project management and to provide client advisors and project
managers, who are dealing with other cultures, with a practical handbook of intercultural
communication and intercultural competence.
Another aim of this thesis is the elaboration of a strategic target concept which suggests ways
of enhancing the intercultural communication competence and is based on the status quo
analysis. The three theses and their confrontation with the results from the survey and the
comments from the interviews resulted in a revealing status quo analysis. The full comments of
the interviewed managers can be found in appendix B.
Moreover, chapter 8 provides you with an extensive source of up-to-date references with
handbooks, working papers, articles, CD-ROMs and a movie reference. The procedure, the
methods of enquiry and the time scheduling of this diploma thesis are described in appendix E.
Last but not least, you can find a review of this diploma thesis and the author's statement in the
management summary respectively in the conclusion. In the outlook, some interesting thoughts
about trends and the development of intercultural communication in the future are presented.
To simplify matters, all gender-specific denominations always mean both genders, unless a
person's gender is known.

1.1 Objective and Demarcation
This thesis is focussing on employees in the financial sector in Switzerland who do business
with cultures from other countries. Furthermore, the evaluation of the surveys and interviews
concentrates on participants of the two biggest banks of Switzerland, UBS and CS, and of
Winterthur Insurance.
The main objective of the thesis is to provide client advisors and project managers who are
dealing with other cultures with a practical handbook of intercultural communication. The
evaluation and recommendations are based on extensive research and the vocational
experience of client advisors, project managers and human resources manager.

1
cf. Baumer, Thomas (2002), pages 14-15.
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1.2 Concept and Structure of the Thesis

























Figure 1: Concept and structure of the thesis
Source: Graph by author, Eyholzer, Pascal.
Chapter 1:
Introduction

A Practical Handbook
for the Financial Sector
Chapter 2:
Intercultural Communication A Theoretical Background
Chapter 3:
Investigation and Analysis of
three Theses
Chapter 4:
Status quo Analysis of Intercultural
Communication Awareness
Chapter 5:
Strategic Target Concept How to become an Interculturally
Competent Manager
Chapter 6:
Conclusion, Discussion and Outlook
Chapter 7:
Closing Words





















"Although the challenges of an increasingly diverse world are
great, the benefits are even greater. Communicating and
establishing relationships with people from different cultures
can lead to a host of benefits []"

Neuliep, James W.
cited from 'Intercultural Communication A Contextual Approach' (2003).

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2 Intercultural Communication A Theoretical Background
2.1 What do they mean Intercultural Communication and Intercultural
Competence?
The interaction with people from another culture not only does it require a strongly developed
openness and sensibility towards the communication partner but especially professional and
intercultural competence. All of them are indispensable requirements to be successful with
clients from other cultures in the financial sector.
Before defining these two terms, the following organizing model for studying communication
with strangers shall ensure a better comprehension:













Figure 2: An organizing model for studying intercultural communication
Source: Graph by author. Adapted from Hinner, Michael B.; Rlke, Tessa (2002), pages 8-9. And Blom, Herman;
Meier, Harald (2002), pages 73-77. And Kotler, Philip (2000), pages 550-552. And Gudykunst, William B.;
Kim, Young, Yun (1992), page xvii.

Communication generally involves at least two individuals; for instance, person A is the speaker
while person B is the listener and both are surrounded by a dashed box representing the
environmental influences in which the communication takes place. What is more is that the two
persons not only are they influenced by the environment but also by cultural, socio-cultural and
D
E
Psychocultural
Sociocultural
Cultural
D
E
Psychocultural
Sociocultural
Cultural
Environmental
influences
Environmental
influences
Person A
Sender / Speaker
Person B
Receiver / Listener
E = Encoding of the message D = Decoding of the symbols
Message/Feedback
Message/Feedback
Influences
Influences
Influences
Influences
Influences
Influences
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psycho-cultural influences represented by the dashed circles which indicate that the elements
affect, and are affected by, the other elements. The two message/feedback lines indicate that
anytime we communicate, we are simultaneously engaged in encoding and decoding messages
with the help of verbal and non-verbal symbols. It is important to consider using the appropriate
symbols for encoding the message when communicating with a person from another culture so
that the receiver of the encoded message can decode the received message. Therefore, the
cultural, socio-cultural, psycho-cultural and environmental influences on communication play an
important role which symbols we choose for our encoding and decoding messages.
2

Therefore we can define intercultural competence and intercultural communication as follows:
Intercultural Communication
The best way to understand intercultural communication is to focus on the verbal and
non-verbal decoding process of symbolic information of the receiver who has to take into
account and understand factors such as values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours from
the communication partner. In a financial business environment, the aim is to ensure that
the customer (receiver) with a different cultural background and different values confides
in the sender (the client advisor or project manager) so that the financial expectations of
the latter are accomplished successfully.
3

Intercultural Competence
Intercultural competence is the ability to adapt the verbal and non-verbal messages to
the appropriate cultural context as well as to encode and decode messages in a
financial consulting conversation with the appropriate use and adaptation of symbols in
an effective way so as to be able to negotiate in the corresponding situation in a
sustained manner with the customer.
4

According to comments in the media and remarks from the interviews, the training and
development of intercultural competence and intercultural communication, often contemptuously
called 'soft' skills or intangible skills, are both often considered to be of secondary importance.
5

Even Mr. Schneider, Head Human Resources in UBS Wealth Management International,

2
cf. Gudykunst, William B.; Kim, Young, Yun (1992), page xvi.
3
Definition composed by author. Adapted from Bennett, Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al. (2003), page 25. And
Gudykunst, William B.; Mody, Bella (2002), page 277. And Beamer, Linda (1992), page 285. And Gudykunst, William B.; Kim,
Young, Yun (1988), pages 100-102.
4
Definition composed by author. Adapted from Gibson, Rob; Tauber, Teresia; Mnster, Mario (2003), page 13. And Bennett,
Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al. (2003), page 365. And Varner, Iris I. (2000), page 39. And Birzele, Josef
(2000), page 78. And Gudykunst, William B.; Kim, Young, Yun (1988), pages 108-112.
5
cf. Schuster, Leo (1996), page 13. And Gibson, Robert; Tauber, Teresia; Mnster, Mario (2003), page 12. And Bennett, Martin
F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al. (2003), page 72. And interview with Schneider, Paul (25.9.2003). And Kleinberger,
Gnther, Ulla (2002), page 83.
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considers intercultural competence a second-rate value.
6
Nevertheless, this underestimation of
the development of intercultural competence of the employees is a momentous fault in the vast
majority of companies which can be verified by different examinations: According to a Harvard
University study, "More than 80% of the respondents confirmed that the inability to adapt to
foreign cultures was the main reason for the failure abroad."
7
In addition, an article in the Neue
Zrcher Zeitung points out that "Firmen, die ihre Auslandmitarbeiter kulturell nicht schulen,
weisen durchschnittlich eine 25-prozentige Fehlerrate auf."
8

Therefore, it might be advisable for all international companies to take immediate measures to
rectify the intercultural communication skills and cross-cultural competence of their employees
because for those companies, these so-called 'soft' skills are not negligible.
2.2 What is Culture?
Apparently, a wide variety of different definitions of culture exists and there is no unanimous
agreement among social scientists on how to define culture. For our analysis, we define culture
in a simplified manner as follows:
9

Culture is a collective system of shared knowledge acquired by man which consists of a
way of thinking, feeling, and believing as a product of behaviour in different social groups
and systems such as a bank or an insurance, for instance and which shows ways of
solving problems and reconciling dilemmas in order to building and retaining better
customer relationships and helps to structure the advisory service.
For example, if a client advisor from Switzerland discusses the benefits of investing in options,
shares and bonds with a customer from another culture, he will be more successful if both
understand each other's culture. It is not sufficient to communicate the benefits and drawbacks
of financial investments. In addition, the financial expert has to find out the tolerance for
financial risk and the preference of bonds or the more risky shares and options in the
corresponding country by learning as much as possible about the other culture beforehand. A
first step in this intercultural learning process is to understand the cultural dimensions.
2.3 Cultural Dimensions
Obviously, there are several different views and variables of how cultures differ. In this paper,
we will focus on those which are considered to be the most useful in understanding similarities

6
cf. interview with Schneider, Paul (25.9.2003).
7
International 'Harvard University' study cited by Schuster, Leo (1996), page 20.
8
cf. Stadler, Peter (1995), page 95.
9
Definition composed by author. Adapted from Redding, Gordon; Stening, Bruce W. (2003), pages 76-78. And Holden, Nigel J.
(2002), pages 21-25. And Trompenaars, Fons; Hampden-Turner, Charles (1997), pages 2-8. And Gudykunst, William B.; Kim,
Young, Yun (1992), pages 69-71. And Hall, Edward T. (1981), page 85.
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and differences in communication across cultures within the financial sector: On the one hand,
we will have a look at the differences between individualistic and collectivistic as well as at the
distinction between low- and high-context communication cultures. On the other hand, we will
define verbal versus non-verbal communication and scrutinize the significance and influence of
stereotypes and prejudices. They will be discussed in more depth in the following paragraphs.
But beforehand, we should bear the following graph in mind:










Figure 3: The cultural dimensions
Source: Graph by author. Adapted from Gudykunst, William B.; Kim, Young, Yun (1992), pages 71-82 and pages 89-
109. And Trompenaars, Fons; Hampden-Turner, Charles (1997), pages 20-28 and pages 50-68. And
Hollensen, Svend, (2001), pages 172-175.

As we can see from the graph above, intercultural communication consists of different cultural
dimensions:
Large versus Small Power Distance
"Power distance is the extent to which the members of a society accept that power in
institutions and organizations is distributed unequally. [] People in large power
distance societies accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place which
needs no further justification. People in small power distance societies strive for power
equalization and demand justification for power inequalities."
10
To say it in a few words,
low power distances can be found in more economically developed countries, whereas
the higher power distances are found in less developed countries where power is
concentrated among a few people at the top who make all the decisions.

10
Gudykunst, William B.; Kim, Young, Yun (1992), page 91.
2.3.1
Individualism vs. Collectivism

Cultural
Dimensions
2.3.4
Stereotypes and Prejudices
Large vs. Small Power Distance
Strong vs. Weak Uncertainty
Masculinity vs. Femininity
Time Dimension
2.3.2
Low- vs. High-Context Communication
2.3.3
Verbal vs. Non-Verbal Communication
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Strong versus Weak Uncertainty Avoidance
"Uncertainty avoidance is the degree to which the members of a society feel
uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity."
11
This dimension is important in the
financial sector because high uncertainty avoidance is associated with risk aversion and
anxiety toward market risks such as inflation, interest rates, economic growth, etc. and
intolerance towards other persons or ideas. Compared to low uncertainty avoidance
which is characterized by more risk-taking people who have a higher tolerance of
ambiguity, maintain a more relaxed atmosphere and are more responsive in coping with
risk and future changes.
12


















Figure 4: Overview power distance versus uncertainty avoidance
Source: Graph by author. Adapted from the survey 'Intercultural Communication' (2003). And Neuliep, James W.
(2003), pages 68-69 and page 73. And Redding, Gordon; Stening, Bruce W. (2003), page 86.


11
dito, page 91.
12
cf. Hollensen, Svend (2001), page 173.
DEN
Argentina ARG
Australia AUS
Austria AUT
Belgium BEL
Brazil BRA
Canada CAN
Denmark DEN
Finland FIN
France FRA
Germany GER
Great Britain GBR
Hong Kong HOK
India IND
Israel ISR
Italy ITA
Japan JAP
Mexico MEX
Netherlands NET
Norway NOR
Philippines PHI
Singapore SIN
Spain SPA
Sweden SWE
Switzerland SWI
Taiwan TAI
Thailand THA
Turkey TUR
United States USA
W
e
a
k

U
n
c
e
r
t
a
i
n
t
y

a
v
o
i
d
a
n
c
e

S
t
r
o
n
g

Power distance Low High
SWE
IRE GBR
USA
CAN
NOR

NET
SIN
HOK
PHI
THA
TAI
BRA
MEX
BEL
JAP

IND
AUT
GER
AUS
FIN
SWI
ARG
SPA

FRA

ITA
TUR
ISR
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A conclusion from the previous graph is that the vast majority of countries in the top
right-hand corner are Mediterranean or Latin countries which are characterized by a high
power distance dimension and simultaneously strong uncertainty avoidance. Compared
to the countries on the left side in the graph, which are located at high latitudes by the
majority, characterized by low power distance and either by weak or average uncertainty
avoidance. Therefore, a primary determiner of these cultural dimensions is the latitude of
a country. Another important fact is that cultures differ on how status is acquired, for
instance, many Asian countries are characterized by a high power distance and in
countries such as India, in which the status of each person is determined by class or
caste.
13

Masculinity versus Femininity
"Masculinity stands for a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness,
and material success. Its opposite, femininity, stands for a preference for relationships,
modesty, caring for the weak, and the quality of life."
14
Cultures in which masculinity
dominates and which emphasize monetary incentives are for example Austria, Italy,
Great Britain, Ireland and Japan, while feminine cultures such as Sweden, Netherlands,
Denmark and Norway emphasize the above mentioned preferences.
15

Time Dimension
This dimension is defined as the way members in an organization show a pragmatic
future-oriented perspective rather than a conventional history or short-term point of view.
The long-term orientation is characterized by persistence, ordering relationship by status
and considering time commitments an objective to be achieved if possible, whereas the
short-term orientation includes personal steadiness and stability and seriousness
towards punctuality and time commitments.
16
In contrast to most South-East Asian
markets, such as China, Hong Kong and Taiwan which have a long-term view, the USA
and many European countries like Germany, Scandinavia, Austria, the United Kingdom
and Switzerland are short-term oriented and perceive time as 'money' and use it
efficiently.
17



13
cf. Porter, Richard E.; Samovar, Larry A. (2000), page 265.
14
Gudykunst, William B.; Kim, Young, Yun (1992), page 92.
15
cf. Bennett, Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al. (2003), page 56.
16
cf. Hollensen, Svend (2001), pages 174-175. And Martin, Judith N.; Nakayama, Thomas K.; Flores, Lisa A. (2002), pages 169-
171. And Herbrand, Frank (2002), page 24.
17
cf. Bennett, Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al. (2003), page 57. And Hollensen, Svend (2001), page 175.
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2.3.1 Collectivism versus Individualism
Probably one of the most studied cultural dimensions is collectivism/individualism. According to
Harry Triandis, a psychologist at the University of Illinois, collectivism can be defined as a
cultural dimension in which the group is the primary unit of culture and group goals have priority
and relationships are emphasized, even when they are disadvantageous. On the other side, in
individualistic cultures the individual is unique and individual goals take precedence over group
goals. The emphasis is on rational analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of maintaining
a relationship as well as on creativity, financial independence and competitiveness.
18

Due to the increasing globalization, affluent clients become more demanding and projects get
more sophisticated. As a result, more and more cultures tend to be individualistic; therefore, you
have to be aware of the fact that collectivism is no longer possible in modernized societies. On
the contrary, you are compelled to emphasize and underpin the benefits of the products or
services for the intercultural client or project partner.
As one can imagine, the United States is the most individualistic culture, followed by Australia
and Canada.
19
According to Geert Hofstede, Great Britain, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium,
Denmark, Sweden, France, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, Germany and Finland are the most
individual countries in Europe.
20
Whereas Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and all
Asian or South American cultures are said to be the most collectivistic cultures.
21

2.3.2 Low- versus High-Context Communication
"The high/low context communication remains one off the most frequently used concepts when
analysing, for example, face-to-face communication."
22
Hence, we have to scrutinize this
dimension when talking about intercultural business meetings in the financial sector. In a high-
context concept, messages are gleaned from the physical, social and psychological
environment.
23
It consists of a restricted symbol system because the 'high-context persons' are
more sensitive to the social role of others and therefore, they understand each other with a few
words, whereas in a low-context communication meanings are encoded in the verbal and
explicit code.
24
The 'low-context persons' are dependent upon words to convey meaning and
may become uncomfortable with silence because they are expecting individual pride and self-

18
Definition by author. Adapted from Neuliep, James W. (2003), pages 38-45. And Chang, Lieh-Ching (2003), page 568. And
Dahl, Stephan: http://www.intercultural-network.de/einfuehrung/individualismus.html (15.9.2003). And Triandis, Harry C. (1995),
pages 43-80.
19
cf. Porter, Richard E.; Samovar, Larry A. (2000), page 262.
20
cf. Bennett, Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al. (2003), page 44.
21
cf. Porter, Richard E.; Samovar, Larry A. (2000), page 262.
22
Dahl, Stephan: http://stephan.dahl.at/intercultural/conclusion.html (15.9.2003).
23
Definition by author. Adapted from Neuliep, James W. (2003), pages 48-52. And Porter, Richard E.; Samovar, Larry A. (2000),
page 390. And Gudykunst, William B.; Kim, Young, Yun (1992), pages 82-87. And Hall, Edward T. (1981), pages 91-129.
24
dito.
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esteem, individual emotions and individual sense of autonomy and power.
25
Though numerous
exceptions are prevailing (e.g. Italy and Spain), many low-context cultures are individualistic,
including Switzerland, Germany, Scandinavia, France, Great Britain and the United States.
26

As a consequence of these definitions, you have to be aware that in a high-context
communicative exchange, silence represents mutual understanding and the sender is expected
to be extremely polite and discreet and to speak in a pleasant and quiet tone of voice, whereas
in a low-context communication, silence is uncomfortable or often perceived as negatively and
preference is given to people who say what they think and value punctuality high in priority.
27

2.3.3 Verbal versus Non-Verbal Communication
When we talk about language as a cultural dimension in intercultural communication, you have
to understand the distinction between verbal and non-verbal language communication:
Verbal Communication
From the previous paragraph we know that the degree of intensity in speaking varies
from culture to culture and different styles of discussion exist. "Verbal communication
represents the literal content of a message."
28
For example, it is not polite in an Anglo-
Saxon culture to interrupt the speaking person, whereas Latin countries are known that
the speaker will be frequently interrupted to show how interested the other person is.
29

Another aspect is the degree of directness: High-context cultures such as Japan prefer
less direct communication depending on the relationship compared to low-context
cultures such as Switzerland which rely much more on specific and explicit
communication.
30

Non-Verbal Communication
"Research has shown that at least 75% of all communication is non-verbal."
31
Non-
verbal communication includes aspects such as eye contact, proximity, touching, body
movement, etc. and can be defined as "[] the style or 'how' the message is to be
interpreted."
32
For instance, sustained eye contact may be seen as hostility,
attentiveness or insolence depending on the culture and the distance between the
discussion partners is another important aspect of non-verbal communication.
33


25
dito.
26
cf. Hollensen, Svend (2001), page 163.
27
cf. Neuliep, James W. (2003), page 52. And Trompenaars, Fons; Hampden-Turner, Charles (1997), pages 74-76.
28
Neuliep, James W. (2003), page 236.
29
cf. Trompenaars, Fons; Hampden-Turner, Charles (1997), page 74.
30
cf. Bennett, Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al. (2003), page 148.
31
Trompenaars, Fons; Hampden-Turner, Charles (1997), page 76.
32
Neuliep, James W. (2003), page 236.
33
cf. Bennett, Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al. (2003), page 149.
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2.3.4 Stereotypes and their Influence on Intercultural Communication
Before talking about stereotypes, we have to understand the strategy of categorization: "In order
to manage the enormous quantities of information, humans tend to engage in strategies of
mental economy. [] Categorization is classifying, sorting or arranging information into
identifiable compartments that share certain features or characteristics."
34
By constructing
categories, the so-called stereotypes emerge as a basis of prejudices towards the other culture.
Gudykunst and Kim define a stereotype as a cognitive structure containing the receiver's
knowledge and beliefs about a social group and the expectations about the behaviour of its
members and their psycho-cultural influence on the communication process.
35

Therefore, we can conclude that stereotypes play an important role in the encoding process in
the intercultural communication model because "Stereotypes can be obstacles to intercultural
communication competence."
36
To make sure that your client or project partner (receiver)
interprets your information and advices accurately, your message should be consistent with the
stereotype's expectancies. This claim means that it is essential for the client advisor or project
manager to remove or suspend his prejudices towards the other culture while communicating
with the stranger in a business meeting so as to be understood and more likely remembered.
"Negative stereotypes blind us to other aspects of a person's character or behaviour []. For a
better intercultural understanding, one must strive to be free from negative stereotyping of other
cultures [] by recognizing and respecting both similarities in and differences between two or
more cultures."
37

The above mentioned explanations and examples shall contribute to a better understanding of
these complex cultural dimensions and sensitize with regard to your cultural awareness.


34
Neuliep, James W. (2003), page 154.
35
cf. Gudykunst, William B.; Kim, Young, Yun (1992), page 133 and 135.
36
Beamer, Linda (1992), page 294.
37
Bohnet-Joschko, Sabine; Schiereck, Dirk (2002), page 148.
















In today's globalized economy, there is a lack of interculturally competent client advisors and
project managers and therefore using more sophisticated strategies and methods in education
and preparation of the client advisors / work force in order to increase the intercultural
communication and cross-cultural competence becomes more and more important.

Thesis 1

The cultural awareness and willingness of the employees to continuously learn how to deal with
other culture and to permanently improve their language, knowledge and intercultural skills are
corporate values of significant importance in the financial sector.

Thesis 2

Intercultural communication and intercultural competence do not only depend on the knowledge
about the other cultures and the prejudices or stereotypes the client advisor or project manager
has towards this culture but especially on his ability to establish an intense and longstanding
relationship with the international client.

Thesis 3

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3 Investigation and Analysis of three Theses
The following three theses shall invite the reader to take part in an intensified debate about
intercultural communication and cross-cultural competence in the financial sector by confronting
the following theses as well as your own personal view on this topic with the statements and
results from the interviews and the surveys 'Intercultural Communication' (cf. appendix A).
3.1 Thesis 1

In today's globalized economy, there is a lack of interculturally competent client advisors and
project managers and therefore using more sophisticated strategies and methods in education
and preparation of the client advisors / work force in order to increase the intercultural
communication and cross-cultural competence becomes more and more important.

