Global Business Etiquette

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Global Business Etiquette


Jeanette S. Martin and Lillian H. Chaney

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Martin, Jeanette S. Global business etiquette : a guide to international communication and customs / Jeanette S. Martin and Lillian H. Chaney. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0–275–98815–5 1. Business etiquette. 2. Intercultural communication. 3. Business communication. I. Title HF5389.M375 2006 395.5’2—dc22 2005037086 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data is available. Copyright © 2006 by Jeanette S. Martin and Lillian H. Chaney All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, by any process or technique, without the express written consent of the publisher. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2005037086 ISBN: 0–275–98815–5 First published in 2006 Praeger Publishers, 88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881 An imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. Printed in the United States of America

The paper used in this book complies with the Permanent Paper Standard issued by the National Information Standards Organization (Z39.48–1984). 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


Preface and Acknowledgments 1. Travel Customs and Tips 2. Language, Greetings, Introductions, and Business Cards 3. Socializing 4. Gestures and Other Nonverbal Communicators 5. Dress and Appearance 6. Cultural Attitudes and Behaviors 7. Dining and Tipping Customs 8. Conversational Customs and Manners 9. Oral and Written Communication Customs and Etiquette Notes Index

vii 1 23 35 51 73 89 107 127 145 161 175


What you should gain from this book is a better understanding of who you are, the ability to find out about the person in the other culture, an increased sensitivity to other ways of thinking and being, an expansion of your communication skills, and a better understanding of global business relationships. You probably know from personal experience that it is not easy to correct a faux pas, and sometimes it is impossible. Global business relationships are not easy to establish or maintain. Although we communicate using faster media (thanks to facsimiles, e-mail, and wireless phones), we do not necessarily communicate more intelligently. We are simply using faster tools and old habits. We know that our book can help you think about some of those old habits, and maybe it will stir you to take the time to change a few of them. Globalization is here to stay, and we will all be working with people from other cultures around the globe during our working life. If this book helps you to learn to communicate verbally and nonverbally in intercultural encounters the book will be a success. Although this book has some country-specific information, it is more of a general information book on the topic areas. Enough academic information and examples are given to help you understand why the concepts discussed are important and why you need to give these concepts your attention. We would like to thank our families and friends for their support as we wrote this book, and we would particularly like to thank Nicholas Philipson, our senior editor, and Stan Wakefield, who introduced us to Praeger. Sincerely, Jeanette S. Martin and Lillian H. Chaney

Chapter 1


Building global business relationships depends on the innate ability to learn about other cultures and proper training to help a person adjust once he or she is in another culture. Whether one is traveling for business or pleasure, new cultures are generally part of the process. Although there are many differences between cultures in the world, there are also similarities. The similarities do not get us into trouble, but the differences can destroy a business deal or a pleasure trip. Learning some facts and some of the patterns of other cultures, as well as various travel...
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