Intercultural Training for Expatriates
United States - Uzbekistan
Key Cultural Concepts
In this session you will:
• Define “culture” and identify some of its key
• Understand how knowledge of culture relates to
effective performance in the destination country.
Sources of Variation
Within a Culture
Urban vs. rural
Ethnic, linguistic and religious
Educational level and class
• SYMBOLS: words
images, objects (cloths,
• HEROES: persons who
can be considered as
models for behavior
• RITUALS: How to greet,
social and religious
Model of intercultural sensitiveness
Step 1: Getting to know other culture (explore)
Step 2: Understand other culture ( ask)
Step 3 : Tolerance of differences (understand)
Step 4 : Acceptance of differences (emotions...)
Step 5 : Appreciation of diversity ( see positive )
Step 6 : Adaptation (personal change of attitude)
Result : Ability to function in/with the other culture
Intercultural Awareness Model
HIERARCHICAL VS. EGALITARIAN
How society is structured
How power is allocated or earned
Tolerance for social mobility
How organizations are structured and run
The amount of responsibility and control employees are
Uzbekistan is moderately hierarchical, so when interacting with
Uzbeks, you should remember the following tips:
You will need to give clear, explicit directions regarding duties, deadlines, and
As a manager, you will be expected to demonstrate an authoritative leadership style.
Do not expect employees to display individual initiative; they expect to take direction
from the leader.
Be aware that people expect to be treated differently based on their socio-economic
backgrounds or levels in the organization.
Show the appropriate level of deference and respect, through language and behavior,
to the more senior members of society.
Expect to encounter more bureaucracy in organizations and government agencies.
FORMAL VS. INFORMAL STYLE
The importance of appearance as an indicator of status
The importance of protocol and etiquette
The appropriate use of titles, surnames and honorifics
The appropriateness of discussing personal matters at work
Appropriate ways of meeting people, building relationships
Uzbekistan is a formal society. When you
interact with Uzbeks:
Address people by their appropriate title and name. Do not move to firstname basis until invited.
In general, it is best to use the formal tense when using the local
Status is important and you may be judged on the image you present, the
clothes you wear and where you live and what car you drive. These
external cues matter to locals.
Do not ask personal questions in a social setting unless you have
developed a close relationship with someone. Check to be certain it is
proper to use social functions to network.
Check with a colleague or local national about rules of protocol and
etiquette about specific circumstances since being correct with etiquette is
GROUP VS. INDIVIDUAL INTERESTS
The relative importance of individual rights vs. the greater good of the
group or society
The source of an individual's identity and loyalties
The value of individual contributions vs. teamwork in accomplishing
and rewarding business goals
The roles and responsibilities of individuals to other family members
Appropriate levels of assertion and self-promotion within a society
Ex: Wheel (USA) vs. Nail (China)
Uzbekistan is group-oriented culture. The following will help you
when you interact with Uzbeks
People value their role as a team member and identify themselves first as
part of a group, then as an individual.
They may be uncomfortable if too much focus is placed on them
In general, people will consult with others before stating their opinion.
Individuals are not generally comfortable taking credit for their
accomplishments, preferring the praise to be given to the entire group.
Promotions tend to be based on seniority and relationships rather than
Individuals feel a strong sense of responsibility for family members.
Decision making may be a slow process since consensus is important.
Once a decision is reached, implementation may be quite rapid.
RELATIONSHIPS VS. TRANSACTIONAL
What constitutes a relationship and the expectations placed
on a relationship
Whether trust is deemed critical to building social or
What takes precedence in making a business decision: the
people involved or other more objective business criteria?
The pace and degree of ritualized formality involved in
building new relationships
The appropriateness of mixing business and pleasure, or
professional and personal lives
Uzbekistan is an interpersonal, relationship-oriented culture.
When you have business or social interactions with Uzbeks,
remember these points:
Relationship building is important and tends to be somewhat formal and ritualized.
In general, relationship building takes time and attention. In return, once developed,
relationships are long lived.
