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"A Hungarian is a man who can enter a revolving door after you and emerge before you," goes an American saying, an apt observation on the national character. But like all such observations, it is far from being universally true, especially when it comes to the business world or to the mundane life of the man on the street.

Hungary is a small country of 10 million people in Central Europe, but it borders on seven nations. It is where North meets South and West meets East—not only by virtue of its geography, but also because of its cultural qualities. The Hungarian language is an island in the sea of the surrounding German and Slavic languages and peoples, which fortifies the national consciousness and cohesion of its people.

Cultural Detective Hungary is a helping hand in making sense of the values and thinking of Hungarians through a number of case studies, pointing out the features that bind them to other European nations and the ones that distinguish them from other cultures.

Cultural Detective Hungary contains the following stories and critical incidents:

  • Who Is Who:

    A German manager disregards the expertise and professionalism of her Hungarian counterpart.

  • Who Is the Best?:

    Local governments provide diverse treatment to members of a visiting EU delegation.

  • Conflict of Interests, A:

    The long-term interests of a multinational company conflict with the income-centred expectations of the Hungarian employees.

  • Culture-driven Understanding of Performance, A:

    Ferenc, an employee of a Japanese company operating in Hungary, is judged not by his performance but by his “lack of commitment.”

  • Ethical Conflict, An:

    Hungarian attempts to protect the copyrights of software do not satisfy a US American industrial group.

  • Language Deficit:

    A Dutch CEO of a multinational company gives preference to the younger of his two Hungarian employees.

Cultural Detective Hungary was authored by Judit Hidasi, Gyorgy Nanovfszky and Dianne Hofner Saphiere.