It is not necessary for a business person to forsake their ways and to change to conform to local customs but, rather, to be aware of differences and willing to accommodate those differences that can cause misunderstandings. Just as is the case with all cultural differences, a person’s SRC can cause problems when trying to operate under different business customs.
The literature is full of examples of misunderstandings between business persons from different cultures when each responds to the other from his/her own SRC without an appreciation of the SRC at work. The classic example is time. In some Latin cultures, there is a different urgency placed on time. The punctuality of someone from the United States can appear “pushy, too much in a hurry to make a decision, and so on” while the lackadaisical response to time by a Latin can be erroneously interpreted as being lazy or indifferent. Or, in the United States, calling someone by their first name when first introduced implies friendliness but appears as rude or boorish to a Frenchman or German.
There are several aspects which are important:
· Recognize business culture, management values, and business methods and behaviors as important for success in international market
· Knowledge of foreign business practices and successful business relations
· Importance of developing friendship, human relations, and attaining a level of trust before beginning business negotiations
· Thus, management style has to be adapted in international marketing
· Need to recognize that patterns of thinking, local business tempo, religious practices, political structure, and family loyalty, are different and impact business transactions
Adaptation is a key concept in international marketing
To successfully deal with individuals, firms, or authorities in foreign countries, managers should exhibit:
· open tolerance,
· ability to adjust to varying tempos,
· knowledge of the country,
· liking for others,
· ability to command respect, and
· ability to integrate oneself into the environment
Cultural Imperatives, Electives and Exclusives
• Cultural imperatives are the business customs and expectations that must be met, conformed, recognized and accommodated if relationships are to be successful
• Cultural electives relate to areas of behavior or to customs that cultural aliens may wish to conform to or participate in but that are not required
• Cultural exclusives are those customs or behavior patterns reserved exclusively for the locals and from which the foreigner is barred and must not participate
The Impact of American Culture
Ways in which U.S. culture has influenced management style include, but are not limited to, the following:
· “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 yielding efficiency
Management Styles Around the World
• Management values, and behaviors vary around the world.
• Differences in the contact level, communications emphasis, tempo, and formality of foreign businesses are encountered from culture to culture.