November 2, 2021

Tisch Center Course Spotlight: Global Strategies Across Cultures

Professor Jukka Laitamaki, PhD. teaches the Global Strategies across Cultures course (TCHS1-GC 1025) in the MS in Global Hospitality Management at the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality. Global Strategies across Cultures is part of the Tisch Center’s new Masters programs, the MS in Global Hospitality Management. Learn more about Professor Laitamaki's own background, and insights into the course in this post.

Please can you tell us about your background? 

My expertise is in strategy, marketing, branding, sustainability, and entrepreneurship with a special focus on international hospitality, tourism and service industries. I have over 30 years of higher education and consulting experience in over 20 countries on six continents and at the United Nations. I have worked as a management consultant with Service Management Group and McKinsey & Company, and as a professor at U.C. Berkeley, Fordham University, and New York University. 

At the Tisch Center, you teach the Global Strategies across Cultures course. What are the objectives of the course?

The course analyzes global strategies across cultures with a focus on the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries. It covers key globalization drivers including the political, economic, legal, and technological forces. The cultural context of global strategies is addressed by highlighting cultural differences and similarities across countries and regions as well as through cross-cultural communications and negotiations practices. The formulation and implementation of global strategies will cover the planning process, selection of organizational structures, and human resources management.

Why is this an important and interesting subject area in our fields?

The hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors are truly global industries that cover every culture and country in the world. Understanding the global strategies of major hospitality, travel, and tourism companies and the cross-cultural environment they operate is important for every future hospitality leader. The course has several interesting case studies and guest speakers highlighting their personal experiences and insights into managing global organizations in various cross-cultural environments. The cases include McDonald’s in China, Vietnam, Russia, and Iceland; KFC in China; Starbucks in China, Vietnam, and India; Cirque de Soleil’s Global Strategy as well as global strategies of IHG, Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, Accor, and Rosewood Hotels. The guest speakers have global and cross-cultural experience with organizations such as Turkish Airlines, U.S. Peace Corps, IBM Global Airline Practice, Colgate-Palmolive, Schenker International, Mondalez, Hyatt, and Starwood Hotels in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Latin America, and North America. Being an immigrant from Finland, I will also share my experience and insights into the Nordic and European cultures and management practices.

What impact do you hope to have on your students through this course?

I hope to give students an understanding of global strategies applied by leading hospitality, travel, and tourism companies as well as practical cross-cultural management and leadership skills. My goal is to evoke my students’ curiosity towards various cultures and countries where these companies operate.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

It has been great fun to return to my passion area which is global strategies and cross-cultural management which I have practiced when exploring 63 countries and delivering higher education and consulting services in over 20 countries on six continents, and at the United Nations. I am welcoming the Tisch Center students to join me on our next journey in the Fall of 2022 when I will be teaching this course again.

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