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Chapter 5- Culture, Management Style, and Business Systems

Barriers to Success
A lack of empathy and knowledge of foreign business practices
What kind of society is U.S.?
What kind of society is Japanese?
Consensus oriented & committed to the group
What kind of society is Central and Southern Europe?
Elitists and rank conscious
Affirmative Acceptance
Open tolerance of the concept “different but equal”
10 Criteria for Adaptation
open tolerance, flexability, humility, justice/fairness, ability to adjust to varying tempos, curiosity/interest, knowledge of the country, liking for others, ability to command respect, ability to integrate onself into the environment
Essential to effective adaptation
Recognition that differences in others can cause anxiety, frustration, and misunderstanding of the host’s intentions. Awareness of one’s own culture
The key to adaptation
to remain American but to develop an understanding of and willingness to accommodate the differences that exist
Examples of Adaptation
China – it is important to make points without winning arguments
Germany – it is discourteous to use first names unless specifically invited to do so
Brazil – touching during conversation is normal
Business customs can be grouped into 3 groups:
imperatives, electives, and exclusives
Cultural Imperatives
Behaviors or Customs that must be met and conformed to or avoided, Raising your voice, Correcting someone in public, and Loose patience
Cultural Electives
Behavior or customs that you may wish to conform to or participate in but are not required. Such as kissing, eating food that does not agree with you, Accepting the offer of a beverage – may be a special ritual and refusal is an insult. This in one country may be an imperative in another
Customs or behavior patterns reserved exclusively for the locals – an outsider must not participate
Religious rituals, Criticizing or joking about a country’s politics, mores and peculiarities. Sensible businesses will make allowances for faux pas
Three typical authority patterns
Top-level management decisions, Decentralized decisions, and Committee or group decisions
Peter Drucker’s advice
“Different people have to be managed differently”
Security and mobility
Relate directly to basic human motivation and therefore have widespread economic and social implications
big paycheck, training & ability for moving from company to company within the business hierarchy
According to Max Weber
the standard of living in the U.S. can be attributed to the hard-working Protestant ethic from which we derive much of our business heritage
Management Aspirations and Objectives
Security and Mobility, Personal Life, Affiliation and Social Acceptance, Power and Achievement
Business leaders use their business position to become
social and political leaders
Communication Styles
Face to face, verbal, implicit message, internet, and linguistic nuances
An English e-mail message cannot be understood by how many of all Internet users
35 %
Web site should be examined for any…
symbols, icons, and other nonverbal impressions that could convey and unwanted message
Hall – Professor of Anthropology Silent Languages
Language of Time, Space, Things, Friendship, and Agreements
Monochronic time
Most low-context cultures operate on this kind of time
Monochronic time
Divide time into small units and are concerned with promptness
Polychronic time
Characterized by the simultaneous occurrence of many things, Completion of a human transaction is emphasized more than holding to schedules, Dominant in high-context cultures
P-time and M-time behavior
Most cultures offer a mix of what kind of times?
As global markets expand more businesspeople from P-time cultures are adapting to
Business negotiations
perhaps the most fundamental business rituals
One standard rule in negotiating is
“know thyself” first, and second, “know your counterpart”
Asia, Middle East, Latin America
In many cultures women not typically found in upper levels of management, and are treated very differently from men
18 %
Women represent only % of the employees who are chosen for international assignments
Problem of business ethics
more complex in the international marketplace because value judgments differ widely among culturally diverse groups
bribery became a national issue with public disclosure of political payoffs to foreign recipients by U.S. firms
Voluntary offered payment by someone seeking unlawful advantage
If payments are extracted under duress by someone in authority from a person seeking only what he are she is lawfully entitled to that
involves a relatively small sum of cash, a gift, or a service given to a low-ranking official in a country where such offerings are not prohibited by law
involves giving large sums of money, frequently not properly accounted for, designed to entice an official to commit an illegal act on behalf of the one offering the bribe
Agent’s Fees
When a businessperson is uncertain of a country’s rules and regulations, an agent may be hired to represent the company in that country
Laws and penalties will not necessarily put an end to what
Difficulties arise in making decisions, establishing policies, and engaging in business operations in five broad areas
Employment practices and policies, Consumer protection, Environmental protection, Political payments and involvement in political affairs of the country, Basic human rights and fundamental freedoms
3 Ethical Principles to determine Right from Wrong
Utilitarian Ethics, Rights of the Parties, and Justice or Fairness
Utilitarian ethics
Does the action optimize the “common good” or benefits of all constituencies? And who are the pertinent constituencies?
Rights of the Parties
Does the action respect the rights of the individuals involved?
Justice or Fairness
Does the action respect the canons of justice or fairness to all parties involved?
Best framework to use
Is it Legal? Is it Right? Can it withstand disclosure to stockholders, to company officials and to the public?

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