International business case studies culture

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CCSM seeks well-written papers that focus on any issue pertinent to international business and management in the global context. Austria, the United Kingdom, the United States and Switzerland are all achievement cultures whilst Venezuela, Indonesia and China are ascription cultures. In the United States people tend to be guided by sequential time orientation and thus set a schedule and stick to it. Mexicans operate under more of a synchronous time orientation and thus tend to be much more flexible, often building slack into their schedules to allow for interruptions.

The French are similar to the Mexicans and when making plans often determine the objectives they want to accomplish but leave open the timing and other factors that are beyond their control; this way they can modify their. Trompenaars noted "For the French and Mexicans, what was important was that they get to the end, not the particular path or sequence by which that end was reached". In countries such as the United States, Italy and Germany the future is more important than the past or present.

In countries such as Venezuela, Indonesia and Spain the present is most important. In France and Belgium all three time periods are of approximately equal importance.


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Because different emphasise are given to different time periods, adjusting to these cultural differences can create challenges. In the United States managers strongly feel that they are masters of their own fate. This helps account for their dominant attitude towards the environment and discomfort when things seem to get out of control.

Many Asian cultures do not share these views, they believe that things move in waves or natural shifts and that one must go with the flow so a flexible attitude, characterised by a willingness to compromise and maintain harmony with nature is important. According to the GLOBE analysis Brazilian managers are typically class and status conscious, rarely conversing with subordinates on a personal level within or outside of work. They are known for avoiding conflict within groups and risky endeavours and tend to exhibit group dynamics with regard to decision making processes.

Managers in the United States, on the other hand do not focus intensely on different class or status levels. They are more likely to take risks, and while it appears as though they are more individualistic the GLOBE analysis graph implies a more tolerant attitude than direct single person decision making structure. While Americans value mutual respect and open dialogue, Brazilians may see this behaviour as unacceptable, even aggressive if discussion discloses a large amount of information and includes members from different positions.

Family structures, including in group structures are very important to Brazilians, but the head of the household still has the last word. They stress short terms, risk aversive goals to maintain vision and interest in business proposals. For years Renault, the French auto giant manufactured a narrow product line that sold primarily in France. Because of this limited geographic market and the fact that its cars continued to have quality related problems, the company's performance was at best mediocre.

Several years ago however, Renault made a number of strategic decisions that dramatically changed the way it did business. Today Renault is a multinational automaker with operations on four continents. Each plant is specialised and produces a small number of products for the entire European market; in this way each can focus on tailoring products for the unique demands of the various markets. Marketers sell toothpaste as a cosmetic product in Spain and Greece but as a cavity fighter in the Netherlands and the US.

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Soap manufacturers market their product as a cosmetic item in Spain but as a functional commodity in Germany. Germany want advertising that is factual and rational; they fear being manipulated by the hidden persuader. The French avoid reasoning and logic. Their advertising is predominantly emotional, dramatic and symbolic.

BUS304 International Business: Case Study Presentation

The British value laughter above all else. The typical broad, self-deprecating British commercial amuses by mocking both the advertiser and the consumer. In some cases however both the product and the marketing message are similar worldwide. This is particularly true for high end products where the lifestyles and expectations of the market niche are similar regardless of the country.

Heineken beer, Hennessey brandy, Porsche cars and the financial Times all appeals to consumer niches that are fairly homogenous regardless of geographic locale. The same is true at the lower end of the market for goods that are impulse buys, novel products or fast foods such as Coca cola's soft drinks, Levi's jeans, pop music and ice cream bars,.

Advertising in the US should target individual achievement, be expressive and direct and appeal to US values of success through personal hard work. On the other hand the focus in chine and other Asian countries should be much more indirect and subtle, emphasising group references, shared responsibility and interpersonal trust. Business meetings typically start with pleasantries such as tea and a general conversation about the guest's trip to the country, local accommodations and family.

In most cases the host has already been briefed on the background of the visitor. When a meeting is ready to begin the Chinese host will give that appropriate indication. Similarly when the meeting is over, the host will indicate that it is time for the guest to leave.

Effective Leadership Development

Once the Chinese decide what is best they tend to stick with these decisions. Therefore they may be slow in formulating a plan of action but once they get started they make fairly good progress. In negotiations reciprocity is important. If the Chinese give concessions they expect some in return. Additionally it is common to find them slowing down negotiations to take advantage of Westerners desire to conclude arrangements as quickly as possible.

The object of this tactic is to extract further concessions. Another common ploy used by the Chinese is to pressure the other party during final arrangements by suggesting that this counterpart has broken the spirit of friendship in which the business relationship originally established.

How does culture affect international business? | Language Insight

Again, through this ploy, the Chinese are trying to gain additional concessions. Because negotiating can involve a loss of face, it is common to find Chinese carrying out the whole process through intermediaries. This allows them to convey their ideas without fear of embarrassment. During negotiations it is important not to show excessive emotion of any kind.


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Anger or frustration is viewed as antisocial and unseemly. Negotiation should be viewed with a long term perspective. Those who will do best are the ones who realise that are investing in a long term relationship.

Build personal relationships with partners. Business laws an contracts do not mean as much in Russia as they do in the West. When there are contact disputes there is little protection for the aggrieved party because of the time and effort needed to legally enforce the agreement.

Detailed contracts can be hammered out later on; in the beginning all that counts is friendship. Use local consultants. Because the rules of business have changed so much in recent years, it pays to have a local Russian consultant working with the company. Russian expatriates often are not up to date on what is going on and quite often are not trusted by local business people who have stayed in the country. So the consultant should be someone who has been in Russia all the time and understand the local business climate.

Consider business ethics. Ethical behaviour in the US is not always the same as in Russia. For example in Russia it is traditional to give gifts to those with whom one wants to transact business , an approach that may often be regarded as bribery in the US. Be patient.

Culture studies in international business: paradigmatic shifts

In order to get something done in Russia it often takes months of waiting. Those who are in a hurry to make a quick deal are often sorely disappointed. Stress exclusivity. Russians like exclusive arrangements and often negotiate with just one firm at a time. This is in contrast with Western businesspeople who often shop their deals and may negotiate with half a dozen firms at the same time before settling on one.

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Culture Clashes At Mehta Investment Group: A Case Study

Technical settings. Someone recently bought our students are currently browsing our notes. In particular they focused attention on such key organisational values as lifetime employment, formal authority, group orientation, seniority and paternalism: o Lifetime employment is widely accepted in Japanese culture, but the stateside Japanese managers did not believe that unconditional tenure in one organisation was of major importance.

His initial data was gathered from two questionnaire surveys with over , respondents from over 70 countries - making it the largest organisationally based study ever conducted. The French are similar to the Mexicans and when making plans often determine the objectives they want to accomplish but leave open the timing and other factors that are beyond their control; this way they can modify their approach as they go along.