Research project

«Intercultural Performance Management: Influence of country and corporate culture on business success using the example of Swiss companies in Russia

The aim of the project is to operationalize the national cultures of Switzerland and Russia as well as the corporate cultures of the application partners and to map them in a culture assessment tool. The consistent link between cultural behavior and the financial results of the companies is a novelty. The results of the project are the assessment tool, which has been expanded to include cost-benefit aspects, recommendations for action for companies, and a corresponding process methodology.

Within the framework of the planned research project, answers are to be found to the following central questions:
1. Which indicators are best suited to make national and corporate cultures tangible, observable and conscious? The basis here will be the studies and research of the Dutch cultural scientist Geert Hofstede. The focus of the research project is on Swiss companies operating in Russia. The basis for the corporate cultural part is the consulting experience of Denison Consulting, based on the research of Prof. Daniel Denison.
2. What are the interactions between country and organizational cultures? Where are there frictions? These should be made transparent so that application partners can proactively address them.
3) What are the costs and benefits of culture? In this context, a measurement tool is to be developed that shows the financial impact that arises when a company conforms to the ideal-typical design (positive case) or what costs arise when it deviates from it (negative case).
4 What are the most important, financially relevant influencing factors from a cultural perspective? Here, a guideline is to be developed that provides companies with recommendations regarding cultural behavior.

The benefit for the participating practice partners lies in the implementation of the developed concepts and the application in their own companies. In doing so, they benefit in particular from the following results:
- Identifying opportunities and potentials in the cross-cultural context, pointing out possibilities how these potentials can be used concretely.
- Identification of dangers and pitfalls in the cross-cultural context, showing how these risks can be managed in a meaningful way.
- Enhanced assessment tool to measure cultural potentials and frictions and thereby demonstrate the business case, showing the benefits of possible potentials as well as the costs of non-alignment.
- Raising employee awareness of cultural aspects and their impact on business operations
- Developing guidelines and recommendations for action in the intercultural environment

The innovative content of the project lies primarily in the following areas:
- Demonstrating interactions between national and corporate culture using the example of Swiss companies operating in Russia.
- Demonstration of financial consequences of cultural behavior by transferring procedures of investment calculation to cultural issues.
- Analyzing possible factors that at least enable a common understanding of cultures and their frictions.
- Developing approaches how the factor culture can be taken into account and quantified in order to prevent or even avoid negative financial consequences.
- Developing a guideline for cross-cultural business activities

Duration: 28.10.2016 - 30.04.2018


Kommission für Technologie und Innovation (KTI)


Intercultures Swiss GmbH

Denison Europe GmbH

Bühler AG, Novartis AG


Holcim AG