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Fons Trompenaars studied Economics at the Free University of Amsterdam and later earned a Ph.D. from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, with a dissertation on differences in conceptions of organizational structure in various cultures.
He is the author of the book 'Riding the Waves of Culture - Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business'. This highly acclaimed book is described as a masterpiece about intercultural management in the emerging global village.
Fons read Economics at the Free University of Amsterdam and later studied for his PhD at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania writing his dissertation on the 'difference in conceptions or organisational structure in various cultures.'
He experienced cultural differences himself; both at home where he grew up speaking French and Dutch and at work where he handled operations for the Royal Dutch Shell Group in nine different countries.
Areas of Expertise
Fons Trompenaars’ presentations and seminars on cross cultural management have empowered organisations throughout the business world.
He not only discusses the implications for managing or being managed, working together, building relationships, team-working, negotiating and communicating with people from other cultures, but more so aims to increase understanding of different values, leading to greater respect for diverse ways of operating and leading to desire and skills to reconcile cultural differences to achieve superior ("world class") business performance.
To benefit from the vast opportunities presented by cultural differences is a major challenge for any international organisation. Fons has developed a model to analyse cultural differences, the so-called "Seven Dimensions of Culture Model".
Fons Trompenaars serves as a visiting professor for the international MBA Programme at the Erasmus University - Rotterdam School of Management.
His book 'Riding the Waves of Culture' provides an excellent narrative and incidentally a very good read, on practical relationships in international management and also those arising from managers dealing with culturally diverse work force within a particular country. He also describes in one chapter the implications between 'National Cultures and Corporate Culture'.
Fons has also co-authored "Seven Cultures of Capitalism".
His general topics include:
• Managing across Cultures
• Multicultural Management
• International Teambuilding
• Remote Management
• The Management of Strategic Dilemmas
• Culture Compass Country Briefings
• The Challenge of International Business
In 2003, a compilation of his bi-weekly articles in the Dutch Financial newspaper was released under the title Did the Pedestrian Die (Capstone/Wiley). In December of 2003, Business Across Cultures (co-written with Peter Woolliams) was released as the first book in a new series called Culture for Business. The following three books, Managing People Across Cultures, Managing Changes Across Corporate Cultures, and Marketing Across Cultures (co-authored with Charles Hampden-Turner, Peter Prud’homme and Peter Woolliams) have since been released, with more books to follow.
In 1991 Fons Trompenaars was awarded the International Professional Practice Area Research Award by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). He was mentioned as one of the top 5 management consultants, next to Michael Porter, Tom Peters and Edward de Bono in a leading Business magazine in August 1999.
In 1994 the translation of his book Riding the Waves of Culture was awarded “Book of the Year” by the Order of Experts and Consultants on Organization (OOA), a Dutch management organization.