Chapter Learning Objectives
• The necessity for adapting to cultural differences • How and why management styles vary around the world • The extent and implications of gender bias in other
countries • The importance of cultural differences in business ethics • The differences between relationship-oriented and
All who wish to deal with individuals, firms, or authorities in foreign countries should be able to meet 10 basic criteria:
- 1) open tolerance - 2) flexibility - 3) humility - 4) justice/fairness - 5) ability to adjust to varying tempos - 6) curiosity/interest - 7) knowledge of the country - 8) liking for others - 9) ability to command respect - 10) ability to integrate oneself into the environment
Degree of Adaptation
• Essential to effective adaptation is awareness of one’s own culture and the recognition that differences in others can cause anxiety, frustration, and misunderstanding of the host’s intentions.
• The self-reference criterion (SRC) is especially operative in business customs.
• The key to adaptation is to remain American but to develop an understanding of and willingness to accommodate the differences that exist.
• The business customs and expectations that must be met and conformed to or avoided
• Friendship motivates local agents to make more sales. • The significance of establishing friendship cannot be
overemphasized, especially in those countries where family relationships are close.
• In some cultures a person’s demeanor is more critical than in other cultures
• What may be an imperative to avoid in one culture is an imperative to do in another.
Cultural Electives and Exclusives
• Cultural electives: - Relate to behavior or customs that you may wish to
conform to or participate in but that are not required. - A cultural elective in one county may be an
imperative in another. - Cultural electives are visibly different customs
• Cultural exclusives: - Those customs or behaviors reserved exclusively for
the locals and from which the foreigner is barred. docsity.com
The Impact of American Culture on Management Style
• “Master of destiny” viewpoint • Independent enterprise as the instrument of social action • Personnel selection and reward based on merit • Decisions based on objective analysis • Wide sharing in decision making • Never-ending quest for improvement • Competition producing efficiency
Authority and Decision Making
• Influencers of the authority structure of business: - High PDI Countries
• Mexico, Malaysia - Low PDI Countries
• Denmark, Israel • Three typical authority patterns:
- Top-level management decisions - Decentralized decisions - Committee or group decisions
Contextual Background of Various Countries
• Insert Exhibit 5.2
P-Time versus M-Time
• Monochronic time: - Tend to concentrate on one thing at a time - Divide time into units, concerned with promptness - Most low-context cultures operate on M-Time
• Polychronic time: - Dominant in high-context cultures - Characterized by the simultaneous occurrence of
many things - Allows for relationships to build and context to be
absorbed as parts of high-context cultures.
Gender Bias in International Business
• Women represent only 18% of the employees who are chosen for international assignments.
• In many cultures women are not in upper management, and men and women are treated very differently.
- Asia, Middle East, Latin America • Prejudices toward women in foreign countries. • Executives who have had international experience are
more likely to get promoted, have higher rewards, and have greater occupational tenure.
Bribery: Variations on a Theme
• Bribery and Extortion: - Voluntary payment by someone seeking unlawful
advantage is bribery. - payments extracted by someone in authority from a
person seeking what he is lawfully entitled to is extortion. • Subornation and Lubrication:
- Lubrication is small sums of cash, or gifts, given to a low- ranking official in a country where this is legal.
- Subornation involves large sums of money, often not accounted for, designed to entice an official to commit an illegal act on behalf of the one offering the bribe.
A Synthesis, Relationship-Oriented vs. Information-Oriented Cultures
• Studies note a strong relationship between Hall’s high/low context and Hofstede’s Individualism/Collective and Power Distance indexes.
• Information-Oriented Culture - United States
• Relationship Culture - Japan
• Understanding cultural differences allows us to make predictions about unfamiliar cultures.
• Some cultures appear to emphasize the importance of information and competition while others focus more on relationships and transaction cost reductions.
• Businesspersons working in another country must be sensitive to the business environment and must be willing to adapt when necessary.
• Understanding the culture you are entering is the only sound basis for planning.
• Business behavior is derived in large part from the basic cultural environment in which the business operates.