3.1.1 Assessment and Discussion
The growing globalization results in a growing need for managers with intercultural skills. In this
fast-changing and competitive globalized economy, the client advisors and project managers,
who are doing business on an intercultural basis, are supposed to be well prepared and trained
for intercultural communication and cross-cultural competence so as to be able to succeed in
advising another culture or realizing a project in financial matters.
Nonetheless, it might well be expected that the majority of the respondents are not sufficiently
prepared or experienced in communicating and doing business in an international setting with
other cultures. As cultural awareness is said to be a serious management skill in a globalized
world, the necessity of either tightening the methods in the recruitment process of interculturally
competent and experienced client advisors and project manager, or training the workforce with
more sophisticated methods in order to increase the intercultural communication competence
becomes more and more important. Even if both of these measures are associated with costs, it
might be of strategic importance to intensify one or both of them.
3.2 Thesis 2

The cultural awareness and willingness of the employees to continuously learn how to deal with
other cultures and to permanently improve their language, knowledge and intercultural skills are
corporate values of significant importance in the financial sector.

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3.2.1 Assessment and Discussion
Another implication of the rapid globalization is that the global players are becoming a
multicultural system. Hence, it is likely that the responsibility and ongoing willingness of the
client advisor and the international project manager to learn and understand cultural differences
are of strategic importance. Even if Marcel Ospel, Chairman of UBS, points out that it is
essential to provide a work environment which helps the employee to develop in order to
increase the loyalty within the company
38
, it should be taken into consideration that due to the
increasing internationalization and expansion strategies, this loyal working environment will
permanently be penetrated by new cultures in form of either new clients or new employees,
which will lead to conflicts if we do not know how to communicate and deal with other cultures in
the business context.
What is more is that financial incentives or increasing performance pressure in international
companies will not be the appropriate measures in order to increase the productivity and loyalty
of their employees. On the contrary, the client advisor or project manager who is overwhelmed
with customers respectively involved in too many projects will be discouraged which will
automatically lead to conflicts and stress.
Therefore, even if the 'performance thinking', the bank- or project-specific know-how and the
professional competence are certainly going to prevail in the next few decades, intercultural
communication skills and intercultural competence should be considered strategic corporate
values of significant importance in the financial sector and in other sectors.
3.3 Thesis 3

Intercultural communication and intercultural competence do not only depend on the knowledge
about the other culture and the prejudices or stereotypes the client advisor or project manager
has towards this culture but especially on his ability to establish an intense and longstanding
relationship with the international client.

3.3.1 Assessment and Discussion
Developing basic categories of certain selected characteristics that distinguish a particular
culture and its members is essential in an intercultural and complex environment. Even though
this categorization often results in the emergence of stereotypes or intolerance towards the
other culture, it is essential to better understand the other culture and its attributes. You have to
know how to deal with these negative influences such as stereotypes, prejudices and
intolerance.

38
Ospel, Marcel (2000), page 103.
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What is important nowadays in the financial sector is to intensify and retaining existing
relationships with customers or project partners. Because of the increasing volatility and
competitiveness all over the world, you are more likely to attract new money when profiting from
the networking and positive mouth-to-mouth propaganda of your existing customers or project
partners.























"Intercultural communication cannot be learned, but has to be
experienced."

Schneider, Paul cited from the interview (25.9.2003).

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4 Status Quo Analysis of Intercultural Communication Awareness
4.1 Objective
One of the best ways to provide immediately applicable information and recommendations
concerning intercultural communication available to client advisors and project managers in the
financial sector is to consult and question experienced professionals in this field. For that
reason, the status quo analysis consists of a representative, high-quality online survey and
several interviews with five experts in the financial sector.
4.2 Demarcations and the Survey's Rate of Return
The four interviews are composed of five interview partners from CS, UBS and Winterthur
Insurance. Their functions and positions are mentioned in appendix D.
The bilingual survey with three different functions was carried out on a large scale at the UBS
and in a relatively small proportion at the CS and at the Winterthur Insurance, which resulted in
the random sample of a total of 127 addressees. As you can see from the following table, the
survey is primarily focussing on client advisors with a total of 112 compared to 8 addressed
project managers and 7 human resources managers. Even though most of the participants have
a long-standing experience in doing business with other cultures (cf. figure 15), it has to be
mentioned that the majority of them have their origin in Switzerland. The sample covers all
previously mentioned cultural dimensions with slightly more individualistic and low-context
cultures because the majority of respondents were financial managers advising off-shore clients
in Europe and the United States. But a remarkable number of replies reveal interesting
information on some typical collectivistic and high-context cultures from Asia and Latin America.
Due to complexity reasons and in order to not lose the overall view, the enormous amount of
qualitative information and detailed statements from respondents in the survey as well as the
fact that the answers from the three different functions cannot be analysed each separately, the
graphs and statements have been partially summarized for the status quo analysis. Therefore, it
is important to bear the number of addressees of the three different functions (cf. table 1) in
mind so as not to be confused when analysing the mentioned graphs.
The outstanding rate of return of 41.7% is apparently an indication for the relevance of
intercultural communication and the extent of the challenge because of the rapid globalization
these global players are confronted with.


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2
4
1
0
5
0
0
33
4
5
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Yes
No
Don't know
Intercultural Communication - An Important
Corporate Value
Client advisor Project manager Human resources manager

Online-survey UBS CS Winterthur
Insurance
Total of
addressees
Answers Rate of
return
Human resources managers 2 5 0 7 5 71.4%
Client advisors 100 8 4 112 43 38.4%
Project managers 0 2 6 8 5 62.5%
Surveys total: 102 15 10 127 53 41.7%

Table 1: Rate of return of the surveys 'Intercultural Communication'
Source: Calculation by author. According to the returned surveys 'Intercultural Communication'.

4.3 Confrontation of the Theses with Statements from the Interviews and the
Results from the Survey
4.3.1 Is Intercultural Communication a Strategic Important Corporate Value?
In chapter 3, this question has been briefly introduced and discussed. By now looking at the
results of the survey and the comments of the interviewees, it appears that thesis two proves
true owing to the fact that the vast majority of respondents consider intercultural communication
an important corporate value:









Figure 5: Intercultural communication an important corporate value
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

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With regard to the financial sector, due to the clear result in the survey concerning the above
mentioned question and the following statement: "Intercultural communication is certainly an
important corporate value in the financial sector but not the most important one."
39
, it turns out
that corporate cultures in global banks and insurance companies are influenced by the
respective local culture. The intensified study and training of intercultural communication has
begun in Europe a few years ago and can be regarded as relatively new, whereas in the United
States intercultural communication has been the object of extensive research and analysis for
more than 40 years.
40
In order to provide the opportunity of establishing strategic success
positions and maintaining 'Swiss Banking' an excellent product in a more globalized world, more
attention must be paid to the recruitment of interculturally competent advisors and managers,
the management training and the transformation of intercultural knowledge in multicultural
companies. For that purpose, a strategic target concept is proposed by the author in chapter 5.
4.3.2 The Increasing Pressure to succeed and its Influence on Client Advisors
The interviewed human resources managers pointed out that due to the increasing
globalization, the strategies of the banks are focussing on gaining shares of the market in order
to acquire new clients and new money internationally.
41
As the graphs below indicate, it appears
that many client advisors are supposed to be rushed off their feet by looking not only at the
number of assigned clients but especially at the disproportionately high annual involvement in
business meetings (physically or by phone) with the corresponding culture compared to the
project managers. Therefore, it is likely that many client advisors will not have enough time to
advise their intercultural, affluent clients more actively and to cultivate and intensify the
relationship with them. As a consequence of that, it might be difficult for them to correspond to
thesis three, which emphasizes the importance of establishing an intense relationship with the
client. In addition, it is interesting to know that among these 13 client advisors shown in figure 6
on the left-hand side with more than 200 assigned clients, a considerable number are client
advisors younger than 30 years old, whereas the two project managers with more than 100
business meetings in connection with projects are older than 30 (both between 30 and 45 years
old).





39
Schneider, Paul cited from the interview (25.9.2003).
40
cf. article in 'Wirtschaft & Weiterbildung' (2000), page 14.
41
cf. interviews with Schneider, Paul and Gubser, Thomas (25.9.2003) and with Van den Bosch, Lars (1.10.2003).
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Figure 6: Assigned customers of client advisors and assigned intercultural projects of project managers
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

Nevertheless, according to Mr. Schneider, "The client advisor nowadays has to be a 'hunter'
which means that he has to fight for new money."
42
Furthermore, he emphasizes that the
expectations of the clients are increasing and simultaneously the pressure of the intercultural
financial managers due to the globalization is rising as well: "If the client advisor is not able to
take on this 'hunter-mentality' in order to permanently acquire new money by actively contacting
the client, he will not be a successful client advisor."
43
But by taking the mentioned high figures
of assigned clients into consideration, it appears to be a difficult venture of becoming a so-called
'hunter'. In addition, even though the number of annual intercultural business contacts of client
advisors or project managers is difficult to evaluate, it is important that the human resources
manager is aware of these figures in order to ensure an appropriate number of customers per
client advisor. The survey reveals in figure 7 that this condition is just partially the case in the
financial sector. The majority of human resources managers expect the client advisors or
project managers to get 10 to 50 times in contact with intercultural clients on an annual basis
whereas more than 85% of them admit to have much more than 50 client contacts a year which
seams to be obvious due to the high number of assigned clients (cf. figure 6).




42
Schneider, Paul cited from the interview (25.9.2003).
43
cf. interview with Schneider, Paul and Gubser, Thomas (25.9.2003).

7
12
11
13
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
N
u
m
b
e
r

o
f

c
l
i
e
n
t

a
d
v
i
s
o
r
s
less than
100 clients
100 to 150
clients
151 to 200
clients
more than
200 clients
Client Advisors and their Assigned
Intercultural Clients
3
1 1
0
0
1
2
3
N
u
m
b
e
r

o
f

p
r
o
j
e
c
t

m
a
n
a
g
e
r
s
less than
2
projects
2 to 5
projects
6 to 10
projects
more than
10
projects
Project Managers and their Assigned
Intercultural Projects
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age 19
2
28
2
11
0
4
2
0
1
0 10 20 30
Number of client advisors or
project managers
less than 10
times
10 to 50
times
51 to 100
times
more than
100 times
Annual Intercultural Contacts with Clients or
Project Partners
Client advisor
Project manager
1
3
0 1
0
1
2
3
N
u
m
b
e
r

o
f

A
n
s
w
e
r
i
n
g

H
R
-
M
a
n
a
g
e
r
s
less than
10 times
10 to 50
times
51 to
100
times
more
than 100
times
Annual Client Contacts of Client
Advisors or Project Managers










Figure 7: Annual client or project contacts
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.
4.3.3 Cultures and their Influence on the Portfolio Risk or on the Success of the Project
In the following table, all cultures mentioned by the client advisors and project managers in the
survey are listed below (multiple naming was possible):
Function
Culture
Client
advisor
Project
manager
Argentina 2x
Asia (general) 2x
Brazil 1x
Greek 1x
Hong Kong 1x
Indian 3x 1x
Japan, Korea 1x
Latin America (general) 6x
Mexico 1x
Singaporean 1x
Thailand 1x

Australia 2x
Canada 2x
France 1x
Europe (general) 1x 2x
Israel 1x
Germany 9x 1x
Great Britain 1x
Italy 4x
Netherlands 1x
Spain 2x 1x
USA 4x 1x
Table 2: Named cultures in the survey by client advisors and project managers
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.
$
Collectivistic and high-
context cultures (21x)
Individualistic and low-
context cultures (33x)
(exceptions: Italy and Spain)
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The table summarizes the cultures the participants are doing business with on a regular basis.
As mentioned in paragraph 4.2, there is a preponderance of individualistic and low-context
countries over collectivistic and high-context countries. Italy and Spain are both an exception in
that, even if they are more individualistic than collectivistic, they are considered to be high-
context countries.
44

As might have been expected, the culture does not only have a significant influence on the
client's readiness to take risks in his portfolio, which is confirmed by 70% of the answering client
advisors, but also the culture influences the success and the way of realization of a project,
which is confirmed by over half of the project managers in figure 8. We will discuss these results
in the next paragraph by talking about the cultural differences and the chances and threats of
these differences.








Figure 8: The influence of the culture on the portfolio risk and on the success of the project
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

4.3.4 Cultural Differences and their Chances and Threats
"Anyone wishing to do business in a foreign country can commit no greater error than to
assume that what works at home will work elsewhere."
45

As you know, high uncertainty avoidance signifies risk aversion. Risk aversion means that this
investor prefers for example a short-term placement at a default free counterparty rather than
investing in risky equities or options. The most common measure of risk is the volatility or
standard-deviation for a series of returns over a given length of time.
46
Additionally, we can
conclude from the results of the survey that the risk-averse and conservative Latin and Asian
countries are primarily collectivistic countries with the exceptions of Singapore and Hong Kong

44
cf. Hollensen, Svend (2001), page 163.
45
Charnov, Bruce H.; Montana Patrick J. (2000), page 479.
46
cf. Meier, Peter (2003), page 18.
The Portfolio Risk is influenced by the
Client's Culture
70%
30%
Yes No
The Success of the Project is influenced
by Cultural Aspects
40%
60%
Yes No
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2
which are said to be more risk-taking concerning their portfolio (cf. paragraph 2.3 / figure 4).
This may be explained by the fact that Singapore and Hong Kong are both financial
metropolises which are influenced by the presence of many global banks and insurances with
individualistic cultures from all over the world.
Moreover, the aspect of time represents an important cultural difference in the financial sector:
How time is viewed and how it is used by each culture are critical components of participants'
message strategies.
47
For example, it is obvious that the long-term vision of the Japanese
contrasts with the 'quarterly thinking' of the Americans, whereas the long Swedish horizon is
explained by their long winters.
48
Concerning the financial sector, it is worth finding out whether
the culture has a history or short-term view rather than a future or long-term view.
49
Figure 9
shows the influence of cultural aspects on the duration of the intercultural customer relationship
and the international project:








Figure 9: The influence of the culture on the duration of the customer relationship and the project
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

The awareness of these cultural differences helps to choose the appropriate financial
instrument and maturity either on the short-term money market or the long-term capital market.
Additionally, the majority of the project managers pointed out in question 6 of their survey that
the different time horizons lead to a change in the duration of the project due to delays and
longer decision-making of some cultures. For instance, in the interview with Mr. Schiller, it was
stressed that a project manager from Switzerland has to be able to adapt to the high-context

47
cf. Gudykunst, B. William; Stewart, Lea P.; Ting, Toomey, Stella (1985), page 102.
48
cf. Trompenaars, Fons; Hampden-Turner, Charles (1997), page 128.
49
dito, page 129.
The Duration of the Project varies
According to the Culture
100%
0%
Yes No
The Duration of the Customer
Relationship varies with the Client's
Culture
37%
63%
Yes No
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communication in Spain where he will find different time orientations and different formality and
attitudes.
50

The statements concerning cultural differences made in the surveys are summarized in the
table below:
STATEMENTS CONCERNING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
Opportunities Threats
Similarity of certain cultures (e.g. Germany vs.
Switzerland)
I see no cultural differences
The conservative and cautious Swiss protects the
client from losses and harm
Because of his caution, the Swiss gives
opportunities away
Attainment of cosmopolitanism Losing one's face
Enrichment of the personal horizon Client advisor does not have the same 'ideology'
(world view) as the client has
New ideas and new impulses Reservation and caginess of Swiss client advisors
Gaining new experiences Losing the relationship when protocols/etiquettes
are not respected
Attractiveness of the Swiss culture
Getting better acceptance, if behaviours of the
foreign culture are implemented correctly

Latin Americans admire the reliability and
punctuality of Swiss

Variety of cultures
Australia Australia is developing and growing (cultures from Asia, South Africa and Europe are
immigrating); this 'inflow' brings the Australian market the necessary dynamic and
innovation spirit
Chinese: They are characterized by a day-to-day behaviour, misinterpretation of actions; they
are gamblers only on Foreign Exchange but safe investors on other financial
instruments
Germans: They are decisive, direct in personal contact, more risk-taking and more open-minded
(compared to Swiss) but are very similar to the Swiss culture
Latin Americans: They are less dutiful, less punctual and less reliable compared to the Swiss culture;
they need to have 100% confidence in the client advisor
USA: They are short-term oriented, less attached to traditions, 'time is money' oriented,
superficial, more spontaneous and more risk-taking than other cultures; they tend
towards 'gigantism'
The Japanese expression 'Sinlince' means NO in Japan and YES in Europe
The Swiss like to address the issues in a more direct way, whereas in Asian cultures things are told
'between the lines'
Swiss and Latin culture can both adapt quickly to new circumstances
The religion and the social system play an important role in client advisory

50
cf. interview with Schiller, Andreas (23.9.2003).
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If we are able to adapt to the way of thinking of the other culture, we will be successful in doing
business interculturally
Know your customer
Table 3: Statements concerning cultural differences
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

By referring to thesis two, which is supported by the analysis of figure 9 and the table above, the
awareness of cultural differences and the continuous willingness to improve the knowledge of
the corresponding foreign cultures are of significant importance. Another interesting aspect
revealing from the previous graph and the comments in table 3 is the duration of the customer
relationship which varies according to the client's culture. We can derive from these facts that
Asian and Latin American countries prefer longstanding relationships, whereas North
Americans and most individualistic countries are more likely to change their client advisors or
project partners. Hence, in view of these comments and with reference to thesis three, we can
assume that the second part of this hypothesis concerning the relationship depends on the
culture of the client.
Overall, what you have to bear in mind is that cultural differences are with approximately 80%
the main cause for companies failing abroad.
51
In connection with this, an example by Svend
Hollensen is worth mentioning:
52
Within the USA which has a very 'informal' culture business
cards are typically presented in a very casual manner. Cards are often handed out quickly and
are just as quickly placed into the recipient's pocket. In Japan, however which has a
comparatively 'formal' culture the presentation of a business card is almost a ceremony: The
business card is presented by holding the card up with two hands while the recipient carefully
scrutinizes the information it contains. This procedure ensures that the official position in the
organizational 'hierarchy' of the client advisor or project manager, which is of great importance
for the Japanese, is clearly understood. If you do not know and not accept this cultural
difference and just grab the business card with one hand from the Japanese, the client will be
offended. This example illustrates the significance of cultural awareness and language skills
expressed in thesis two.
Obviously, not only cultural differences may cause problems in intercultural communication. In
the following paragraph, we are going to discuss a selected number of problems which
frequently arise in intercultural business meetings and which were discussed in detail in the
conducted interviews (cf. appendix B).

51
cf. Kleinberger, Gnther, Ulla (1998), page 83.
52
cf. Hollensen, Svend (2001), page 177.
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4.3.5 Obstacles in Connection with Intercultural Communication in the Financial Sector
4.3.5.1 The 'Language-Barrier'
Even though there is no unanimous agreement on whether insufficient language skill of the
foreign culture can cause significant problems or not in intercultural business circumstances, all
interviewees agreed on the importance of excellent command of English in the financial sector.
However, the knowledge of the local language is regarded to be less important and according to
Mr. Van den Bosch can even cause problems in some Asian countries because the client here
mistrusts a foreigner speaking his language; the client advisor is suspected to know too much or
to reveal personal secrets or financial circumstances.
53

A large proportion of respondents reveal in the survey that the knowledge of the foreign
language has to be rated highly in need for being successful in an intercultural business
meeting. Therefore, we will analyse this linguistic aspect again in paragraph 4.3.6, where we will
talk about skills and abilities necessary for intercultural communication in more detail and in
paragraph 4.3.8, where we will scrutinize the intercultural education in the financial sector.
4.3.5.2 Stereotyping Just a Matter of Overgeneralization?
"Stereotypes are all too often overgeneralized, inaccurate, and negative."
54

Stereotyping carries with it an ideological position in which characteristics of the group are not
only over-generalized to apply to each member of the group, but they are also taken to have
some exaggerated negative or positive value.
55
Therefore, it might be considered that negative
stereotypes towards the other culture are obstacles to successful intercultural communication.
However, as already assumed in thesis three, though it is true that intercultural communication
and competence are influenced by stereotypes and prejudices, the results from the survey in
the graph below corroborate the assumption that stereotypes do not have a major influence on
intercultural communication:

53
cf. interview with Van den Bosch, Lars (1.10.2003).
54
Gudykunst, William B.; Mody, Bella (2002), page 131.
55
cf. Scollon, Ron; Scollon, Wong, Suzanne (1995), page 155.
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Figure 10: Stereotypes influence intercultural customer relation
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

Mr. Dalloz pronounced to regard stereotypes as positive, which means to consider them as a
challenge or a chance to understand the client's culture and to adapt his verbal and non-verbal
communication to this culture.
56
However, you have to bear in mind that neither you can change
the culture of the client nor can you expect that the affluent client will adapt to your culture.
4.3.5.3 Other Problems Mentioned in the Interviews and in the Survey
Apart from misunderstandings and fear towards the foreign culture, the organization of the
business units plays an important role: It has to be avoided that a group of cultures is
dominating or suppressing other cultures in a business unit. As it is confirmed by Mr. Schneider,
local influences around the problem-solving and decision-making process vary greatly from
country to country, the client advisor is dealing with.
57
Therefore, the appropriate mixture of
cultures within a business unit or a team is important as to not only harmonize but to ensure that
every client advisor can express in an intercultural client discussion his pride and identification
with the company he works for. The corporate culture has to correspond to the regional or local
expressions of the client's culture.




56
cf. interview with Dalloz, Joanny (6.10.2003).
57
cf. interview with Schneider, Paul and Gubser, Thomas (25.9.2003).
20
3
2
22
2
3
0 5 10 15 20 25
Yes
No
Do Stereotypes influence the Intercultural
Customer Relation?
Client advisor Project manager Human resources manager
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In figure 11, other obstacles and problems the intercultural client advisor or project manager is
confronted with have been mentioned by the human resources managers who participated in
the survey. What is interesting here is the fact that the majority of HR-managers believe that too
many clients are assigned to client advisors, which we already derived from figure 6.

