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The Cultural Environments Facing Business
• To understand the major causes of
cultural differences and change • To grasp behavioral factors influencing countries’ business practices • To become familiar with cultural guidelines for companies that operate internationally • To learn to discuss the problems and methods of learning about cultural environments
2-3 .Culture Defined Culture: the specific learned norms of a society that reflect attitudes. and beliefs Major problems of cultural collision are likely to occur if: -a firm implements practices that do not reflect local customs and values and/or -employees are unable to accept or adjust to foreign customs. values.
2.1: Cultural Influences on International Business 2-4 .Fig.
and customs. values. who share attitudes. i. relatively • • homogeneous groups of people. but may change because of: -choice or imposition -contact with other cultures.Cultural Dynamics • Cultures consist of societies. they evolve over time. Cultures are dynamic. Cultural value systems are set early in life. 2-5 .e.. beliefs.
Subcultures may link groups from different nations more closely than certain groups within nations. • National identity is perpetuated through the rites and symbols of a country and a common perception of history. 2-6 .The Nation as a Point of Reference • The basic similarity amongst people within countries is both a cause and an effect of national boundaries.
indigenization. • Cultural imperialism is brought about by the imposition of one culture upon that of another. • Certain elements introduced from outside a culture may be known as creolization. or cultural diffusion.Cultural Formation and Change • Societal values and customs constantly evolve in response to changing realities. 2-7 .
Language as a Cultural Stabilizer • Isolation from other groups. • Some countries see language as being so important that they regulate the inclusion of foreign words and/or mandate the use of the country’s official language for business purposes. 2-8 . tends to stabilize cultures. especially because of language.
2: Major Languages of the World 2-9 .Map 2.
2.2: Importance of Major Language Groups: Two Views 2-10 .Fig.
Major religions include: -Buddhism -Christianity -Hinduism -Islam -Judaism 2-11 .Religion as a Cultural Stabilizer • Religion is a major source of both cultural • imperatives and cultural taboos.
3: Major Religions of the World 2-12 .Map 2.
family. age.Social Stratification Systems • Ascribed group memberships are defined at birth. caste. • Acquired group memberships are based on one’s choice of affiliation. 2-13 . religion. they may include gender. and ethnic or national origin. and social and professional organizations. such as political party. Social stratification affects both business strategy and operational practices.
2-14 femininity index) . and higher productivity leads to lower costs. • Needs satisfaction (Maslow’s Hierarchy) Motivated employees are normally more productive. the desire for leisure (Protestant Ethic) • The expectation of success and reward • Assertiveness (Hofstede’s masculinity vs.Factors Affecting Work Ethics • The desire for material wealth vs.
4: The Hierarchy of Needs and Need-Hierarchy Comparisons 2-15 . 2.Fig.
e. the psychological and social distance between superiors and subordinates • Individualism vs. collectivism – Individualism represents a desire for personal freedom. i. – Collectivism represents a dependence on the organization as well as a need for a safe environment..Factors Affecting Relationship Preferences • Power distance. 2-16 . time. and challenge.
delayed gratification Fatalism.e. i.e.. one’s belief in the reliability and honesty of another Future orientation. the belief that life is predestined.. i.e.. the need for immediate vs..e. that events are “the will of God” 2-17 . one’s tolerance • • • of risk Trust. i.Factors Affecting Risk-taking Behavior • Uncertainty avoidance. i.
Factors Affecting Information and Task Processing • Selective perception of cues • Communication context -low-context cultures [explicit] -high-context cultures [implicit] • Information processing -monochronic [work sequentially] -polychronic [multi-task] Whereas idealistic cultures are principle driven. 2-18 . pragmatic cultures are detail driven.
g. British. even when nations share the same basic language (e.Factors Affecting the Communication Process • Spoken language • Written language • Silent language -color associations -conversational distance -perception of time -kinesics [body language and gestures] Problems in communication may arise.. 2-19 . and American English). Canadian.
Managerial Issues Associated with Cultural Differences • Accommodation of foreigners • Cultural distance [degree of similarity] • Culture shock and reverse culture shock • Managerial orientations – polycentric – ethnocentric – geocentric 2-20 .
4: A Synthesis of Country Clusters 2-21 .Map 2.
Factors Affecting Strategies for Instituting Cultural Change • • • • • • • • Value systems Cost/benefits of change Resistance to change Participation in decision-making Reward sharing Role of opinion leaders Timing Opportunities to learn from abroad 2-22 .
people are simultaneously part of other cultures. such as social and professional associations and business and government organizations. [continued] 2-23 . • In addition to being part of a national culture.Implications/Conclusions • Culture is dynamic and evolves over time. Economic development and globalization are two engines of cultural change.
in some instances they may choose to accommodate differences in traditions. • International firms should make a concerted effort to identify ideas and behaviors in host countries and foreign cultures that can be usefully applied across the whole of their organizations. 2-24 .• Host cultures do not always expect firms and individuals to conform to their norms.