Knowledge of regional culture important for business success of outsiders

What happens if „global players« move to another region or take over local deep-rooted companies with a long tradition? The local workforce, traditional skills, working morale, existing networks of innovation and cultural factors are important factors of success to multinational corporations too. The complexity of this matter is being studied by the Institut Arbeit und Technik (IAT) institute at the Gelsenkirchen-based university of applied sciences in the context of an EU project called »Cure« (Corporate Culture and Regional Embeddedness).

Taking part in the project are countries with long traditions and historically developed social values as well as countries which underwent radical political change (e.g. Hungary). On the one hand »Cure« is to find out what kind of corporate culture leads to commitments in certain regions and on the other side which types of company profit from which type of regional culture (values, mentalities). For this reason, reseachers involved want to find out in which way corporate and regional cultures affect and influence each other. To this end, there are 210 case studies and 21 further studies being planned in seven regions.

»Many companies are extremely loyal to their sites, even if they are from a foreign country«, says IAT expert PD Dr. Dieter Rehfeld. At the same time companies are, however, subjected to the same assimilation and standardization processes as Europe as a whole. »In this respect it is important to safeguard regional diversity and at the same time make Europe and its regions benefit from it», says Stefan Gärtner, who is a researcher on regional issues. More information is available from the institute.