Our cross-cultural research is forthcoming in the journal Frontiers of Business Research in China

September 5, 2014

We are very glad that our cross-cultural research will be published in the journal “Frontiers of Business Research in China” (Vol. 8, issue 4). The article I wrote with Prof. Ge and N. Yaru, of the Central University of Finance and Economics, is titled “Improving Attitude toward Corporate Strategy with Visual Mapping: Scale Development and Application in Europe and China”.

In this paper we developed a scale of attitude toward a corporate strategy which is suitable both in Europe and in China. In fact we have testes all the questions of our newly developed scale in both countries. We have then used the scale to test the effect of a visual representation of a business strategy (compared to a classic textual description) in China and Europe. We found that when content is presented with both text and visual representations (together), people have a more positive attitute toward it. This effect is stronger in Europe, than in China.


Case study on Intercultural Management Communication (West and East Asia)

February 11, 2014

Our latest case study can now be found on The Case Centre website: it focuses on Intercultural Communication issues in managing a multicultural work force in a public school in Thailand.

Rydalch K., Bresciani S. (2014). The cross-cultural adventures of a young Westerner, leading expatriates in a Thai public school. Case study, Reference no: 414-010-1 The case centre.

Bresciani S., Rydalch K. (2014). The cross-cultural adventures of a young Westerner, leading expatriates in a Thai public school. Teaching note, Reference no: 414-010-8 The case centre.


The case portrays the real story of a young American who takes an educational job in South East Asia. The story narrates the cross-cultural challenges associated with the interaction of foreign teachers with the local administration of the public school in Thailand. Shane, despite having lived for two years in Thailand and being fluent in the language, is surprised by the local management practices: he was often asked to conduct a number of extra-curricular activities which were not outlined in his work contract, such as organising trips for the students, setting up an English club or supervising students who were preparing for a singing competition. Shane feels overwhelmed by the collateral activities, and frustrated when he is often interrupted during class for what he considered trivial reasons. A critical incident evolves when all teachers are asked to participate in decorating the school for the upcoming conference of local schools. The major argument between Shane (as the spokesperson of the foreign teachers) and the Thai administrators, helps to shed light on the causes of the mutual misunderstandings. These episodes help learners gain insights into cross-cultural management, different leadership models across cultures, and intercultural communication challenges which persist beyond language issues and knowledge of the local culture. Through the case, the readers can learn about typical sources of cross-cultural misunderstanding when Westerners and Asians collaborate, with particular focus on the public education sector. By analysing the case, readers should identify the major critical incidents occurred, explain their underlying causes making reference to theories of cross-cultural communication and management, and propose best practices and strategies for conflict resolution.

Special thanks to Kyle Rydalch for writing this wonderful case!


May 16, 2011

Wednesday May 18th will take place USI’s EpiDay (Epi for EpistemologicalDay, but also HappyDay, if you wish).

I’ll be presenting my latest study, a cross-cultural experiment about the reception of knowledge visualization to communicate strategy in Europe, East Asia and South Asia (=India).
Here you can view my presentationย and abstract. Feedback and comments are welcome.

ITC and student-centric education with knowledge visualization

November 21, 2009

Source: IHMC CmapTools

Yesterday Yingqin Zhong, a PhD candidate at the National University of Singapore, gave a very fascinating talk (IS seminars, School of Computing) on the use of ICT for student-centric education.
She provided both a theoretical framework and real life examples of how technology can support better learning. Among the several tools and techniques, including wikis and facebook, she illustrated how knowledge visualization – as mind maps and concept maps- are useful for learning by reflecting and articulating our thoughts. And they also serve as learning resources for others.
I am glad to see that representations are gaining their place as powerful learning and knowledge sharing tools also in Asia!

Yingqin choice of mind map and concept map (as the one in the figure) made me think that indeed these two knowledge representations techniques should be particularly suitable in East Asia, because they emphasize relationships among the elements and are provided in a non-linear structure.
She also presented Second Life as a suitable tool for learning by doing and by collaborating. The issue here is how to exploit the benefit or virtual worlds for education, and not just replicating real life or a chat. This seems a very promising area of research.

Finally she shared a hearth touching story of how an indian girl saved her family’s farm and all the village by identifying through the internet the insect specie responsible for the problems at the farm and the right insecticide!

Very promising topic both for research and for changing the world ๐Ÿ™‚

Cross-cultural differences in the reception of conceptual visualization

November 13, 2009

These days I am conducting an experiment in Singapore to test if there are cross-cultural differences in the reception of various kinds of business visualizations, between Europe and Asia.

Despite the general belief that visualization is an international language, recent research (see The Geography of Thought by Nisbett) has demonstrated that there are relevant differences in the reception of images, between East Asia and Western countries.

It has not been easy to set up this experiment in a foreign institution with a considerably different working culture… it took several months and lots of adaptation but finally I got some data ! ๐Ÿ™‚

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