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

Francis Laleman, Vijay Pereira, Ashish Malik

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    Abstract

    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
    Volume21
    Issue number5
    Early online date9 Jul 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

    Keywords

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

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