Analysing data from the Indian information technology (IT) industry, this paper advances an understanding of cultural singularities of ‘Indianness’. The research context of an intercultural meeting place of IT and business process outsourcing firms’ overseas subsidiaries, Belgium in this case, allows the authors to identify 10 cultural singularities that typify ‘Indianness’.
This ethnographic, reflexive study is further validated by employing Ghoshal's ‘smell of the place’ metaphor through the authors collective experiences as consultants and researchers, and builds and extends upon the popular cultural dimension frameworks for understanding intercultural business and management.
Existing cultural dimensions do not sufficiently describe the contemporary intercultural dynamics that typically take place in workplaces, especially so in offshore and outsourcing environments. A provisional set of parameters for understanding Indian culture, with its relevant impact on business life (customs and manners), business processes and business deliverables are proposed in this study.
Remarkedly, the data beyond this study were all taken from our daily practice as intercultural management consultants and training facilitators - and the methodolgy, including the 10 resulting cultural singularities of "indianness", represents the main themes and structures of the intercultural workshops we organize on the outsourcer's field - both for Indian and non-Indian clients.
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