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Multicultural Managers In Global Teams

LOreal is an intriguing company: Very French in culture and image, yet very global in products, brands and activities. It is poised to reach another billion consumers largely one of the budding middle class of appearing economies. In this specific article we explore one facet of L' Oreal's success: Its very ingenious use of professionals with bi-cultural backgrounds in the most significant process for the success of the business; new product development. Naturally we all now recognize that cultural diversity is a good thing, and we value executives with expatriate tasks in their backgrounds, who state themselves to have become cosmopolitan. L'Oreal will go one big step further: Instead of just diversity among executives it looks for "variety within" each professional [2. Yves: Brannen & Thomas, 2010: p. 6 & p. 13: 'cultural diversity that exists within individuals' and MYB & Lee, forthcoming, p. 23: 'diversity within an individual person']

Yves, i. e. , it hires develops and uses strategically individual who --usually by using a multicultural early on childhood-have gained the capability to understand and respond in line with the cultural meanings and norms of two or more ethnicities. [3. Yves: This classification of multiculturalism. MYB cannot argue to possess the definition as hers. Previously other experts define biculturalism such as Hong et al. , 2000 in their extraordinary article, "Multicultural brains'] Not merely can they be important bridges between their ethnicities of origins, they can even be sensitive alert scouts in new ethnicities, with an potential to understand them much higher than individuals from an individual cultural source. [4. Yves: This is about multiculturals' cognitive complexity (BMV et al. , 2006 and Tadmor et al. , 2006/9. I think this word is more 'common sense'. I noticed a great deal from those who participated in 'Bicultural thought leadership convention in Green Gulch and Abu Dhabi]

Not every global company needs bi-cultural professionals but many can greatly gain and learn from them, thus instilling in their international professionals -whose the greater part are from an individual social origin-some of the critical cross-cultural skills that help to make them effective. [5. Yves: Is this can be a common sense?, I don't find exactly same words or word in MYB's]In this informative article we draw a few lessons from examining L'Oreal's 10 years long experience in using bi-cultural executives selectively. But first, what is the challenge bi-culturals allow to address efficiently? [6. Yves: I don't know why she outlined here]


Global competitors face an age-old anxiety: Serving regional or national markets requires version to local conditions, and demands differentiation in their products, services, and business models, but attaining economies of level and range across markets calls for uniformity and integration of activities. Local responsiveness and global integration are hard to combine. Some products are plainly global, such as Television set sets, except for regulatory and terms distinctions, and simple specialized differences such as voltage. Others, such as restaurants, are intrinsically local, although global formulas and brands may succeed, such as Starbucks or Benihana. Many products, also to a lesser degree services, call both for responsiveness to local variations and for a few form of global integration, of brands, advertising, making, product development, and research. These are influenced by the global-local duality of knowledge differentiation and integration in development processes.

Perhaps at the forefront are companies striving to develop global products in culture-sensitive and ethnically differentiated markets, such as makeup products and skin or hair care. L'Oral quite definitely faces this challenge: Its main product categories, skin care, hair care, head of hair color and beauty categories are sensitive to global economies of range and scope, and they also have to be highly responsive to local market variations. Furthermore, not all of L'Oral's product categories face the same mix of demands: Hair good care is quite regional and reliant on ethnic differences, lipstick & most fragrances a lot more universal. Luxury brands are definitely more global than mass market ones, which are generally local.

Figure 1: The complexness of product profile: Responsiveness and Integration Differences

The global integration-local responsiveness issue is further complicated when the data required to develop and market products is complicated. Yet, such complicated knowledge (tacit and collective, only disclosed doing his thing and connections) now lays in the centre of development and global competitive edge, not only for L'Oral but also for most global competitors. Other varieties of arbitrage, for products, costs, or materials are easily imitated, and also have been. Organic knowledge is hard to recognize and observe, let alone imitate. It has become the main source of sustainable competitive advantage for global competition. It drives hard to imitate enhancements.

L'Oral as a respected French multinational company in skincare and cosmetics provides a exceptional example of counting on complex knowledge for creativity: Its products are not merely chemicals, a lot more importantly, they depend on fashion, style, seduction, they express countrywide image of French women's elegance they elicit the idealized self-image of its customers and their value is conveyed through complicated, often subliminal advertising and multiple distribution channels.

