Doing Business Abroad
International companies are faced with many cultural challenges when doing business across and inside of different borders. Headquarters management must have a grasp of the different cultural requirements across the spectrum of operations. Even more important is to have qualified and capable global managers in-country to combine company goals with the business culture of that particular area. These managers must have a strong understanding and ability to deal with cultural problems of differences in communication, evaluation of success, and expectations of roles and responsibilities. Executive management must combine expatriate home-grown experience with foreign-national expertise to gain the best mix of company goals and international cultures. Communication
One of the most important skills in management is the ability to communicate to all levels of the organization. At the most basic level of communication lies language. Most international companies use English as their primary language. However even the most fluent non-native speaker may not grasp all the nuances of an American-born manager. Conversely, the non-native might derive more from what was said by the American than was intended due to his cultural preference. One worker that values aggressive masculine feedback may offend a member of a feminine cultural that values the relationship highest (Beebe 1996). A masculine culture such as Japan may value and encourage assertive action which may offend someone his neighbor in South Korea (Connelley 2005).
The global manager must understand the standard means of communication throughout his spectrum of influence. The manager must combine proper English with an understanding of his worker’s needs (Song Feb 16, 2002). Mastery of precise English or the primary language is a must, while he should avoid slang and jargon for best communication. However, the manager must understand how to best give an order...
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