Cross-Culture Issues in Business Communication

Topics: Middle East, Culture, United States Pages: 6 (1959 words) Published: September 15, 2010
Cross-culture Issues in Business Communication
When travelling in other countries, we often perceive differences in the way people live and work. In the United States dinner is commonly eaten around 6.00pm; in Spain, it’s not served until 8.00 or 9.00pm. In the United States most people shop in large supermarket once or twice a week; Italians tend to shop in smaller grocery stores nearly every day. Everybody has their own culture so businesspeople must keep in mind of their client’s culture. This paper exploring the aesthetics, values and attitudes, manners and customs and language of cultural will affect business practices and national competitiveness. Background

Cultural can be grouped into two kinds, such as nation-culture and subcultures. Nation-states support the concept of a national culture by building museums and monuments to preserve the legacies of important events and people. Nation-state also intervenes in business to help preserve their nation cultures. Most nations, for example, regulate culturally sensitive sectors of the economy, such as filmmaking and broadcasting. France continues to voice fears that its language is being tainted with English and its media with U.S. programming. To stem the English invasion, French laws limit the use of English in product packaging and storefront signs. At peak listening times, at least 40 percent of all radio station programming must be reserved for French artists. Similar laws apply to television broadcasting. The French government even fined the local branch of a U.S. university for failing to provide French translation in its English-language site on the World Wide Web. A group of people who share a unique way of life within a larger, dominant culture is called a subculture. Companies must be mindful of subcultures when formulating business strategies. For instance, the customary portrait of Chinese culture often ignores the fact that the total population of China is comprised of more than 50 distinct ethnic groups. Decisions regarding product design, packaging and advertising must consider each group’s distinct culture. Aesthetics Issues

Aesthetics is what a culture considers to be in “good taste” in the arts, the imagery evoked by certain expressions, and the symbolism of certain colours. Aesthetics played an important role in business communication when a firm considers doing business in another culture. Firms must control on selection of appropriate colours for product packaging, advertisement, workers uniform and even the website design to make way of success in their business. For example, red is the favorite colour for Chinese. They believe that red will bring luck to them while for Malays, they love green. Across much of Asia, on the other hand, green associated with sickness. Most of the countries taking black colour as the colour of death and mourning while Japan and most of Asia, it is white. Shoe manufacturer Nike experienced firsthand the importance of imagery and symbolism in international marketing. The company emblazoned a new line of shoes with the word “Air” written to resemble flames or heat rising off blacktop. There were other names given to the shoes such as Air Bakin’, Air Melt, Air Grill and Air B-Que. But what Nike did not realize that the squiggly lines of the “Air” logo resembled Arabic script for “Allah”, the Arabic name for God. Under threat of worldwide boycott by Muslims, who considered it a sacrilege, Nike recalled the shoes and agreed to build several playgrounds in Muslim communities as part of its apology. The importance of aesthetics is just a great when going international using the Internet. When going global an internet presence, the more a company localizes the better. For example, a black-and-white Web site is fine for many countries, but in Asia visitors may think you are inviting them to a funeral. So, the web designer must beware and take concern on choosing colour scheme. Finally, music is also deeply...
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