Of course, some highly culture- and context-dependent products, with a strong national identity eventually find readily a worldwide market. They are widely implemented worldwide with little if any version (French perfumes, U. S. action videos, German traditional music and high-end autos, Japanese Mangas, Korean "K-Pop", Bollywood movie and TV productions or U. S. junk food). But these are exceptions more than the rule. In fact, a typical language, high social and institutional homogeneity, higher density of interpersonal systems and friendships, and less "not-invented-here" resistance suggest sophisticated knowledge generally diffuses more rapidly within one countries than across national restrictions. So, in establishments where sophisticated knowledge drives ground breaking advantage success depends on face-to-face (or rather shoulder to make) participation in local and countrywide sites where new complex knowledge first occurs. [7. Yves: Isn't this discussion yours?] MNCs should build, manage, and globally assimilate their local/global functions and dispersed inputs. The quality of local knowledge gain access to, being inserted in local civilizations and networks, often makes global showing more challenging, as local participants in global development techniques are culturally completely different and meticulously identify with their roots. [8. Yves: Isn't this yours as well? MYB doesn't do much about knowledge and global invention, does indeed she?]

For many companies, such as L'Oral, this task is further complicated by yet another contradiction: While they want to be global, they don't want to relinquish the advantages associated with their country of source. L'Oral does not just sell makeup, it mainly provides "French-ness" to women across the world. Quite simply, its identity, and its own founders' social inheritance have to be protected, and remain part and parcel of its global offerings. The company has maintained its founder's spirit of entrepreneurship, and remains generally family-controlled, with an extremely strong shared culture. Over its 73 years, it has already established only four CEOs (including the creator), all with very long tenures, and it encourages only from within. One becomes part of senior management over time, as one weaves a dense network of relationships with co-workers and builds trust over time. In France, the company has a reputation for being "the" consumer marketing school, and many of its "alumni" have become successful business people and business contractors, such as L'Occitane en Provence, a highly successful fast growing skin area and body health care company.

Its third CEO, Welshman (and INSEAD graduate) Lindsey Owen Jones is greatly credited for having changed the business from a regional Western challenger to a global leader, however the company still remains quite amazingly French. Traditional methods to the internationalization of mature management would not work well for L'Oral, or might only work very slowly and gradually since an instant infusion of international executives in the most notable ranks might bargain the tightly knit and informal French community of senior managers, operating as a worldwide network. Furthermore at L'Oral, complicated understanding of products, cultures, as well as how to work together is progressively discovered and internalized by individuals as their job develops, which makes a rapid internationalization of older management through employing from outside largely impossible. French professionals are often allocated to international operations, and find out about the plurality of ethnical and institutional contexts, as well as about different consumer priorities, but few foreigners become mature executives. The best promising international professionals might be reluctant to become listed on L'Oral in any case fearing the risk of a glass ceiling. Successful mature executives often identify themselves as partly French, for example French and German, of French, Moroccan, and German. As well as professionals that identify themselves as foreigners take great pain to clarify they have resided in France and did the trick for L'Oral for years and take great pride in themselves on speaking perfect French. The main vocabulary of the business has remained French. [9. Yves: This is my observation as well as your informal conversation when you lead workshop with L'Oreal R&D top management a while ago]


For L'Oral, and for many multinational companies, to effectively address the global-local advancement duality, simple structural alternatives such as regional systems or global product divisions won't work, for at least two reasons.

First, the merchandise range puts both intensely global and intensely local requirements along the way the company is run. No "either-or" organizational solution will continue to work, the company needs both global and local priorities effectively taken into account in decision-making. Take perfumes (or fragrances as they are known in the industry). World products and famous world brands (think of Chanel No 5) will be the name of the overall game, but the underlying knowledge had a need to develop a perfume resides mainly in France, for historical reasons. Second, companies such as L'Oral need a variety of products to keep up their durability in distribution: fragrances, cosmetic makeup products, skincare products, and head of hair products. Any simple structural procedure such as local subsidiaries and regional entities or global business units would fit a few of their products but not all, given the diversity of needs for local responsiveness and global integration shown on Physique 1. Some are more global, such as perfumes or beauty products, others are definitely more local or local, such as wild hair care or skin care. As the company considers significantly the "next billion customers" (as the CEO stresses) in appearing economies, both advantages of global size and the need for local differentiation will increase even further. For a few products, like fragrances, most relevant market and specialized knowledge can be found in one place, for most though, like head of hair treatment, relevant knowledge is sent out about the world and will become even way more with the growing importance of growing economies.

