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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mormons, Missions and MBA's Part 2: Not in This Country!

Bloomberg Businessweek recently published, "God's MBAs: Why Mormon Missions Produce Leaders." I'm sure it will get plenty of attention. I'm simply going to pull out a few various quotes for analysis.
Serving abroad helps Mormons learn languages (around 70 percent of BYU students are bilingual). It also seems to provide them with insight into foreign cultures and economies, an asset many missionaries have used to start businesses and careers.
Okay, let's just focus on the "insight into foreign cultures and economies." I'll give you an example. A relative relayed a story to me about seeing some girls in a car accidentally hit a bumper of a car ahead of them on BYU's campus. The driver of the other car got out, started to scream and yell, gesticulate and kick the side door of the terrified girls' car. A bystander confronted the man and said, "Hey, we don't solve our problems like that in this country!"


  1. This doesn't even make sense... It sounds like you started to make a point but then just stopped typing... More to your story???

  2. Life doesn’t come scripted or with subtitles. Meaning often has to be inferred from the context. If you are unable to see any meaning in the story I related, it would suggest that you have little intercultural knowledge or expertise.

    Since so many BYU students have served missions, it is safe to assume that the bystander recognized the man’s behavior as the norm somewhere else in the world. It is likely that the man’s behavior is culturally normal in the country the bystander served his mission. The bystander also guessed that the behavior would be misinterpreted in this country. This would also explain why the bystander felt comfortable confronting the man. Most people in the U.S. would not directly confront someone who appears to be violent, volatile and unpredictable. The bystander probably also confronted the man because he guessed he alone had the knowledge to defuse the situation before it truly got out of hand.