May 27, 2014
LaTrica Henegar, Ed.D, LPC, NCC Puma’s Poor Intercultural Communication
In an age of new technology enabling one to work from anywhere in the world, important business decisions now effect citizens of more than one country. Business dealings with partners and customers from other countries entail communication with those from different cultural backgrounds. The following paragraphs provide an example of a corporation 's failure to research a country 's cultural pattern and how one seemingly innocent action comes close to ending a thriving business. Examination of the corporation’s near-fatal business decision provides a better understanding of the important role effective intercultural communication plays in today’s business.
By clearly defining each country’s cultural patterns and taxonomies, one can begin to determine where communication fails, and how best to correct the problem. Suggestions for improvement of intercultural communication between the two countries are provided by applying communication theorists Kluckholm and Strodbeck’s Value Orientation theory to the example situation. Further examination of this corporation’s poor intercultural communication, clearly demonstrates the need for countries to be constantly aware of and respect each other’s beliefs, values, social practices, and socially shared expectations.
Puma’s Near-Fatal Mistake
Puma is a large supplier of sporting apparel, footwear, and accessories. The company, “distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs more than 10,000 people worldwide, and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany” (PUMA, 2013, p. 1). The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is second only to Saudi Arabia in Germany’s export business with reported sales worth 9.77 billion euros in 2012 (Federal Foreign Office, 2014, p. 1). In December of 2011, UAE celebrates its fortieth anniversary as an independent nation. Ahead of
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