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Can social media be used to mitigate cross cultural differences in offshore outsourcing?

Posted by Hemant Puthli on October 11, 2015

Answer by Hemant Puthli:

Culture always poses a challenge in outsourcing, especially when part of the team is based at a remote location. Bridging cultural gaps is never easy and there is no magic wand to make it happen.

That said, promoting cultural exchanges at various levels could go a long way in reducing some of these gaps. Open-mindedness on both sides is a vital pre-requisite to this. If there are already cultural prejudices on the customer's side or the vendor's side, this task could prove to be insurmountable. Respecting and embracing cultural diversity should be the default attitude on both sides. This would be facilitated if the vendor is treated like a partner, on an equal footing with the customer, and if the teams on both sides engage on a flat, "peer-to-peer" basis (as opposed to a hierarchical "master-slave" relationship).

Soft-skills Training, Communications and Change Management programs that are carefully designed and effectively implemented, would support these goals. Inasmuch as social media can be used as one of the tools by such programs, the answer to your question would be "Yes".

Can social media be used to mitigate cross cultural differences in offshore outsourcing?

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