Cultural Encounters in the Banking Sector of Serbia: The Case of Raiffeisenbank

  • Jelena Pešić Department of Sociology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
organizational culture, national culture, cultural shock, cultural mediators, banking sector, Serbia


This paper aims to examine the existence of cultural shock, differences and conflicts inside Raiffeisenbank, between personnel belonging to two national cultures (Austrian and Serbian), which could, conditionally, be regarded as representatives of ’’Western’’ and ’’Eastern’’ cultural models. The focus of the research was on elements of organizational culture, such as horizontal and vertical relationships, the type of leadership, the extent of formalization of procedures and work tasks, the types of motivations for different parties, but also on certain elements of work cultures (e.g., the respect of time limits, attitude toward extended working hours, etc.). Specific focus was placed on the role of cultural mediators, whose function was to mediate in the process of adaptation by the representatives of local national culture to novelties in the organizational culture imported from the outside, but also in the process of adaptation by foreigners to the local culture. The case study comprises a short history of Raiffeisenbank, analysis of written documents, and in depth interviews with individuals who could be regarded as "typical" in the examined cultural encounters.


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How to Cite
Pešić, Jelena. 2011. “Cultural Encounters in the Banking Sector of Serbia: The Case of Raiffeisenbank”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 6 (1), 23-55.