Figure 11: Problems in intercultural business meetings according to human resources managers
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

4.3.6 Skills and Abilities Necessary to be Successful in Conducting an Intercultural
Business Meeting
In the previous statement expressed by Mr. Schneider, it was already indicated that the criterion
'Know-how' still prevails over other skills and abilities in a financial, intercultural context. The
results in figure 12 represent the replies from all three functions.
In general, the graph shows that in the client advisory the 'know-how' and the 'customer contact'
skills are more important compared to the 'communication flexibility' and 'determined interactive
actions' skills which prevail in the project management. 'Emotional stability' is considered less
important in both job functions. Moreover, it is worth indicating that both skills 'Task- and goal-
0
1
0
3
0
0
3
2
0
3
3
0 1 2 3
Insufficient language skills
Different perceptions / misunderstandings
Client is too demanding, too high expectations
Insufficiently prepared presentations
Intolerance of the client
Wrong body-language in intercultural context
Anonymity / impersonality
Too many clients per client advisor
Insufficient intercultural preparation/education
Prejudices / stereotypes towards the other culture
Others:
Problems Client Advisors or Project Managers are Confronted with in
Intercultural Meetings
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oriented actions' and 'Knowledge of the foreign language' are including five answers from the
project managers who are ranking them first-rate, which signifies the importance of these two
skills in the project management. In the client advisory, the 'Professional and competent
behaviour' as well as the 'Bank-specific know-how' are considered to be both very important
skills by being ranked first respectively third. 'Open-mindedness towards the foreign culture' is of
secondary importance followed by the 'Proficiency in linguistic' which is ranked fourth by the
client advisors. The next two skills are other important aspects of intercultural communication
namely the 'Ability to create interactions with inhabitants of foreign cultures without anxiety' and
the 'Awareness of cultural competences of one's own and towards the other culture'.
Contradictory, the human resources managers indicate in figure 12 that they attach highest
importance to 'Tolerance towards ambiguity, indetermination and indifference of the negotiating
partner' whereas the client advisors rank this skill very low (9
th
).
Figure 12 reveals that intercultural communication and cross-cultural competence are of
significant importance in addition to the professional know-how. Additionally, Mr. Schneider
emphasized in the interview: "If potential young client advisors want to be part of the UBS
preparation program 'Junior Key People', they have to present international experience."
58
This
increasing demand of internationally experienced employees and interculturally competent
managers underpins the importance of thesis two.


58
Schneider, Paul cited in the interview (25.9.2003).
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Figure 12: Rating of skills necessary to be successful in conducting an intercultural business meeting
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.
10 2
4
1
0
0
18
1
0
2
0
2
16
0
1
6
5
1
7
0
2
11
0
2
22
5
1
6
1
0
11
0
1
6
1
0
24
2
3
33
3
4
23
4
3
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Bank- or project specific know-how
Professional and competent behaviour
Open-mindedness towards the foreign culture
Effective presentation skills
Ability of creating an intense interpersonal relationship
Long-standing experience in intercultural communication
Knowledge of the foreign language (Proficiency in linguistic)
Application of the appropriate communication style
Ability and readiness to adapt specific communication models
Task- and goal-oriented actions
Awareness of cultural competences of one's own and towards the other culture
Ability of self-assertion and independent decision-making in intercultural conditions
Ability to create interactions with inhabitants of foreign cultures without anxiety
Proficiency in coping with criticism and failure
Tolerance towards ambiguity, indetermination and indifference of the negotiating partner
Rating of Skills Necessary to be Successful in Conducting an Intercultural Business Meeting
Client advisor Project manager Human resources manager
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4.3.7 Evaluation of Different Statements Concerning Intercultural Communication
Before having a look at the evaluation of different statements concerning intercultural
communication, it is important to bear in mind that the evaluation varies according to the culture
and its cultural dimension. For instance, in a low-context communication and time-oriented
culture more importance is attached to the punctuality criterion. Another example is the active
listening, which is evidently more important in high-context cultures such as Japan compared to
low-context countries where speaking and debating prevail. Therefore, the evaluation of the
statements listed below have to be consulted with a critical view and must be adapted to the
corresponding culture. Again, the results in figure 13 are composed of the sum of replies from
all three functions.
Irrespective of the culture of the client or the project partner, more than 80% of the respondents
regard the statement of 'Reliability towards the customer' as the most important quality of the
client advisor or project manager in an intercultural setting. Immediately afterwards, it is crucial
to not only have a 'Natural talent for dealing with other cultures' but especially to show
'Tolerance towards other customs and habits of the foreign culture'. These two statements are
confirmed literally by the interviewed client advisor, Dalloz Joanny, and the human resources
manager, Van den Bosch Lars.
59
The latter adds that intercultural communication can just
partially be learned and therefore natural talent and tolerance are both indispensable.
60

Predictably, the chance of profiting from the experience of other client advisors or project
managers not only does it represent one of the easiest methods but also it can be considered
one of the most effective methods. Surprisingly, almost 50% of the participants are of the
opinion that the political and economical stability in the country of the negotiating partner is less
important or not important.

59
cf. interviews with Dalloz, Joanny (6.10.2003) and with Van den Bosch, Lars (1.10.2003).
60
cf. interview with Van den Bosch, Lars (1.10.2003).
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Figure 13: Evaluation of different statements concerning intercultural communication
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Natural talent for dealing with other cultures
Tolerance towards other customs and habits
Importance of active listening rather than talking
Importance of asserting one's own opinion
Suppression of one's own opinion
Extensive education and preparation in order to gain intercultural competence
Profit from intercultural experience of other client advisors or project managers
Willingness to compromise in intercultural meetings
Punctuality in an intercultural meeting
Developing a relationship with the other culture
Reliability towards the customer
Political and economical stability in the country of the negotiating partner
Loyalty of the organization comes first (Personal goals come second)
Evaluation of Different Statements Concerning Intercultural Communication
very important [+2] important [+1] less important [-1] not important [-2]
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4.3.8 Critical Analysis of the Intercultural Education and Preparation Methods in the
Financial Sector
4.3.8.1 Experience of Client Advisors/Project Managers in Intercultural Communication
The majority of interview partners agreed that intercultural preparation is inevitable especially
when getting in contact with Asian and Latin American cultures. Furthermore, the results on the
left-hand side of figure 14 show that intercultural experience is of significant advantage before
advising the first intercultural client or leading the first international project. In contrast, the other
graph shows a worrying high number of human resources managers (80%) who think that the
majority of potential candidates for an international client advisor or project manager job do not
have enough experience in intercultural communication:









Figure 14: Intercultural experience before advising the first client or leading the first project
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

The necessity of intercultural experience in the financial sector can be verified with the help of
the next graph as well. By simultaneously taking the graph concerning the age in paragraph
4.3.11 (figure 20) into consideration, we can deduce that even though the majority of client
advisors and project manager are young, they have to be very experienced in intercultural
communication.




6
1
4
1
32
3
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Yes
No
No, I've just been abroad for private
reasons
Intercultural Experience Before Advising the First
Client or Leading the First Project
Client advisor Project manager
Experience in Intercultural
Communication of Potential New
Client Advisors or Project
Managers
20%
80%
Yes No
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2











Figure 15: Experience in intercultural communication
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

4.3.8.2 Language Training
As we have seen in figure 12, excellent linguistic language skills especially in English are
essential for an international manager. For that reason, the result of figure 16 might be
surprising: Approximately 44% of the respondents are either not willing to improve their
language skills or still are in two minds about whether they shall improve their language skills or
learn another language within the next three years. What is more is that from the 15 'No'
answers, only six are taking a further education (not language) into consideration (cf. table 4)
within the next three years, whereas the rest either intends not at all to do a supplementary
education or does feel too old for that.

EDUCATION INTENTIONS OF INTERCULTURUAL MANAGERS
Masters of Business in Administration (MBA)
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Supplementary education at the 'Kaderschule' in Zurich
Supplementary education in Finance
Supplementary education in Asset Management
Internal education
Table 4: Education intentions of intercultural managers
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.
21
2
10
0
12
2
0
1
0 5 10 15 20 25
Number of client advisors or
project managers
less than 1
year
1 to 5 years
6 to 10 years
more than 10
years
Experience in Intercultural Communication
Client advisor
Project manager
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Figure 16: Willingness for permanent education
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

In addition, Mr. Schneider points out that according to their [UBS] experience, they are faced
with the problem that the majority of candidates applying for a client advisor job in the UBS
Wealth Management International have no or insufficient international experience.
61
What is
more is that as soon as a concrete hard work job abroad is presented, many of the client
advisors finally are not enthusiastic about working abroad for a longer period and facing this
challenge primarily because of personal reasons, whereas the vast majority is keen on being
sent abroad for 3 or 4 months in order to improve their language skill.
62

Table 5 contains the number of chosen or preferred language courses of the participants in the
survey:
Chosen or Intended Language Education
English 6x Mandarin (Chinese dialect) 1x
French 5x Hungarian 1x
Spanish 4x Chinese 1x
Italian 4x Czech 1x
German 1x Russian 1x

Table 5: Chosen or intended language education by the survey's participants
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.


61
cf. interview with Schneider, Paul and Gubser, Thomas (25.9.2003).
62
dito.
9
1
15
0
18
4
0 5 10 15 20
Yes
No
Don't know
Willingness for Permanent Education
Client advisor Project manager
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4.3.8.3 Preparation Methods for an Intercultural Business Contact
The importance of intensive language education for intercultural managers is shown again in
figure 17 on the graph on the top where the 'Intensive language training' is ranked third. As
might have been expected, one of the best preparation methods concerning intercultural
communication is to 'Profit from the experience of other client advisors or project managers'.
Strangely, the graph on the bottom reveals that no handbook of intercultural communication is
offered to these employees by the company, even though the graph on the top represents a
considerable number of 20 client advisors out of 43 prefer the 'Consultation of a handbook of
intercultural communication' as a preparation method for a first intercultural meeting.

Figure 17: Preparation methods for an intercultural business contact
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.
2
1
7
1
3
2
20
1
11
1
7
1
26
3
15
2
14
0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Internal or external training
Intensive language training
Profit from experience of other intercultural managers
TV, media, documentation etc.
Reading of books of the corresponding country
Consultation of a handbook of intercultural communication
Visit of the corresponding country
No particular preparation
Others:
Privileged Preparation Methods for the First Intercultural Customer Contact or
Project Meeting
Client advisor Project manager
Handbook of Intercultural Communication at
the Employees' Disposal
0%
100%
Yes No
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4.3.8.4 Education and Evaluation Methods Concerning Intercultural Communication
First of all, it astonishes that 60% of the human resources managers admit in the survey that the
company does neither offer an internal nor an external intercultural education program for their
internationally active client advisors or project manager. The ones who answered the question
with 'Yes' indicate that the offered program is an internal one. In addition to the survey's result,
the interviewed human resources managers unanimously agree that their company is
apparently not yet doing enough about intercultural education.
63
UBS is offering an internal
'Cultural Awareness Program' for expatriates where, according to Mr. Schneider, external
consultants are involved only if necessary and Mr. Van den Bosch mentions the internal
program 'Leadership Across Cultures' which is just applied in the CS in individual cases by
consulting external experts as well.
64










Figure 18: Education methods concerning intercultural communication
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

As we can see from the graph below (figure 19), most financial companies and their human
resources managers rely on the feedbacks either from the line-managers or from the clients
regarding the evaluation of the intercultural competence of their employees. Even though a
regular feedback represents the cheapest and simplest form of evaluating intercultural
competence besides being a learning opportunity to become more effective, international
companies should consider additional methods. For example, a minority pointed out that they
are evaluating the intercultural competence with the help of assessments.

63
cf. interviews with Schneider, Paul and Gubser, Thomas (25.9.2003) and with Van den Bosch, Lars (1.10.2003).
64
dito.
Offer of Internal or External
Intercultural Training Programs
40%
60%
Yes No
2
0 0 0
0
1
2
N
u
m
b
e
r

o
f

A
n
s
w
e
r
i
n
g

H
R
-
M
a
n
a
g
e
r
less than
once a
year
once a
year
2 to 4
times a
year
more than
5 times a
year
Opportunity for Client Advisors to
participate in an Intercultural Training
Program
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Figure 19: Evaluation methods concerning intercultural communication
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

4.3.9 Globalization and Intercultural Communication
The qualitative question in the survey "Where do you see opportunities and/or threats owing to
the increasing globalization and internationalization for intercultural communication in the
financial sector?" resulted in the following table with interesting statements from financial
managers:
GLOBALIZATION AND INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
Opportunities Threats
Increasing cross-national business opportunities Increasing competition due to augmented
transparency and mobilization
The number of prejudices is diminishing Client advisors are changed more/too frequently
Switzerland can distinguish and stand out against
the rest of the world
Too much information leads to constant 'filtering'
and waste of time
Competition creates dynamic More competition requires more motivation and
efforts in the financial sector
Tolerance and interest in other cultures simplifies
the contact with another culture
No threats as long as we know how to
communicate
A wider range of financial products as long as low
wages countries exist; specialization on one
country
Tax affairs
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
3
4
0
0
2
0 1 2 3 4
Assessment
Workshop
Feedback from other employees
Feedback from team leader
Feedback from clients
Mouth-to-mouth communication
Customer survey
Employee survey
Interview with customer
Interview with employee
Duration of the customer business relation
No particular assessment or evaluation
Others:
Evaluation Methods to assess the Intercultural Competence of the Client
Advisors or Project Managers
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Communication is easier Anonymity of the contract partners; quality
reduction because of the growing speed in the
development and processing
Cultural differences will tend to disappear by
getting closer to another; personal relations will be
standardized
Loss of the cultural independence
New horizons for the individual development and
the learning effects
Everybody has the same opinion
Increase of the customers' knowledge which
should result in more trades
Increasing price/fee competition
Open-mindedness of the client towards new
investments
Dissolution of the banker's secrecy
Intensify the proximity to the client; clients drop in
less frequently
'Standard' (unique) culture will not be accepted by
everybody and lead to conflicts
Approximation of the business cultures The threat of not being in the 'same wavelength'
It is a global village with great chances (economy
of scale, new markets etc.) and it is just a matter
of time when more cultures will join.
Source of misunderstandings
Time to market The world becomes a village
Development of new ways of doing business
result in increasing profitability
The world is dividing itself
Religion and politics are influencing our
Be pressed for time and increasing pressure to
succeed
Head Office does not understand the international
challenges
Think globally, act locally
Table 6: Globalization and intercultural communication
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

4.3.10 Statements Concerning Intercultural Communication
The last qualitative question in each survey was the invitation to express their general point of
view in connection with intercultural communication and cross-cultural competence. The table
below contains the most interesting comments from the survey:
STATEMENTS CONCERNING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
Intercultural communication and intercultural competence are becoming more and more important not
only towards the client but also within a global company
Intercultural communication requires a continuous dealing and confrontation with the foreign culture in
all kind of aspects such as history, culture, language, politics, economy, contemporary matters, etc.
Intercultural communication is just one element of the advisory service system
Intercultural communication is important but is not the crucial point because foreign cultures are often
more tolerant towards other cultures
Intercultural communication is certainly an added value for every client advisor
Intercultural communication requires natural talent and cannot be learned
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The organization sometimes looks at professional abilities only when placing someone in a position
that requires dealing with a different culture, rather than also looking at the background of the person
involved. Some poor examples can be easily observed in our and other institutions.
Despite the highly technological world, interpersonal relationships and the mutual trust are becoming
more and more important
Openness, tolerance and interest in innovations are essential aspects
Knowledge transfer through learning from experiences client advisors is very important
It is a pleasure to work together and to do business with other cultures
It is not easy to settle in a foreign culture but there exist big differences from continent to continent
Adaptability is more and more important
We should not have prejudices towards other cultures
We should not compare cultures but live and understand them
Culture-specific training is becoming more and more important
Finally, we all live on the same world
Table 7: Statements concerning intercultural communication
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

4.3.11 Personal Information of the Participants
Curiously, the personal information of the participants in the survey reveals that masculinity in
the client advisory and in the project management is prevailing over femininity in the financial
sector. Although Mr. Schneider pronounces that the UBS has a relatively high proportion of
feminine client advisors in Switzerland, it is surprising that only 4 out of 42 client advisors who
answered question 19 in their survey are female. However, no verified conclusion can be
derived from the graph 'Masculinity versus Femininity'.











4
0
38
5
0 10 20 30 40
Gender (male)
Gender (female)
Masculinity versus Femininity
Client advisor Project manager
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Figure 20: Personal information of the participants
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

4.3.12 Interest in the Results of the Survey
More than two thirds of all managers who participated in the survey were interested in the
results of the survey, which is another indication for the significance of intercultural
communication and cross-cultural competence.
The results were sent to the interested respondents electronically (cf. appendix G).









Figure 21: Interest in the results of the survey
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.
8
1
22
4
9
0
3
0
0
5
10
15
20
25
y
o
u
n
g
e
r

t
h
a
n

3
0

y
e
a
r
s
b
e
t
w
e
e
n

3
0

a
n
d

4
5

y
e
a
r
s
b
e
t
w
e
e
n

4
6

a
n
d

5
5

y
e
a
r
s
o
l
d
e
r

t
h
a
n

5
5
Age of Client Advisor or Project Manager
Client advisor
Project manager
16
0
3
25
5
2
0 5 10 15 20 25
Yes
No
Interest in the Results of the Survey
Client advisor Project manager Human resources manager
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4.4 Final Scrutiny and Critical View of the Theses and the Status Quo Analysis
As it is assumed in thesis one and two, not only is there a high potential for improvement of
intercultural evaluation and preparation methods, which would help the client advisors or project
managers to improve their intercultural competence, but also a lack of willingness for
continuous education and intercultural awareness even though intercultural communication is
becoming more and more important in the financial sector. On the one hand, we have seen in
paragraph 4.3.5 that many of the questioned intercultural managers in the financial sector are
confronted with obstacles and problems, and on the other hand, the analysis of the results from
the survey and comments from the interviewees in paragraph 4.3.8 lead to the conclusion that
there is still need of improvement.
As far as thesis three is concerned, it can be assumed that owing to the enormous number of
assigned clients, the client advisors do not all have enough time to look more actively after their
clients and to establish an intense relationship. In contrast, we can conclude that especially
certain individualistic cultures such as the USA are short-term oriented compared to Asian and
Latin American countries which prefer longstanding relationships based on trust and mutual
understanding.






















"Mistakes of corporate representatives because of
intercultural competence can jeopardize millions of dollars in
negotiations and purchases, sales and contracts, as well as
undermine customer relations."

Harris, Philip; Moran, Robert (1991) cited from 'Fit fr fremde Kulturen' (2002).



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5 Strategic Target Concept How to become an Interculturally
Competent Manager
5.1 Globalization and its Influence on Intercultural Communication
"As economic borders come down, cultural barriers go up, presenting new challenges and
opportunities in business."
65

"Globalization is a dynamic component of human experience. [] Global consciousness
cannot drive globalization, but it can by enabling better understanding of the forces that
enmesh us produce responses which ensure that our global interactions remain
beneficial and empowering."
66

"Managing global diversity is a proactive, strategic approach that leads to business
success. This approach is best defined as the capability of [] using and maximizing the
total workforce potential by having the knowledge, attitude, and skills to identify and use
alternative cultural styles and behaviours to achieve the business objective with respect to
the national culture(s) and the multiple locations in which they operate."
67

More and more companies including banks and insurances feel obliged to do business all over
the world. These expansion strategies lead to so-called multicultural companies and require an
adaptation of your global mindset and cultural diversity in order to become an interculturally
competent manager.
5.2 Diversity Management a Strategic Competitive Advantage
Finding the best way of managing effectively the diversity aspect, which appears due to
variations of ethnicity and nationality of different cultures, requires an appropriate strategy or
concept, adapted from the intercultural management, characterized through trust, common
visions and goals, honesty, generosity, fairness and tolerance.
68
Every single client advisor and
project manager in the financial sector has to be culturally aware of the other culture and has to
know how to gain and retain new affluent clients or projects. You have to regard it as a
leadership issue to develop and increase your intercultural skills and behaviour. The permanent
enrichment of your knowledge of the other culture in order to mutually understand the
connection between individuals and the tolerance towards the culture of the client or project
partner are crucial aspects.

65
Ivester, Doug (1999) cited from 'The Global Diversity Desk Reference - Managing an International Workforce' (2003), page 73.
66
Robertson, Robbie (2003), page 229.
67
Bennett, Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al. (2003), page 4.
68
cf. Jacob, Nina (2003), pages 1-6. And Blom, Herman; Meier, Harald (2002), pages 245-246. And Baumer, Thomas (2002),
page 81.
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The strategic intercultural concept presented below shall reflect the dynamics of operating in a
global context and suggests ways of enhancing your intercultural communication competence in
order to build and retain successful relationships with another culture.
5.3 A Strategic Intercultural Concept
The following intercultural concept is based on participative management learning styles and
has been created by the author after the evaluation of the survey and extensive investigation in
the field of intercultural communication. It is intended to enhance the intercultural awareness
and to propose methods and strategies in order to become an effective communicator and
interculturally competent financial manager:

















Figure 22: Strategic intercultural concept
Source: Graph by author.

STRATEGIC
INTER-
CULTURAL
CONCEPT
5.3.1
Recruitment of Interculturally
Competent Managers
5.3.2
Intercultural Training Methods
and Learning Styles
5.3.3
How to achieve Intercultural
Communication Competence
(ICC)
5.3.4
A Knowledge Management
Approach

5.3.5
Prerequisites for an Effective
Intercultural Communicator
5.3.8
The Way of Understanding
States of Mind
5.3.7
Intercultural Relationship
Management a Key to a
Long-standing Relationship
5.3.6
Key Factors for the Retention
of Intercultural Clients

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5.3.1 Recruitment of Interculturally Competent Managers
The searching and selection process (international recruitment) of appropriate managers who
are able to deal with other cultures is of strategic importance for a global player in the financial
sector. Even though the analysis of the survey revealed that the 'Know-how' is still the most
important skill, we have to prevent selecting managers by only focussing on their know-how.
The candidate has to prove that he is able to deal with other cultures and that he is a successful
manager in an international context. It was mentioned in an interview that having spent several
years abroad does not automatically mean that this person is an interculturally competent
manager.
69
That is why it might be a good idea involving interculturally experienced line-
mangers in the recruitment process who assess the intercultural competence of the candidate
with the help of a structured interview, a workshop or with an intercultural group assessment
where intercultural skills and tolerance towards other cultures are assessed. As it was
suggested by a participant in the survey, the evaluation of the work habits and achievement of
intercultural objectives in the assessment should be based on the management by objectives
(MbO).
70

5.3.2 Intercultural Training Methods and Learning Styles
Before presenting a recommendation concerning intercultural training, you have to understand
the following learning styles which are prevailing in intercultural training methods.









