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What Everyone Needs to Know When Traveling Abroad

What Everyone Needs to Know When Traveling Abroad
Markets Insider
By PR Newswire
Published: August 17, 2018

NEW YORK, Aug. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- On a visit earlier this year to India, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went to great lengths to fit in, wearing heavily embroidered kurtas and showing off his polished Bhangra moves at a reception.

While traditional wisdom suggests that Indians should have appreciated this, the actual reaction was decidedly mixed, some praising his cultural dexterity while others derided his efforts as embarrassing appropriation of Bollywood stereotypes.

Research from Columbia Business School takes on this question of to what extent should you adopt local ways when your work brings you abroad? The paper – "Do As the Romans Do? Diversity Ideologies and Trust in Evaluations of Cultural Accommodation" by Columbia Business School Professor Michael Morris and former students Jaee Cho, now an assistant professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Benjamin Dow – investigates how people evaluate foreign visitors who adopt local norms and offers recommendations for those visitors.

The first major finding is simple: some adaptation to local ways is received better than none at all. Most participants in their studies had a positive response to visitors who displayed moderate accommodation—adopting some local ways of communicating and acting even if the delivery and execution aren't perfect.

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