Furthermore, quickness is often of the substance: Knowledge-driven FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods, such as beauty and skincare products) industries call for a continuous blast of innovations across a wide product stock portfolio facing both local responsiveness needs and global integration advantages, but in varying degree among products. In new areas, such as anti-aging, competition is strong and fast, as well as technology founded, in older areas it is slower and marketing motivated. Yet, any technical advantages are short-lived. Yet swiftness must be tempered by continuity. Even with constant innovation, markets quickly decrease the most advanced products to the health of feature-less commodities unless brand collateral has been built very quickly. Underlying substances are relatively stable and long-lived, but new products are recurrent. Brands cover families of products (Lancme, Biotherm) to provide continuity and long lasting brand strength but leave room for fast and frequent product renewals. Continuity of brands, and of channels, and renewal of products have to be carefully integrated. No organizational structure, global sections or country organizations will depend on the task. Composition is too blunt a tool. Obviously, some multinationals resort to matrix organizations, but implementing a matrix corporation is a cop out: It just acknowledges that, even as just outlined, complicated, varied and immediate trade offs between local responsiveness and global integration need to be made constantly on very specific issues: product packaging, marketing campaigns, specific chemical substances, etc. So alternatively than risk getting mired in the discussions that finish up being so quality on matrix organizations, many companies, L'Oreal included, go one step further: Global teams.


Faced with such challenges to attain worldwide innovation, combine global knowledge integration and local knowledge differentiation, and become fast, global companies more and more vacation resort to global, and often virtual, groups. These teams contain the offer of effective knowledge creation, knowledge writing, as well as flexibility, responsiveness, and velocity. Yet, in practice in many companies these global teams are no panacea: they have problems with misunderstandings, conflicts and often fall prey to a Babel Syndrome: their associates talk past one another, not along, and teamwork reduces. The results of their work are often disappointing, particularly when complex knowledge is essential, like the proverbial camel created by a (multi-cultural) committee. Actually, it is often difficult to transfer even explicit knowledge across ethnical boundaries and it appears impossible to transmit tacit knowledge, where physical distance also gets in the manner. Even seemingly general and very specifically explicit knowledge, such as mathematics, is likely to different perspectives and interpretations in various ethnicities. Tacit knowledge can't be sent over distance because it is exposed only in action and can't be meaningfully explained. It must be discovered through (co)-practice. [10. Yves: The issue to transfer tacit knowledge is common sense and not only MYB (2004) and far earlier, other analysts (Szulanski, 1996; Zander & Kogut, 1995) already argued. ]


To prevent the pitfalls typical of global groups L'Oral makes extensive use of bi-cultural professionals and specialists in its product development process (i. e. , individuals, usually of combined cultural backgrounds, who is able to switch their framework of research, both in what they understand and in the way they behave, between several ethnicities). Although bi- and multi-culturals only account for a very small percentage of L'Oral's employees (a few dozens out of 69 000 employees in 130 subsidiaries) they play a key role in the most significant activity of the business: new product development, headquartered in Paris. A minimum of forty percent around 160 product development task managers (among whom 40% result from foreign subsidiaries and 60% were recruited in France) are multicultural. L'Oral has taken care of this recruitment balance in new product development market leaders for over ten years.