Figure 23: Learning styles
Source: Graph by author. Adapted from Gudykunst, William B.; Mody, Bella (2003), page 128. Herbrand, Frank
(2002), pages 48-56.


69
cf. interview with Van den Bosch, Lars (1.10.2003). And Bergemann, Niels; Sourisseaux, Andreas L. J. (2003), pages 181-230.
70
cf. Bergemann, Niels; Sourisseaux, Andreas L. J. (2003), page 200.

Learning
style
Behavioural
Intercultural decision-making
and responsibility
Affective
Intercultural sensitiveness
Cognitive
Intercultural knowledge

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The graph shows the three different learning styles which are in mutual interaction with each
other. If you attend an intercultural training, the most important learning style is said to be the
behavioural one because you have to learn how to behave towards the intercultural client or
project partner and how to find the appropriate decision. But this necessitates knowledge about
the cultural differences (cognitive), emotionally stability and tolerance towards arising problems
(affective).
For a detailed analysis and evaluation of the wide range of different intercultural training
methods, reference is made to the literature.
71
Concerning the financial sector, on-the-job
training abroad is recommended by the interviewees and by many respondents of the survey. A
stay abroad includes all of the above mentioned learning styles and is supposed to be the most
effective and interesting method concerning intercultural training. On the other hand, it
represents a huge investment for the company and therefore, especially in recession times,
these so-called intercultural mobility programs are often neglected. That is why alternative
training methods are presented in paragraph 5.3.4. But beforehand, you should have a look at
the intercultural communication competence theory (ICC).
5.3.3 Focussing on Intercultural Communication Competence (ICC)
Even though no unequivocal knowledge or method of how to achieve intercultural
communication competence (ICC) exists, "it is important to be cultural aware" in order to gain
ICC.
72
From the status quo analysis, you already know which skills and abilities are necessary
to achieve ICC. But how can you achieve these skills and ICC?
ICC can be achieved among other aspects through motivation, cultural sensitivity and
willingness to acknowledge the other person with whom you are communicating and their
cultural differences, adaptation of the verbal and non-verbal messages to the appropriate
cultural context, the ability to establish interpersonal relationships and the application of the
prerequisites of an effective intercultural communicator presented in paragraph 5.3.5.
73

In the next paragraph, a specific training approach for achieving ICC is suggested.
5.3.4 A Knowledge Management Approach
"Knowledge management refers primarily for the dissemination of implicit knowledge
throughout an organization."
74


71
cf. Bergemann, Niels; Sourisseaux, Andreas L. J. (2003), pages 248-272. And Bennett, Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz,
Lee; et al. (2003), pages 353-363. And Blom, Herman; Meier, Harald (2002), pages 195-206. And Herbrand, Frank (2002),
pages 56-125.
72
cf. interview with Schneider, Paul (25.9.2003).
73
cf. Neuliep, James W. (2003), pages 364-373. And Redding, Gordon; Stening, Bruce W. (2003), page 206. And Gudykunst,
William B; Mody, Bella (2002), pages 207-219. And Beamer, Linda (1992), pages 290-302.
74
Jacob, Nina (2003), page 8.
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As the status quo analysis has shown, intercultural communication has to be experienced.
Therefore, an interesting alternative to the business stage abroad is the following proposed
intercultural knowledge management approach. The main objective of this experiential training
method is to profit from the experience of experts within the company by simultaneously using
the affective, cognitive and behavioural learning styles. The idea is to involve client advisors and
project managers of your company with the corresponding foreign culture (not Swiss) and
interculturally experienced managers in an intercultural training process. This approach is
focussing on the 'Experience-oriented, culture-specific training'.
75
It gives you the opportunity to
discuss and experience cultural differences and discover things in common with a foreign
culture. You will learn how to treat and solve problems and arising conflicts in an intercultural
setting. This knowledge management approach may consist, for instance, of a role play with a
Japanese culture or you take part in a bi- or multicultural workshop or in a simulation game with
interactive cultural training leaded by interculturally experienced managers from your
company.
76

A similar interesting alternative focussing primarily on the affective and cognitive learning style
is the so-called culture-assimilator-training or 'intercultural sensitizer' which is based on real,
intercultural situations, for example with experienced client advisors or project managers as
negotiating partners.
77
Further knowledge management training methods might be intercultural
presentations by interculturally experienced client advisors or project managers, group
discussions, round-tables, regular meetings and case studies.
Above all, the central issue of intercultural training is that you are able to change perspectives in
an intercultural setting and to learn as much as possible about traditions, rituals, attitudes,
beliefs as well as politics, economy, history, etc. of the host culture.
78
Another interesting and
effective method, mentioned by several client advisors in the survey is to work in culturally
mixed teams so to bring employees with different cultures together within the company.
Empirical studies in the field of psychology and management show that culturally
heterogeneous teams are more productive and innovative.
79





75
cf. Bergemann, Niels; Sourisseaux, Andreas L. J. (2003), page 249.
76
dito, pages 252-254.
77
cf. Blom, Herman; Meier, Harald (2002), pages 200-201. And Herbrand, Frank (2002), pages 119-122.
78
Van den Bergh, Samuel (17.4.2002), page 79. And Hugenberg, Lawrence W.; LaCivita, Rene M.; Lubanovic, Andra M. (1996),
page 219.
79
Bergemann, Niels; Sourisseaux, Andreas L. J. (2003), page 4.
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5.3.5 Prerequisites for an Effective Intercultural Communicator
The status quo analysis and selected literature indicate that for an effective intercultural
communicator in the financial sector, you have to take the following points into consideration:














Figure 24: Effective intercultural communication
Source: Graph by author. Adapted from the status quo analysis, chapter 4. And Wiseman, Richard L. (1995), pages
15-58. And Porter, Richard E.; Samovar, Larry A. (2000), pages 375-387.

5.3.6 Key Factors for the Retention of Intercultural Clients
A key factor to retain intercultural clients is the knowledge about the customer and its culture:
Know your customer. In addition, the questioned client advisors revealed in the survey that
apart from 'Professional competence of the client advisor', it is essential to regularly and actively
contact the clients and to offer attractive and tailor-made products. Obviously, the reputation of
the financial institute and the prestige play an important role in the client advisory as well. What
is surprising in the graph below is that the questioned advisors consider the knowledge of the
other culture not an important retention factor. On the other hand, an intense relation- and
friendship with the other culture is considered by the majority an important intercultural retention
factor.


Effective
intercultural
communication

Motivation as well as active
customer contact and
social initiative
Ability to deal with
psychological stress and
portfolio or project risks
Active listening and
comprehension of the client's
wishes and expectations
Communication flexibility
and use of the best
communication strategy
Ability to give trust and
confidence to the client and
creating an intense relation
Tolerance for ambiguity
and open-mindedness
towards the other culture
Reliability towards the
client or project partner
Interest in the other culture
and ability of small talk, in-
jokes and mutuality

Effective presentation skills
in an intercultural context
Requirement of cognitive,
affective and behavioural
skills

Cultural Empathy and
'Sensitivity'

Freedom from prejudices
and stereotypes

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Figure 25: Key factors for the retention of intercultural clients
Source: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'.

5.3.7 Intercultural Relationship Management a Key to a Long-standing Relationship
"Intercultural communication is enhanced when individuals actually have opportunities to relate
to people from other culture not merely as work associates, but as friends as well."
80
The
managers surveyed and the interviewees mentioned that the individuals, who are able to
succeed in building intense relationships and friendships with people from other cultures, are
more likely to retain the clients even in low performance periods.
As Mr. Schneider describes it, the advisory service in the financial sector is a "People
Business".
81
Consequently, besides being interculturally competent, the key to a successful
intercultural relationship is the mutual trust and mutual reliability of all parties. Building a long-
standing intercultural relationship requires an extensive training, cultural awareness and
effective communication. A detailed scrutiny of intercultural relationship management would go
beyond the scope of this thesis. What is important is that you can create a common ground with
the foreign culture by taking the factors that affect intercultural relationships into consideration.
This can be visualized with the help of the following graph:


80
Jacob, Nina (2003), page 81.
81
cf. interview with Schneider, Paul (25.9.2003).
0
20
3
2
10
24
3
13
1
21
31
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Professional competence of the client advisor
Reputation / rating of the company
Risk tolerance and readiness of being innovative
Attractive products and services
High portfolio performance
Regular business meetings / calls
"Tailor-made" products for the customers' needs
Experience of the client advisor in intercultural business meetings
Knowledge of the other culture
Establish an intense relationship with the client
Others:
Key Factors for the Retention of Intercultural Clients
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Figure 26: Factors that affect intercultural relationship
Source: Graph by author. Adapted from Neuliep, James W. (2003), page 275.

5.3.8 The Way of Understanding States of Mind
Because intercultural communication competence, cultural awareness and effective intercultural
communication are a very complex and demanding task in a globalized world, you have to bear
in mind that you cannot be fully informed. You are not able to learn and internalize all these
skills and intercultural aspects: But we have to understand states of mind.
82
According to
Trompenaars, in an intercultural setting, you are constantly involved in a process of assigning
meaning to the actions and decisions. You have to learn to go beyond your own intercultural
model. This practical handbook shall provide a frame of reference so as not to be afraid of
getting in contact with another culture and to not lose your own face. After having studied this
handbook, you should know the most significant factors of how to deal with cultural differences
and show tolerance towards the states of mind of different cultures in the world.


82
Trompenaars, Fons; Hampden-Turner, Charles (1997), pages 196-197.
Intercultural
relationship
Intercultural awareness
Socio-communicative style
Intercultural empathy and sensitivity
Degree of intercultural apprehension
Awareness of cultural differences
Open-mindedness
Uncertainty reduction
Similarity
Intercultural awareness
Socio-communicative style
Intercultural empathy and sensitivity
Degree of intercultural apprehension
Awareness of cultural differences
Open-mindedness
Uncertainty reduction
Similarity
Person A Person B






















"If we arrive to achieve and manage intercultural
communication and cross-cultural competence, it will reveal to
be one of the most valuable gifts in this globalized world."

Author, Eyholzer, Pascal (11.10.2003).



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6 Conclusion, Discussion and Outlook
6.1 Conclusion and Discussion
6.1.1 'Think global, act local'
Looking at the development of business activities over the last few decades, one trend is clearly
obvious: The shift from local or national toward international or global business.
Therefore, it is unavoidable for a global financial institute (global player) to manage diversity
locally to succeed globally. Conversely, "because of the increasing internationalization in home
markets, addressing global diversity issues is increasingly a prerequisite for succeeding
domestically."
83

Obviously, the expression in the title is valid for project management as well. Professor Dr.
Oskar Grn stresses that owing to the increasing globalization, it becomes a prerequisite to
assess not only global interests and behaviour but especially domestic attitudes and
expectations.
84
What is important is to consider globalization as a challenge and neither a threat
to individuals nor to the economy in general. Every local given fact or domestic behaviour in a
foreign culture not only does it imply an interesting opportunity but also a risk. If the client
advisor or project manager arrives to manage this risk, the customer relationship or the project
is likely to be successful and sustaining.
A detailed analysis of the local characteristics of each country would be beyond the scope of
this thesis. For a further study, it is recommended to consult the book 'Banking Cultures of the
World' edited by Leo Schuster (1996) which describes the local aspects and habits a client
advisor or a project manager in the financial sector has to be aware of in order to communicate
interculturally successfully in a business meeting. In addition, the book and the movie 'Doing
effective presentations in an intercultural setting' by John Bennett, lecturer at the University of
St. Gallen in Switzerland, provide valuable hints for an effective presentation in a foreign
country and information on how to structure and adapt the appearance of an international
manager.
6.1.2 Intercultural Communication Competence in the Financial Sector
According to the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) edited by the International
Management Development (IMD), the financial services in Switzerland are widely developed

83
Bennett, Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al. (2003), page 33.
84
cf. Grn, Oskar (2000), page 6.
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which implies that Switzerland is situated in second place at the top of the ranking list after
Finland but before the United States of America.
85

What might be the reason of this success? Of course, several facts and explanations exist in
order to emphasize and verify the above mentioned fact such as the high credibility and finance
skills of managers, the attractive tax legislation including the Swiss banker's secrecy, the
excellent labour relations and worker motivations, the high adaptability and professional ethical
standards in management practices which all lead to a remarkable customer satisfaction in
Switzerland.
But how can we maintain this top ranking and the excellent reputation of the financial sector?
We are urged to take care for other cultures and the intercultural clients. A recent study
'Defining excellence in private client servicing' carried out by Reuters and the company Booz
Allen Hamilton in June 2003 reveal, more than 40% of international customers are dissatisfied
with the advisory service of their Swiss banks because the advisors not only do they lack of
informing them properly about changes in the portfolio performance but especially affluent
clients complain about losing the contact to their advisors who do not contact them actively
enough.
86
We have already found out in the status quo analysis that too many clients are
assigned to a client advisor. This overcapacity must be eliminated so that the client advisor
wastes less time for administrative work and can spend more time contacting the clients actively
and more frequently.
Until now, the financial sector in Switzerland was covered with glory and Switzerland is famous
for its confidence and particularly his banker's secrecy. But the worldwide competition is
increasing daily and the clients in the financial sector are becoming more demanding.
87
We
have to challenge the questions: What is the influence of the increasing globalization and
worldwide competitiveness on the intercultural customer relationship and on a financial project?
What happens if the banker's secrecy would have to be dissolved?
This handbook reveals a reasonable answer: Professional and intercultural communication
competence, cultural awareness and devoted intercultural relationships outside and within the
company are of strategic importance and do have a great influence on a prosperous future of
the financial sector.

85
cf. IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook (2002), page 581.
86
Kaiser, Fritz (29.7.2003), page 25. And 'NZZ' (25.6.2003), page 24.
87
Oberholzer, Roman (28.9.2003), page 45.
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6.2 Outlook
6.2.1 Trends and Significance of Intercultural Communication in the Financial Sector
Because of the growing networking and the free movement of capital as a consequence of the
deregulation in the financial sector, the reduction of transaction and information costs owing to
the Internet and the increasing worldwide competition in the financial sector, the increasing
client's demand for tailor-made portfolio and the expansion strategies of the global banks lead to
new challenges in the financial sector.
88
For instance, the strategies of the two global players
UBS and Credit Suisse are focussing on the international expansion and the media are
regularly reporting of new expansion plans ("Forced activity in China"; "UBS expands its
investment banking"; "About the expansion plans of the Credit Suisse").
89
As a consequence of
these changes and the increased competition and the fact that a global bank or insurance is
becoming a more multicultural system, intercultural communication is a prerequisite in the
financial sector.
Furthermore, we can expect a growing shift from the conservators, collective client advisors, or
imitators to the inventors in the near future:








High Low

Table 8: The shift in the strategic attitudes of managers in the financial sector
Source: Graph by author. Adapted from Schuster, Leo (1996), page 7.

This tendency is acknowledged by Paul Schneider: "The future client advisor has to be a
'hunter' which means that he has to actively combat for new money. [] it is important that the

88
cf. Whle, Claudia B. (1999), pages 30-33. And Btler, Theophil; Meier, Peter (2002), page 6.
89
Wuffli, Peter, Chief Executive Officer at UBS, in the 'Handelszeitung' (2.7.2003). Grbel, Oswald, Chief Executive Officer at
Credit Suisse, in the 'Handelszeitung' (8.10.2003).

Imitators


Inventors


Conservators


Collective Players

Market response
H
i
g
h

L
o
w

M
a
r
k
e
t

a
u
t
o
n
o
m
y

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Swiss client advisor becomes less cautious and contacts the client on his own initiative."
90
And
Peter Wuffli, Chief Executive Officer at UBS, states in an interview with the 'Handelszeitung':
"Die UBS hat weltweit vier Aktionen unter dem Motto 'Client Contact Campaigns' durchgefhrt.
Dabei haben wir unsere Berater darin untersttzt, aus eigener Initiative mit den Kunden Kontakt
aufzunehmen."
91

This shift in the financial sector towards the more active and risk-taking inventors may result in
more risk-taking advisors and managers from Germany, the United Kingdom or the Netherlands
replacing spoilt and cautious imitators and conservators. Therefore, the future client advisor and
project manager has to be interculturally competent, respond readily to market developments
and contact customers and partners more frequently on his own initiative.

90
Schneider, Paul cited from the interview (25.9.2003).
91
Wuffli, Peter, Chief Executive Officer at UBS, cited from an interview in the 'Handelszeitung' (2.7.2003).
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7 Closing words
"Human beings draw close to one another by their common nature, but habits and
customs keep them apart."
Confucius
92


Retrospective, attention can be drawn to the fact that the tolerance and adaptation of our
communicative skills are increasingly essential for being successful in this 'global village'. With
the conducted survey and interviews and the proposed strategic concept, practical information
has been delivered and you should have improved your cultural awareness and understanding
and be motivated to not only improve your intercultural communication competence but also to
long for getting in contact with another culture.
The status quo analysis with its valuable and high-quality information shall make you aware that
intercultural communication, although complex and very challenging, is one of the most
rewarding life experiences you will ever have. It is desired that you could profit from the
experience of the client advisors, project managers and human resources manager.
This practical handbook should not only be a frame of reference but a source to inspire you to
take more actively part in this global village where cultural differences are supposed to vanish
and the human beings are getting closer and closer together.








