Cultural differences between the countries of Western Europe and the countries of the ancient Eastern Bloc
[Les différences culturelles entre les pays d’Europe occidentale et les pays de l’ancien bloc de l’Est]
The aim of this article is to show the cultural differences that exist between Western European countries and those of the former Eastern Bloc. On the one hand, we will study the consequences of the different political regimes and on the other hand those connected to the heritage of different cultures. We will touch on the example of the French (descendants of the Latins) and the Slovaks as representatives of the Slavic countries. On a professional level, we will emphasize the observed differences concerning the methods of behaviour, of thinking, of reasoning, of argumentation and of discussion as well as such notions as motivation, time, assertiveness and even emotional dimensions. These observations and personal experiences are based on formal surveys, inquiries and interviews with French and Slovak employees who work in French businesses located in Slovakia or by the work of French and Slovak students studying in Slovakia or in France. The results of this research can be applied in education as well as in organisations or businesses whose workforce is composed of several nationalities or cultures.
Key words: intercultural communication, cultural difference, cultural conflict, cultural sensitivity, stereotypes