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!

Intercultural Communication Case Studies

July 26, 2012

We just published a collection of case studies on the topic of intercultural communication:

The website collects some of the case studies developed by the students of the Master of Advanced Studies in Intercultural Communication (MIC), at the Università della Svizzera italiana – Lugano, Switzerland.

You can find cases in English, French, Italian and German. You can navigate the website through the main categories of the content – Communication, Culture, Individual and Society – or through the thematic tags: the size of the tags on the right-side tag cloud column, represent the frequency of their appearance as topics for the cases.

To know more about the MIC master, check the webpage or follow it on twitter.

Gartner Hype Cycle

October 12, 2010

Gartner has always made use of diagrams and visual representations to support managers in taking better decisions about technology investments.If you’d like to know more, have a look at our case study on Gartner (published at ecch)

They keep updating and improving their products, such as the Magic quadrant and the Hype Cycle, to include interactive features and support for collaborative decision making. In 2009 Gartner has updated and adapted the famous Hype Cycle to the recession:

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Start-ups’ branding

September 11, 2010

Our article “Brand new ventures? Insights on start-ups’ branding practices” has just been published by the Journal of Product & Brand Management (Vol. 19 Iss: 5, pp.356 – 366, 2010).

The paper aims to shed light on the specificity of branding approaches for young companies for the reason that branding is a crucial activity for the survival and success of a newly established firm as it facilitates finding and maintain customers.  Adopting a case study methodology, mainly through in-depth interviews with CEOs and communication managers, 15 of the largest and most successful start-up companies of Switzerland were analyzed.

The paper establishes an overview on the current practices and rational of the brand building activities choices, and on the emblematic pitfalls regarding branding of new ventures. It suggests that young companies should not be forced to compare their branding strategies to multinational firms and proposes a framework and key guidelines for start-up branding.

The proposed visual framework and guidelines can be relevant for future entrepreneurs and brand consultants, to orient and better motivate their decisions toward branding creations and development for new and young ventures.

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