ABOUT THE PROJECT

The basic idea.

Born and raised at the Czech-German border, I always had some interest in the Czech Republic. Within my studies of International Cultural and Business studies with a specialization on Slavic national cultures, I myself started to Czech out the Czechs.

For the study year 2016/2017 I was granted a study scholarship for the University of Economics in Prague. Prague is a city full of funny, sad, beautiful and horrible stories. During my stay in Prague I spent many hours discovering both the Czech culture and the Czech capital, which inspired me to create the Czech out the Czechs walking tour.

The good reason.

Interculturalists like Hofstede or Trompenaars show in their research that national culture has a huge influence on what individuals regard as normal ways of acting, thinking and feeling in the context of a given situation. This cultural mindset is constructed during childhood, when individuals are enculturated, i.e. they learn the values and practices of their national culture as a reference system.* A Czech person has therefore a different cultural mindset as for example a Spanish person. In a given situation Czechs may therefore regard another reaction as appropriate than the Spanish.

Getting to know another cultural mindset helps us to reduce conflicts and built good relationships. It also enables us to escape the trap of ethnocentrism, in which an individual is persuaded that their own national culture is superior to all other national cultures.

Within the walking tour and also in scientific studies generalizations are used with regard to national cultures. This means we will say for example “the Czechs” prefer this or that. Of course this does not mean that every Czech is like that. However, it helps us to see, which tendency the majority of people sharing a certain national culture, has. This again helps us to understand their national culture in total better. But it is very important to always see the person and to be empathic when communicating.

The underlying methodology.

This tour aims to support the development of intercultural competence. Intercultural competence consists of three sub-competences: affective competence, cognitive competence and pragmatic-communicative competence. The affective competence consists of openness and interest, empathy and understanding of others as well as ambiguity tolerance. The cognitive competence includes knowledge about other cultures, culture theoretical knowledge and self-reflection. The pragmatic-communicative competence consists of the usage of appropriate communicative patterns and effective strategies for resolving cultural conflicts.**

This tour works mainly in the areas of affective and cognitive competence. It tries to create a cultural sensibility and openness towards the Czech national culture. Moreover, it delivers facts and figures regarding the Czech history and cultural heritage, which builds up knowledge. The exercises, which are included in the tour serve mainly the purpose of self-reflection.

The cultural study.

The Czech out the Czech walking tour is based on a combination of scientific studies*** of the Czech national culture conducted by the Department of Psychology and Sociology of Management and the Department of English of the University of Economics in Prague. This combinatory study I furthermore backed up with the research published by Schroll-Machl and Nový to create an as realistic and profound display of the Czech national culture as possible.

The result of the merged studies by the University of Economics Prague is a solid foundation for the walking tour, as it combines the inside with the outside perspective. The Department of English used Hofstede’s quantitative questionnaire VSM 94, which researches the outside perspective on the Czech national culture. The Department of Psychology and Sociology Management conducted a study, which looks at the Czech culture from an inside perspective. It applied a qualitative PKS questionnaire to get a more vivid and dynamic characteristic of social principles as well as mechanisms of the Czech behavior. The findings of both studies were finally compared and merged. Combining the inner and outer perspective leads to a balanced and profound overall picture of the Czech national culture.

The precious helpers.

Within this project I had quite some precious helpers.

MOCKRÁT DĚKUJI, VIELEN DANK  & THANKS A LOT

doc. Ing. Miroslava Zamykalová, CSc. and Ing. Petr Chalupecký from the University of Economics in Prague for their proof-reading and advice regarding the cultural and historical aspects of this tour and for their encouragement

Dominik Mandl for his help in setting this page up and his advice how to promote this tour

Stefan Brunnbauer for his advice regarding the graphics and the realization of the logo and the map

Natania Ang Brüggemann for making my English more beautiful

Denisa Pěkná, Květa Kupková, Simona Sebová, Michaela Svobodová, Kateřina Novotná, Dominik Ranš, Adam Slávik, Ondřej Piksa, Šimon Piksa and David Ranš for being my beautiful audio voices

My parents and siblings for their advice and support

The inspiring sources.

For my audio texts I was inspired by several sources.

http://www.prague.eu/de/objekt/orte/414/kino-lucerna?back=1

http://www.prague.eu/de/objekt/orte/980/galerie-der-kritiker-palais-adria-galerie-kritiku-palac-adria

http://www.prague.eu/en/object/places/188/old-town-hall-with-astronomical-clock-staromestska-radnice-s-orlojem?back=1

http://www.prague.eu/en/object/places/1643/dancing-house-tancici-dum?back=1

http://en.praguestartupcentre.cz

http://www.narodni-divadlo.cz/en/national-theatre/history

http://www.kinolucerna.cz/

http://www.bpb.de/apuz/29477/die-aufarbeitung-der-diktaturen-in-tschechien-und-der-slowakei?p=all

https://geert-hofstede.com/national-culture.html

Altmann/Krauthamer 2011. National Geographic. Spirallo Reiseführer Prag.

Bussmann/Tröger 2015. Prag MM-City.

Valeš & Friends 2016. Prague Superguide Edition No.2.

Bočánková 2014. Intercultural Communication. Typical features of Czech, British, American, Japanese, Chinese and Arab cultures.

Bočánková/Pavlica 2000/2. Hodnotové zaměření české kultury a sociální mechanism jeho reprodukce a transformace v pracovním I mimopracovním životě. Šoučasná Evropa a Česká republika..

Schroll-Machl/Nový 2009. Beruflich in Tschechien. Trainingsprogramm für Manager, Fach- und Führungskräfte.

Schroll-Machl 2005. Perfekt geplant und genial improvisiert? Kulturunterschiede in der deutsch-tschechischen Zusammenarbeit.

as well as doc. Ing. Miroslava Zamykalová, CSc. and Ing. Petr Chalupecký from the University of Economics in Prague

For the theoretical part also.

Hampden-Turner/Trompenaars 2012. Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business.

Hofstede/Minkov 2010. Cultures and Organizations. Software of the Mind: Intercultural Cooperation and its Importance for Survival.

Geertz 1973. The Interpretation of Cultures.

* Hofstede 2001. Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations.

** Erll/Gymnich 2007. Interkulturelle Kompetenzen. Erfolgreich kommunizieren zwischen den Kulturen. p. 148.

*** Bočánková 2014. Intercultural Communication. Typical features of Czech, British, American, Japanese, Chinese and Arab cultures. p. 41-47.