The process: New product development groups, each composed of some individuals, some multicultural (small circles on Number 2), work directly with other groups such as research and development, the international marketing team, and local subsidiaries in an extremely interactive process. It entails functional communities within HQ and across regional offices. Recently created product principles also have to be coherent with existing product lines (e. g. , hair maintenance systems that only use natural vegetation) and their reputation (e. g. , environment-friendly and people-tested). So extensive inputs from the many subsidiaries are needed. Finally, the merchandise has to be feasible for manufacturing without any dangers. Developing a new product strategy takes from half a year to annually depending on the product's degree of novelty. In creating a new product strategy, multicultural project managers have to provide their work to top management on a regular basis, both officially and informally. Once they obtain approval for his or her new product principle, they present their job at the 'la journe mondiale', L'Oral's greatest and most important yearly event at HQ. This event allures all regional directors from all around the globe who come to judge future products (i. e. , those that would to enter the market in one or 2 yrs). If feedback from the local directors joining this event is positive the multicultural job professionals move from articulating product concepts to actually planning the merchandise. In the look phase, multicultural project managers select and combine elements, choose product colors, and design presentation for the product with the product packaging team (often outsourced) and processing team (called the "Factory"). They interface intensely both with headquarter functions and local subsidiaries about the world. Through all stages, project managers work with their co-workers in groups within and across departments at HQ and local subsidiaries. Multicultural task managers use others on three levels. First, they work in their own team (called the 'device team'), where they monitored informal associations with other product professionals. One product development team comprises several project managers who are accountable for producing different products for the same region in the same product category (e. g. , wild hair products). For example, for Latin America, one multi-cultural administrator (Lebanese-Spanish-American) was responsible for women's hair color, while another (French-Irish-Cambodian) was responsible for women's hair good care (hair destruction). They distributed physical space so that they could exchange ideas, information, and opinions (the bigger central circle on Body 2).

Second, they connect to their supervisor and the market leaders of other practical departments in Paris. Although more than 40% of the task managers in the new product development division are multi-cultural, nearly all their direct bosses are mono-cultural, very French. Job professionals meet their immediate boss quite readily any moment they needed or vice versa. Regular divisional team conferences with top management are performed with other unit clubs (for the same products, such as wild hair health care Asia and scalp care international), other efficient departments, and teams in local subsidiaries. Casual meetings with other efficient departments (e. g. , R&D, source string, advertising, and product packaging) are held based on the period of the product development process.

Third, project managers work with local subsidiaries, via email, calls, and videoconferences. In addition they visit local offices regularly. It's the project professionals' direct bosses, however, who visit local subsidiaries more frequently-at least once a month-as they can be in charge of developing several products at the same time. In addition, because project professionals are working within a tight agenda and budget, they go along with their direct boss only when the visit is immediate and important.

In the final development phase job managers involve employees who carried out promotional promotions through television, the web, and other advertising activities. They setup all visual images of products, articulate the products' selling points, and choose the best way to promote the merchandise they developed. Team leaders with an increase of experience lead the advertising campaign straight. More specifically, experienced team market leaders happen to be local subsidiaries and direct all processes of advertising. Product campaign also will involve various new responsibilities often outsourced to new groupings. For example, to market a make-up product for Chinese language women, the advertising team chosen a famous local movie star, local make-up and uniform team, local level setting team, and a professional camera team (that was a French team). Television commercials are usually expensive and take months to complete.

The people: Beginning with their recruitment, multicultural project professionals at L'Oral gained credibility for new product development when you are labeled 'international expertise' by the Man Resource department, a prestigious subject in a corporation trying to combine strong French root base with global reach. Most got at least five years of working experience in sales and marketing in local subsidiaries, or for those recruited in France, who were graduates of top business universities, a year of interval training in product development and marketing department at HQ. At L'Oral, they were called 'the stars' or 'crme de la crme' (meaning the best of the greatest). L'Oral chosen an HR supervisor who handled the performance and profession development of the employees who were expected to be top performers.

Figure 2: Team composition and its work within and across systems at L'Oral

!!!Yves: From this part till finish in p. 19, all parts are from the next section of my dissertation.

