Professor Messner has developed proprietary training material and workbooks
to support the learning in his trainings. These workbooks are also available in online
bookstores for you to use independently. His aim is for you to become
knowledgeable and confident in handling cross-cultural encounters.
Intercultural Communication Competence
Createspace | 2013
This resource book is an intercultural toolkit and compares 50 national cultures
on their cultural dimensions. It further gives specific information on
China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, UK, and US; the book also
features 24 tasks, exercises, and case studies.
Wolfgang Messner, G Shainesh, Nikolas Zalesky
Succeeding in India
Expert Insight, Business Expert Press | 2017
India is a highly complex, competitive, and at the same time immensely attractive market. But there is a substantial difference between products that sell in the developed world and products that will excite customers in India. Based on actual experiences of Indian and foreign businesses on the subcontinent, we have identified five commandments that, when followed, differentiate successful firms from failed initiatives.
Wolfgang Messner, Hyo Jin Yoon
Daimler China: Facing a Media Firestorm
Case with teaching notes | Ivey Publishing | 2018
The chief executive officer of Daimler Trucks and Buses China Ltd. was on an expatriate assignment in China. In November 2016, he faced a discomforting situation that could bring an abrupt halt to his career; an unfortunate incident in which he lost his temper led to fierce outrage in local Chinese and worldwide media. The media reaction threatened China’s prominence as a major source of revenue for Daimler, and sent Daimler’s share price on a downhill spiral. How should Daimler react, and what could it do to restore the company brand image?
Wolfgang Messner, Ammad Ejaz Chaudhary,
Renault Duster in India: Creating a Market Segment
Case with teaching notes | SAGE Business Cases | 2019 (in press)
Since India opened herself to global trade in 1991, the country's automobile industry has experienced tremendous growth. Multinational car manufacturers had to acclimate to the local market environment and make an effort to understand the needs of their new customers. The experience of Renault, the French multinational car company, in India exemplifies the process of understanding and adapting to market segments. Renault's initial unsatisfactory release of the Logan was overcome with Renault's subsequent launches of the Duster and Kwid. This comeback demonstrates how learning and adapting to local needs can lead to success in emerging markets, and to recovery of brand image lost from prior setbacks.
Wolfgang Messner, Katherine C. Wilson
Made-in-India Cars: When Safety Isn't a Priority
Case with teaching notes | SAGE Business Cases | 2018
India's automobile industry has recently seen an increase in internationalization. However, crash tests performed in 2017 by the Global NCAP on cars built in India for the Indian market identified numerous models with failing scores and an astounding lack of what are today regarded basic safety qualities. This case examines the interplay between foreign firms, local consumers, and government regulations. Taking the Duster and Kwid as examples, two popular car models in India manufactured by the French multinational automobile company Renault, it allows students to think critically about differences in consumer needs, values, and standards, along with business ethics in an emerging market.
Wolfgang Messner, Katherine C. Wilson, Hyo Jin Yoon
A Short Guide on Doing Business in South Korea
Business Expert Press | 2018
South Korea is a dynamic country that has experienced very rapid economic growth, transitioning into a leading world economy in only a few decades. This tremendous change has led to a dramatic increase of international business exchanges with Korean companies, yet the complexities and cultural elements of the business environment in Korea are very different from those of a traditional Western-style business. Using cultural insight and real cases of Korean and foreign business exchanges, we have established some critical factors that one must understand in order to be successful in South Korea.
The intercultural training space is filled with a wide variety of trainers; the barrier for entry is relatively low. There are
certifications, but none are universally accepted as a standard. And so the field is largely filled with amateurs. Many companies
are puzzled about how to best select an intercultural trainer.
A competent and effective intercultural trainer needs to possess the following:
- Ability to distance oneself from the target culture. This may not, in fact, be a target country national. In some
cultures, speaking openly and honestly about one's own country to non-nationals is difficult, especially if problems
need to be addressed.
- Culturally correct, relevant, and up-to-date information about the target culture. The trainer should have lived
and worked in the target culture for several years. For some of the emerging markets, this in-country experience has to be
quite recent. Being a target country national is not necessary for providing accurate and unbiased information.