92
Citation from the book 'Intercultural Communication A Reader' edited by Porter, Richard; Samovar, Larry A. (2000), page 5.
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8 References
8.1 Books and Working Papers
Baumer, Thomas: Handbuch Interkulturelle Kompetenz. Orell Fssli Verlag AG, Zurich,
2002.
Bennett, John; Claes, Marie-Thrse; Forsberg, Jennie, et al.: Doing Effective
Presentations in an Intercultural Setting. Community of European Management Schools,
Vienna, 1998.
Benneth, Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al.: The Global Diversity Desk
Reference Managing an International Workforce. Pfeiffer Publications, USA, 2003.
Bergemann, Niels; Sourisseaux, Andreas L. J.: Interkulturelles Management. Springer
Verlag, Berlin, 2003 (3
rd
edition).
Btler, Theophil; Meier, Peter: Finanztheorie. Zurich University of Applied Sciences
Winterthur, 2002.
Blom, Herman; Meier, Harald: Interkulturelles Management. Neue Wirtschafts-Briefe
Verlag, Berlin, 2002.
Charnov, Bruce H.; Montana, Patrick J.: Management. Barron's Educational Series, USA,
2000 (3
rd
edition).
Federal Statistical Office of Switzerland: Weiterbildung in der Schweiz 2001. Author:
Lischer, Rolf, Neuchtel, 2001.
Gudykunst, B. William; Mody, Bella: Handbook of International and Intercultural
Communication. Sage Publications, USA, 2002 (2
nd
edition).
Gudykunst, B. William; Kim, Yun, Young: Readings on Communicating with Strangers
An Approach to Intercultural Communication. McGraw-Hill, USA, 1992.
Gudykunst, B. William; Kim, Yun, Young: Theories in Intercultural Communication.
International and intercultural communication annual, volume XII, Sage Publications, USA,
1988.
Gudykunst, B. William; Stewart, Lea P.; Ting, Toomey, Stella: Communication, Culture,
and Organizational Processes. International and intercultural communication annual,
volume IX, Sage Publications, USA, 1985.
Hall, Edward T: Beyond Cultures. Anchor/Doubleday, USA, 1981.
Herbrand, Frank: Fit fr fremde Kulturen Interkulturelles Training fr Fhrungskrfte.
Verlag Paul Haupt, Bern, 2002.
Hinner, Michael B.: The Importance of Intercultural Communication in a Globalized
World. Freiberg working paper, Germany, Jun 1998.
Hinner, Michael B.; Rlke Tessa: Intercultural Communication in Business Ventures.
Illustrated by Two Case Studies. Freiberg working paper, Germany, Mar 2002.
Holden, Nigel J.: Cross-Cultural Management A Knowledge Management
Perspective. Financial Times, Pearson Education, UK, 2002.
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Hollensen, Svend: Global Marketing A Market-Responsive Approach. Financial Times,
Pearson Education, UK, 2001 (2
nd
edition).
International Management Development (IMD): World Competitiveness Yearbook 2002.
Lausanne, 2002.
Kotler, Philip: Marketing Management. The Millenium Edition, Prentice Hall International,
Inc., New Jersey, USA, 2000.
Martin, Judith N.; Nakayama, Thomas K.; Flores, Lisa A.: Readings in Intercultural
Communication Experiences and Contexts. McGraw-Hill Companies, USA, 1998.
Meier, Peter: Capital Market Instruments and their Market Risks. Zurich University of
Applied Sciences Winterthur, 2003.
Porter, Richard E.; Samovar, Larry A.: Intercultural Communication A Reader.
Wadsworth Publishing Company, USA, 2000 (9
th
edition).
Redding, Gordon; Stening, Bruce W.: Cross-Cultural Management Managing Cultural
Differences. International library of critical writings on business and management, volume
2, Elgar reference collection, UK, 2003.
Robertson, Robbie: The Three Waves of Globalization A History of a Developing
Global Consciousness. Zed Books, London, 2003.
Schuster, Leo: Banking Cultures of the World. Fritz Knapp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main,
1996.
Scollon, Ron; Scollon, Wong, Suzanne: Intercultural Communication A Discourse
Approach. Blackwell Publishers Oxford UK and Cambridge USA, 1995.
Thommen, Jean-Paul: Managementorientierte Betriebswirtschaftslehre. Versus Verlag
AG, Zurich, 2000 (6
th
edition).
Triandis, Harry C.: Individualism & Collectivism. Westview Press, USA, 1995.
Trompenaars, Fons; Hampden-Turner, Charles: Riding the Waves of Culture
Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, London,
1997 (2
nd
edition).
Whle, Claudia B.: Private Banking in der Schweiz Geschftspolitische Anstze zur
kunden- und ertragsorientierten Steuerung. Verlag Paul Haupt, Bern, 1999.
Wiseman, Richard L.: Intercultural Communication Theory. International and intercultural
communication annual, volume XIX, Sage Publications, USA, 1995.
8.2 Articles
Beamer, Linda: Learning Intercultural Communication Competence, in: The Journal of
Business Communication. Los Angeles, Mar 1992; Volume 29, Issue 3; Pages 285-303.
Birzele, Josef: Weiterbildung im Handel Andere Lnder, andere Sitten, in: Der Handel.
29.11.2000; Issue 12; Pages 78-79.
Bohnet-Joschko, Sabine; Schiereck, Dirk: Socially Responsible Management Impulses
for Good Governance in a Changing World, in: Wittener Jahrbuch fr konomische
Literatur. Metropolis-Verlag, Marburg, 2002; Pages 143-166.
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Chang, Lieh-Ching: An Examination of Cross-Cultural Negotiation: Using Hofstede
Framework, in Journal of American of Business. Cambridge, Mar 2003; Volume 2, Issue 2;
Pages 567-570.
Costas, John: Die UBS baut ihr Investment Banking in den USA aus Konsequente
Umsetzung der Strategie, in: Finanz & Wirtschaft. 27.9.2003; Issue 77; Page 17.
Gancel, Charles: Managing the Pitfalls and Challenges of Intercultural Communication,
in: Communication World. San Francisco, Dec 1997/Jan 1998; Volume 15, Issue 1; Pages
24-27.
Gibson, Robert; Tauber, Teresia; Mnster, Mario: 'Return on Culture' Interkulturelle
Kompetenzentwicklung fr das internationale Geschft, in Wirtschaftspsychologie
aktuell. Feb 2003; Pages 12-15.
Griffith, David A.: Executive Insights: An Intercultural Communication Model for Use in
Global Interorganizational Networks, in: Journal of International Marketing. Chicago,
2001; Volume 9, Issue 3; Pages 87-104.
Grbel, Oswald: ber die Expansionsabsichten der Credit Suisse Eine Schwche fr
Modeerscheinungen, in Handelszeitung, The Journal of Business and Management.
Switzerland, 8.10.2003; Issue 27; Page 7.
Grn, Oskar: Globalisierung und Projektmanagement, in zfo: Zeitschrift Fhrung und
Organisation. Germany, 2000; Issue 1; Pages 4-9.
Kaiser, Fritz: Grosses Privatvermgen sucht Management, in: Neue Zrcher Zeitung.
29.7.2003; Issue 173; Page 25.
Kleinberger, Gnther, Ulla: Verstndigungsschwierigkeiten im globalen Dorf, in Neue
Zrcher Zeitung. 12.1.2002; Page 83.
Kleinberger, Gnther, Ulla: Weltweit verschiedene Bankkulturen, in Neue Zrcher
Zeitung. 3.4.1998; Page 83.
Lawrence, Hugenberg W.: International Business and Training: Preparing for the
Global Economy, in: The Journal of Business Communication. Urbana, Apr 1996; Volume
33, Issue 2; Pages 205-223.
Neue Zrcher Zeitung (NZZ): Kundenfernes Private Banking. 25.6.2003; Issue 11; Page
24.
Oberholzer, Roman: Reiche Kundschaft heiss begehrt Der Wettbewerb im Schweizer
Private Banking spitzt sich zu, in: NZZ am Sonntag. 28.9.2003; Page 45.
Ospel, Marcel: Was wird am hufigsten falsch gemacht?, in: NZZ Folio Big Business
Die Macher der globalen Wirtschaft. Nov 2000; Issue 11; Pages 94-104.
Stadler, Peter: Englisch sprechen macht noch kein Geschft Globalisierung und
interkulturelle Kompetenz, in: Neue Zrcher Zeitung. 21.9.1995; Page 95.
Wagner, Dieter; Voigt, Bernd: Managing Diversity und internationale
Unternehmensfhrung, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliches Studium, in Issue 2/2003; Pages
112-115.
Van den Bergh, Samuel: Wer ist interkulturell kompetent? Weltlufigkeit als neue
Schlsselqualifikation in der Arbeitswelt, in Neue Zrcher Zeitung. 17.4.2002; Page 79.
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Varner, Iris: The Theoretical Foundation for Intercultural Business Communication: A
Conceptual Model, in: The Journal of Business Communication. Urbana, Jan 2000;
Volume 37, Issue 1; Pages 39-58.
Verckens, J. Piet: Intercultural Communication in Business and Organisations: An
Introduction, in: Business Communication Quarterly. New York, Sep 2001; Volume 64,
Issue 3; Pages 121-124.
Wirtschaft & Weiterbildung: Herausforderungen des Weltmarktes, Issue 7, 2000.
Wuffli, Peter: "Durststrecke wird lnger anhalten", in: Handelszeitung. The Journal of
Business and Management. Switzerland, 2.7.2003; Issue 27; Page 5.
8.3 Internet
Cyr, Donald: The Art of Global Thinking: East, West: Conflicting or Complementary?,
in: Pacific Region Forum, http://www.cic.sfu.ca/forum/DonaldCyrFeb27003.html (26.2.2003).
Dahl, Stephan: An Overview of Intercultural Research, http://stephan.dahl.at
/intercultural/conclusion.html (15.9.2003).
Intercultural Network: Individualismus und Kollektivismus. Dahl, Stephan, http://www.
intercultural-network.de/einfuehrung/individualismus.html (15.09.2003).
Ready, David A.: Globalization is a State of Mind, International consortium for executive
development research, USA-Lexington, http://www.icedr.org (15.09.2003).
Wikipedia Encyclopedia, http://www.wikipedia.org (6.10.2003).
8.4 CD-Rom
Wurzel, Jaime; Fischman, Nancy K.; Mayo, Sandro: The Cross-Cultural Conference
Room. Video and CD-Rom program, Intercultural Resource Corporation, 2002.
Benneth, Martin F.; Digh, Patricia; Gardenswartz, Lee; et al.: The Global Diversity Desk
Reference Managing an International Workforce. Pfeiffer Publications, USA, 2003.
8.5 Movie
Bennett, John; Claes, Marie-Thrse; Forsberg, Jennie, et al.: Doing Effective
Presentations in an Intercultural Setting. Community of European Management Schools,
Vienna, 1998.
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Appendix A: Survey 'Intercultural Communication'
Remark: The layout of the survey, which was conducted online via the World Wide Web
(www.eyholzer.ch/survey), has been slightly modified in order to implement it in the present
work. To simplify matters, only the English version is presented below.

Willkommen zur Umfrage 'Interkulturelle Kommunikation'
Welcome to the survey 'Intercultural Communication'







Bitte whlen Sie Ihre Sprache:

Please choose your language:

DeutschEnglish

Welcome to the survey 'Intercultural Communication'
Thank you very much that you take time to participate in this survey!
The aim of this survey is to assess and analyse professional and intercultural communication in the
Financial Sector and to compile a practical handbook of intercultural communication and intercultural
competence for financial consultants.
To fill in the survey, it will take you approximately 15 minutes. Should you have any questions or require
assistance, please do not hesitate to get back to Pascal Eyholzer:
Phone number +41 79 445 79 11.
Anonymity: Your data are dealt with in top secrecy and in a confidential matter. Should you be interested
in the results of the study, you are invited to leave your e-mail address at the end of the survey and we
will provide you with a summary of the results.
There are three different questionnaires. Please choose the questionnaire that corresponds to your
function:
Human Resource Manager
Client Advisor
Project Manager
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Survey for Human Resources Manager
Survey 'Intercultural Communication'
Human Resources Manager

1. What is the percentage of client advisors / task forces in your company who are doing
business with other cultures on a regular basis?

smaller than 5% 5 to 20% 21 to 50% more than 50%

2. How many times a year do they get involved in intercultural business meetings or projects?

less than 10x 10 to 50x 51 and 100x more than 100x

3. Do you offer a special education or training program (internal or external) to these employees
who are getting in contact with other cultures?

Yes No

If 'Yes', what is the name of the program and what are the key aspects and central issues?
Internal program: .......................................................................................................................................
External program: .......................................................................................................................................

Please answer question 4 just in case you answered question 3 with 'Yes'.
If you answered question 3 with 'No', please go ahead with question 5.

4. How many times do these employees get the benefit of participating in such a program
(internal or external) in order to improve their intercultural communication skills?

less than once a year once a year 2 to 5x a year more than 5x a year

5. Which of the following skills are the most significant and decisive factors in order to be
successful in conducting a business meeting with other cultures?
Please mark at maximum 5 skills with a cross.

CRITERION SKILLS

Know-how Bank- or project-specific know-how
Professional and competent behaviour

Customer contact Open-mindedness towards the foreign culture
Effective presentation skills
Knowledge of ways of creating an intense interpersonal
relationship with a person from another specific culture
Long-standing experience in intercultural communication

Communication flexibility Knowledge of the foreign language (Proficiency in linguistic)
Application of the appropriate communication style according to
the culture of the client or according to the situation
Ability and readiness to adapt specific communication models of
the other culture


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Determined interactive actions Task- and goal-oriented actions
Awareness of cultural competences of one's own and their
possible field of application towards the other culture
Ability of self-assertion and independent decision-making in
intercultural conditions

Emotional stability Ability to create interactions with inhabitants of foreign cultures
without anxiety
Proficiency in coping with criticism and failure
Tolerance towards ambiguity, indetermination and indifference
of the negotiating partner

6. In your point of view, how would you rate the following statements according to their
importance for successful intercultural communication in the financial sector?

+2 +1 -1 -2
positive negative

Natural talent for dealing with other cultures
Tolerance towards other customs and habits
Importance of active listening rather than talking
Importance of asserting one's own opinion
Suppression of one's own opinion
Extensive education and preparation in order to gain
intercultural competence
Profit from experience and knowledge of other
client advisors or intercultural managers
Willingness to compromise in intercultural meetings
Punctuality in an intercultural meeting
Developing a relationship with the other culture
Reliability towards the customer
Political and economical stability in the
country of the negotiating partner
Loyalty of the organization comes first
(Personal goals come second)

7. How does the company assess and evaluate the intercultural competence of the task force?

Assessment Workshop
Feedback from other employees Feedback from team leader
Feedback from customer Mouth-to-mouth communication
Customer survey Employee survey
Interview with customer Interview with employee
Duration of the customer business relation No particular assessment or evaluation
Others: ....................................................................................................................................................

8. Does the company have a frame of reference or a handbook of intercultural
communication and intercultural preparation at the employees disposal?

Yes No
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9. What are the most significant problems in intercultural negotiations in your eyes?
Please mark at maximum 3 criteria with a cross.

Insufficient language skills Different perceptions / misunderstandings
Client is too demanding, too high expectations Insufficiently prepared presentations
Intolerance of the client Wrong body-language in intercultural context
Anonymity / impersonality Too many clients per client advisor
Insufficient intercultural preparation / education Prejudices / stereotypes towards the other
culture
Others: ....................................................................................................................................................

10. Do prejudices and stereotypes towards the other culture play an important role in an
international customer relationship?

Yes No

11. Where do you see opportunities and/or threats owing to the increasing globalization and
internationalization for intercultural communication in the financial sector?

.......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................

12. Do you consider intercultural communication an important corporate value?

Yes No Don't know

13. In your eyes and according to your experience, does the majority of candidates for an
international client advisor or manager job have enough experience in intercultural
communication?

Yes No

14. Which methods do you recommend in order to increase the intercultural communication
and cross-cultural competence of the client advisor or manager?

.......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................

15. What I would like to point out in connection with intercultural communication and cross-
cultural competence is that

.......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................

16. Are you interested in the results and the evaluation of the survey?

Yes No
If 'Yes', please indicate your e-mail address: ................................................................................................

Sincere thanks for your cooperation!

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Survey for Client Advisors

Survey 'Intercultural Communication'
Client Advisor
1. How many clients from other cultures do you advise?

less than 100 clients 100 to 150 clients 151 to 200 clients more than 200

2. What is/are the culture(s) you are doing business with on a regular basis?

.......................................................................................................................................................................

3. How many times a year do you get involved in business meetings with this culture?

less than 10x 10 to 50x 51 to 100x more than 100x

4. For how long are you getting in contact with clients from other cultures as regards business?

less than 1 year 1 to 5 years 6 to 10 years more than 10

5. Do you think the country and the culture of the client have a significant influence on his
portfolio risk (volatility) tolerance?

Yes No

If 'Yes', why? Which cultures are the most risk-taking and which are the least risk-taking in your eyes?
.......................................................................................................................................................................

6. Does the duration of the customer relationship vary from one culture to the other?

Yes No

If 'Yes', why? Which cultures are more likely to change the client advisor or the financial institute?
.......................................................................................................................................................................

7. What do you consider as the most significant cultural difference between your culture and the
culture of the client? What are the chances and threats of this difference?

.......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................










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8. Which of the following skills are the most significant and decisive factors in order to be
successful in conducting a business meeting with other cultures?
Please mark at maximum 5 skills with a cross.

CRITERION SKILLS

Know-how Bank-specific know-how
Professional and competent behaviour

Customer contact Open-mindedness towards the foreign culture
Effective presentation skills
Knowledge of ways of creating an intense interpersonal
relationship with a person from another culture
Long-standing experience in intercultural communication

Communication flexibility Knowledge of the foreign language (Proficiency in linguistic)
Application of the appropriate communication style according to
the culture of the client or according to the situation
Ability and readiness to adapt specific communication models of
the other culture

Determined interactive actions Task- and goal-oriented actions
Awareness of cultural competences of one's own and their
possible field of application towards the other culture
Ability of self-assertion and independent decision-making in
intercultural conditions

Emotional stability Ability to create interactions with inhabitants of foreign cultures
without anxiety
Proficiency in coping with criticism and failure
Tolerance towards ambiguity, indetermination and indifference
of the negotiating partner

9. In your point of view, how would you rate the following statements according to their
importance for successful intercultural communication in the financial sector?


+2 +1 -1 -2
positive negative

Natural talent for dealing with other cultures
Tolerance towards other customs and habits
Importance of active listening rather than talking
Importance of asserting one's own opinion
Suppression of one's own opinion
Extensive education and preparation in order to gain
intercultural competence
Profit from experience and knowledge of other
client advisors or intercultural managers
Willingness to compromise in intercultural meetings
Punctuality in an intercultural meeting
Developing a relationship with the other culture
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Reliability towards the customer
Political and economical stability in the
country of the negotiating partner
Loyalty of the organization comes first
(Personal goals come second)

10. How did you prepare yourself before getting in contact with another culture for your first
time?

Internal or external training Intensive language training
Profit from experience of other client advisors TV, media, documentation etc.
Reading of books of the corresponding country Consultation of a handbook of intercultural
communication
Visit of / Stay in the corresponding country No particular preparation
Others: ....................................................................................................................................................

11. Have you already had intercultural business experience before having advised your first
client?

Yes No
No, I've just been abroad for private reasons (holidays, language training etc.)

12. Do you intend to do a language training within the next 3 years?

Yes No Don't know

If 'Yes', which language(s)?
.......................................................................................................................................................................

If 'No', are you going to do another training or education program within the next 3 years?
.......................................................................................................................................................................

13. What are the most important factors to retain a customer from another country / with another
culture?

Professional competence of the client advisor Reputation / rating of the company
Risk tolerance and readiness of being innovative Attractive products and services
High portfolio performance Regular business meetings / calls
'Tailor-made products for the customers' needs Experience of the client advisor in
intercultural business meetings
Knowledge of the other culture Establish an intense relationship with the
client
Others: ......................................................................................................................................................

14. Do prejudices and stereotypes towards the other culture play an important role in an
international customer relationship?

Yes No



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15. Where do you see opportunities and/or threats owing to the increasing globalization and
internationalization for intercultural communication in the financial sector?

.......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................

16. Do you consider intercultural communication an important corporate value?

Yes No Don't know

17. Which methods do you recommend in order to increase the intercultural communication
and cross-cultural competence of a client advisor or manager?

.......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................

18. What I would like to point out in connection with intercultural communication and cross-
cultural competence is that

.......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................

19. Personal information:

What is your sex?
Male Female

Which language is your mother-tongue?
.......................................................................................................................................................................

How old are you?
younger than 30 years between 30 and 45 between 46 and 55 older than 55

20. Are you interested in the results and the evaluation of the survey?

Yes No
If 'Yes', please indicate your e-mail address: ................................................................................................

Sincere thanks for your cooperation!
2ur!ch un!vers!ty of AppI!ed Sc!ences w!nterthur 0I - 0!pIoma Ihes!s 2003
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Survey for Project Manager
Survey 'Intercultural Communication'
Project Manager
1. How many intercultural projects are you in charge of?

less than 2 projects 2 to 5 projects 6 to 10 projects more than 10

2. What is/are the culture(s) you are doing business with on a regular basis?

.......................................................................................................................................................................

3. How many times a year do you get involved in intercultural business meetings or projects?

less than 10x 10 to 50x 51 to 100x more than 100x

4. For how long are you getting in contact with other cultures as regards business?

less than 1 year 1 to 5 years 6 to 10 years more than 10

5. Do you think the country and the culture of the partner has a significant influence on the
success of the project?

Yes No

If 'Yes', why?
.......................................................................................................................................................................

6. Owing to your experience, does the duration of the project vary from one culture to the other?

Yes No

If 'Yes', why? Which cultures are more likely to change the project manager or the financial institute?
.......................................................................................................................................................................

7. What do you consider as the most significant cultural difference between your culture and the
culture of the client? What are the chances and threats of this difference?

.......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................









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8. Which of the following skills are the most significant and decisive factors in order to be
successful in conducting a business meeting or a project with other cultures?
Please mark at maximum 5 skills with a cross.

CRITERION SKILLS

Know-how Project-specific know-how
Professional and competent behaviour

Customer contact Open-mindedness towards the foreign culture
Effective presentation skills
Knowledge of ways of creating an intense interpersonal
relationship with a person from another culture
Long-standing experience in intercultural communication

Communication flexibility Knowledge of the foreign language (Proficiency in linguistic)
Application of the appropriate communication style according to
the culture of the person or according to the situation
Ability and readiness of adapting specific communication
models of the other culture

Determined interactive actions Task- and goal-oriented actions
Consciousness of cultural competences of one's own and their
possible field of application towards the other culture
Ability of self-assertion and independent decision-making in
intercultural conditions

Emotional stability Ability of creating interactions with inhabitants of foreign cultures
without anxiety
Proficiency in coping with criticism and failure
Tolerance towards ambiguity, indetermination and indifference
of the negotiating partner

9. In your point of view, how would you rate the following statements according to their
importance for successful intercultural communication in the financial sector?


+2 +1 -1 -2
positive negative

Natural talent for dealing with other cultures
Tolerance towards other customs and habits
Importance of active listening rather than talking
Importance of asserting one's own opinion
Suppression of one's own opinion
Extensive education and preparation in order to gain
intercultural competence
Profit from experience and knowledge of other
project managers
Willingness to compromise in intercultural meetings
Punctuality in an intercultural meeting
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Developing a relationship with the other culture
Reliability towards the customer
Political and economical stability in the
country of the negotiating partner
Loyalty of the organization comes first
(Personal goals come second)

10. How did you prepare yourself before getting in contact with another culture for your first
time?

Internal or external training Intensive language training
Profit from experience of other project managers TV, media, documentation etc.
Reading of books of the corresponding country Consultation of a handbook of intercultural
communication
Visit of / Stay in the corresponding country No particular preparation
Others: ....................................................................................................................................................

11. Have you already had intercultural business experience before being engaged in intercultural
projects for your first time?

Yes No
No, I've just been abroad for private reasons (holidays, language training etc.)

12. Do you intend to do a language training within the next 3 years?

Yes No Don't know

If 'Yes', which language(s)?
.......................................................................................................................................................................

If 'No', are you going to do another training or education program within the next 3 years?
.......................................................................................................................................................................

13. Do prejudices and stereotypes towards the other culture play an important role in an
intercultural project?

Yes No

14. Where do you see opportunities and/or threats owing to the increasing globalization and
internationalization for intercultural communication in the financial sector?

.......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................

15. Do you consider intercultural communication an important corporate value?

Yes No Don't know




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16. Which methods do you recommend in order to increase the intercultural communication
and cross-cultural competence of a project manager?

.......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................

17. What I would like to point out in connection with intercultural communication and cross-
cultural competence is that

.......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................

18. Personal information:

What is your sex?
Male Female

Which language is your mother-tongue?
.......................................................................................................................................................................

How old are you?
younger than 30 years between 30 and 45 between 46 and 55 older than 55

19. Are you interested in the results and the evaluation of the survey?

Yes No
If 'Yes', please indicate your e-mail address: ................................................................................................

Sincere thanks for your cooperation!

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Appendix B: Interviews with Experts
Interview with a Project Manager
(Interview partner: Schiller Andreas, 23.9.2003)
1. In welchem internationalen Projekt sind Sie gegenwrtig involviert, respektive wann haben Sie
das letzte Mal geschftlich mit anderen Kulturen zu tun gehabt? Beschreiben Sie bitte kurz
dieses Projekt respektive diesen Kontakt!
Ich arbeite momentan an einem internationalen Forschungsprojekt, ein von der EU initiiertes Projekt,
welches auch zur Hlfte von der EU finanziert wird. Die Winterthur ist ein User Partner des
Endprodukts, wobei zustzlich folgende sechs Partner in dieses Projekt involviert sind:
ein Partner aus Spanien; die Technical University of Madrid (UPM, Intelligent System Research
Group), welche fr die knstliche Intelligenz (Artificial Intelligence) zustndig ist,
zwei Partner aus Deutschland; die Fraunhofer IPSI (Integrated Publication and Information
Systems Institute), welche unter anderem Komponente fr die knstliche Intelligenz liefert, sowie
die linguatec GmbH (Language Technologies; ein Spin-off von IBM), welche zusammen mit dem
Fraunhofer Institut verantwortlich ist fr die Sprachkomponenten: Sprachgenerierung,
Spracherkennung und bersetzung,
ein Partner aus England/Bulgarien; die AvatarMe Ltd. (3D-Avatar-Spezialist), welche fr 3D-
Komponenten zustndig ist,
ein Partner aus der Schweiz; die Pixelpark (Schweiz) AG (Interactive Communication), welche als
'Vater' des Projektes 'VIP Advisor' und als Integrator und Koordinator des gesamten Projektes
bezeichnet werden kann,
ein Partner aus Griechenland; die Mellon Technologies (Advanced Technology and Business
Consulting), welche aus dem Finanzsektor stammt und den Lead im Projektmanagement haben.

