The Role and Impact of Culture
The paper discusses the various kinds of mistakes that an individual can do when he / she visits a foreign country. The paper will be discussed in the light of a famous article that was printed in the Risk Management Journal and was written by Jared Wade. The name of the article is Pitfalls of Cross-Cultural Business. Common Cultural Mistakes There are a number of cultures that form the world. There are zillions of people in this world and each of these belongs to one of the million cultures that are there. Each of the cultures holds its own values and beliefs and a way of life and these factors are unique for all kinds.
Culture is defined as: “The values, traditions, norms, customs, arts, history, folklore, and institutions that a group of people, who are unified by race, ethnicity, language, and nationality, or religion, share. ” (University of Wyoming, 2007 ) Since each of the cultures varies, there are a number of people who may go to different cultures and perform some of the acts that may seem offensive to the culture that they are in but are not meant to be offensive because the actions are considered on the positive side in the individual’s culture.
This is what is meant by cultural mistakes. An example that can be grabbed from the article which is “In Bulgaria, many American executives get confused as they think that everything they say is taken negatively. But there, shaking your head “no” means that the person is listening, not that they disagree with you. ” (Wade, 2004 ) This common cultural mistake is a difficult aspect to be studied and there are a number of other mistakes like the meaning of punctuality are taken differently in different cultures.
And there is also the idea of having alcohol in business meetings. There are cultures where it is considered as ok to drink and there is no room to say no to the host because that is what he expects you not to do. “Gift-giving at meetings can be an important part of successfully conducting business in much of Asia, particularly in Japan. “Giving a gift when doing business in Japan is essential,” says Foster.
“The gift should always be wrapped in red or gold paper and it is a sign of disrespect if it is not given with two hands. Gifts should also not be opened in front of the presenter, as it is seen as disrespectful. ” (Wade, 2004 ) How a Company Should Approach Foreign Markets from the Perspective of Culture It is read in a number of books that the companies are going global and the international boundaries are now fading. This means that the world is now getting closer and each company has the chance to interact with different countries that it would want to do business with. This is why the following pointers for improving upon the cultural mistakes performed.
There is a need for the companies to boot up upon the idea of cultures and the kind of mistakes that can be performed in the foreign countries of the company does not learn about the culture before hand. It is necessary for every company to go through a brief introduction to the culture that they are about to do business with. The companies need to clearly remember the problems that the company could face if it does not keep in mind the many problems that they would face if they do not understand the culture properly.
There is also a need to know about your own culture because then the company would understand the difference in a better manner. “All in all, conducting international business is a market-expanding venture that can take a corporation to the next level in global commerce. If the company’s resources and means allow this possibility, then this step should by all means be taken. Like most things, however, along with opportunity comes the potential for danger. ” (Wade, 2004 )