Expect to be asked personal questions. This is how locals learn more about you as a
person so that they can be learn if the type of person with whom they want a
In a business situation, personal relationships, trust and familiarity will likely take
precedence over price and perhaps even efficiency.
Employing or giving favorable treatment to family members and friends may be good
business, and what may be considered to be "nepotism" in your culture may be
There are expectations that people have of relationship-based behavior, which may
include going out after work to socialize, entertaining at one’s home or even inviting
someone for the weekend and while these may be seen as casual in your culture,
they carry an underlying assumption of friendship.
DIRECT VS. INDIRECT COMMUNICATION
The relative importance of verbal vs. non-verbal communication
The importance of factual information vs. background and context
The preferred mode of communication for relaying information
The preferred degree of directness and subtlety of the language
The relative need to "save face" and maintain harmony through
appropriate use of communication modes
Uzbekistan is an indirect communication culture. The following tips will
give you clues about how you might handle communication with
Non-verbal gestures are important to enhance the meaning and
acceptance of the words being spoken.
Adding some context, background information, and dialog are important to
Eloquence in verbal communication and meticulous preparation of written
or visual communication forms are highly valued.
Take care when making introductions to have a respectful, even
Show you are considering the subject thoroughly when a topic is
CONTROLLED VS. FLUID TIME
The degree to which people feel that they can control time
The relative importance of relationships vs. schedules
Attitudes towards timekeeping and punctuality
Comfort level with short range vs. longer term planning
The feasibility / appropriateness of assigning set times for social
functions or business meetings to start and finish
Uzbekistan is a Fluid Time culture. The following tips will give you
clues about how you may best interact with Uzbek colleagues:
Time schedules and deadlines are not necessarily considered final. Tending
to relationships may be more important.
Given their exposure to global business standards, people generally know
that foreigners value promptness and they may strive to comply. This may
be less pronounced when meeting with government officials.
There is generally a large window of accepted lateness for social events in
It may be rude to interrupt a colleague who is taking a long time to deliver
a message, and brevity to maintain time schedules is not considered a
EXTERNAL VS. INTERNAL CONTROL/
Openness to change and innovation
Willingness to take risks
The degree to which people feel they control their environment
The preference for rules and structure
The degree to which organizational practices encourage and
reward initiative and risk taking, and allow failure
Uzbekistan is an External Control society. When interacting with
Uzbeks, you should remember the following tips:
People in these societies believe they have limited control over their
destiny or environment.
Although change may be viewed in a positive light, Uzbeks may be
reluctant to adopt new products or systems without a great deal of
Employees expect managers to be strong leaders who care for their staff
and take a personal interest in their lives.
When delegating work to employees, it is a good idea to make periodic
checks on progress.
Risk tolerance is often a matter of position, with risk tolerance limited to
those in decision making positions.
STATUS VS. BALANCE MOTIVATION
The relative importance and value attached to professional vs. personal
The presence or absence of government-sponsored initiatives relating
to family welfare benefits
The source of an individual's identity and self-esteem
Tolerance for blurring the lines between professional and personal lives
How status and success are defined by a society
Uzbekistan is a Balance-Motivation
Individuals value their personal and family time.
Personal identity, status and sense of personal accomplishment
are derived from family, education and pursuits outside of the
Employees see a clear distinction between work time and personal
time and rarely blur those lines.
Family obligations will take precedence over professional loyalties
People are reluctant to permanently relocate and leave family and
Cultural Values. Russia
Communication can be direct or
Moderately time controlled
Key Business Values
Networking and personal relationships vital to business success
Connections lubricate the bureaucracy
Calculated risk tolerance
Work from general principles to details
Negotiations considered win-lose
Enjoy teamwork but want individual recognition
Strategies for Success
Exchange favors to develop necessary connections
Communicate your credentials at start of presentation
Provide clear instructions and firm expectations
When asking questions, use concrete examples
Provide constructive criticism indirectly