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CHALLENGES OF MANAGERS

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
FOR THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Senior Lecturer PhD. ADINA MU ETESCU
Christian University Dimitrie Cantemir
adinamusetescu!mai".com
Lecturer PhD. I#INA NIC$LAU
Christian University Dimitrie Cantemir
nico"au.irinayahoo.com
Senior Lecturer PhD. C#ISTINA AT%U
Christian University Dimitrie Cantemir
cristinaathyyahoo.com
Abstract: Certainly people of different cultures have different opinions regarding what is ethical or not and
that is why controversies and tensions may occur. In order to avoid the misunderstandings or conflicts, the managers
must have good knowledge about the different cultural values and adjust to them. Obviously, a manager who works in
another country has the objective to understand its culture. he individuals keep an eye on the others! behavior and
use the ac"uired information to draw conclusions on certain event. he attributes may be created once three types of
information have been obtained by the observer: consensus information, solid information distinctive information.
Key words: national culture profile, language, ethics, creative translations.
JEL M 39
1. INTRODUCTION
The &oom o' the internationa" &usiness "ed to an increase o' the re"ations amon! the mana!ers (ith
di''erent socia" and cu"tura" e)*erience. Many authors hi!h"i!ht that the mana!ers+ va"ues, &e"ie's, norms
and conducts are direct"y in'"uenced &y their nationa" cu"ture. These di''erent *erce*tions are o' utmost
im*ortance, &ein! a**reciated as -!ood or &ad or -the (ay they shou"d &e.
.or e)am*"e, the custom to o''er !i'ts is "ar!e"y s*read in countries 'rom Asia and Latin America
/these countries are 'amous 'or certain va"ues, such as0 the im*ortance o' traditions and "on! time
re"ations1. The a&ove mentioned custom (as &orro(ed &y the or!ani2ations as a (ay o' sho(in! -the !ood
manners+. %o(ever in the An!"o3American cu"tures, es*ecia""y in countries "i4e U.S.A., 5reat 6ritain,
Austra"ia, (here the traditions are "ess im*ortant and the 'ocus is on the short time re"ations, to o''er !i'ts
mi!ht &e inter*reted as &ri&e (ithin a com*any.
2. CONTENT
The nat!na" #$"t$%e &'en(!n( are re"ated to the 'o""o(in! as*ects0 the nationa" cu"ture *ro'i"e,
the nationa" cu"ture im*ortance in the mana!ers+ decisions ma4in! and the im*act o' the nationa" cu"ture on
the ethics.
2.1. The nat!na" #$"t$%e )%!*"e
A( *!% !$% %e"at!n(+ #an ,e (a- that ,e a",a-( %e(!%t t! the (a'e %$"e( an& .eha/!% ,th a""
the )e%(!n( 0 A%ent ,e (e"e#t/e an& )%e*e%enta"+ 'a1n2 a &**e%en#e .et,een the )e%(!n( ,e
1n!, an& the *!%e2ne%(0
Un/e%(a" /e%($( )a%t#$"a%
The An!"o3American cu"tures, dee*"y rooted in the *rotestant re"i!ion, have the
tendency to su**ort -the universa"ity. In this ty*e o' society, the ru"es are even"y a**"ied to a"" the
mem&ers o' society re!ard"ess (ho they mi!ht &e. The &iased re!ime is considered unethica".
As o**osed to this cu"ture, in Asia and Latin America, they aim at -*articu"arity. In these
countries there are o&vious di''erences amon! the mem&ers o' a !rou* and the ones outside. The
individua"s are used to socia"i2in! since ear"y chi"dhood to cu"tivate "oya"ty (ithin a !rou*. The *ersona"
re"ations re"yin! on 'ami"y and 'riends have an im*act on the &usiness decisions. The de'inition o' the truth
and rea"ity de*ends on situationa" circumstances, They do not acce*t the idea o' universa" truths and
*rinci*"es.
S)e#*# #$"t$%e /e%($( &**$(e #$"t$%e 3!$% e'!t!na" n/!"/e'ent4
As 'ar as the s*eci'ic cu"ture is concerned, the re"ations (ith the su&ordinates are
com*"ete"y di''erent 'rom other re"ations. In this ty*e o' cu"ture -&usiness does not inter'ere (ith *"easure.
7ithin the com*any the re"ations are cordia" yet su*er'icia" ones and there are not many cases (hen *eo*"e
!et to 4no( each other *ersona""y /they don+t 4no( anythin! a&out other *ersons+ 'ami"y, "i'e etc.1.
The di''use cu"ture sho(s that a"" the re"ations intermin!"e and the &usiness re"ations are on "on!3
term and deve"o* *ersona""y as (e"". These as*ect is im*ortant a"so 'or the mana!er com*e""ed to re*"y to
the stoc4ho"ders /'or his &ene'it he shou"d deve"o* a 'riendshi* (ith them1. 7ithin the or!ani2ation there
are a''ective re"ations and the decisions re!ardin! the em*"oyees are di''erent"y made de*endin! on the
situations.
