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Failure to Learn from Cross-Cultural Interaction: Lessons from a Simulation Model of the Greenland Norse Colony

Kristjan Ambroz & Camilo Olaya

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The aim of this paper is to examine the value of cross-cultural interaction and the consequences of the lack thereof. To accomplish this task the interaction of two older cultures is examined namely the Greenland Norse and the Greenland Inuit. Failure to cooperate drove the former to extinction, while the latter managed to survive in the same environment for a lot longer and showed a very cooperative attitude to other cultures that they encountered. With the help of computer simulation valuable lessons for intercultural contexts in organizations and societies in general are extracted and shown from this case. These adhere to the prominence of principles such as adaptation and collective intelligence. Refusal to learn by interaction - in order to overcome dysfunctional reinforcing cycles - is the key to understanding the failure of the Norse.
   
type book chapter (English)
   
keywords learning, culture, simulation, system dynamics, adaptation
   
book title Interkulturelle Kooperation
date of appearance 2006
publisher Duncker & Humblot (Berlin)
ISBN 3-428-12256-9
page(s) 115-127
citation Ambroz, K., & Olaya, C. (2006). Failure to Learn from Cross-Cultural Interaction: Lessons from a Simulation Model of the Greenland Norse Colony. In Interkulturelle Kooperation (pp. 115-127). Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. - ISBN 3-428-12256-9.