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The 74th Annual Meeting of the German Academic Association for Business Research (VHB) will be held at the School of Economics and Management of the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano, in South Tyrol (Italy).
In consonance with its multicultural location, the theme of the 74th Annual VHB meeting will be:
Doing business in Europe: Cross-cultural issues.
Doing business in Europe in 2012 almost always involves having to deal with employees, customers, suppliers, consultants, investors and creditors of different cultures. The European Union alone includes 27 member states with 23 official, 6 semi-official and 33 historical regional languages, not counting the hundreds of local dialects. Using language as an indicator of cultural characteristics, this amounts to more than 60 different cultural groups.
Globalisation, with its borderless and wireless knowledge transfers, is often seen as a threat to local cultures. Although the emergence of a “global culture” has been predicted for some time, it seems that local cultures are more resilient than expected. Firms doing business in Europe must thus take cultural aspects into consideration in everyday activities, for financing and investment decisions, in establishing performance measurement schemes and marketing strategies or even for financial reporting.
Through the enlargement of the EU, Europe has become an integrated economic area where even SMEs become trans-national, and hence trans-cultural.
Research on cross-cultural management is articulated into several fields such as cross-national comparisons, inter-cultural interactions and multiple-culture studies. It can focus on culture at the national level, the organizational level, as well as the sub-organizational level.