Multiculturals in global clubs: Multi-cultural individuals that have internalized more than a single cultural schema (i. e. , the ideals, norms of habit and values of confirmed culture), [11. Yves: this is the explanation of multiculturalism. See #3] bring uncommon skills to solve issues in knowledge copy across international edges for global invention. Not merely do they bring the evident knowledge of their own ethnicities, and the capability to translate and copy complicated knowledge between them, but also the latent skills to comprehend new third country knowledge in framework, and being effective bridges to combine knowledge from these other countries. [12. Yves: understanding third culture knowledge is related to David Thomas' metacognition (2008). I express similar argument in my IJCCM paper as culture-general knowledge (Hong 2010: p. 96-97, I cited Thomas et al. , 2008 'Cultural Intelligence'] L'Oral also identifies multi-culturals' creativity in new product development and their ground breaking ways to combine/ bridge knowledge in global clubs. But more specifically, these bridging, translating and sense-making skills are fundamental to the success [13. Yves: this is actually the 2nd chapter of my dissertation]of L'Oral's global product development groups. Bi-culturals are distinctively in a position to play specific assignments:

Role 1: Handling Knowledge Techniques in Teams

In creating services, multicultural project managers manage two varieties of knowledge: product- and market-related knowledge and organizational/useful knowledge. The multicultural project managers' challenge is to assimilate the creative options to be pursued, while changing local market knowledge into global product knowledge for top quality products and ground breaking concepts. To bring a creative product to fruition, their contribution to knowledge posting procedures in the team centered on three areas: (1) having new local product and market knowledge, (2) translating cultural nuances, (3) joining geographically diverse knowledge and skills. [14. Yves: this is from my dissertation]

Bringing new local product and market knowledge: Multicultural job managers were expected not only to know what evolving market attributes were but, moreover, identify new market trends and generate market insights. Furthermore, to secure the new product principle, they worked with other people (e. g. , team market leaders, local directors, R&D, and local subsidiaries) by critiquing differing perspectives on the commercial viability of new product concepts. In response to these challenges, multicultural project professionals helped bring both new product ideas and market understanding:

Our team attempts to find some 100 % natural ingredients for new locks attention product. J (Hong Kong-Canadian-Singaporean) is aware all the Chinese language medicine that does not have any translation either in British or in French because it's so legitimate. J will not only make clear these ingredients but also suggest some ways we (team) can use for our services. (People from france Director)

and taking local market knowledge:

The Polish-French job manager grew up in Poland until era 20. She referred to her life under the communist program and after in terms of how she evaluates and appreciates make-up products. As our focus on consumers are about her era, everything she distributed to other people is valuable for expanding products and marketplaces. She actually is actually educating us to get an improved knowledge of consumers in the region. (American-French local director talking about Polish-French project administrator)

Translating social nuances: Whether or not one common syntax or vocabulary is present, as in mathematics or chemistry formulaes, interpretations are often difficult not in control the information, employing studying the resources of semantic distinctions across cultural boundaries. [15. Yves: MYB will argue as hers if there are phrases with terminology - semantic. I just typed semantic difference in 'google scholars'. There are so numerous documents discussing semantic difference across civilizations from psychologists and linguists. ]The problem then shifts to who interprets what. A French director who designed a test of a new shampoo in a laboratory in Germany explained how his French-German-British multicultural supervisor who used to work in Germany helped him:

If we say 'dried up hair', dry head of hair upon this floor (HQ) doesn't imply as identical to German 'dried locks' means. So, it is a lot safer to check on with B who recognizes two cultures (French and German) and translate exactly what After all as 'dried up locks'. (B is German-British-French multicultural)

Connecting geographically diverse knowledge and skills: To create creative ideas in order to be put in place, multicultural project professionals must be able to access competence and sketch analogies in one cultural group (e. g. , local) to other social communities (e. g. , other parts or internationally). They synthesize those ideas from multiple sources-diverse ethnical perspectives-for impressive products. [16. Yves: this is from my thesis] For instance, a French-Cambodian-Irish task administrator used the specificity of Asian women's skincare (lowering winkles) to build up a new product for the French market. He mentioned:

While researching Asian skin-care products, I found that in Asia, some tinted cream (pores and skin shaded cream for make-up face) used 'face raising effect', in France and Europe, nothing of tinted lotions used face lifting effect. I developed a fresh tinted cream with face raising impact for French market. It had been a big success! (Team: French-Cambodian-Irish job supervisor, a Chinese-French and two French).

