Prajwal Khanal, MBA – 4
trimester, International business2010/1/16
Question: Different countries exhibit different culturalcharacteristics as well as varying business etiquette. Outline itsimplications for an international business firm and explain howthe cultural diversity could be managed effectively. You mayillustrate your answer with a suitable example.
Differences across the nations are so vast that people who live in differentcountries are different in almost each and every aspects of life. There arenumber of things that contribute to the formation of these differences.Education, social standing, religion, personality, belief, past experience,affection shown in the home, and numerous other factors affect humanbehavior & culture.People are different in different countries so if a person from one countryenters in another country, he must take into consideration that he need tomodify and adjust in the culture of another country otherwise it may lead toa big business failure. There are differences in approach as to what isconsidered polite and appropriate behavior both on and off the job. In somecultures yes means, “I hear you” more than “I agree”. Length of small talkand greetings before getting down to business, level of tolerance for beingaround someone speaking a foreign (not-understood) language, politenessmeasured in terms of good manners or etiquette (e.g. standing up for awoman who approaches a table, yielding a seat on the bus to an olderperson, etc.) and manner of expected dress are all examples of possiblecultural differences and traditions.Modern business is global and demands people travel to foreign countriesand mix with foreign clients, colleagues or customers. Each one of thosecultures will also have their own etiquette rules, many of them unwritten.When two or more different cultures mix, it is easy for small etiquettemistakes to be made that could have negative consequences. For example:Americans and English people may feel annoyed when a foreignbusinessman does not shake hands while greeting, Chinese people do notlike people writing on their business card and Indians do not like people flatlyrefusing an invitation for a meal. Sometimes, not understanding theetiquette of another culture means you show a lack of manners. Throughout the world people from different cultures have varying etiquetterules around areas such as personal space, communication, gift giving, food,