Tom Sorensen | NPAworldwide

5 tips to bridge Thai and Western working culture




It is no wonder that foreign executives and Thai colleagues or staff at times find each other complete idiots. 😯

Just think of these potential pitfalls: 

  • Do you use first name or last name addressing each other
  • Body language
  • Passing on something with right or left hand
  • Greeting gestures like soft or hard hand-shake
  • Dress-code like wearing long- or short sleeve dress shirt in business, 
  • Gift-giving, social customs, and behavioural protocols.

What may be considered perfectly acceptable and natural in one country, can be confusing or even offensive in another. 

So, when you work internationally or interact daily with other people from different countries, within your company or with others abroad, it’s essential to be aware of cultural differences. 

There are literally hundreds of books written about cultural dimensions. Attempting to draw any conclusions from just one blog will indeed seem foolish. I agree. But here it is. 


What are the 5 Cultural Dimensions?

You cannot talk about cross-culture and not refer to Geert Hofstede or Erin Meyer. Hofstede identified five dimensions or 'problem areas' which represent differences among national cultures. Read more…


How Thailand compares to other cultures

It’s a culture in which inequalities are accepted (rich and poor). There is a close long-term commitment to family and extended relationships. Thais are not competitive enough. Personal relationship is key to conducting business. Read more…


Compare your own nationality to another

The cool thing is that you can easily compare your own nationality with any other. If you are a foreigner and like to compare yourself with your Thai colleagues. Or Thai and you want to compare yourself with your farang boss? Read more…


Tips for Thai’s with a foreign boss

When your boss looks serious and stressed, it’s not because she does not like you, care for or respect you. Read more…


The most important tip for foreigners with Thai staff

Do not and ever think that your Thai staff know your personal preferences to the following – and why this one is the most important tip. Read more…


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