Connectedness and Business: Does Feeling Close to Others Help Companies?

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“How close do people feel to others around the world? How much do they want their countries involved in international affairs? How do people’s experiences with travel and feelings of international connectedness relate to their views about the world?”

These questions open a report by the Pew Research Center, analysing Attitudes on an Interconnected World.

24 countries were interviewed to understand their closeness to others, locally and abroad. As a matter of fact, feeling close to people and communities can influence company businesses.
Psychology findings even point out that there is a “correlation between the level of affinity (or “liking”) executives feel for a foreign culture, and the extent to which they feel psychologically close to that culture” (Swift, 1999).

What were the main results of the survey, then? Here are some relevant key points you might want to take into account:

  • Feeling close to others around the world is more common in Europe than in other regions. More specifically, Italy (79%), The Netherlands (77%), and Spain (73%) are the countries that seem to feel very close or somewhat close to people all over the world, in contrast with Mexico (42%), South Africa (38%), the US (35%), and Israel (31%).

  • When it comes to cooperating with other nations, views differ significantly. A median of 55% wants to pay less attention to problems in other countries and concentrate on problems at home; 43% think it’s best for the future of their country to be active in world affairs.

  • Among those who prefer to focus more on problems within their country, Argentina (72%), Mexico (70%), Nigeria (65%), Brazil (64%), and South Africa (62%) are the most opinionated nations believing that solving internal issues should be prioritized.

  • On the other hand, Japan, Sweden, South Korea and Australia believe that connectedness to and involvement with other countries is key for a successful future.

  • International travelers are more likely to report feelings of closeness to others in different countries; these people tend to believe their countries should be involved in global politics.

These data allow companies and people to have an insightful point of view on business affairs, clarifying the subtle balance between Local-Local, Local-Abroad and Abroad-Local relationships.

Even in the HR Consultancy world, it is clear that Local-Local approaches can truly enhance business on a global scale. Nevertheless, Globality by definition lies in connectedness to other countries, and in nurturing the relation with others beyond one’s own geographical boundaries.

Feeling close to another culture may help companies increase their Local-Abroad and Abroad-Local activity, profiting from the perception they have of other countries — and the perception these countries have of them.

In a world where global success thrives on both local connections and international perspectives, understanding and leveraging the dynamics of interconnectedness can ease the way into a true global prosperity, for businesses and individuals.

Source: Pew Research Center, December 6th, 2023,