Peo*"e o' di''erent cu"tures may have the 'o""o(in! ty*es o' re"ation0
a1 a ha%'!n!$( %e"at!n 8 This is a com*romise &et(een the t(o ty*es *resented
&e"o( and it is not very im*ortant9
&1 a &!'nant %e"at!n 8 *eo*"e thin4 they !overn and *revai" nature throu!h science
and techno"o!y9
Peo*"e 'ee" they have contro" over their "i'e and they consider that "i'e success is due to their
endeavor and stron! (i"". They don+t &e"ieve in 'ate or 'ortune, they re"y on their o(n 'orces. This ty*e o'
re"ation (or4s in USA, Canada, Austra"ia and 5reat 6ritain (here man+s su*eriority to nature is
maintained.
c1 a %e"at!n !* ($.!%&nat!n 8 *eo*"e 'ace the *o(er o' nature.
The Asian countries &e"ieve that any *eo*"e+s resu"t is *re3esta&"ished &y 5od and
they have no *o(er to chan!e their 'ate. 5od ma4es everythin! ha**en in their "i'e. In many Is"amic
countries the (ord -Insha""ah /the 5od+s (i""1 is 're:uent"y used in conversations. In this cu"ture it is
considered that every event is caused &y 'ate and "uc4, as e)terna" 'orces. The individua" cannot ma4e
thin!s ha**en on"y the destiny has this *o(er. %ence, *eo*"e do not strive very much as -everyone has a
'ate.
2.2. The ')!%tan#e !* nat!na" #$"t$%e( n the 'ana2e%( 'a1n2 &e#(!n(
In order to e)*"ain the im*ortance o' the nationa" cu"tures (e shou"d ta4e into account the
assi!nin! theory. Every event is re"ated to another one. The scientists 'ound a connection &et(een this
theory and the em*"oyees+; mana!ers+ conduct. Many researches sho(ed that connectin! the e''ect to its
cause it is easier to dra( u* the ty*o"o!y o' mana!ers+ 'ai"ures. $ther authors em*hasi2ed that the
assi!nin! theory can &e a**"ied &oth in the mana!er3em*"oyee re"ation and any other re"ation o'
su&ordination.
The assi!nin! *rocess consists o' the 'o""o(in! sta!es 3Davis, <., =>>?1 an& the n&/&$a" ha(
the %e()!n(."te( .e"!,5
t! *a#e a %an2e !* (t'$" ,h#h a%e 2!n2 t! .e &e#!&e& 3($#h a(6 the .eha/!% !% the
"an2$a2e4. The(e (t'$" %e)%e(ent "a.e"( *!% the )%e/!$( e/ent(6
t! *n& (!'e a((2n'ent( %e)%e(entn2 the e7)"anat!n *!% the %ea(!n( ,h#h &ete%'ne
the n!t#e& (t'$"6
t! a((e(( the a((2n'ent( %e"ate& t! ne, n*!%'at!n an& !.(e%/at!n(6
t! #han2e !% a&a)t the a((2n'ent(6
t! 'e'!%8e the a((2n'ent( n !%&e% t! $(e the' a( a 9*"te%: *!% the ne7t e/ent( ,h#h
,"" .e nte%)%ete& a( %e)!%te& t! the'.
An!the% a$th!% 3 @e""ey, %., =>AB1 ,h! #%eate& a '!%e &eta"e& '!&e" !* the att%.$te( an&
n th( #a(e+ the n&/&$a"( 1ee) an e-e !n the !the%( .eha/!% an& $(e the a#;$%e& n*!%'at!n t!
&%a, #!n#"$(!n( !n #e%tan e/ent. The att%.$te( 'a- .e #%eate& !n#e th%ee t-)e( !* n*!%'at!n
ha/e .een !.tane& .- the !.(e%/e%5
1) C!n(en($( n*!%'at!n com*ares a *erson+s conduct (ith the others+ in a simi"ar situation. In
case a"" the *ersons have the same conduct that action is o' &i! consensus and i'
a certain conduct is unusua" 'or the other *ersons it means that the consensus is sma"" /i' a student comes
"ate to the "ectures and he is the on"y one (ho does that then the consensus is sma""1.
2) S!"& n*!%'at!n is o&tained a'ter ha/n2 ,at#he& the (a'e )e%(!n( .eha/!% n t,!
('"a% (t$at!n n &**e%ent )e%!&( !* t'e. <e ()!t a h2h #!n((ten#- * the )e%(!n a#t( the (a'e
,a- n ('"a% (t$at!n( an& a "!, #!n((ten#- * he .eha/e( &**e%ent"-. In #a(e the (t$&ent
'ent!ne& n the )%e/!$( )a%a2%a)h ha( n!t .een "ate .e*!%e the #!n((ten#- ( "!,.
