Inb220 tt week 6 ch 10 business and social customs


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Inb220 tt week 6 ch 10 business and social customs

  1. 1. Week 6 Chapter 10
  2. 2. Homework
  3. 3. 8pm October 26, 27 or 28. Royal Alexander Theatre $25 CASH Send registration form before October 15th Pay before October 21st Reserve your ticket now
  4. 4.
  5. 5. Topics Greeting and Handshaking Customs Verbal Expressions Male and Female Relationships/Workplace Equality Humor in Business Superstitions and Taboos Dress and Appearance
  6. 6. Topics Customs Associated with Holidays and Holy Days Office Customs and Practices Customary Demeanor/Behavior Bribery Special Foods and Consumption Taboos
  7. 7. Customs Customs are behaviors generally expected in specific situations; they are established, socially acceptable ways of behaving in given circumstances. Examples of U.S. customs include eating turkey on Thanksgiving and starting presentations with a joke. Image source:
  8. 8. Greeting and Handshaking Customs U.S. persons are informal in their greetings, often saying “Hi” to complete strangers. U.S. greeting behavior is ritualistic; upon arriving at work, one person says: “Good morning, how are you?” to which the other person responds: “Fine, thank you, and how are you?” Image source:
  9. 9. Greeting and Handshaking Customs Embracing is inappropriate as a form of greeting in the U.S., but in Latin America people embrace after a handshake. Bowing is the customary form of greeting in Japan.
  10. 10. Handshakes • FirmU.S./Canada • Gentle (except for Koreans who have a firm handshake) Asians • SoftBritish • Light and quick; repeated upon arrival and departure French
  11. 11. Handshakes • Firm; repeated upon arrival and departure Germans • Moderate grasp; repeated frequently Hispanics • Gentle; repeated frequently Middle Easterners • Soft ; hands folded (Namaste) Indian
  12. 12. Commonly Used Expressions English French German Spanish Good day Bonjour Guten Tag (Goo-tun TAHK) Buenos dias (BWAY-nos DEE ahs) Goodbye Au revoir (o reh-VWAHR) Auf Wiedersehen (owf VEE-der-zeyn) Adios (ah-DYOS) Please S’il vous plait (seel-voo-PLEH) Bitte (BIT-the) Por favor (POR fah-vor) Thank you Merci (mehr-SEE) Danke (DUNK-uh) Gracias (GRAH-see-ahs) Good evening Bonsoir (bawn-SWAHR) Guten Abend (Goo-tun AH-bent) Buanas noches (BWAY-nahs No-chase) Excuse me Excusez-moi (ex-kyou-zay MWAH) Verzeihung (far-TSY-oong) Perdoneme (per-DOH-nay-mey)
  13. 13. Verbal Expressions In Canada/USA, people often respond to someone with a one-word reply: “sure,” “okay,” and “nope.” This is because of informality – not intended to be rude. People in the Southern U.S. will often say “Y’all come to see us” when bidding someone goodbye. The expected reply is “Thanks! Y’all come to see us, too.” This verbal exchange is only a friendly ritual.
  14. 14. Verbal Expressions “Don’t mention it” and “Think nothing of it,” in response to a courtesy or favor, are viewed by persons of other cultures as rude. When being thanked for a courtesy, a response of “You are welcome” is preferable. “What’s up?” and “How’s it going?” make no sense to persons for whom English is a second language.
  15. 15. Verbal Expressions A newcomer to the U.S. did not accept a job on the “graveyard shift” since he thought he would be working in a cemetery.
  16. 16. Verbal Expressions - Chitchat Chitchat (small talk or light conversation) is important in getting to know someone. Chitchat often includes comments about the weather, the physical surroundings, the day’s news or almost anything of a nonsubstantive nature. People of the U.S. excel at small talk; so do Canadians, Australians, the British, and the French.
  17. 17. Verbal Expressions - Chitchat Germans simply do not believe in it. Swedes have little to say in addition to talking about their jobs. The Japanese are frightened by the idea of small talk as are people of Finland, who actually buy books on the art of small talk.
  18. 18. Verbal Expressions - Chitchat When engaging in chitchat with someone of another culture, the best advice is probably to follow the other person’s lead. If they talk about their family, then you would talk about yours. If they initiate political discussions, you would join in the discourse.
  19. 19. Male and Female Relationships In high-context societies, such as the Arab culture, people have definite ideas on what constitutes proper behavior between males and females. Image source:
  20. 20. Male and Female Relationships In low-context cultures, such as the U.S., little agreement exists. Thus, both people of the U.S. and visitors from other cultures have difficulty knowing how to proceed in male-female relationships in the U.S. since a wide range of behaviors may be observed.