Ziel des Projektes: Entwicklung eines virtuellen Versicherungsberaters (cf. appendix C)

2. Welche Probleme oder Hindernisse treten im geschftlichen Umgang mit anderen Kulturen
primr auf? Wie werden solche interkulturellen Probleme gelst oder verhindert?
Primres Problem im interkulturellen Umgang ist sicher die Sprache: Englisch ist nicht bei allen
Projektpartnern ausreichend. Kommt hinzu, dass man sich in einer anderen Sprache nicht so
ausdrcken kann wie in der Muttersprache: es braucht 2-3 Mal so viel Zeit, wie wenn man das
Gleiche auf Deutsch erklren knnte. Und auch dann gibt es immer wieder Missverstndnisse,
welche die Projektdauer in die Lnge ziehen.
Zudem hat man oft auch Terminprobleme mit anderen Kulturen, da diese oft den Termin nicht ernst
nehmen respektive die Pnktlichkeit anderer Kulturen zu Wnschen brig lsst. Aber nicht nur die
kulturellen lnderspezifischen Unterschiede sind zum Teil problematisch sondern auch die
Unterschiede in Bezug auf die Organisation, in welcher die Teilnehmer arbeiten.
Beispiel 1: Bei Teilnehmern aus Non-Profit Organisationen (NPO's) hat man zu Beginn das Gefhl,
dass diese ein geringeres Interesse am Projekt aufweisen, im Vergleich zu Teilnehmern die aus einer
privatwirtschaftlichen Organisation kommen.
Beispiel 2: Bei Sitzungen und bilateralen Gesprchen muss man sich insofern darauf einstellen, dass
gerade in Spanien der Arbeitstag erst nach 10.00 Uhr beginnt, wohingegen wir Schweizer es
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gewohnt sind, dass man um 8.00 Uhr zu arbeiten beginnt. Wenn man sich dann zum Beispiel um
10.00 mit spanischen Projektpartnern geschftlich verabredet, treffen oft einige Teilnehmer bis zu
einer halbe Stunde spter ein.
3. Wie werden in Ihrem Unternehmen die Mitarbeiter respektive die Projektteams, welche mit
anderen Kulturen geschftlich in Kontakt treten, auf solche interkulturellen Verhandlungen /
Projekte vorbereitet oder ausgebildet?
Ich bin von der Winterthur berhaupt nicht spezifisch auf dieses internationale Projekt vorbereitet
worden. Selbstverstndlich wurde ich aber immer von meinem Chef untersttzt und konnte von
seinen Erfahrungen profitieren. Im Laufe des letzten Jahres habe ich dann noch diverse
Projektmanagementkurse sowie Sprachkurse (vor allem Englisch und etwas Spanisch) besucht.
4. Sind Sie Ihrer Ansicht nach ausreichend auf das internationale Projekt sprich den
interkulturellen Austausch vorbereitet gewesen respektive von Ihrer Unternehmung gengend
ausgebildet worden?
Ich persnlich habe keine Mhe mit interkulturellem Austausch. Einziges Problem war zu Beginn die
Sprache (Englischkenntnisse). Dieses Problem habe ich aber insofern bewltigt, als dass ich meine
Hemmungen abgelegt habe und in der fremden Sprache, unter Inkaufnahme der erhhten
Fehlerquote beim Reden oder Schreiben, einfach drauf los geredet und geschrieben habe. Ich
persnlich bin der Meinung, dass der Schweizer tendenziell gehemmt ist und es im interkulturellen
Projektmanagement wichtig ist, dass man diese Hemmungen ablegt und sich durchsetzen kann.
Beispiel: Im Vergleich zu den Deutschen sind wir Schweizer eher zurckhaltend, wir brauchen lnger
bis wir uns wohl fhlen. Der Deutsche redet einfach drauflos, unabhngig ob all seine Aussagen
hundertprozentig korrekt sind.
5. Welche anderen oder zustzlichen Methoden in Bezug auf die Ausbildung und Untersttzung
im Zusammenhang mit der interkulturellen Kommunikation schlagen Sie vor?
Wie bereits erwhnt, erachte ich die Sprachkenntnisse als wichtigsten Aspekt. Zudem muss man sich
schnell anpassen und integrieren knnen. Ich persnlich bevorzuge sdlndische und deutsche
Kulturen.
Haben Sie bevor Sie dieses internationale Projekt in Angriff genommen haben, bereits
interkulturelle Erfahrungen auf geschftlicher oder privater Basis gesammelt?
Nein, ich war vorher geschftlich nie im Ausland, auch nicht fr einen Sprachaufenthalt. Erst im
Verlaufe des Projektes hat die Unternehmung einen 4-wchigen Sprachaufenthalt in England
finanziert, wo ich meine Englischkenntnisse verbessern konnte.
Wie bereiten Sie sich persnlich auf interkulturelle Meetings vor?
Ich bereite mich grundstzlich genau gleich und ganz normal vor, wie wenn das Meeting in der
Schweiz wre.
6. Welche Bedeutung messen sie der interkulturellen Kommunikationsfhigkeit und der
interkulturellen, sozialen Kompetenz im Projektmanagement respektive im Umgang mit
Projektmanagern aus anderen Lndern mit anderen Kulturen bei?
Gerade bei grsseren Abhngigkeiten gegenber verschiedener Projektpartner mit verschiedenen
Kulturen muss man der Kommunikation und indirekt auch dem Zeitmanagement enorme Beachtung
schenken.
7. Wie definieren Sie interkulturelle Kommunikationsfhigkeit und interkulturelle Kompetenz?
Ich definiere dies als die Fhigkeit, durch berwindung von Sprach- und Kulturbarrieren und
korrektes Verhalten das Projektziel erreichen zu knnen.
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8. Welche Fhigkeiten muss ein Mitarbeiter mitbringen, der sich geschftlich in verschiedenen
Kulturen bewegen muss?
Geduld
Fhigkeit, Feingefhl und Sensitivitt fr andere Kulturen zu entwickeln
Fachkompetenz
Gerade wenn man nach dem Universittsstudium direkt in ein solch interkulturelles Projekt involviert
wird, hat man anfangs ein mulmiges Gefhl und fhlt sich zum Teil berfordert, wenn man
beispielsweise allein nach Spanien und Deutschland reisen und auf Englisch mit diesen Partnern
kommunizieren und verhandeln muss. Ich habe fr mich persnlich herausgefunden, dass
Geschftsreisen in andere Lnder fr mich zu aufwendig und zu stressig sind. Ich bin durchschnittlich
2 Mal pro Monat geschftlich im Ausland und vor allem was das Reisen anbelangt bereits in der
Sttigungsphase.
9. Wie wichtig sind die Kenntnisse und das Beherrschen der Sprache der anderen Kultur fr den
Erfolg des Projekts respektive der Beziehung zu den Projektpartnern?
In den meisten Fllen ist die Kommunikationssprache des Projektes Englisch. Bei Konsortium- und
Projektreviewmeetings wird ausschliesslich Englisch gesprochen, whrend sich die Projektpartner in
bilateralen, kleineren Meetings entweder der englischen Sprache oder selten der entsprechenden
Landessprache bedienen. Wenn ich beispielsweise im Rahmen des Projektes geschftlich nach
Spanien gehe, kommunizieren wir in Englisch und nicht in Spanisch, da ich Spanisch noch zu wenig
gut beherrsche.
Wichtig ist, dass man sich auf eine Sprache einigt, die von der Mehrheit der Beteiligten am Projekt
am Besten verstanden wird, also meistens Englisch.
10. Welche Rolle spielen Stereotypen beziehungsweise Vorurteile in der interkulturellen
Kommunikation mit anderen Kulturen?? Welchen Einfluss hat die Kultur (Ursprungsland) des
Kunden?
Man muss die Stereotypen zum vorneherein kennen und sich mit Ihnen auseinandersetzen, damit
man auf den entsprechenden Stereotyp reagieren kann. Ich bin der Meinung, dass die kulturellen
Unterschiede in Europa nicht so gross sind, da es mehrheitlich eine christliche Kultur ist, wo alle mehr
oder weniger die gleichen oder hnliche Werte haben. Die unterschiedliche Einteilung des Tages ist
sicherlich ein Problem, aber im Vergleich zu Verhandlungen mit Teilnehmern aus Japan, Pakistan
sind die Unterschiede diesbezglich in Europa nicht so markant.
11. Welches sind Ihrer Meinung nach die Auswirkungen (Chancen und Gefahren) der
zunehmenden Globalisierung und Internationalisierung auf die interkulturelle Kommunikation
und interkulturelle Kompetenz der Kundenberater respektive der Projektteams?
Als positiv respektive als Chance erachte ich die Tatsache, dass man dank der Globalisierung die
besten Eigenschaften aus verschiedenen Kulturen eruieren und somit bei der Projektbildung ein
produktives und kreatives Team formen kann. Hier komme ich nochmals auf die Stereotypen zu
sprechen: Spanier haben mehr Geduld, Deutsche messen bekanntlich der Genauigkeit grosse
Bedeutung bei und Schweizer sind bekannt fr Ihre Pnktlichkeit.
Gefahren sehe ich in der zunehmenden Komplexitt; man hat immer hufiger nicht nur mit
verschiedenen Personen und verschiedenen Charakteren zu tun sondern auch mit verschiedenen
Kulturen, was das Projektmanagement und die interkulturelle Zusammenarbeit generell komplexer
und schwieriger macht.
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Interview with two Human Resources Managers
(Interview partners: Paul Schneider; Thomas Gubser, 25.9.2003)
1. Wie definieren Sie aufgrund Ihrer persnlichen Erfahrung und aufgrund Ihres Wissensstandes
interkulturelle Kommunikationsfhigkeit und interkulturelle Kompetenz?
Generell muss man sicher einmal festhalten, dass eine Definition von interkultureller
Kommunikationsfhigkeit oder interkultureller Kompetenz je nach Land variiert. Wir [UBS] haben auf
der einen Seite ein internationales und auf der anderen Seite ein domestic-orientiertes Wealth
Management. International bedeutet, dass Gelder in der Schweiz oder auch in Luxemburg, New
Jersey oder Monaco von UBS-Kunden ausserhalb der Schweiz gebucht werden. Daneben existiert
das domestic-orientierte Private Banking, wo beispielsweise der Kunde aus England in England
betreut wird und in England bucht. Das Domestic Wealth Management wird vor allem in Europa,
Asien und Sdamerika stark forciert, da das Domestic Wealth Management heute aus verschiedenen
Grnden wichtiger wird: Erstens ist Europa heute sehr gut aufgebaut, d.h. viele Lnder Frankreich
oder Spanien als Beispiel stellen heute nicht mehr wie noch vor zwanzig Jahren ein erhhtes Risiko
dar. Dadurch fliesst aber auch Geld, das frher in der Schweiz angelegt worden ist, zurck in diese
Lnder. Wie die Tax Amnesties in Italien und Deutschland gezeigt haben, fliesst das Geld vor allem
aus rechtlichen berlegungen und auf Druck verschiedener Regierungen mindestens zu einem
gewissen Teil zurck. Zweitens kommt der lokalen Prsenz eine immer grssere Bedeutung zu.
Beispielsweise sind aus Italien Gelder von etwa 15-20 Milliarden an die UBS zurckgeflossen, was
ohne lokale Prsenz sicher mit viel grsserem Aufwand verbunden gewesen wre. In diesem
Zusammenhang kann sicher auch die Europa-Initiative erwhnt werden: Hier werden momentan etwa
1500 Anlageberater primr aus den Lndern Deutschland, Frankreich, Spanien, England und Italien
angestellt, um die lokale Prsenz in diesen Lndern zu erhhen. Hier sind wir sicher mit Abstand
fhrend. Ein weiterer Grund fr die zunehmende Bedeutung des Domestic Wealth Management liegt
sicher darin, dass ein Durchschnittskunde im Wealth Management ein Alter von ber 60 hat und
dadurch das Geld aufgrund von Erbfolgen oder Zurcktreten eines Patriarchen angelegt wird.
Interkulturell ist es jetzt so, dass ein Schweizer Anlageberater mit gebrochenen Spanisch-
Kenntnissen der nach Spanien geschickt wird nicht den gleichen Erfolg haben wird wie ein
einheimischer Spanier, welcher den lokalen Markt und die Leute dort kennt, gesellschaftlich voll
integriert ist und dadurch ber ein ausgezeichnetes Beziehungsnetz verfgt. Im internationalen
Umfeld ist es daher sicher wichtig, dass ein ausgeprgtes kulturelles Verstndnis beim
Kundenberater vorhanden ist. Was die spezifische interkulturelle Kommunikations- und
Kompetenzausbildung betrifft, machen wir wahrscheinlich immer noch zu wenig in diesem Bereich.
Aber die Leute wachsen ja auch in diesen Mrkten auf, d.h. wir nehmen die Leute (beispielsweise
Universittsabsolventen) zuerst einmal als Assistenten im Wealth Management International auf.
Dabei lernen diese zuerst einmal mit diesen Kulturen umzugehen. Wir haben auch viele 'Expatriates
Assignments', beispielsweise in Asien. Bezglich interkultureller Kommunikation in asiatischen
Umfeld ist interessanterweise hervorzuheben, dass die Chinesen oder Taiwanesen aus Prinzip
keinen lokalen Anlageberater wollen, sondern einen Schweizer aus verschiedenen Grnden
bevorzugen: Ein Grund liegt sicher darin, dass sie sich dadurch wohler fhlen, weil sie nicht wollen,
dass ihre Kollegen aus dem eigenen Land/Region ber ihre Vermgensverhltnisse Bescheid
wissen. Deshalb sehen sie sich auch lieber international nach einem Berater um, beispielsweise
einem Schweizer, der eine andere Kultur hat. Ein weiterer Grund ist sicher das Prestige: Es kann
dann betont werden, dass man Kunde bei der grssten Vermgensverwaltungsbank der Welt sei und
der Kundenberater extra aus der Schweiz anreise, um einen im Ausland zu besuchen und zu
beraten. In Bezug auf die internationale und interkulturelle Prsenz der UBS kann darauf
hingewiesen werden, dass wir in den 60 Standorten in verschiedenen Lndern unterschiedliche
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Kommunikationen und unterschiedliche Fhrungsstile sowie unterschiedliche Arten vorfinden,
Entscheidungen zu fllen. Obwohl man sehr international ausgerichtet ist, ist alles sehr lokal geprgt.
Dieser Tatsache muss man Rechnung tragen; zumindest bis zu einem gewissen Mass.
2. Verfgt Ihrer Meinung nach und aufgrund Ihrer Erfahrung, die Mehrheit der potentiellen
Kandidaten fr einen Kundenberater- oder Projektmanagementjob im internationalen Umfeld
ber gengend Erfahrung in der interkulturellen Kommunikation?
Interkulturelle Kommunikation kann man nicht lernen, sondern man muss es erfahren. Ich bin selber
auch 6 Jahre in Japan gewesen, was fr mich einen grossen Kulturschock darstellte. Weiter war ich
lngere Zeit in Hongkong, London und Singapur. Jedes Land stellt andere Anforderungen an die
interkulturelle Kommunikationsfhigkeit und geht man nach Sdamerika, dann ist alles nochmals
anders. Wie bereits erwhnt, kann man interkulturelle Kommunikation und Kompetenz nicht lernen,
sondern man muss die Bereitschaft haben in einem anderen Land mitzuhelfen, sich in diese Kultur
einzuleben und zu akzeptieren, dass es anders ist als zu Hause. Man kann einen Chinesen oder
Japaner nicht ndern, so dass er seine Nudeln nicht mehr schlrft, nur weil man jetzt Schweizer ist
und dieses Verhalten als negativ erachtet. Man muss es akzeptieren knnen. Bei der Auswahl der
Leute geht es uns deshalb primr darum, dass man Mitarbeiter in fremde Lnder schickt, welche die
'Cultural Awareness' (kulturelles Bewusstsein) oder zumindest die Offenheit haben, etwas anderes zu
lernen und zu akzeptieren. Fr Mitarbeiter, die ins Ausland gehen, fhren wir interkulturelle Seminare
durch. Diese werden von Einheiten durchgefhrt, die fr die 'Expatriates Assignments' verantwortlich
sind. Man versucht dabei auch, die Leute mglichst gut zu integrieren und darauf vorzubereiten. Ist
diese Bereitschaft nicht vorhanden, nutzen die Seminare natrlich nichts. Wir brauchen Leute, die
hinausgehen und dann auch wieder zurckkommen und diese kulturelle Erfahrung zurckbringen.
Wir haben etwa 180 'Expatriates Assignments', vor allem in Asien (hauptschlich Hongkong,
Singapur, Taiwan und Korea, nicht aber in Japan) und Sdamerika angesiedelt. Die Hauptttigkeit
der UBS im asiatischen Bereich befindet sich aber in Hongkong und Singapur. Von dort aus wird der
grsste Teil des Business im innerchinesischen Raum geleitet. Von Singapur aus, werden auch
Thailand, Indonesien und die Philippinen abgedeckt.
3. Welche Bedeutung / Stellenwert messen sie der interkulturellen Kommunikationsfhigkeit und
der interkulturellen, sozialen Kompetenz als strategisch wichtiger Corporate Value im
Finanzdienstleistungssektor im Umgang mit Kunden aus anderen Lndern mit anderen
Kulturen bei?
Interkulturelle Kommunikationsfhigkeit ist sicher ein wichtiger Corporate Value im
Finanzdienstleistungssektor, aber nicht der wichtigste. Die Fachkompetenz und Fhigkeit, Neugeld
zu generieren sind wichtiger.
4. Welche Fhigkeiten muss ein Mitarbeiter mitbringen, der sich geschftlich in verschiedenen
Kulturen bewegen muss? Wie sieht konkret das Anforderungsprofil eines Kundenberaters im
Wealth Management International aus?
Die Hauptanforderung ist in erster Linie nicht kultureller Art. Die wichtigste Eigenschaft, die ein
Kundenberater mitbringen muss ist die Zielerfllung, d.h. Kunden und Neugelder akquirieren und
gewinnbringend verwalten zu knnen. Die Hauptziele sind vorwiegend ausgerichtet auf 'Net New
Money Production'. Im Moment boomt Asien wieder und wir sind sehr erfolgreich in Asien, und zwar
nicht nur aufgrund unseres Namens und der Tatsache, dass wir die Nr.1 sind, sondern auch weil die
Performance stimmt. Dies ist unter anderem sicher darauf zurckzufhren, dass wir eine gute sales
force (Kundenberater/Verkufer), ein gutes Management und eine gute Distribution etc. haben. Die
Anforderungen an einen Kundenberater sind nicht nur, dass er sehr kommunikativ ist und
Verstndnis fr die lokalen Kulturen aufbringt, sondern vor allem auch, dass er analytisch denken
kann, gerne Verantwortung bernimmt und rasch ein Geschft abschliessen kann. Zudem muss er
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mit Kunden umgehen knnen, wobei hier nicht nur die soziale Kompetenz eine Rolle spielt, sondern
auch die Fhigkeit zum 'Networking' (Aufbau von Beziehungsnetzen). Autoritt auf der
Kommunikationsebene und Cultural Awareness sind unerlssliche Voraussetzungen, die der
Kundenberater mitbringen muss. Auf der anderen Seite zhlen, wie bereits betont, fr den
Kundenberater ganz klar die Resultate und die Performance, die er liefert. Im Ausland ist es vor allem
'Net New Money' und wie viel Basispunkte er auf diesen Kundengelder generiert. Dies ist aber wieder
von Land zu Land verschieden. Beispielsweise muss man dem Chinesen oder den Sdamerikaner,
je nach dem wie viel Geld er bringt, einen Discount geben. Dies hngt mit der Hndlermentalitt in
diesen Lndern ab, was in Europa weniger der Fall ist. Deshalb muss der Kundenberater Cultural
Awareness und Verstndnis fr eine andere Kultur aufbringen. Um erfolgreich zu sein, sollte er diese
Kultur gern haben.
Bei der Auswahl der Kundenberater spielen zwei Komponenten eine wichtige Rolle: Entweder
braucht man jemanden sofort, oder es handelt sich um eine Career Development Angelegenheit; die
UBS nimmt keine Anlageberater, die noch nie im Ausland gewesen sind und gerade
Universittsabsolventen mssen sehr gute Sprachkenntnisse mitbringen. Selbstverstndlich sind
unter den bestehenden 3'500 Kundenberater, die wir hier im Wealth Management International
betreuen, noch einige ltere Kundenberater, die vor Ihrer Kundenberaterkarriere keine Ausland
Erfahrungen gehabt haben. Wenn aber heute potentielle junge Kundenberater in das UBS
Vorbereitungsprogramm 'Junior Key People' (JKP) kommen wollen, mssen Sie Ausland Erfahrung
mitbringen. Falls sie in dieser 1 jhrigen Trainingsphase vom Linienmanager als 'high potential'
(JKP mit berdurchschnittlichen Leistungen) markiert werden, gibt man diesen Leuten meistens dann
auch die Mglichkeit, international fr die UBS ttig zu sein und geschftlich internationale
Erfahrungen zu sammeln.
Man muss in diesem Zusammenhang aber noch ganz klar festhalten, dass ein Schweizer
Kundenberater seinen grssten Wert in der Schweiz hat und der Japaner seinen grssten Wert in
Japan hat. Da Auslandeinstze von Kundenberater eine grosse Investition und sehr teuer sind,
kommt der Vorevaluation entsprechend grosse Bedeutung zu; man schickt nur die besten Leute
whrend der Trainingsphase ins Ausland, damit man sicher sein kann, dass diese die hohen
Erwartungen erfllen und die Resultate liefern respektive einen Mehrwert fr die UBS generieren
knnen.
5. Wie wichtig sind das Wissen ber die andere Kultur und das Beherrschen der Sprache der
anderen Kultur fr den Erfolg der Kundenbeziehung respektive des Projekts?
Das Beherrschen der lokalen Sprache ist meistens nicht so wichtig, aber dafr sollte man Englisch
perfekt beherrschen. Sowohl in Hongkong wie auch in Singapur wird Englisch gesprochen.
Ausserdem haben wir in der Regel ausschliesslich Kunden, die unsere Internationalitt wollen. Wir
betreuen international nur sehr vermgende Kunden. Wir sind eine private Bank und haben
entsprechend grosse Ansprche an die Leute, die Geld bei uns anlegen mchten. Entsprechend
verkaufen wir unsere Services auch aufgrund der Tatsachen, dass wir international sind und ein
grosses Netzwerk haben und zwar nicht nur bei Private Banking Services, sondern auch bei
Investment Banking Services.
6. Wie werden in Ihrem Unternehmen die Mitarbeiter respektive die Projektteams, welche mit
anderen Kulturen geschftlich in Kontakt treten, auf solche interkulturellen Verhandlungen /
Kundenbeziehungen vorbereitet oder ausgebildet?
Kundenberater, die ins Ausland gehen, mssen hohe Erwartungen erfllen und brauchen ein gutes
Management und ein gutes Coaching, da man in ein neues Umfeld, in eine neue Kultur eintritt.
Gerade in den speziellen 'Expatriate Locations' braucht es eine intensive Vorbereitung, da man sonst
ja jemand lokal anstellen knnte. Die UBS bietet dazu interne interkulturelle Vorbereitungsseminare
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(Cultural Awareness Programme) an, wo zudem externe Consultants / Experten hinzu gezogen
werden. Wichtig ist, dass man sich als Kundenberater sofort integriert und richtig gefhrt und vor
allem am Anfang richtig gecoacht wird; hier geht es in erster Linie um einen Leadership Issue. Die
einen schaffen es, die anderen nicht, was oft auch zu Kndigungen fhrt. Man muss aber
eingestehen, dass die UBS keine intensive Vorbereitung macht. Vielleicht auch weil man davon
ausgeht, dass der interkulturelle Manager entweder erfolgreich ist oder man es sonst sowieso nicht
schafft. Aber die meisten sind erfolgreich. Wichtig ist, dass man Kundenberater anstellt, die
technische Fhigkeiten und soziale Kompetenz mitbringen und dadurch ein 'Added Value' (Mehrwert)
sind fr die UBS.
7. Welche Probleme oder Hindernisse treten im geschftlichen Umgang mit anderen Kulturen
primr auf? Wie werden solche interkulturellen Probleme gelst oder verhindert?
Ein Problem ist sicher, dass wenn man grosse Kundenberaterteams hat, vor allem in Europa wo man
jedes Jahr rund 50% neue Client Advisors meistens von einer anderen Bank mit einer anderen Kultur
anstellt, oftmals eine bestimmte Kultur (z.B. Citibank Kultur) in einem Team dominiert. In solchen
Fllen ist es wichtig, dass man diese Teams mit 'Expatriates' respektive mit anderen Kulturen
'auflockert'. Entscheidend ist auch, dass sich die Kundenberater mit der Unternehmung identifizieren
knnen und stolz sein knnen, fr die UBS ttig zu sein.
Ein weiteres Problem ist sicher, dass die UBS in gewissen Lndern (z.B. Japan), wo sie weniger
stark vertreten ist, an die besten, potentiellen Kundenberater gar nicht herankommt, da diese lieber
zu lokalen Banken gehen. In diesem Zusammenhang kann man auf den Diversity Aspekt schliessen,
z.B. ist der Frauenanteil in der Schweiz bei den UBS Kundenberatern relativ hoch, da diese in der
Schweiz sehr erfolgreich sind, wohingegen in China oder Japan weniger Frauen UBS-Kunden
beraten, da diese hier aufgrund des Hierarchieprinzips weniger erfolgreich sind. Dies besttigt die
Politik der UBS, dass man den Diversity Aspekt erfolgreich anwendet.
Problematisch ist sicher auch noch, dass man bei lngerer geschftlicher Auseinandersetzung mit
einer anderen Kultur oder wenn man sogar lngere Zeit in einer anderen Kultur im Ausland lebt, sich
unwillkrlich dieser Kultur anpasst und sich dadurch gleichzeitig der eigenen Kultur entfremdet fhlt.
Daher ist es wichtig, die andere Kultur zu akzeptieren, was aber nicht heisst, dass man diese Kultur
bernehmen soll. Denn dadurch erscheint man auf beiden Seiten unglaubwrdig.
8. Welche Rolle spielen Stereotypen beziehungsweise Vorurteile in der interkulturellen
Kommunikation mit anderen Kulturen? Welchen Einfluss hat die Kultur (Ursprungsland) des
Kunden?
In diesem Zusammenhang gilt es zwei Komponenten zu erwhnen: Erstens sind viele potentielle
Kundenberater zwar kurz nach dem Universittsabschluss sehr mobil. Sobald es dann aber ein paar
Jahre spter darum geht, einige Jahr ins Ausland arbeiten zu gehen, sind die wenigsten bereit,
diesen Schritt zu vollziehen und im Rahmen eines Grosseinsatzes in jungen Jahren im Ausland
anzupacken (Ausreden: Grossmutter krank, Freundin etc..). Hingegen sind 3 bis 4-monatige
Sprachaufenthalte sehr beliebt. Zweitens werden aufgrund der Stereotypen und aufgrund gewisser
Vorurteile oder Prferenzen gewisse Destinationen wie Amerika oder London bevorzugt. Asien oder
Sdamerika sind fr die Uni-Absolventen zu risikobehaftet und zu weit von der Heimat entfernt.
Oftmals ist die Erwartungshaltung des Kundenberaters gegenber einer anderen Kultur, auch unter
Druck, sehr gross und viele sind nur bereit, ins Ausland arbeiten zu gehen, wenn sie entsprechend
hhere Salre oder zustzliche 'Benefits' (Vorteile) erhalten. Frage: Was sind meine 'Benefits' wenn
ich vom Ausland zurckkehre?
Persnliche Erfahrung: Nachdem ich ein Jahr auf der Bank gearbeitet habe, wurde ich nach Japan
geschickt. Als ich anfangs meinen japanischen Chef andeutete, dass ich gerne Japanisch lernen
mchte, hat er mich ausgelacht und gesagt, ich sei doch ein Schweizer und sei hier um zu arbeiten
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und nicht zum Sprachen lernen. Nach einigem Zgern hat er dann aber trotzdem zugestimmt und ich
konnte meine Cultural Awareness verbessern. Offiziell sollte ich eigentlich rund 6 Monate dort
arbeiten, aber schlussendlich sind es 6 Jahre geworden, ich habe die Region und ein Team von
100 Mitarbeitern bernommen und auf 1000 Leute ausgebaut.
9. Welches sind Ihrer Meinung nach die Auswirkungen (Chancen und Gefahren) der
zunehmenden Globalisierung und Internationalisierung auf die interkulturelle Kommunikation
und interkulturelle Kompetenz der Kundenberater respektive der Projektteams?
Erstens einmal muss man erkennen, dass Globalisierung ein langwieriger Prozess ist, welcher nicht
von einem Tag auf den anderen erfolgt. Zudem kommt es stark darauf an, wie man organisiert ist,
d.h. ob man eine regionale, lokale oder funktionale Struktur hat. Die UBS hat eine funktionale
Struktur mit einer eingebauten lokalen und regionalen Ebene. Globalisierung hat einen grossen
Einfluss auf den Finanzdienstleistungssektor, vor allem auf den Investment Bereich, wo man
Transaktionen 24h rund um die Welt (von Europa nach Amerika und von Amerika nach Asien und
wieder nach Europa) vornimmt. Sobald die Investment Banker realisieren, dass alle diese UBS-Leute
in den verschiedenen Lndern auf einem Bonus Pot sitzen, dann rauft man sich sehr rasch
zusammen, da spielt die Kultur keine Rolle mehr. Im Gegensatz dazu ist das Wealth Management ein
sehr persnlichkeits- und kontaktbezogenes Business, ein sog. 'People Business' mit einer sehr
starken lokalen Komponente.
Globalisierung geht vor allem aufgrund der technischen Entwicklung weiter.
10. Was sind in Ihren Augen die wichtigsten Trends und Entwicklungen im Zusammenhang mit
interkultureller Kommunikation im Finanzdienstleistungssektor?
Ich denke, dass immer alles komplexer, anspruchsvoller und internationaler wird, welches mit
Neuerungen einhergeht, die von den Kundenberatern und vom Mensch generell gemieden werden.
Bezogen auf die Kultur ist auch neu, dass der Schweizer nicht gewohnt ist 'an die Scke zu gehen';
der zuknftige Kundenberater muss ein 'Hunter' sein, d.h., er muss aktiv um Neugeld kmpfen. Da
sich die Rechtslage ndert und der weltweite Konkurrenzkampf zunimmt, ist es wichtig, dass der
Schweizer Kundenberater weniger zurckhaltend ist und vermehrt aus eigener Initiative auf den
Kunden zugeht. Also kann man sagen, dass die Ansprche im Finanzdienstleistungssektor vor allem
in der Schweiz sicher hher werden.
Nicht nur sind die Zielsetzungen an den Kundenberater hher und aggressiver geworden, es reicht
auch nicht mehr aus, ein guter Kollege des Chefs zu sein oder sich herauszureden; was zhlt, sind
Zahlen. Deshalb muss man den Kundenberater vermehrt auf Neuakquisitionen ('Hunter-Mentalitt')
einstellen. Dies ist fr die Schweizer sicher neu und bringt einen Wandel in der Kultur der Schweizer
mit sich: Man unterscheidet zwischen 'Hunters' und 'Farmers'. Beide sind wichtig, aber beide mssen
Geschfte abschliessen. Der 'Hunter-Kundenberater' geht und holt sich neue Kunden. Es reicht nicht
mehr aus, die Kundengelder einfach zu verwalten und mit dem Kunden zu reden. Der 'Farmer-
Kundenberater' muss daher schauen, dass er mehr Gewinne auf seinen Geldern produziert und eine
aggressivere Verkaufspolitik verfolgt. Die Erwartungshaltung bei der UBS nimmt immer mehr zu, da
die UBS immer grsser und globaler wird. Hier hat die UBS eine 'Hiring & Firing Reputation'. Dies hat
insofern eine positive Auswirkung als das nur diejenigen Kundenberater zur Bank kommen, die
Risiken eingehen. Schlussendlich sind im heutigen interkulturellen und konkurrenzstarken Umfeld nur
diejenigen Kundenberater erfolgreich, die auch aggressiv sind. Es ist daher wichtig, solche Leute
einzustellen und hier hat die UBS sehr grosse Fortschritte gemacht.
Gemss Aussage von Ihnen, Herr Schneider lastet dem Schweizer das Stereotyp des
verwhnten und oftmals zurckhaltenden Kundenberaters an. Wie geht die UBS mit diesem
Stereotyp um?
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Der Kundenberater wird darauf ausgebildet, dass der Fokus ganz klar kunden- und serviceorientiert
ist und er zuerst einmal ganz klar die Kundenbedrfnisse abklren muss: Nur der Kunde bringt uns
Geld. Der Kunde steht im Mittelpunkt. In diesem Zusammenhang muss er sich unter anderem
zwingend folgende Fragen stellen: Wie will der Kunde anlegen? Ist er eher konservativ oder
risikofreudig? Wie sieht seine Situation konkret aus? Mit Hilfe so genannten 'Client Contact Programs'
wurde diese an sich einfache Orientierung bei der UBS schematisiert und gefrdert.
Im Ausland sind unsere Client Advisors viel aggressiver. Deshalb hat man jetzt auch hier in der
Schweiz Massnahmen in dieser Hinsicht getroffen, der Kunde soll vermehrt aktiv auf die Kunden
zugehen.