Role 2: Managing Conflicts in Teams

Cultural variations in teams improve the risk of turmoil. Multicultural project managers manage conflicts in groups by (1) minimizing misunderstandings and (2) displaying flexible tendencies with people from diverse parts and cultures. [17. Yves: this is from my thesis]

Reducing misunderstandings: Product development professionals must gain assistance from their acquaintances at HQ and local subsidiaries. Multicultural task managers mitigated the negative effects of social distance and group boundaries on developing trust between HQ and local subsidiaries. [18. Yves: this is from my thesis] For example, an Indian-American-French project manager known:

If an Indian local manager said, 'India may have a concern with this component for a fresh product because there's no written communication confirming this can be used to please our consumers. ' What they actually tried out to notify me was, 'No, I won't do what you asked us to do and please decrease your targets. ' But I didn't make any negative commentary on that. Instead I said, 'Okay, think about I consult with R&D at HQ and discover just how we solve this issue?' In this manner, I didn't make an uncomfortable situation. Instead, I acquired value from them, which consequently got a positive effect on our work improvement. (Indian-American-French manager; Associates at HQ: Chinese-French, French; Local groups: India, China, & Thailand)

This Indian-American-French job manager interpreted 'I'll try my best' (Indian local team) as 'It's going to be difficult, or 'No, I am not going to do it. ' He preempted potential conflict and tried out to avoid high-risk situations where in fact the local team thought pressed by HQ. In this way, he could develop social trust between both of these categories. However, although HQ people may not provide any negative comments immediately, but nonetheless hold a poor impression of the Indian. Quite simply, they prejudged that the Indian local team didn't fulfill its duties, and rely upon the Indian team was lost. This may well not cause a problem right away, but it could be a root for relational issue that eventually harms the trust between HQ and local groups. This multicultural manager not only preempted potential discord between two gatherings but also tried out to avoid dangerous situations where the local team noticed pushed by HQ. In this way, he could develop interpersonal trust between both of these groups.

Displaying flexible tendencies to deal with folks from diverse locations and civilizations: Once conflicts erupt in teams, however, multicultural project managers dealt with those issues with tolerance. Quite simply, they were more accepting of different cultural principles, less disturbed by them, and consequently better at handling conflicts credited to valuing ethnic differences among members. [19. Yves: this is from my thesis] For example, a Hong Kong-British-Canadian-French multicultural director whose team members were Dutch-Chinese, Taiwanese-French, and Korean-British and whose supervisor was French observed how members completed a process turmoil (e. g. , time management), that was created by different work prices regarding conferences:

In conditions of appointment time, we all seem to get different principles. For example, my French supervisor never starts conferences on time and quite often postpones or cancels them. H (Dutch-Chinese) is very demanding on time and deadline (conference is time for checking-up on each other's work process). I and K (Taiwanese-French) we are a bit flexible regarding conference time. So, whenever we have ending up in my French employer, or ourselves, we face irritating moments. But, what's important for us is how to handle this frustrating second. Once we are mindful about each other's variations, we come to bargain when such moments occur. For instance, with my French boss, I need to be really versatile with time. With my team members, easily am behind my conference program with my associates, I be sure to tell them in advance why I am back of and have them next availabilities. Issues may still exist in my team. But we manage them at a more tolerant level. (Hong Kong-British-Canadian-French director, Team: Dutch-Chinese, Taiwanese-French, Korean-British and French employer)

L'Oral's product development team members have cultural diversity within themselves. They can be bi- or multi-cultural and play two critical jobs in team development: (1) bridging between ethnic contexts and merging knowledge across ethnical/national boundaries; and(2) resolving cross-cultural conflicts. [20. Yves: this is from my thesis]


To a greater or lesser degree, most global companies face the four challenges, or dualities, we identified as so characteristic of L'Oral: Global-local, dispersed sophisticated knowledge to be integrated, national image of the home foundation but global reach and global learning, and fast development in products but continuity in brands and channels.

Bi-culturals allow L'Oral to transcend these difficulties in how it effectively combines global product development. [21. Yves: I have no idea why she outlined here. This is merely overall bottom line from above my studies. As she outlined all my conclusions as hers, she may conclude this summation word as hers. I can only imagine this way. ] L'Oral's not so well kept top secret (they have been investing in bi-culturals for at least ten years), and the limited supply of truly bicultural prospects to management jobs, mean that these are now scarce! Therefore the clear implication from our evaluation of L'Oral's product development teams -retain the services of and develop more bi-culturals-ironically may not be of great help any longer, way too many companies are beginning to undertake it.

