The case describes the cross-cultural challenges experienced by a French market researcher engaged to do an investment country report in Mauritania. To gain the trust of the 'gatekeeper' of the information he needs, he has the opportunity to immerse himself in traditional culture by experiencing nomadic life in the desert. Pressured by headquarters, yet needing to be sensitive to local culture, he has to decide how far he is prepared to go to get the job done.
The objective of the case is to highlight the complexities of cross-cultural management. It can be used to illustrate positive stereotyping (as opposed to negative, over-simplified stereotyping) by using what is common/normal in a particular culture as a starting point to gain insight and develop relationships.
- Managing in multi-cultural settings
- Negotiating in unfamiliar surroundings
- Cross-cultural communications
- Building business relationships
- Cultural sensitivity
- Cultural stereotypes
- Adapting to local customs