Getting Googly in Dublin

Dublin is full of culture. In fact, the entire city is based upon the idea of culture and the relationships that are formed because of that culture. Our guest speaker in class today, Dr. Darren Kelly, told us how culture is based upon everyday human behavior that is embedded within someone – something untaught like a knee jerk reaction.

Dr. Kelly started off the day talking to us about the culture regarding Dublin as a whole, discussing the high context by which they live their lives. In contrast with the low context culture of America, Ireland is relationship-led and tend to value the time spent building relationships with their colleagues over the overall productivity of the business. Dr. Kelly taught us that it’s especially critical to increase your cultural intelligence when interacting with people in different countries in order to enhance the ability to understand foreign cultures. We have to be willing to change our generic view of the world and realize that there’s more to the world than our own cultural understanding within America. It was interesting to see how the cultural context of Dublin has changed over time, dating back to the unfair rule of England in the past. In addition, seeing the differences between Irish culture and American culture and the values that each one possesses made me realize that it’s important to take that into account, especially if I plan to major in Global Management.

After our lecture from Dr. Kelly, we took a bus down to the Docklands to visit the Google headquarters of Europe. Compared to the Google offices in Pittsburgh, the Dublin offices gave me a much more satisfying feeling about working there. For one, the careers at Google are business-oriented rather than engineering-oriented, which is much more practical. Secondly, the entire culture and atmosphere of Google Dublin was much more appealing to me than Google Pittsburgh. The values that were present within the company seemed to embody the high context values that Dr. Kelly was discussing in his lecture. They possessed strong working values, and tried to make the environment relaxing and inviting, while still emphasizing the need to get things done in the workplace. In addition, the job is based upon teamwork and collaboration between people of the same work sectors as well as different work sectors. This represents another example of the high context culture within the workplace of Dublin, basing it off of relationships rather than productivity. Overall, I have a much better perspective of Google than I had from just visiting the offices in Pittsburgh.

Today gave me a great amount of insight into the culture of the city of Dublin, along with how the business culture of the city works. Having cultural competency and intelligence is extremely important, especially when it comes to working and interacting with people that have different cultures than ourselves.