Cultural Sensitivity

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Cultural Sensitivity Task 4
BY
Renee Johnson

Country
I have chosen South Korea because business growth and opportunities have opened up in recent years. Cultural Challenges:
Managers are encouraged to learn the language; however, learning the language itself is only half the battle. Interpreting what the client is saying between the lines or understanding local terms and customs are very important and not to be overlooked. It is recommended that the manager uses an interpreter so that there are not miscommunications and therefore missed opportunities. (Ball, Geringer, Minor, McNett, 2009) A hand shake is of major importance. When first greeting, it is custom to bow first then shake hands, the younger executive bowing first. (Rigden, 2012) When passing a business card or to shake hands it is important to use either the right hand only or both hands to shake and/or present business cards. (BusinessCulture.com, 2012) Korean’s body language and mood during a meeting is slight but important to interpret. A positive and upbeat character means that things are going good and the client is pleased as opposed to agitated and quiet or fidgety might mean that the meeting is not going in your favor. In order to avoid being discourteous Koreans avoid giving an outright answer of yes or no. Preferring to use statements such as “we will see” or “that might be difficult” if the answer is likely to be no and phrases such as “I have heard you” or “I recognize your point” (Business Culture in South Korea, 2012). This can make communications difficult. Managers are encouraged to have many meeting with Korean clients in order to build trust and friendship. This will help managers to better interpret the clients intentions remembering to always remain calm and patient. (Business Culture in South Korea, 2012). The importance of family and friendship that is an integral part of Asian society should be fostered by managers, remembering family members’ names and social functions helps to build a stronger relationship. Gift giving is vital to senior members in Korean firms and should not be overlooked. (Rigden, 2012) Korean society functions differently when compared to the American culture. They are collective in their thinking, meaning that the group must keep harmony and united thinking as a group and not an individual. This is challenging for the American business person who has learned in a competitive and individual thinking community. Keeping good posture and a professional appearance in formal and informal situations can impress the client where as slouching or expressive body language is viewed negatively. “Remember that communication is seen as a means to developing good relationships. Therefore, the way in which you deliver the message could, in fact, be more important than the message itself.” As stated in Business Culture in South Korea. Never be late to a meeting as this would be a sign of disrespect or disregard and never speak of business matters on the first meeting. Trust must be built first to establish a relationship. ( King, 2012) Cross-Cultural Marketing

Knowing what to sell and how to sell it to the Korean populace it is suggested to use a mixture of decisive strategies known as the 4 P’s. The 4 P’s include: product, price, place, and promotion. Products looking to branch onto the Korean market usually go through a product adaptation phase. We must first take into account language barriers and the importance of what certain words mean (using exact wording translation can possibly cause derision, insult religious sensitivities, the brand recognition, the total product (which includes: physical product, brand name, warranty, instructions, accessories, company image, packaging, and after sales services), local market preferences, and the products packaging (it is easier and more cost efficient to make small cosmetic changes to a product than to make larger more expensive physical changes). International...
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