  21. 21. Male and Female Relationships Acceptable male/female relationships in any culture involve stereotypes. A stereotype of U.S. women is that they are domineering and “loose” (have no inhibitions regarding sexual relationships with a variety of men). Correspondingly, American men are viewed as weak who permit women to dominate them.
  22. 22. Male and Female Relationships Stereotypes of women in other cultures include that Asian women are nonassertive and submissive. A stereotype of Latin American males is that they are predatory and constantly pursue women for sexual relationships. Image source:
  23. 23. “One tall and handsome Middle Eastern graduate student said he had come to the States with the notion that women were readily available for sexual activities with people such as himself. Everything that happened to him during his first two years in the States confirmed his opinion. After about two years, though, he began to realize that the women who were so readily available were not representative of the whole society. They were a certain type of person - insecure, socially marginal, apparently unable to find satisfactory relationships with American men, so they turned to foreign students.”
  24. 24. Male and Female Relationships Some U.S. men feel threatened by the more assertive roles many women are assuming. However, most people accept the fact that men and women can work side by side in the workplace and that they can have a friendship which does not have a sexual component.
  25. 25. Workplace Equality In Mexico, treatment of men and women in the workplace differs substantially from that of the U.S. Male supervisors customarily kiss their female secretaries on the cheek each morning or embrace them. Despite this custom, seen as undue familiarity by U.S. managers, problems with sexual harassment and gender discrimination are uncommon according to Mexican managers. (However, U.S. managers interviewed reported the opposite.)
  26. 26. Humor in Business Using humorous anecdotes is a way of breaking the ice and establishing a relaxed atmosphere prior to getting down to business in international meetings. In the U.S., presentations are often started with a joke or cartoon related to the topic.
  27. 27. Humor in Business Most European countries also use humor during business meetings. Asian humor finds little merit in jokes about sex, religion, or minorities; they take what is said quite literally and do not understand American humor. Germans, too, find humor out of place during business meetings.
  28. 28. Humor in Business - perhaps jokes should be avoided around persons of diverse cultures American humor is hard to export and appreciate. Even though the intention of humor was to put your international colleagues at ease and create a more relaxed environment, the risk of offending someone of another culture, or of telling a story that no one understands, is great. we do not all laugh at the same thing
  29. 29. Superstitions are beliefs that are inconsistent with the known laws of science or what a society considers true and rational. This October has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays all in one month. It happens once in 823 years!
  30. 30. Superstitions Superstitions, which are treated rather casually in Europe and North America, are taken quite seriously in other cultures. In parts of Asia, fortune telling and palmistry are considered influential in the lives and business dealings of the people. Image source:
  31. 31. In many cultures, luck and even death are associated with certain numbers. Canada/USA: 13 (bad luck) China/Japan/Korea: 4 (death 死) China: 6 (happiness 澑) 8 (wealth 发 ) 9 (long life 久) Western cultures/China: 7 (luck/togetherness 起)
  32. 32. Superstitions Many Chinese people believe that having three people in a photograph will result in dire consequences, that the middle person will die. Image source:
  33. 33. Taboos Taboos are practices or verbal expressions considered by a society or culture as improper or unacceptable. Taboos are rooted in the beliefs of the people of a specific region or culture and are passed down from generation to generation.
  34. 34. The general rule everywhere is that for business you should be “Buttoned up”: conservative suit and tie for men, dress or skirted suit for women. Dress and Appearance Image source:
  35. 35. Cultural Differences in Dress and Appearance In Canada, people dress more conservatively and formally than people in the U.S. In Europe, business dress is very formal; coats and ties are required, and jackets stay on at all times. In Japan, dress is also formal. Women dress very conservatively and wear muted colors to the office. Casual attire is usually inappropriate.
  36. 36. Cultural Differences in Dress and Appearance In the Philippines, men wear the barong, a loose, white or cream-colored shirt with tails out, no jacket or tie. In Saudi Arabia, the traditional Arabic white, flowing robe and headcloth may be worn. However, U.S. persons should not attempt to dress in a like manner. Color of clothing is an important consideration. Do not wear black, purple, or solid white in Thailand. Avoid wearing all white in the People’s Republic of China as white is the symbol of mourning. Image source:
  37. 37. Dress and Appearance Shoes are considered inappropriate in certain situations in various cultures. They should not be worn within Muslim mosques and Buddhist temples. Shoes should be removed when in a Japanese home. In the Arab culture, the soles of your feet should not be shown. Women should be especially careful to conform to local customs. In Arab countries, women should avoid wearing pants and should wear clothes that give good coverage. In Europe, women do not wear pants to the office or to nice restaurants. As a general rule for business, dress conservatively. Image source: Image source:
  38. 38. Business Casual Dress Business dress in U.S. firms became increasingly casual in the 1990’s, but the trend appears to be over. Casual attire is the norm in such countries as the Philippines and Indonesia where shirts are worn without ties or jackets. Sweden has the greatest percentage of companies with casual dress policies while England has the smallest percent.