There are actually too few bi-culturals available, regarding to L'Oral's top management. So L'Oral is moving to another step: learn from the way they use multi-culturals and from what they bring to train mono-culturals to develop some similar skills, if possible.

(Summary desk about here: The key skills of bi-culturals and what mono-culturals can study from them).

First, and most obvious, terms can be learned as a tool as a mono-cultural. Mono-culturals can also learn their own and others' social awareness, self-regulation, social empathy, and sociable skills in cross-cultural contexts. [ 22. Yves: ethnic awareness, self-regulation, social empathy, public skills are quite well-known personal traits for intercultural competence, ethnic brains (CQ from David Thomas et al. , 2008 and Earley & Ang, 2003 - Earley & Mosakowski composed HBR newspaper about CQ 2004-of course this paper is not about multiculturals but multiculturals (not absolutely all) are highly culturally sensible people- and Goldman's mental intelligence] But not frame turning between civilizations, of course, since this will first require to "have" multiple cultural identities. So some unique skills are still left to bi-culturals and can't be emulated by mono-culturals. [23. Yves: this is common sense to whom study multiculturalism] The selective recruiting, and proper use of bi-culturals, [24: Yves: don't know why she highlighted here. That is my observation at L'Oreal] even as saw L'Oral do efficiently, can be used by other companies and has obvious implications for the way they manage HRM strategy in selecting, training, assigning and socializing bi-culturals. Many companies that contain not yet determined the unique skills bi-culturals may bring, can also comb their own ranks in search for bi-culturals. In a few other companies we witnessed bi-culturals were regretfully perceived as "misfits" because they did not completely and easily integrate in either of the original cultures. [24. Yves: this is your concluding thought. Have you got any source of information? MYB also dispute likewise in Brannen & Thomas, 2010 and Brannen & Lee, forthcoming]. Their biculturalism sometimes appears as a handicap somewhat than an advantage. Yet they may well be concealed cross-cultural gems, not to bridge between their civilizations of origins, but to act as scouts and business contractors in third countries [25. Yves: MYB argues this part (third culture scout0 is hers], where their hyper-sensitivity to contexts and civilizations would make sure they are able to learn cultural hints and complexities much faster, and more successfully than mono-culturals could. So dynamic seek out bi-culturals, and proper selectivity in their posting at most critical knowledge interfaces in the company, and insofar as this is done growing and training mono-culturals to obtain and practice a few of the skills that bi-culturals normally possess since years as a child may be two critical, and often neglected tips, to making global product development clubs effective. [26. Yves: this is basic finish we can make, isn't it? Why MYB highlighted here?]

Table 1: The Key skills of mutli-culturals and what mono-culturals can learn from them:

Multiculturals' skills


How to train Monoculturals

Awareness of own social characteristics

Ability to identify, understand and interpret own cultural tendencies and the ethnical characteristics of own firm and sub-units

Cross-cultural training with multiculturals and repatriates

One-to-One training system (to learn specific skill training) with multiculturals or mature multiculutral managers

Regular evaluation by HR specialist who positively monitors job activities (e. g. , team meeting)


Ability to check on of course, if necessary control or redirect automatic ethnic reactions- think before acting

Cultural Empathy

Ability to comprehend that others may have different interpretations anticipated to cultural variances, skill in dealing with variations between people

Social skill

Proficiency in controlling connections and building systems, capability to find common earth and build rapport in cross-cultural contexts

Cross-cultural communication skills

Ability to communicate with folks from different ethnical backgrounds by speaking different languages

With above training, terms laboratory training and promotion policy for further foreign language speakers

Cultural Frame Turning (CFS)

Ability to switch cultural structures responding social cues

Difficult to train monoculturals to possess CFS as multiculturals

[28. Yves: this is not MYB's. Each category has been defined by other experts who study individual competence, cultural intelligence, emotional intelligence. Specifically, I adapted Goldman's EQ with cultural sense except 'ethnic frame switching' which is argued by Hong et al. , 2000. ]

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