Daily intercultural interactions in cross-border regions such as those between customers and managers can be a source of knowledge and ideas. However, such interactions can pose distinctive constraints and opportunities for learning and exchange of ideas. This study adopts a relatively fine–grained quantitative approach to study elements of cognitive and cultural proximity which have a major impact on these interactions. It is based on a survey of 91 managers of small service firms and 312 customers in the twin city of Tornio and Haparanda on the border between Finland and Sweden. Seven elements of proximity were identified and measured. Six elements of perceived cognitive and cultural proximity including values, conservative values towards new ideas, knowledge and use of technology, use of a foreign language, sufficiently focusing or providing specific details and ways of solving problems were found significant in terms of shaping perceptions of Swedish and Finnish managers and customers, which shape these interactions. The results enhance our understanding of how daily cross-border intercultural can be examined in the context of cross-border regional knowledge transfer.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Borderlands Studies on 21/08/2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/08865655.2018.1510335
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FunderThis work was supported by Marie Curie Fellowship [grant number FP7-MC-IEF/Grant Agreement number 254516].
- border regions
- Knowledge transfer