Title

Dealing with Cultural Differences Within an Organization: The Aha Experience

Document Type

Contribution to Books

Publication Date

5-1-2011

Abstract

Scholars and managers have long worried about a future talent shortage of employees and leaders able to act effectively across cultures in global organizations. One of the biggest challenges is helping employees learn to develop cultural sensemaking, or an ability to understand and make sense of the experiences they encounter when they work with people from various cultural backgrounds. This chapter offers a framework to help organizations and their employees "speed up" the process of understanding cultural differences and achieving cultural sensemaking within global organizations. The "aha experience" model integrates research on cross-cultural communication with that in creativity and insight to help organizational participants use insight to learn rapidly and solve intercultural problems in innovative ways.