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Significant Cultural Issues Essay

Identify the significant cultural issues involved when evaluating the attractiveness of a particular location as a place for doing business

Making business abroad can be risky, but it can also be profitable for a company as well; thus the necessity to study in deep the country where the company will bring the business to. International companies are faced with many cultural challenges, when doing business across and inside of different borders. Identifying the significant cultural issues involved when evaluating the attractiveness of a particular location as a place for doing business can be crucial for a business. Aspects to consider when studying culture in a new place are: aesthetics, values and attitudes, manners and customs, social structure, religion, personal communication, and education.

“An assessment of any nation’s overall business climate is typically the first step in analyzing its potential as a host for international commercial activity” (Wild). Aesthetics is known as the “good taste” in arts, imaginary evoked by certain expressions, and the symbolism of certain colors (Wild). As the book suggests this aspect is important for a company when doing business in another country; the knowledge of aesthetic will give to the organization the advantage of color use in advertising, product packaging and uniforms colors as well. Colors have different meaning in every country and using a negative color in an ad might be failure in a product’s advertising campaign. Imaginary logos also is something to careful about; a logo that might be well accepted in home market, it might be an insult to other countries views.

Values are “ideas, beliefs, and customs to which people are emotionally attached. Values include concepts such as honesty, marital faithfulness, freedom, and responsibility” (Wild). Values are something personal that varies per individuals; but the community provides the foundation on what people defined as value. A company identifying what values are for the market targeted will provide them a background of what to present to the new country. “Attitudes are positive or negative evaluations, feeling, and tendencies that individuals harbor toward objects or concepts” (Wild). As the book mentions, attitudes are similar to values, these are formed according to a culture background and varies from country to country.

Manners are knows as the appropriate ways of behaving, speaking, and dressing in a culture. Manners are something that could ruin a business meeting if they are not practiced in the right way according to the foreign country’s guidelines. Customs are habits or ways of behaving in specific circumstances are passed down generations (Wild). Examples from the book are: sharing foods gifts during the holy month of Ramadan, as is the Japanese tradition of throwing special parties for youth women and men who turn age 20.

Social structure embodies a culture’s fundamental organization, including its groups and institutions, its systems of social position and their relationships, and the process by which resources are distributed. As in every country social structure are founded different and knowing to identify this aspect could help a company to know who to direct the product to.

Religion is an aspect that influences countries which have strong religious believes. In one country many religious can be practiced. Some religious might find insulting some advertisement, logo’s, or even the product.

Personal communication is a system everybody possesses and it can be transmitted in writing, speech and actions (Wild). Education level is an aspect which companies must research intensively in order for them to identify where to bring their business to. For example “Countries with poorly educated population attract the lowest-paying manufacturing jobs. Nations with excellent programs for basic education tend to attract relatively good-paying industries.” (Wild).

Doing business abroad can be a cultural challenge and researching local protocol is essential in avoiding potential misunderstandings. Being aware of other’s cultures can assure a long lasting relationship with foreign countries and of course successful business. Considering the mentioned cultural aspects: aesthetics, values and attitudes, manners and customs, social; structure, religion, personal communication, and education; will help greatly the business relations and can bring opportunities for new partnerships.

References
Wild, J. J., and K. L. Wild. International business, the challenges of globalization. 6th. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2012. Print. [pic]

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