Italy is a powerful and astonishing country. From the elite and powerful Roman Empire, to the majestic order of the Vatican City and dedication to Roman Catholicism and the Pope, Italy is definitely a country that has had a prominent impact on the rest of the world. Canali & DeCarlo (2009) characterize Italy as a country full of dynamic heritage. Full of passion, Italy has potential to satisfy the appetite of any tourist, enthusiast or historian. Urbanization, elegance, ancient culture and superb cuisine have competitively positioned Italy for the tourist market (Canali & DeCarlo, 2009, pp 8-22). Is this same region culturally prepared for globalization and able to open its boundaries to foreign partners and investors to embrace mutual growth? Discussion of the idea above is the purpose of the cultural analysis. First, a cultural examination of Italy in comparison to the United States will provide specific compatibility information, to determine if an alliance between these two countries would be advantageous. Next, insight into possible implications for global mangers and potential strategies to successfully navigate foreign relations in Italy. Finally, concluding with Italy’s cultural sustainability and strength in supporting globalization and foreign alliances. Italy’s Dimensions of Culture
Culture is a key aspect of who we are. It shapes us. Culture defines us as diverse beings with traditional differences that can be found in our beliefs, customs, and morals. These differences allow us to distinguish ourselves from other societies or groups. From birth, culture is embedded deep within- as we learn the patterns and behaviors that are the accepted norm. Over time diverse cultures can blend together to form one larger culture, which is the case of the United States. Considered a “melting pot” the U.S. can be seen as having one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world. Business managers would agree that such diversity can be seen as a competitive advantage and strengthen a corporation; but this type of strength cannot be realized without first understanding the individual diverseness that is being dealt with. Whether in personal or business settings culture plays a critical role in determining how we conduct ourselves, as well as, how we respond to others. This fact makes it crucial that persons interested in embracing diversity (i.e. mangers; regional or global) understand and accept the cultural differences that they may be faced with. For these reasons, this section of the paper is devoted to Italy’s dimensions of culture; to develop a clearer understanding of who the people of Italy are and what it means culturally to be an Italian. Language
The official language of Italy is Italian. As the official language, Italian is spoken by over 50 million people in Italy and more than 60 million people around the world (Gordan, 2009). Amazingly it is estimated that between 120 and 150 million people globally, use Italian culturally or as a second language (Geo Dis). Italian is considered a Romance language, because of its ancient Roman influence (Gordan, 2005). As with other Romance languages, emphasis may be articulated on certain syllables of a word, or even to particular words in a phrase or sentence (Lewis, 2009). The Italian language has a variety of dialects that can range regionally (i.e. north and south) or locally depending on what is appropriate for a particular area (Gordan, 2005 & Lewis, 2009). High Context and Nonverbal Communication
Italy would be considered an extremely high context culture, this means that Italian culture is one, “in which people derive much information from nonverbal and environmental cues and less information from the words of a message. “ (Beebe, et al., 2010, p.152) Another way to define this type of high context, nonverbal communication would be kinesics (Beebe, et al., 2010, p.95). Kinesics is a human’s use of physical...
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