Cultural compatibility, beside technical expertise and client references, is one of the most important nuances startups should consider prior to choosing an outsourcing partner. The stance on time and deadlines, gender differences, the ability to take responsibility and be a good team player are all the factors that make outsourcing partners either a pain in the neck or the driving force of your business.
The Ukrainian outsourcing market is one of the biggest in the world. According to a recent study, it holds the fourth place among IT outsourcing destinations of the world with the average 40% annual industry growth and 215 000 IT specialists. Global businesses like Microsoft, Motorola, TDK, Skype, Deutsche Bank, Kodak, Oracle, UBS Bank, Apple Inc., Avid, Bosch, eBay, Dell, and IBM have all taken advantage of IT outsourcing to Ukraine.
Cultural Dimensions Theory!
The reason behind the extraordinary growth seems to be not only technical capabilities of Ukrainian engineers but also cultural compatibility with western customers recently discovered by a study based on Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory. Here are the primary findings:
Ukrainians belong to a collectivist culture, contrary to American culture, which is highly individualistic. As collectivists, Ukrainians value their team and put the interests and results of the group over their individual achievements. This makes Ukrainians very good team-players longing for harmony and consensus.
Power distance index, which demonstrates the extent to which people submit to authority, is quite high for Ukrainian culture. Thus, Ukrainians highly respect superiors and don’t mind strict hierarchies in the company structure. Don’t feel awkward about this and feel free to be in charge.
In cultures with a high level of masculinity like America or German, people value ambition, power, and competitiveness. Ukrainian culture is more feminine. Ukrainians care a lot about the relationships with others, they are sensitive and try to avoid conflicts. So if you belong to a ‘masculine’ culture, do not expect tough negotiators, as Ukrainians will probably try to collaborate in most questions.
Another distinctive feature of Ukrainian culture is the desire to avoid uncertainty. As a result, Ukrainian outsourcers will gladly follow the rules and regulations, do their job step by step to prevent any undesirable risks.
Cultural differences may seem to be a real headache, but they can also be used to your advantage. There are even mobile apps designed to help manage people from different cultural backgrounds. So if your job involves dealing with people from different nationalities, we recommend checking out Culture GPS and Culture Compass.
On a final note, we at Letzgro believe that besides belonging to a certain culture, all our clients, no matter which country they come from, are people with their individual unique personalities. We sure are proud of being Ukrainians 🙂