- Solid academic grounding in the theories and frameworks of intercultural communication. However, the trainer should not
exclusively rely on one framework (e.g. the Hofstede dimensions); such a training approach
is akin to nationalized generalization, overly simple, and outdated.
- Teaching and training pedagogy to aptly mix theory with applications, lectures with activities.
Organizations need employees who can successfully do business, interact, and behave in different cultural environments.
They need individuals who are trained for cultural intelligence, rather than people who merely possess knowledge about a different
There are lots of ways to gather information about other countries and cultures, like reading a book,
watching a YouTube clip, or doing a self-assessment with a tool. Some of these are quite entertaining, many contain only partically correct information. Most show an
unfortunate overreliance on a totally outdated practice of squeezing different cultures into seemingly neatly separated containers. For example,
administering a cultural self-assessment and comparing the respondent's cultural preference to the Hofstede dimensions is such a common methodological
mistake that it has its own name - ecological fallacy.
What is more, all these are venues of information gathering about countries, but not opportunities for developing cultural intelligence.
Only a real training or coaching session allows for interaction through questions and answers, and an exploration of how information
about another country and culture can be applied to a business context and personal situation. This allows individuals to competently
and confidently act in new and unknown situations. And India's cultural diversity has a whole lot of such situations to offer.
This article written by Kate Rodgriguez and published in The Economist Executive Education Navigator describes the custom Doing Business with India programs offered since 2012 by Wolfgang Messner and Rebecca Winkelmann, managing director of executive education at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management:
The industry-adaptive curriculum features visits to Mumbai, Bangalore, and Mysore over the course of a week, touring multinational company sites as well as local businesses and a school for underserved children. It’s all designed to give participants a deeper understanding of Indian work culture, consumer demand and investment risks and possibilities.
Horst Ellermann, editor in chief of the CIO.de Magazine and a program participant, highlights the importance of attending to cultural aspects when doing business in India.
The best strategy fails if it needs to fight an established culture. Academics and practitioners agree. Including Wolfgang Messner, Associate Professor of International Management at MYRA School of Business, whose resume features both business and academia. Messner has been living in South India for the past seven years. There is hardly any place on earth where leaders can test their leadership qualities - because domestic strategies don't work there. Messner knows that.
- Somok Ghosh - Germany
Head of Offshore Management, Deutsche Post
A very impressive seminar and certainly unique in its form. The seminar offers hands-on yet indepth information enabling our teams to successfully collaborate with our providers.
- Venkata Jayaraman - India
Country Head Payments & CMS Operations, ING Vysya Bank
I appreciate the efforts taken to explain and narrow the divide between different cultures and business communities.
- Govindaraju Nelamangala - India
Development Director Central Europe, Sartorius Stedim India
Wolfgang's training on Working across Cultures was very well received by all the participants. The realisation of cultural
differences and the learning about the values of other cultures is very useful in our international business. Initially,
the participants were sceptical about the program but when it started and went ahead, it was very enjoyable and learning was easy
through examples and video clips. It gave us the right understanding and approach towards intercultural differences.
- Andreas Philipp - Germany
Development Director Central Europe, Torex Retail Solutions
Many thanks for the excellent training! It has been very well received by the team and myself; I am sure it is going to be helpful to master our upcoming challenges.
- Peter Schmid - Germany
Senior Software Engineer, Elektrobit Automotive
Very vivid and broad review with many helpful hands-on examples.
- Srinivasan Sivasubramanian - India
Principal Consultant, Infosys
Doing business and meeting cultural differences are a given. But when you understand why people behave the way they do, things become far simpler. I thought I knew the nuances of how to do business – but this session helped me to look beyond the obvious.
- Ignanz Vinzenz - Switzerland
Director, IGS Informatikgesellschaft für Sozialversicherungen GmbH
I thank Wolfgang Messner for his effort in supporting our Indian projects. As a
trainer and coach he manages to convey images in his workshops that adequately
reflect the reality and thereby help our employees to safely, respectfully and
thus successfully collaborate with their Indian colleagues. In addition, the
seminar opens a door to a rather different, impressive culture. We consistently
receive a very good feedback from the participants – and an excellent one after
their first visit to India.
- James Wong - USA
Plant Manager, KHS USA Inc.
Wolfgang's training was both insightful and educational; I now understand the behavior, values, and culture of my colleagues from India and Germany better. Thank you!