Empathy in Global Business

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This paper analyses the concept of empathy in multinational organizations. In the 21st century “You need to be soft to get hard results!” as McDonald (2008) aptly stated. Based on contextual changes in both costumer clienteles and among younger employees, empathy or compassion is becoming central concepts in international business. We analyses the concept of empathy in a global context describing it mainly from a phenomenological perspective, but also introduce other approaches for comparative and informative reasons. After having defined empathy as consisting of three elements i.e. know yourself, know the other and create positive communication, we focus on intentional mode of understanding involving envisaging the actions and emotions of ‘the other’. Empathy, triggered and mediated by various social encounters, assume different form and encompassing an array of possibilities for interpersonal understanding depending on the constitution of a given context. Based on this we analyze Maersk Line’s organizational culture and how employees navigate it accordingly.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherAsia Research Community, CBS
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesCopenhagen Discussion Papers

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