Visual Metaphors in Intercultural Context

December 11, 2014

Today I’ll be giving a guest lecture on “Visualization & Visual Metaphors in Intercultural Context” in the Management Atlas master course at the University of St. Gallen. Here you can find the presentation:


Presentation link:

The references for this lecture are:

Bresciani S., Eppler M. (2010). Glocalizing visual communication in organizations, In: Bertagni, B., La Rosa M., Salvetti, F., Glocal working (pp. 233-251). Milan: Franco Angeli.

Bresciani, S. (2013). Organizational communication with visual mapping: Comparing East and West. In: D. Ingenhoff (Ed.), Internationale PR-Forschung (pp. 37-52). Konstanz: UVK Verlag.

Bresciani S. (2014). Do you see what I see? The effect of culture on the reception of visual communication. In: S. Poutiainen (Ed.), Theoretical Turbulence in Intercultural Communication Studies (pp. 81-100). Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Managing Multicultural Teams – Presentation

April 14, 2013

An excellent example of the use of Prezi for an interactive presentation was prepared by my students on the topic of Managing Multicultural Teams:

Based on: Adler, N.J. (2008). International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. South-Western Cengage Learning: Mason OH, Fifth edition, pages: 131-147 (chapter 5).



The last lecture of Professor Poglia: the world in 6 dimensions

February 24, 2013

Last Thursday Professor Edo Poglia of the University of Lugano gave his Lezione di Commiato, which in English is usually called – with a more engaging title-  The Last Lecture.
In one hour he had the challenging talk of talking us through his life in research, having now reached the retiring age of 70.
The ideas, thoughts, findings and provocative statements flew at a very fast pace throughout the talk, engaging the audience with his pungent humor and clear  evidence based on hard data. The inputs for thoughts were many, intense, dense and surprising. The argumentation was clear and fast paced, so intense to leave at times the audience disconcerted in front of all that knowledge coming to the brain at such a high-speed that it was arduous to absorb.

Hi double background in Engineering and Sociology must have give him the impressively broad view on the different streams of research, which he illustrated through the metaphor of geological faults. He emphasised the need to observe social reality from different angles. For this reason he created a model, a schema of analysis, consisting of six dimensions:

He has used this schema since the 80s to drive his research, and the findings are impressive.
A summary of his work and of the talk is an impossible task, ranging from education, to migrants, to intercultural communication; I would just like to give a couple of examples.

For instance he investigated the values of students of different cultures and disciplines, to understand if differences in values are given more by culture of origin, or by the discipline.

In the picture below we can see that people belonging to the sector “industry and constructions” compared to the sector “communication and marketing” give very different answers regarding their “proximity” to different cultures. From the radar diagram we can readily see that communication students feel closed to all cultures, and in particular they feel much closer to the European, Anglo-Saxon and French culture.


In another studies he compared the attitude of Europeans (in yellow color) and Moroccan (in gray color) students: he found that liberty of expression is more relevant for Europeans, and that politics is not relevant for any of the two cultural groups, and even less for the Europeans.

In addition the will for self-realization (or self fulfilment) is much stronger for Europeans than for Moroccans.


In conclusion, the depth and breadth of Prof. Poglia research can be seen as a leading example for young researchers.
The visionary and impressively broad view of research of Professor Emeritus Poglia is certainly an inspiration for all of us.

Post-Doc Researcher Position in Knowledge Visualization and Intercultural Communication

October 11, 2012

Our team has won a Swiss National Science Foundation grant for a two year research project on the role of visualization for knowledge communication in the context of experience sharing. We will particularly focus on the role of graphic restrictiveness as a key variable of visual dialogue templates. We are looking for a talented and committed Post-doctoral researcher to join our team working on this project: see the call “Post-Doc Researcher Position in Knowledge Visualization and Intercultural Communication (80%)” on the University of St. Gallen Website for more details.

Applications for the position should be sent as soon as possible but no later than Friday, November 30th 2012: the call is open until the position is filled. Please send a motivation letter, detailed CV with the complete list of publications, a list of three references and a copy of the Ph.D. diploma, by e-mail to and myself

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.

Eurocampus in Castellon

November 21, 2011

Eurocampus is an intensive and international study period on intercultural communication of one semester organised jointly by ten European Universities, members of the EMICC-network (European Master in Intercultural Communication). In the Eurocampus programme, students from the partner universities attend classes and study together (Source: USI website).

This year the Eurocampus program is taking place in Castellon, Spain, at Universitat Jaume I. I have been teaching a module on “Intercultural Aspects of Visual Communication: Conceptual Visualization, Visual and Audiovisual Documents and Information” together with prof. Stockinger (Paris).

The fantastic warm weather and the wonderful support of Professor Patricia Salazar made my stay very pleasant.
The city of Castellon is about one hour from Valencia, near the sea.

Global competencies @ AoM

September 23, 2011

I dedicate an entire post to my favourite session of the conference: “Global Competencies: East and West, The Pursuit of the Complementarities” organized by Rosana Silveira Reis and chaired by Sherlan Leonardo Cretoiu, (Fundacao Dom Cabral, Brasil).

Prof. Yoshitaka Yamazaki (picture below) from Japan presented is study about important competencies of Japanese managers operating in Asia and in the West, respectively. He outlined that there are common competencies for leaders, including leadership, initiative, action. However Japanese managers working in the west feel more ned to develop certain competencies, such as relationship building.

Professor Katherine Xin (below) from Shanghai talked about the Re-emergence of China. She explained that Chinese companies are following tree main globalization paths: internal growth, strategic alliances and M&A. They typically acquire global competencies by sourcing talent from abroad. She illustrated a company case, recruiting Japanese retired managers.


Professor Prasad Kaipa (below) of the Indian School of Business compared India with the U.S. He gave a very informative talk with tips for good management (most important is to get things done) and concrete company examples from Apple, Tata and the Silicon Valley area. He provided entertaining stories like the metaphor of the smart fox and the cool cat, as two perspectives of management approaches.

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