"Killer elevator" gives rise to cross-cultural crisis

02/20/2009 | Financial Times (free content)

The Schindler company hasn't sold an elevator in Japan since 2006, when a teenager died in an apparent lift malfunction in Tokyo. The company's failure to offer an immediate apology inflamed the Japanese. "Genetically, (westerners) are pre-programmed not to apologize unless you are guilty," says Alfred Schindler, the company chairman. The company has adopted a more Japanese approach as it attempts redemption.

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