Understanding cultural singularities of ‘Indianness’ in an intercultural business setting

Francis Laleman, Vijay Pereira, Ashish Malik

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Analysing data from the Indian information technology (IT) industry, this paper
advances an understanding of cultural singularities of ‘Indianness’. The research
context of an intercultural meeting place of IT and business process outsourcing
firms’ overseas subsidiaries, Belgium in this case, allows the authors to identify
10 cultural singularities that typify ‘Indianness’. This ethnographic, reflexive
study is further validated by employing Ghoshal’s ‘smell of the place’ metaphor
through the authors collective experiences as consultants and researchers, and
builds and extends upon the popular cultural dimension frameworks for
understanding intercultural business and management. Existing cultural
dimensions do not sufficiently describe the contemporary intercultural dynamics
that typically take place in workplaces, especially so in offshore and outsourcing
environments. A provisional set of parameters for understanding Indian culture,
with its relevant impact on business life (customs and manners), business
processes and business deliverables are proposed in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-447
JournalCulture and Organization
Issue number5
Early online date9 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Indianness
  • business process outsourcing
  • Indian organisations
  • Indian culture
  • ethnographic and reflexive method


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