GlobeSmart and David Matsumoto

Someone I was talking with about organizational culture mentioned an organization called GlobeSmart that offers advice and information on doing business in various countries via a web tool. One of the elements is a self-assessment that

"Compares your personal interaction style with the styles and preferences of people from locales around the globe". But there is a firm note that The GlobeSmart Assessment Profile is not a predictor of success across cultures; it is a tool for helping you increase your awareness of potential gaps and develop strategies for effectively bridging those gaps".

Curious about this I had a go – rating myself again people in the Philippines, and then the Netherlands. (These were two of the three options in the demo available).

More curious, as the tool reminded me of Hofstede's work, I found out that it is based on the Matsumoto Self Assessment Tool which I had never heard of. But I learned that:

"The tool is an adaptation of a highly reliable and valid research instrument developed by a leading cross-cultural researcher, Dr. David Matsumoto of San Francisco State University. The country scores were derived from the merged data of four leading cross-cultural researchers: Hofstede, Schwartz, McCrae and Inglehart.

The GAP country scores are empirically derived, statistical averages of all of the available country data on the six cultural dimensions as they currently exist in the research literature. The country scores have been thoroughly tested and show strong evidence of validity on all six cultural dimensions".

Hmmm – I'm skeptical of this type of thing so I turned to find out more about Dr David Matsumoto who appears to be one of the most energetic men on the planet – just read the lists of his activities and publications. It was interesting to discover that among other talents he is "an expert in the field of facial expressions, microexpressions, gesture, nonverbal behavior, emotion and deception". So maybe the self assessment test is not deceptive, unless being an expert in deception enables him to deceive people. (Sidebar: As a consequence of this reading I wondered whether I should take judo lessons – is there a correlation between judo and work productivity?) Anyway, an hour or so passed on this research and I was reassured enough to put one of Matsumoto's books Culture and Psychology on my Amazon wish list ready for when I have time to order and read it.

POSTSCRIPT: On October 5 201O I received an email from Leigh Roxas saying:

To Whom It May Concern:

I work with Dr. Matsumoto, and came across your blog article, "Globesmart and David Matsumoto." Could you please add that Dr. Matsumoto is the director of Humintell, as well as a link to our website (www.humintell.com)? Thank you.

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