Impact of Business Culture on Performance

As an expat executive, how to seamlessly and successfully transition into an overseas assignment and do business globally is critical.


In fact, it is possible for an expatriate to adapt to a new business environment by recognizing the different dimensions in business culture, understanding them and taking the necessary steps to adapt to or embrace them. In such cases, these differences can be transformed into advantages, paving the way to success.


A key success factor for many expat assignments is ‘the implementation of the core business by Turkish employees and operational management’ as soon as possible. However, this is hardly ever realized by simply copying and imposing on employees the working processes that other international offices in the company are accustomed to.


Instead, this is where the need for expertise and relevant skills come into play. We, as Business Support Turkey see to it that different cultures are quickly integrated and that a mutual understanding is achieved in order to facilitate a smooth transition and enable effective and efficient relationship building between management and Turkish staff.




The first step is to differentiate the cultural dimensions between your home country and Turkey. Accordingly, we help you identify and understand the corporate culture of the organization in which you are working. If you happen to work with a company that has the same corporate culture in each country, we can help you understand the mutual interaction with local business contacts outside of your organization. This is followed by a session, which reveals and measures your cultural quotients and ability to adapt to a different culture. Finally, we take time to assess and understand your individual management skills. Our aim is to discover which of your individual skills should be activated in order to improve your business culture acumen. This is a 2-day program consisting of 5 separate modules, which can be taken separately or as a complete package. The program is a mixture of methodologies and personal experiences. After this training program we are available to provide ongoing coaching support as well. This provides an opportunity for the expat to share any difficulties he/she is facing and to obtain support, especially during the first couple of months of their new assignment.




We have extensive experience doing business in Turkey whether in a corporate setting or in the area of entrepreneurship. We have had successful business interactions over the years with organizations that span the globe, including the Netherlands, Belgium, USA, UK, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Taiwan, China and India. We have a large and effective network and can provide support for expatriates who are interested in pursuing these connections. We hope that by passing on the assets and knowledge we have acquired over our lifetime that it helps expats ease into this transition period and makes them more successful.





We worked with a client executive who was accustomed to a flat organizational structure where subordinates collaborated with him to accomplish business goals. Once he started working at the local subsidiary of his company, he assumed that his subordinates would be willing to share their ideas and be receptive to constructive criticism. However, during internal meetings everyone would listen to him, but there was no participation or dialogue. He wasn’t aware that his subordinates were accustomed to a high-distance-to-power environment, meaning, his staff mobilized only if they received an order from the ‘boss’. While they did not object to anything he said or requested, they also did not take initiative without first asking permission for every tactical action item. After completing our module, which helped inform him of the main cultural differences he faced, he was able to recognize and understand the motivation and rationale for his staff’s behavior. At that point, his next challenge was to determine how to collaborate and communicate with his staff to reach mutually agreed upon working relationship.


First he had to understand the perception that his management style had on his staff. They expected him to know everything, as he was the ‘boss’. From the point of view of his staff, they thought ‘Why should we tell him what to do? If we knew what to do and how to act for a particular issue, then what was his role as a manager?’ How could they respect someone who was acting according to the ideas or opinions of his subordinates instead of his own? After developing his sense of cultural intelligence he slowly gained new perspective and insight on the perception of his subordinates and how to encourage them to be the best they can be. He was able to motivate, galvanize and lead them in order to reach their corporate goals by creating productive relationships. After filling the gaps between his individual skills, understanding the cultural dimensions and corporate culture and giving weight to people’s differences, he was now able to communicate effectively in a different cultural setting and make use of his local team to gain competitive edge for reaching his personal and corporate goals.




Semiha Ünal, who grew up in the Netherlands, is the owner of BST. She has an MBA degree from Empire State College/State University of New York, and over 30 years of international business experience. She is fluent in Turkish, Dutch and English. She can also converse in French and German at a basic level. During her corporate career, she worked in the following fields:

·       Office management

·       Foreign trade

·       Corporate communications

·       International project management

·       Executive Training and Coaching

·       Planning of Production and Investments


Semiha is eligible to provide consultation equipped with the experiences and ability to look through a variety of angles like:

·       Small - Large enterprise

·       Service Sector-Industry Sector

·       Local-International organization

·       Private-Public company

·       Employee -Manager

·       Team Member-Team Leader

·       Corporate Professional- Entrepreneur

·       Theoretical knowledge-Practical Experience

·       Local education-International education




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