3) D(tn#t/e n*!%'at!n are the ones (hich com*are a *erson+s &ehavior in
di''erent situations. .or instance, i' the "ate comin! student usua""y does that (hen it is a&out his Co& or
s*ecia" socia" events the di''erentiation is sma"". I' he is *unctua" at his Co& and the socia" events, &ein! "ate
on"y at the 'acu"ty, it means that the di''erentiation is &i!.
2.3. The ')a#t !* nat!na" #$"t$%e !n the eth#(
The nationa" cu"tura" di''erences may re*resent the reason 'or the mana!ers+ di''erent *erce*tions
re!ardin! the ethica" or unethica" as*ects. These di''erences are caused &y various assi!nments created 'or
the res*ective &ehavior. There'ore a mana!er may as4 a *erson i' he;she (as the on"y one res*onsi&"e 'or a
s*eci'ic action or i' it (as caused &y e)terna" 'actors. I' that *erson+s &ehavior has e)terna" causes he (as
not se"'3contro""ed and his conduct may &e there'ore considered unethica". %ence there is a di''erence
&et(een a *erson (ho is "ate at his Co& a'ter the "unch &rea4 and an individua" (ho comes "ate to the Co& in
the mornin! &ecause o' the cro(ded tra''ic.
2.=. The ')!%tan#e !* the "an2$a2e $(e& n the nte%nat!na" 'a%1etn2
It is interestin! that En!"ish has &een associated (ith the current !"o&a"i2ation *rocess a"thou!h it
is not the native "an!ua!e o' the most *eo*"e in the (or"d. 6y 'ar, Chinese is the "an!ua!e s*o4en &y the
most *eo*"e in the (or"d, meanin! =DE o' the (or"d *o*u"ation. %o(ever, Chinese is not the !"o&a"i2ation
"an!ua!e &ecause o' the "ess im*ortant ro"e this country *"ayed in the internationa" economy and *o"itics
associated to this *rocess.
I' in the 6ritish En!"ish the meanin! o' the sayin! -nothin! suc4s "i4e an E"ectro"u) used &y the
S(edish *roducer o' vacuum c"eaners has a di''erent meanin! in the American s"an! and the advertisin!
messa!e "oses its meanin!.
2.>. The ()e#*# #ha%a#te%(t#( !* &**e%ent "an2$a2e(
Chinese (ritin! and s*e""in! are com*"ete"y di''erent 'rom the ones in the Euro*ean "an!ua!es
/such as En!"ish1, hence a (ritten (ord in En!"ish has no meanin! 'or Chinese un"ess he 4no(s the "etters
or their *ronunciation. Such a di''erence has a maCor and sudden im*act on the names o' the &rands. So, a
&rand name "i4e Coca3Co"a, used every(here in the 7est "i4e that, is meanin!"ess in China. Ever since the
American com*any *enetrated the Chinese mar4et /=>F>1, it used this &rand name 'or == years, "i4e
every(here in the (or"d and as a resu"t, the Chinese consumers do not reco!ni2e the *roducts o' this
com*any and are not attracted &y them at a"", the mar4et share &ein! there'ore very "o(. In =>>B, the
American com*any decided to use -4e34ou 4e3"e, as a Chinese name 'or Coca3Co"a &ecause it sounded
"i4e the ori!ina" name and meant -de"icious and 'unny. Later on the com*any "ar!e"y e)tended on the
Chinese mar4et. There'ore (henever com*anies (ant to enter the Chinese mar4et, they shou"d *ay care'u"
attention to the &rand name in order to ma4e it desira&"e 'or the Asian *eo*"e.
Neverthe"ess, there are many (ays o' -trans'errin! the &rand names and the advertisin! messa!es
'rom one "an!ua!e to another, such as the 'o""o(in!0
*%ee t%an("at!n0 the (ords are trans'erred 'rom a "an!ua!e into another
considerin! on"y the meanin! o' the (ords (ithout the *honetic as*ects9
,!%&?*!%?,!%& t%an("at!n0 the (ords are trans'erred 'rom a "an!ua!e into another
considerin! the ori!ina" sounds (ithout the ori!ina" meanin!9
#%eat/e t%an("at!n0 the messa!e is trans'erred into another "an!ua!e considerin!
neither the *honetic as*ect nor the ori!ina" messa!e. The ne( messa!e has a**arent"y no connection
(ith the *revious one &ut attem*ts to im*ress and (in over the consumers on the ne( mar4et.
Every 'orei!n com*any on the Chinese mar4et chose a *articu"ar ty*e o' trans"ation to 'it its tar!et.
Some o' the &est 4no(n e)am*"es are sho(n in the ta&"e &e"o( /the characters in Chinese are not
rendered10
Table 1:
T-)e !* t%an("at!nO%2na" .%an& na'eThe ne, .%an& na'e Chne(e )%!n$n#at!nThe .%an&
'eann2 n Chne(e.ree trans"ation 5enera" Motorston!3yon! :i3cheIdentica"A))"e C!')$te%)n2?2$!
&an?na!I&ent#a"