Telephone Interview with a Human Resources Manager
(Interview partner: Lars Van den Bosch, 1.10.2003)
1. Wie definieren Sie aufgrund Ihrer persnlichen Erfahrung und aufgrund Ihres Wissenstandes
interkulturelle Kommunikationsfhigkeit und interkulturelle Kompetenz?
Ich bin der Ansicht, dass jemand interkulturell kompetent ist, sobald er weiss, wie er sich in einem
anderen kulturellen Umfeld zu bewegen hat und er die Bereitschaft hat oder besser noch grosses
Interesse aufweist, eine andere Kultur kennen zu lernen und dieser neuen Kultur mit Toleranz,
Interesse und Anpassungsfhigkeit gegenberzutreten.
Gleichzeitig erachte ich es aber als wichtig, die eigene Identitt und seine Ziele nicht aus den Augen
zu verlieren.
2. Verfgt Ihrer Meinung nach und aufgrund Ihrer Erfahrung, die Mehrheit der Kandidaten fr
einen Kundenberater- oder Projektmanagementjob im internationalen Umfeld ber gengend
Erfahrung in der interkulturellen Kommunikation?
Ich kann hier vor allem aus meiner persnlichen beruflichen Erfahrung im Privat Banking berichten:
Viele unserer Mitarbeiter die ins Ausland entsandt werden, arbeiten bereits in der Schweiz an den
verschiedenen Lnderdesks (e.g. Taiwan, Germany, Italy etc.) und haben z.T. enge Verbindungen zu
den einzelnen Lndern und beherrschen z.T. auch die Sprachen. Daher kann die Frage mit Ja
beantwortet werden.
In Bezug auf meine Erfahrungen die ich in Asien gemacht habe, das nun wirklich in den meisten
Belangen anders funktioniert wie bei uns, ist gerade das Managen eine Kunst. Kommt man vllig
unvorbereitet nach Asien und je nach Auftrag den man erhlt, kann das so ziemlich schief
herauskommen. Ich mchte aber festhalten, dass man dies nicht generell als Nachteil ansehen kann.
Intern braucht es halt z.T. einen 'anderen' Approach um etwas vorwrts zu bringen. Ich bin zwar kein
Kundenberater, aber die Kunden haben sich ja auch fr eine CH-Bank entschieden und drften in der
Regel auch eher international ausgerichtet sein (immer mehr) und eine dementsprechende Flexibilitt
an den Tag legen.
3. Welche Bedeutung / Stellenwert messen sie der interkulturellen Kommunikationsfhigkeit und
der interkulturellen, sozialen Kompetenz als strategisch wichtiger Corporate Value im Wealth
Management im Umgang mit Kunden aus anderen Lndern mit anderen Kulturen bei?
Ich messe der interkulturellen Kommunikationsfhigkeit und Kompetenz als Corporate Value einen
sehr hohen Stellenwert bei. Bezogen auf meine asiatische Erfahrung (Singapur) kann ich vielleicht
folgendes Beispiel erwhnen: Bei einem Kundenevent (Golfturnier) hat man fr die Kunden Mtzen
anfertigen lassen. Allerdings hat fast keiner der berwiegend chinesischen Teilnehmer die Mtze
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angezogen, da die Mtzen eine Farbe hatten die fr Unglck steht. Die Leute die den Event
organisiert haben, htten in diesem Fall also besser lokale Personen zu Rate gezogen oder sich
vorher damit beschftigt.
Aus diesem Beispiel kann man die Erkenntnis ziehen, dass man im internationalen Umfeld bei
gewissen Kulturen bereits mit kleinen Sachen in ein grosses 'Fettnpfchen' treten kann.
4. Welche Fhigkeiten muss ein Mitarbeiter mitbringen, der sich geschftlich in verschiedenen
Kulturen bewegen muss? Wie sieht konkret das Anforderungsprofil eines Kundenberaters im
Wealth Management International aus?
Wie bereits erwhnt, denke ich, dass das Grundprofil darin bestehen muss, dass er sich auf sein
Gegenber einstellen kann, aktiv zuhrt, anpassungsfhig ist und einen ganzheitlichen Ansatz fhrt.
Sobald man international, geschftlich in Kontakt mit anderen Kulturen kommt, sollte man sich vorher
mit der Geschichte, der Geographie und den 'Customs' in diesem Land auseinandersetzen; das
spezifische technische Know-how ist natrlich Voraussetzung.
5. Wie wichtig sind das Wissen ber die andere Kultur und das Beherrschen der Sprache der
anderen Kultur fr den Erfolg der Kundenbeziehung respektive des Projekts?
Bezogen auf die Sprache mchte ich ein 'Ja' und ein 'Nein' anfhren. Grundstzlich kann man das
Beherrschen der lokalen Sprache mit Sicherheit als 'door opener' bezeichnen: Wenn ich italienisch
oder spanisch sprechen knnte, wrde mir dies mit Sicherheit vieles vereinfachen.
Auf der anderen Seite habe ich gehrt, dass es Regionen gibt bei denen die Kunden eher skeptisch
werden, falls jemand Ihre Sprache perfekt beherrscht, weil sie sich dann hinterfragen, warum jetzt
dieser 'Fremde' ihre Sprache kann.
Viele unserer Kunden und deren Kinder haben einen sehr internationalen Background und haben
vielfach auch internationale Ausbildungen genossen und knnen sich entsprechend verstndigen.
Nichts desto trotz gibt es natrlich auch andere Beispiele einer der reichsten Mnner in Thailand
spricht nur Thai hier ist es sicher unerlsslich, wenn man die lokale Sprache ein wenig beherrscht,
um eine erfolgreiche Kundenbeziehung aufbauen zu knnen.
6. Wie werden in Ihrem Unternehmen die Mitarbeiter respektive die Projektteams, welche mit
anderen Kulturen geschftlich in Kontakt treten, auf solche interkulturellen Verhandlungen /
Kundenbeziehungen vorbereitet oder ausgebildet?
Hier kann man die Ausbildung der CS sicherlich noch als 'stiefmtterlich' bezeichnen, da man in
dieser Hinsicht relativ wenig anbietet. Es gilt aber anzufgen, dass man interkulturelle
Kommunikationsfhigkeit und Kompetenz mit Einschrnkung nur z.T. mit Ausbildung erlangen kann.
Die meisten unserer Kundenberater haben entweder langjhrige Erfahrungen im entsprechenden
Markt, sind selber oder haben Verwandte aus der entsprechenden Kultur und beherrschen die
Landessprache. In Bezug auf interkulturelle Kommunikation bietet die CS Programme wie
'Leadership Across Cultures' an. Spezifisches Cultural Training ist nur im Einzelfall vorgesehen und
falls der Mitarbeiter eine solche Ausbildung effektiv bentigt. Dazu wrden dann externe Consultants
beigezogen. Es besteht aber auch intern die Mglichkeit und das Know-how, eine solche
entsprechende Ausbildung 'ad-hoc' zu organisieren, was jedoch bisher, so viel mir bekannt ist, noch
nicht gemacht wurde.
7. Welche anderen oder zustzlichen Methoden in Bezug auf die Ausbildung und Untersttzung
im Zusammenhang mit der interkulturellen Kommunikation schlagen Sie vor?
Ich wrde es als vorteilhaft erachten, wenn man mit internen Leuten ein interkulturelles
Ausbildungsprogramm auf die Beine stellen knnte und der Junior Kundenberater von den
interkulturellen Erfahrungen erfahrener Kundenberater profitieren knnte.
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Letztendlich liegt es aber an jedem Mitarbeiter selbst, sich die entsprechende interkulturelle
Kompetenz anzueignen, sei es durch das Lesen von Bchern ber das entsprechende Land oder
durch intensive Auseinandersetzung mit der Geschichte und der Geographie des Landes. Ich
persnlich habe mich vor allem durch Lesen auf die andere Kultur vorbereitet. In diesem
Zusammenhang kann ich die Reihe 'Cultural shock' empfehlen, welche viele wertvolle 'Insights' und
Tipps vermittelt.
Daneben bin ich der Meinung, dass der on-the-job Ausbildung die grsste Bedeutung zukommt, da
man vom Senior Client Advisor und den tglichen Interaktionen sicher am meisten profitieren kann
und es deshalb wichtig ist, dass dieser sich fr den Mitarbeiter Zeit nimmt und seine interkulturelle
Erfahrung weitergibt.
8. Welche Probleme oder Hindernisse treten im geschftlichen Umgang mit anderen Kulturen
generell auf? Wie werden solche interkulturellen Probleme gelst oder verhindert?
Ich weiss nicht, ob man interkulturelle Probleme je nach Branche unterscheiden kann. Wenn ein
Schweizer keine Erfahrung mit der Kultur in Singapur hat und jetzt mit diesem Land geschftlich in
Kontakt tritt, indem er beispielsweise das dortige Departement auf Vordermann bringen soll, denke
ich, ist es sinnvoll, dass er sich vorher intensiv mit der Kultur beschftigt, um das bestmglichste
Vorgehen whlen zu knnen. Wenn er hingegen keine Ahnung von der anderen Kultur hat und dieser
dann die schweizerische Kultur aufdrngen will, wird dies automatisch zu Problemen und Konflikten
fhren. Allerdings kommt dies auf den Einzelfall drauf an, vielleicht ist die Einfhrung einer
drastischen nderung das einzige Mittel um erfolgreich zu sein. Man muss sich dann aber wiederum
bewusst sein, was die nderung in dieser Kultur auslst.
Was mgliche Massnahmen zur Lsung solcher interkultureller Probleme anbelangt, hilft es nur,
wenn man sich mit den anderen Gegebenheiten beschftigt und sich dem Gegenber tolerant zeigt;
ndern kann man die andere Kultur nmlich nicht man muss mit Ihr arbeiten knnen. Gerade damit
haben aber viele ein Problem, da die eigene Kultur tief verankert ist und man oft nicht bereit ist, etwas
zu ndern, zu verstehen oder sich einer anderen Kultur anzupassen und das 'Beste' daraus
mitzunehmen.
9. Welche Rolle spielen Stereotypen beziehungsweise Vorurteile in der interkulturellen
Kommunikation mit anderen Kulturen? Welchen Einfluss hat die Kultur (Ursprungsland) des
Kunden?
Stereotypen sind berall ein Problem. Ich habe Leute erlebt, die 4-5 Jahre als Expatriates in Singapur
geschftlich ttig waren und in diesen 'Expatriate Locations' fast ausschliesslich mit anderen
Expatriates zu tun haben wollten; sie lebten in einer Art 'Bubble' und haben so nicht viel von der
anderen Kultur mitbekommen. Diese Leute schaffen es in der Regel dann auch nicht, ihre
Stereotypen oder Vorurteile gegenber der anderen Kultur abzubauen und sich mit einer anderen
Kultur respektive den Leuten in dieser Kultur anzufreunden.
Daraus kann man meiner Meinung nach schliessen, dass obwohl jemand schon mehrere Jahre im
Ausland geschftlich ttig war, dies nicht automatisch zur Annahme verleiten darf, dass er
interkulturell kompetent ist.
10. Welches sind Ihrer Meinung nach die Auswirkungen (Chancen und Gefahren) der
zunehmenden Globalisierung und Internationalisierung auf die interkulturelle Kommunikation
und interkulturelle Kompetenz der Kundenberater respektive der Projektteams? Sehen Sie
Trends und Entwicklungen im Zusammenhang mit interkultureller Kommunikation im
Finanzdienstleistungssektor?
Wenn ich die Strategien der Banken anschaue, kann man grundstzlich einen Trend darin erkennen,
dass die Banken nicht nur auf die traditionellen 'Business Channels' fokussieren sondern immer mehr
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auch darauf ausgerichtet sind, internationale Standbeine aufzubauen, um Neugeld generieren zu
knnen. Dies fhrt automatisch zu interkulturellen Gefahren, wenn man nmlich weiterhin aus einer
isolierten Perspektive kommuniziert und nicht offen und anpassungsfhig genug ist, um sich auf
andere Kulturen und Kommunikationswege einzustellen und Angst hat, dabei seine eigene Identitt
zu verlieren.
Auf der anderen Seite sind die Kunden und auch deren Kinder (internationale Ausbildung) immer
internationaler ausgerichtet, was sicher als Chance in der zunehmenden Globalisierung erachtet
werden kann. Eine Gefahr sehe ich hier darin, dass wir unsere Kinder nicht gengend international
ausbilden.
Abschliessend mchte ich darauf hinweisen, dass man generell die interkulturelle Erfahrung in der
Berufspraxis selber sammeln muss und man dies am besten vor Ort macht.

