School of Economics and Management, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, with the participation of the Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale
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 morethan 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 transnational,
and hence trans-cultural.
Research on cross-cultural management is articulated into several fields such as cross-national comparisons, intercultural
interactions and multiple-culture studies. It can focus on culture at the national level, the organisational level, as well as the sub-organisational level.
VHB 2012 will take place at the School of Economics and Management of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, South
Tyrol, Italy. This multi-cultural region, a microcosm of the European reality, is the perfect setting for a confrontation of
ideas on cross-cultural issues in doing business in Europe.