  39. 39. At a Washington firm, a group of Japanese businessmen who came for a meeting on a Friday found a room full of casually dressed people. They made a hasty retreat, believing they had the wrong office.
  40. 40. Holidays and Holy Days That May Affect Business Image source:
  41. 41. Office Customs and Practices Usual hours of work in U. S. offices are 9 to 5. In Iran, business hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. In some South American countries, such as Brazil and Colombia, the work week is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday (12 noon to 2 p.m. lunch).
  42. 42. Office Customs and Practices Peru has one of the longest workweeks in the world: 48 hours with businesses open at least six days a week. The lunch period in U.S. firms varies from 30 minutes to an hour; break times are usually one 15-minute period in the morning and a second 15-minute period in the afternoon. Europeans have a 1 - to 1 1/2 - hour lunch break, 20 minute morning and afternoon breaks (often including beer or wine) and 15 minutes at the end of the workday for cleanup time.
  43. 43. Office Customs and Practices Hiring and firing practices vary according to the culture. In the U.S. hiring and firing are based on job effectiveness and job performance; no job is permanent. In Europe everyone in the firm has a contract that virtually guarantees permanent employment regardless of the financial condition of the company.
  44. 44. Office Customs and Practices In such countries as Japan, employees consider their jobs to be permanent. Employees who are dismissed receive generous severance pay by U.S. standards. Formality or informality found in U.S. offices varies; in major corporations, more formality often exists than in small companies in rural areas.
  45. 45. U.S. Demeanor/Behavior Be punctual. Most persons in the U.S. and Canada will feel offended if you are more than 10 minutes late. If you agree to meet someone, keep the appointment.
  46. 46. U.S. Demeanor/Behavior Treat females with the same respect given males. Treat clerks, waiters, secretaries, taxi drivers with the same courtesy you would show someone of rank and position. Image source:
  47. 47. U.S. Demeanor/Behavior When talking, keep an arm’s length away. U.S. persons do not like for people to get too close. Avoid bowing and other behavior that is intended to display respect as most Americans are most uncomfortable with such displays. Do not speak loudly in public places except at sports events and similar outdoor events. Keep to the right when walking in malls or on the street.
  48. 48. U.S. Demeanor/Behavior Do not touch other people in public. (Pushing your way through a crowd is considered quite rude.) Wait your turn when standing in line at the post office, bank, or theatre. Give priority to the first person who arrives (rather than to people who are older or appear wealthier). Do not block traffic; do not block someone’s view at a public events.
  49. 49. do-it-yourself The U.S. is a "do-it-yourself” country; no social stigma is attached to doing one's own daily chores, no matter how menial.
  50. 50. US/Canadian customs surrounding special holidays Staying up until midnight on New Year's Eve; having turkey and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
  51. 51. Bribery Bribery is the giving or promising of something, often money, to influence another person’s actions. While bribery is not officially sanctioned or condoned in any country, it is unofficially a part of business in many cultures and is considered neither unethical nor immoral in a number of countries. In Nigeria, for example, one must pay the customs agents to leave the airport, while in Thailand and Indonesia getting a driver’s license involves giving a tip to an agent.
  52. 52. Bribery The U.S. has the most restrictive laws against bribery in the world. Companies found guilty of paying bribes to foreign officials can be fined up to $1 million, and guilty employees may be fined up to $10,000. Many U.S. competitors, including Italian, German, and Japanese firms, not only use bribery in international transactions but may deduct the amount of the bribe on their taxes as a necessary business expense.
  53. 53. Bribery As business becomes more globalized, different perceptions exist regarding the appropriateness of certain incentives. What is perceived as bribery is culturally relative just as a person’s conscience can become “culturally conditioned.” What is considered a tip in one culture is considered illegal in another.
  54. 54. Bribery Professional go-betweens are sometimes hired to assure that the proper persons are tipped to avoid delays in approvals and delivery. People of the U.S. cannot, of course, be involved in paying these commissions; this responsibility would be left with the local joint-venture partner or distributor.
  55. 55. Unusual Foods U.S. - corn-on-the-cob, grits, popcorn, marshmallows, crawfish South Korea - dog meat Saudi Arabia - sheep's eyeballs Mexico - chicken's feet in chicken soup China - duck's feet Russia - Danish pastry stuffed with raw cabbage Image source:
  56. 56. Consumption Taboos U.S. - horse meat, dog meat Strict Muslims - pork and alcohol Orthodox Jews - pork, shellfish, meat and milk together Hindus - beef