Meetings across mindsets: navigating contexts of culture and language as a key to international business success

En endags konference (på engelsk) organiseret af Department of International Economics and Management, Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, og Department of International Business Communication - samt støttet af CBS Competitiveness Platformen.

Torsdag, 12 november, 2015 - 09:00 to 17:30

A video with some of the talks from the conference is available: Meetings across mindsets conference talks
Contents of the video (each talk lasts ca 30 minutes, it is possible to fast-forward in the recording):
Professor Ari Kokko, CBS, Patterns of Global Trade.
Jesper N. Kjærsig, CEO Nohr-Con, Beyond the Anecdotes.
Professor Mary Yoko Brannen, University of Victoria, Cultural Differences as Key to Innovation, Growth and Ongoing Strategic Renewal.
Adjunct Professor Maurice Biriotti, SHM London, Companies operating in a global world.
Tim Ørting Jørgensen, Executive Vice President, Consumer Germany and Netherlands, Arla Foods, Negotiating internationally ... experiences and learnings.

See the full programme of the conference below:

Meetings across mindsets:
navigating contexts of culture and language
as a key to international business success

CBS welcomes you to a one-day conference about the importance of understanding mindset, language and cultural context in order to ensure success in global business

The latent barriers to global business interaction constituted by language and culture are often not fully realized by businesses, nor, conversely, is the potential inherent in being able to navigate around them fully exploited. A business will usually know it when it hits legal or financial barriers but may not even be aware that business is lost when it hits invisible and intangible linguistic or cultural barriers. However, what may be unwittingly lost may also be willfully gained.

The purpose of this conference is to facilitate knowledge sharing and to open up dialogue between the business community and researchers engaged in studying cognition, language, culture and societal contexts of doing international business. Internationally acclaimed scholars and senior representatives from major Danish companies have accepted the invitation to present their views on language and culture challenges and opportunities in the global market place, and thus set the stage for a day of fruitful debate about what the challenges are, how they arise and how they may be understood and addressed.


08.30-09.00: Registration & coffee

09.00-09.15: Per Holten Andersen, President of CBS, Introduction

09.15-09.45: Professor Ari Kokko, Asia Research Centre, CBS, Patterns of Global Trade

09.45-11.30: Session 1: Mindsets and markets:

Entering foreign markets is not just about preparing a company for engaging in a new market context through various business strategies or entry modes. It is also to prepare for being confronted by other types of mindset that are based on local social, cultural and political factors that govern the mode in which competitors and potential new partners conduct business in that particular market context. A consequence of this is that the world in which we do business cannot be perceived as being flat and standardized but rather contextually and locally determined. How do you adapt to a multitude of markets?

Jesper N. Kjærsig, CEO, Nohr-Con, Beyond the anecdotes.
Professor Mary Yoko Brannen, University of Victoria, Canada, Cultural Differences as Key to  Innovation, Growth and Ongoing Strategic Renewal.

Comments and questions by CBS scholars: Associate Professor Jasper Hotho (INT), Professor Jens Gammelgaard (INT) and Professor Per Durst-Andersen (IBC), followed by general discussion.

11.30-11.45: Coffee Break

11.45-12.15: Adjunct Professor Maurice Biriotti, SHM, London, New York and Mexico City, Companies operating in a global world

12.15-13.15: Lunch and Poster presentations by junior CBS researchers:
Dr. Guro Refsum Sanden (IBC), Assistant Professor Fumiko Kano Glückstad (IBC), Industrial PhD fellow Jacob Taarup (IKL) and Assistant Professor Xin Li (INT).

13.15-15.00: Session 2: Negotiation across cultural contexts:

Negotiating in a cross-cultural context is not done on a level playing field. Rather it is based on potentially conflicting, individual cognitive interpretations of the elements that constitute the basic script for doing business in the market in question. The way to successful negotiations is thus not through an exchange of sophisticated stereotypes about the ‘other’, but rather through an alignment of empathic understanding of the ‘other’ in a given negotiation context taking local specificities into account. What is the relevant empathic understanding and how is it achieved?

Tim Ørting Jørgensen, Executive Vice President, Consumer Central Europe, Arla Foods, Negotiating internationally…..experiences and learnings.
Professor Michael W. Morris, Columbia University, USA, Cultural scripts for negotiations: When they affect people and what to do about it.

Comments and questions by CBS scholars: Assistant Professor Ana Alacovska (ICM), Associate Professor Magali Gravier (ICM) and Professor Verner Worm (INT), followed by general discussion.

15.00-15.15: Coffee Break

15.15-17.00: Session 3: Multilingual and multicultural businesses

Businesses are becoming increasingly international both in terms of operating on more and more markets in business-to-business or business-to-consumer relations and in terms of hiring more and more highly professional staff on the international job market. At the same time, partners, customers and staff increasingly expect communication tailored to their culture- and language-bound needs and expectations. This development is a challenge. What level of linguistic agility is called for and how is it achieved by the individual and by the organization?

Jakob de la Cour, Chief of Staff, Deputy General Manager, Huawei Technologies Denmark, The Middle Kingdom goes west – the experiences of a practitioner.
Dr. Jo Angouri, Warwick University, UK, Repositioning the multilingual organisation.

Comments and questions by CBS scholars: Associate Professor Margrethe Mondahl (IBC), Associate Professor Mette Zølner (ICM)  and Assistant Professor Minna Paunova (IBC) followed by general discussion.

17.00-17.30: Concluding Panel – observations and future directions

  • Anna Leclercq Vrang, Political Advisor, Confederation of Danish Industry.
  • Jacob Johansen, Director of International Business, Mensch.

