Don’t mess with my Professionalism


ACE-ing business through intercultural conflict resolution
Questioning others’ professionalism is an immediate negative reaction that many international executives have when facing workplace behaviour that is culturally different from theirs. ‘Professionalism’ becomes the alibi for ethnocentrism which in turn jeopardizes relationships at work and reduces chances of success in the ever-growing multicultural business world. Such a phenomenon may help explain why 70% of Mergers and Acquisitions that fail are due to cultural differences, whether these may be corporate or national. According to another research, 60 to 80% of all difficulties in organizations stem from conflicts between employees. These difficulties increase when cultures collide. This book goes beyond individual views of “professionalism” to discuss the complex intercultural conflict phenomenon at work and propose practical ways to resolve it effectively. The distillation of our research enabled us to unveil a framework for intercultural conflict resolution called ACE, which consists of three parts:

i) Attending to the emotions;
ii) Contextualizing the conflict;
iii) Exploring conflict resolutions.



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About the Author

Vanessa Barros was born in Paris to a Portuguese actor and a French teacher. She was raised in Portugal and France. She started travelling by herself at the age of sixteen in the US and throughout Brazil the following year. She never stopped exploring the world ever since. She graduated with a master of science in Management from ESSEC Business School and embarked on an international advertising career for the next twenty years. She ran local, regional and global accounts at Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann-Erickson, Havas, BETC and Ogilvy, working for prestigious clients including Reckitt Benckiser, Nina Ricci, Procter & Gamble, Lolita Lempicka, Danone, Kraft Foods Peugeot and Unilever. She worked on four continents (North America, South America, Europe, Central Asia and Asia), speaks four languages fluently and has gained solid experience in multi-cultural management, team leadership, operations and business development. Vanessa completed her PhD in cultural intelligence with the Center for Leadership and Cultural Intelligence at the Nanyang Business School (Nanyang Technological University) under the supervision of Professor Ang Soon. Her research focuses on the strategies adopted by senior international executives to manage intercultural conflicts effectively. Vanessa Barros shares her time between research, education and consulting around the world whilst raising her three sons. Guided Bouchamaoui is a 2015 Nobel Prize-winning businesswoman. She is the leader of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, and in 2014 won the Oslo Business for Peace Award.


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