Interview with a Client Advisor
(Interview partner: Joanny Dalloz, 6.10.2003)
1. Wie definieren Sie aufgrund Ihrer persnlichen Erfahrung und aufgrund Ihres Wissenstandes
interkulturelle Kommunikationsfhigkeit und interkulturelle Kompetenz?
Grundstzlich kann man dies sicher einmal als die Fhigkeit bezeichnen, im Umgang mit Menschen
aus anderen Kulturen erfolgreich und effizient zu kommunizieren oder zu verhandeln. Weiter kommt
gerade im internationalen Client Advisory der Anpassungsfhigkeit und der Cultural Awareness
gegenber dem Kunden eine entsprechend grosse Bedeutung zu. Wichtig dabei ist es, dass man in
der Lage ist, vorhandene 'Cliches' (Stereotypen) gegenber dem Kunden zu unterdrcken oder zu
beseitigen, da solche Differenzen oder Vorurteile sich negativ auf die Kundenbeziehung auswirken.
In diesem Zusammenhang kann zur Veranschaulichung die in der Schweiz immer wieder
aufkeimende Diskussion ber Vorurteile und Differenzen zwischen Romands und Deutschschweizer
als Beispiel erwhnt werden. Wichtig ist es, dass man sich gegenseitig versteht, respektiert und
erfolgreich zusammen arbeiten kann.
2. Sind Sie Ihrer Ansicht nach ausreichend auf den interkulturellen Austausch vorbereitet
gewesen respektive von Ihrer Unternehmung gengend ausgebildet worden?
Ich persnlich bin der Meinung, dass es am Vorteilhaftesten ist, wenn der Kundenberater der
gleichen Kultur wie derjenigen des zu betreuenden Kunden angehrt. Man muss hier aber zwischen
europischen und asiatischen Kulturen unterscheiden. Der grsste Teil der Kulturen in Europa sind
einander sehr hnlich und deshalb braucht es hier keine spezielle Ausbildung in Bezug auf
interkulturelle Kommunikation und Kompetenz. Hingegen was Beratungsgesprche mit Kulturen aus
asiatischen Lndern angeht bin ich berzeugt, dass es hier sehr wichtig ist, sich vorher intensiv mit
der Kultur auseinanderzusetzen und man auf den Kontakt mit diesen speziellen Kulturen vorbereitet
und entsprechend ausgebildet wird.
Aber gerade die Schweiz als multikulturelles Land mit seinen vier verschiedenen Landessprachen hat
hier sicher einen grossen Vorteil. Was mein Team im Wealth Management International Desk
Frankreich anbelangt, haben wir ausschliesslich Kundenberater, die entweder Franzosen sind oder
aus der Romandie stammen, die der franzsischen Kultur sehr nahe stehen.
Um ein Beispiel in Bezug auf interkulturelle Ausbildung zu nennen, kann das 'Social Event' (sozialer
Anlass) in Chamonix aufgefhrt werden, welches wir [UBS] krzlich dort durchgefhrt haben. Dieser
1 Tage dauernde Anlass hat den Kundenberatern die Gelegenheit gegeben, sich intensiv mit der
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anderen Kultur zu beschftigen und diese auch einmal mehr von der privaten Seite her kennen zu
lernen.
3. Welche anderen oder zustzliche Methoden in Bezug auf die Ausbildung und Untersttzung
im Zusammenhang mit der interkulturellen Kommunikation schlagen Sie vor?
Eine der besten Methoden, um interkulturelle Kommunikation zu praktizieren ist ein Austausch im
entsprechenden Land, wo man lernt, tagtglich mit der anderen Kultur umzugehen und zusammen zu
arbeiten.
4. Verfgt Ihrer Meinung nach und aufgrund Ihrer Erfahrung, die Mehrheit der potentiellen und
bestehenden Kundenberater im UBS Wealth Management ber gengend Erfahrung in der
interkulturellen Kommunikation?
Diese Frage ist fr mich etwas schwierig zu beantworten. Interkulturelle Kommunikationsfhigkeit
muss der UBS Kundenberater mitbringen. Wie ich bereits erwhnt habe, muss man interkulturelle
Kommunikation in der Praxis erlernen. Je mehr man geschftlich mit anderen Kulturen zu tun hat,
umso mehr interkulturelle Erfahrung gewinnt man und umso erfolgreicher wird man im
Zusammenarbeiten mit anderen Kulturen.
5. Welche Fhigkeiten und Charaktereigenschaften muss ein Kundenberater mitbringen, der sich
geschftlich in verschiedenen Kulturen bewegen muss?
Der Kundenberater muss Flexibilitt, Offenheit und Toleranz gegenber anderen Kulturen sowie
Interesse an der anderen Kultur haben. Das heisst es ist wichtig, dass man immer auf dem
Laufenden ist und weiss, was im Land des Kunden geschieht und was dort aktuell ist. Man muss
wissen, was in der franzsischen Politik und Wirtschaft aktuell ist, damit man mit dem Kunden auch
Small Talk ber sein Land fhren kann. Das heisst neben dem performance-orientierten Denken und
der fachlichen Kompetenz sowie analytischer Fhigkeiten muss der Kundenberater vor allem
kommunikativ sein und sich fr das Land des Kunden interessieren und informieren. Weiter muss der
Kundenberater die Unterschiede in Bezug auf seine eigene Kultur kennen (Cultural Awareness) und
sich entsprechend der Kultur des Kunden anpassen knnen. Daher ist es sicher von Vorteil, wenn
der Kundenberater aus dem gleichen Land wie der Kunde selber kommt, da er dann nicht nur das
Land besser kennt sondern es fr ihn dann auch einfacher ist, ein breites Beziehungsnetz
aufzubauen.
6. Welche Bedeutung messen sie der interkulturellen Kommunikationsfhigkeit und der
interkulturellen, sozialen Kompetenz in der Beratung von Kunden aus anderen Lndern mit
anderen Kulturen als strategisch wichtiger Corporate Value fr Ihr Unternehmen bei?
Aufgrund der zunehmenden Globalisierung kommt der interkulturellen Kommunikationsfhigkeit
sicher eine immer grssere Bedeutung zu. Wir wachsen langsam aber sicher zu einem globalen Dorf
zusammen und deshalb ist es immer wichtiger, dass man offen ist und sich gegenber anderen
Kulturen tolerant zeigt und lernt, diese zu akzeptieren. Grundstzlich bin ich der Meinung, dass
interkulturelle und soziale Kompetenz ein wichtiger Corporate Value ist, aber fachliche Kompetenz
sicher wichtiger ist.
7. Welche Probleme oder Hindernisse treten im geschftlichen Umgang mit anderen Kulturen
primr auf? Wie werden solche interkulturellen Probleme gelst oder verhindert?
Ein konkretes Beispiel aus dem Frankreich Desk habe ich keines. Ich habe aber frher einmal
geschftlich mit der marokkanischen Kultur zu tun gehabt. Diese Kunden sind sehr sensibel und
kritisch und man muss sich sehr genau ber diese Kultur informieren und zwar nicht nur ber das
politische und wirtschaftliche Geschehen sondern vor allem auch in Bezug auf die Religion, Bruche
und Traditionen in Marokko. Auch ist es wichtig, sich regelmssig ber die persnlichen Interessen
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und die Familie des Kunden zu erkundigen und seine Probleme und Wnsche ernst zu nehmen bzw.
realisieren zu knnen.
Oft besteht auch das Problem, dass der Kunde falsche oder zu hohe Erwartungen hat, was sich dann
oft negativ auf die Kommunikation und die Kompromissbereitschaft auswirkt. Hier ist es wichtig, dass
man in jedem Gesprch die Kundenbedrfnisse und seine Erwartungen genauestens analysiert und
mit ihm zusammen realistische Performanceziele und Anlagestrategien ausarbeitet.
8. Welche Rolle spielen Stereotypen beziehungsweise Vorurteile in der interkulturellen
Kommunikation mit anderen Kulturen? Welchen Einfluss hat die Kultur (Ursprungsland) des
Kunden?
Ich persnlich erachte Stereotypen mehrheitlich als positiv. Stereotypen gegenber anderen Kulturen
muss man als Herausforderung oder Chance ansehen, mit gezielten Fragen und regelmssigen
Kundengesprchen nicht nur diese 'Clichs' abzubauen sondern auch den Kunden und seine Kultur
nher kennen und verstehen zu lernen. Beispielsweise ist es gerade am Anfang oft der Fall, dass der
Kunde aufgrund seiner Vorstellungen ber die Schweiz ein gewisses Verhalten wie z.B. Pnktlichkeit
erwartet oder gewisse spontane usserungen als negativ interpretiert, falls diese nicht mit seinem
Stereotyp der Schweiz gegenber bereinstimmen. Wichtig ist, dass man zusammen auf einen
gemeinsamen Nenner kommt, indem man einen intensiven Kontakt zur anderen Kultur pflegt und
gemeinsame Ziele definiert und alle Informationen offen und ehrlich kommuniziert.
9. Welche Bedeutung kommt der interkulturellen Kompetenz und Kommunikation fr den Aufbau
einer intensiven und nachhaltigen Kundenbeziehung zu? Wie wichtig sind dabei die
Kenntnisse und das Beherrschen der Sprache der anderen Kultur fr den Erfolg der
Kundenbeziehung?
Im Wealth Management International kommt der interkulturellen Kompetenz im Zusammenhang mit
dem Aufbau einer erfolgreichen Kundenbeziehung insofern eine grosse Rolle zu, als dass man fhig
sein muss, mit der zu betreuenden Kultur nicht nur geschftlich erfolgreich zu kommunizieren
sondern sich auch ber private oder generelle Angelegenheiten unterhalten zu knnen, um so eine
freundschaftliche Beziehung zum Kunden herzustellen. Dies kann dann als Basis dienen, um mit
Hilfe des Kunden, z.B. durch Mund-zu-Mund Propaganda neue Kunden zu akquirieren respektive
das Beziehungsnetz zu erweitern. Fr ein erfolgreiches 'Networking' erachte ich In-Joke
93
als wichtige
Methode, um erfolgreich mit der anderen Kultur zu kommunizieren. Das heisst, man muss mit Hilfe
von Small Talk sowie anregenden und interessanten Diskussionen den Kunden 'unterhalten', indem
man eben mit so genannten In-Jokes ('Insiderjokes') das Gesprch auflockert.
10. Welches sind Ihrer Meinung nach die Auswirkungen (Chancen und Gefahren) der
zunehmenden Globalisierung und Internationalisierung auf die interkulturelle Kommunikation
und interkulturelle Kompetenz der Kundenberater respektive der Projektteams?
Die zunehmende Globalisierung und weltweite Expansion der UBS bringt sicher den Vorteil des
wachsenden Akquisitionspotentials mit sich. Auf der anderen Seite nimmt aufgrund der rasch
voranschreitenden Globalisierung der Konkurrenzkampf im Finanzdienstleistungssektor zu.


93
An in-joke is a joke whose humour is only clear to those people who are 'in' a group which has some prior knowledge (not
known by the whole population) which makes the joke thus humorous. The group of people could be just a few people who work
together, or residents of a particular town, []. Definition by http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-joke.
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Appendix C: Project 'VIP Advisor' of Winterthur Insurance
What is VIP Advisor?
94

VIP Advisor is a standalone advice instrument in the area of finance and insurance. The main idea of the
VIP Advisor-project is to develop a personal virtual insurance and finance assistant with new means of
interaction.
What is the purpose of VIP Advisor?
The VIP-Advisor project aims to bring virtual assistants into new dimensions of usability and intelligence
and focuses on advice intensive services just as risk management in the area of finance and insurance.
VIP Advisor consists of a simple user interface, the possibility of a seamless integration into existing
platforms and workflows, as well as the use of natural language to navigate within the application.
What makes VIP Advisor successful?
The interplay of natural language, online translation, 3D-avatar technology and artificial intelligence
creates a powerful instrument that will have a wide acceptance among users. By means of online live
communication, in the TV-like surrounding of a virtual studio, the photorealistic avatar of the advisor
simulates a real advice situation in a one-to-one personal dialogue. It is based on the unique interaction
of several state-of-the-art technologies:












94
For further information concerning the project 'VIP-Advisor' confer to http://vip-advisor.fi.upm.es.
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Appendix D: Other Contacts with Experts
Contact with Experts (Interview)
Company Place Interview partner
Credit Suisse Zurich (CH) Lars van den Bosch
Human resources manager at Credit Suisse
Wealth Management International
UBS Zurich (CH) Paul Schneider
Head human resources manager at UBS
Wealth Management International
Thomas Gubser
Representative head human resources
manager at UBS Wealth Management
International
UBS Zurich (CH) Joanny Dalloz
Team leader Desk France and client advisor at
UBS Wealth Management International
Winterthur Insurance Winterthur (CH) Andreas Schiller
Project manager at Winterthur Insurance

Contact with Experts (via E-mail or Phone)
Company /
Association
Place Contact
Federal Statistical
Office of Switzerland
Neuchtel (CH) Raymond Gigandet
Informant at the Federal Statistical Office
International
Management
Development (IMD)
Lausanne (CH) Claude Oggier
Project manager at the IMD
International
Organization for
Standardization (ISO)
Denver (USA) Joseph Martinez
Information Officer at ISO
Middlesex University
Business School
London (UK) Stephan Dahl
Interculturalist and Senior Lecturer in Marketing
at the Middlesex University
National Center for
Cultural Competence
Washington
(USA)
Tawara D. Goode
Project Director at the National Center for
Cultural Competence

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Appendix E: Concept and Procedure of this Diploma Thesis
Procedure
In the beginning of July 2003, I received the confirmation from Tessa Meuter to investigate and
evaluate the topic 'Intercultural Communication How International Companies prepare their
Employees to do Intercultural Business with other Cultures'. Instantly, I drew up a detailed
project plan which you can find at the end of appendix E. Due to my special interest in the
financial sector, I came up with the idea of creating a practical handbook for client advisors and
project managers which led to the slightly modified title. Subsequently, I contacted potential
interview partners and began with the research. While reading articles, books and working
papers, I developed the bilingual questionnaires (English/German) and the interview questions.
After finishing my final exams in the first two weeks of September, I intensified my research with
additional commercial data research and by contacting international organizations and experts
by emails or by phone. An important work of my practical thesis was the launch of the interviews
and the surveys. The field research consists of three personal interviews and one phone call
interview. The questionnaire was carried out online via the World Wide Web which you can find
on the following link: www.eyholzer.ch/survey.
The recommendations in chapter six are based primarily on information gathered from literature,
articles and on the evaluation and interpretation of the results from the survey and the
interviews as well as on experience and ideas of the author.
Methods of Enquiry
Online-Survey
95

After an extensive desk research, the survey has been developed for three different
functions in two different languages: client advisor, project manager and human
resources manager. It contains quantitative and qualitative questions. Due to the
restricted time limit to compile this thesis and the advantage of higher response rate of
online-surveys, it was carried out via the Internet.
Three Structured Face-to-Face Interviews
96

The three meetings in the facilities of the corresponding financial institute were a great
opportunity to not only gain high-quality and spontaneous information but also to
experience the attitude of experts toward intercultural communication. The interviews
were conducted in a structured way: The interviewees always received the questions at
least one day beforehand so as to be able to prepare for the interview.
Telephonic Interview with a Structured Question Form
97

Additionally, another qualitative method was made use of, the interview by phone. Even
though it was an oral interview as well, this enquiry method is characterized by the
spatial distance and the impersonal contact.

95
cf. Thommen, Jean-Paul (2000), page 132.
96
cf. Ergenzinger, Rudolf, Thommen, Jean-Paul (2001), page 91.
97
dito, page 92.
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Availability and Use of Sources
Due to the enormous flow of information concerning intercultural communication and its
subtopics, it was necessary to establish priorities and to focus on the information which is
related to practice and which is of interest for the reader of this handbook.
Primarily, the information for the theoretical background was gathered from literature or working
papers in commercial data banks. In addition, the Internet gave some interesting hints to
literature and statements in connection with intercultural communication for the theoretical
background.
The core information of this diploma thesis is based on interviews with professionals in the
financial sector, the results of the online-survey and on the author's personal experience in
intercultural communication.
Moreover, several interculturalists and international organizations and universities all over the
world have been contacted; they contributed to this thesis with valuable information, interesting
documentations and clues (cf. appendix D).
Time Scheduling
Month / Year July 2003 August 2003 Sept. 2003 October 2003
Calendar week 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
Preparation phase
Gathering of information
Project structure
Contact interview partners
Evaluation and conception phase
Composition of thesis
Creation of the survey
Main phase
Launch of the survey
Launch of the interviews
Evaluation of the survey
Consolidation phase
Consolidation
Handing over of the DT
Figure 27: Time scheduling
Source: Graph by author.
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Appendix F: Letter of Contact
E-mail (Letter of Contact)

0ear Hr. / Hs. [.|

I an wriLing wiLh regard Lo ny diplona Lhesis 'InLerculLural ConnunicaLion - A racLical andbook or
Lhe Iinancial SecLor'.

ALer ny inal exans, I an going Lo inish ny sLudies in business and nanagenenL aL Lhe bniversiLy o
Applied Sciences winLerLhur in SwiLzerland aL Lhe end o 0cLober 2003 wiLh Lhe individual diplona
Lhesis.

lease ind enclosed Lhe sLrucLure o ny Lhesis. wiLh Lhe help o an online-survey, which you can ind
on Lhe InLerneL: hLLp://www.eyholzer.ch/survey, as well as several inLerviews wiLh proessionals in Lhe
inancial secLor, I an going Lo conpile a pracLical handbook o inLerculLural connunicaLion and cross-
culLural conpeLence. As you are an experL in Lhis ield, I would greaLly appreciaLe iL i we can arrange
an appoinLnenL or an inLerview. 0n Lhis occasion, I will be graLeul i I could presenL you ny concepL
and discuss wiLh you Lhe possibiliLy o launching Lhe online-survey.

I you are inLeresLed in Lhe inal producL o ny diplona Lhesis, which will be wriLLen in Lnglish, I would
agree providing you wiLh a copy o Lhe docunenL.

In Lhe neanLine, I look orward Lo hearing ron you aL your earliesL convenience.

Yours sincerely

ascal Lyholzer

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SLudenL bAS in Lcononics and 8usiness AdninisLraLion SLudenL bAS in Lcononics and 8usiness AdninisLraLion SLudenL bAS in Lcononics and 8usiness AdninisLraLion SLudenL bAS in Lcononics and 8usiness AdninisLraLion
ascal Lyholzer
IeldsLrasse 43
8400 winLerLhur
SwIJZLPLAh0

hone: 41 52 222 18 62
Hobile: 41 79 445 79 11
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Appendix G: Letter of Thanks
Letter of Thanks (Survey)


winLerLhur, 0cLober 2003


HusLer AC
LxanplesLrasse 28
8000 lace


fvaIuat!on of the Survey 'IntercuIturaI fommun!cat!on'

0ear Hr. / Hs. [.|

I an wriLing concerning Lhe diplona Lhesis 'InLerculLural ConnunicaLion - A andbook or Lhe
Iinancial SecLor'. I would like Lo Lake Lhe opporLuniLy Lo convey ny graLiLude or your parLicipaLion in
Lhe online-survey which was conducLed in SepLenber 2003 and your valuable and proessional
cooperaLion.

As you have indicaLed in Lhe survey, you are inLeresLed in Lhe ouLcone. Jhereore, I have pleasure in
enclosing an evaluaLion o Lhe survey. You can also consulL Lhe resulLs on Lhe InLerneL via
hLLp://www.eyholzer.ch/survey/resulLs.

In Lhe nane o Lhe Zurich bniversiLy o Applied Sciences winLerLhur and ny sel, I would like Lo express
again ny sincere Lhanks or your inLeresL and your eorLs.

Yours sincerely
Zurich bniversiLy o Applied Sciences winLerLhur

ascal Lyholzer
SLudenL Zw

Lnclosure
2rcher
hochschuIe
w!nterthur
HiLglied
der Zurcher
Iachhochschule



Individual diplona Lhesis
hr. 903
ascal Lyholzer
Class 803i

osLach 958
C-8401 winLerLhur
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Declarations
Declaration of Originality
"I hereby declare that this thesis was composed by my self without help from third parties, using
only the references listed in the bibliography. Moreover, I agree not to distribute this thesis to
third parties except to those individuals who provided me with (substantial) information for the
completion of my thesis, or who supported me in selecting the topic of my paper without the
written permission of the head of the department."


Pascal Eyholzer _______________________
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Declaration of Distribution


Declaration of the lecturer


Distribution
1)
of the diploma thesis 'Intercultural Communication A Practical Handbook for the
Financial Sector'

The thesis presented here

is not to be distributed
may only be distributed with my consent
may only be distributed in the first 3 years with my consent
may be distributed to the following (target) groups and/or individuals

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

may be freely distributed.

_____________________________ ____________________________
(Place, date) (Signature of the lecturer)


1) 'Distribution' here includes access to in-house reference copies, as well as lending copies and selling them at cost. These
stipulations only apply to (the staff and students of) Zurich University of Applied Sciences.