Selling Cultural Difference
The case is about a group of French small business owners, managers and entrepreneurs trying to create or grow their business in China with the aid of consultants, public servants and peers. It shows how cross-cultural consultants can use their intermediary position and manipulate inexperienced international wannabes. The case goes beyond the traditional, mainstream perspective that often considers cross-cultural management (CCM) actors as benevolent mediators and critically analyses how consultants and self-claimed experts can take advantage of their role to run a profitable business. It also provides some guidelines to develop more efficient and ethical CCM consulting services.