      Discussion with the speakers of the day and the audience.
      Closing remarks: Dorte Salskov-Iversen, Vice President for International Affairs at CBS.

All are welcome, participation is free but registration is necessary to Merete Borch at no later than 6 November.

For more information, please contact Alex Klinge (, Michael Jakobsen ( or Mette Zølner (

The Department of International Economics and Management (INT)
Tthe Department of Intercultural Communication and Management (ICM)
The Department of International Business Communication (IBC)

Supported by:
The CBS Competitiveness Platform


Ari Kokko
Ari Kokko is a professor at the Department of International Economics and Management at Copenhagen Business School and director of the School’s Asia Research Centre. Kokko is also affiliated with the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies in Copenhagen, the European Institute of Japanese Studies at the Stockholm School of Economics, and the Ratio Institute in Stockholm. His research interests cover a wide set of issues in economic development, international trade, and international business, both in a Nordic and an international context. Much of this research is reported in an extensive publication list including more than 100 journal articles, books, book chapters, and research reports. In recent years, he has focused in particular on East and Southeast Asia, and been engaged as an advisor and consultant to several national governments and international organizations.
Jesper Kjærsig

Jesper N. Kjærsig, CEO, EMBA, M.Sc. Geography, started Nohr-Con on February 1st 2002 and today is responsible for the daily operation and on-going development of Nohr-Con. He holds a Masters degree in cultural geography and has since taken an E-MBA at Copenhagen Business School. This mixture of educations helps setting the agenda for his daily work, where he wants to create a company where his colleagues are happy to be working across cultures.

Mary Yoko Brannen Mary Yoko Brannen is the Jarislowsky East Asia (Japan) Chair of Cross-Cultural Management, Professor of International Business, and Research Director at the University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business. She is also Visiting Professor at Stanford University in the Work, Technology and Organization Group. Professor Brannen’s expertise in multinational affairs is evident in her research, consulting, teaching, and personal background. Born and raised in Japan, having studied in France and Spain, and having worked as a cross-cultural consultant for over 25 years to various Fortune 100 companies, she brings a multi-faceted, deep knowledge of today’s complex cultural business environment.  As a researcher, she is internationally recognized as an expert in cross-cultural management, ethnomethodology and qualitative studies of complex cultural organizational phenomena.
Maurice Biriotti Professor Maurice Biriotti is Chief Executive of SHM and a Founding Trustee of the SHM Foundation. Before setting up the company in 1996, Maurice was a full-time academic, and held posts at the Universities of Cambridge, Birmingham and Zurich. His published work covers literature, philosophy, anthropology and the dynamics of cultural change. SHM was founded on the insight that human motivation is at the root of all business success and is critical to business innovation and the delivery of competitive advantage. Maurice has applied this insight successfully across both the public and private sectors and it remains at the heart of all of the work the company carries out. In the private sector, Maurice works with global corporations both in the UK and internationally, to guide and manage major change initiatives, build capabilities and manage the operational health of relationships. Maurice Biriotti is Adjunct Professor at the Department of International Business Communication, CBS.
Tim Ørting Jørgensen Tim Ørting Jørgensen is Executive Vice President for Consumer Central Europe at Arla Foods. He joined Arla Foods amba in 1991 and has held several management positions within the company's international business group, including a three-year position in the Middle East and three years in Brazil. In 2005, he became the Chief Executive Officer for Arla Foods amba's Danish division and in 2007, he was appointed as Executive Vice President, with the overall responsibility for Arla Foods amba's international activities outside Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. In 2012, he was appointed to lead Arla Foods amba's newly established German/Dutch business group, with the clear objective of establishing Arla Foods amba as a leading dairy company in Germany through mergers and acquisitions. In 2014 he was appointed member of Vigor Alimentos S.A. supervisory board in Sao Paulo/Brazil.
Michael Morris Michael Morris is the Chavkin-Chang Professor of Leadership in the Columbia Business School as well as a Professor in the Psychology Department of Columbia University.  He regularly teaches MBA classes on negotiation, decision making and group dynamics. Professor Morris also teaches executive-level courses at Columbia as well as at Berkeley, Kellogg, London and Stanford Business Schools. In his research career, Professor Morris has published over 60 articles in the leading psychology and management journals on topics such as individual decision making, interpersonal influence, and social networks, with a particular emphasis on the influence of culture. Prior to joining the Columbia in 2001, Dr. Morris was a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Psychology Department.  He served as a visiting professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1995 and at the University of Hong Kong in 2000.  
Jakob D. de la Cour Jakob de la Cour is Chief of Staff and Deputy General Manager, Huawei Technologies Denmark. Jakob de la Cour has held the position as Deputy General Manager in Huawei Technologies Denmark since May 2015. He started as HR Director in Huawei in 2013. Prior to this, Jakob de la Cour was with the TDC Group, where he served as Head of HR in TDC Consumer and earlier on as Group Board Secretary. He holds a Masters degree in law.
Jo Angouri

Jo Angouri is Associate Professor at the Centre for Applied Linguistics at the University of Warwick, Coventry. Before joining the Centre for Applied Linguistics Jo was a Senior Lecturer at the Bristol Centre for Linguistics (BCL). Jo is an experienced researcher and has carried out fieldwork in a range of professional and health care settings in different countries in Europe. She has worked in EU and UK funded research projects and has published in specialist and wide readership journals and edited collections. Jo Angouri’s research interest is the analysis of interaction and the relationship between language, culture and identity. Much of her work has focused on professional discourse and she has carried out research in a range of corporate, academic and health care settings. She has published work on identity, culture, multilingualism, language policy and language use.