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Cultural Language of Business


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Presentation for Ms. Sonara Carter-Barber's Intercultural Communications class at Westwood College

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Cultural Language of Business

  1. 1. 11Intercultural  Rela,ons  Class  Westwood  College  Instructor:  Sonara  Carter-­‐Barber,  MS,  ATMB,  PhD  Candidate        Bronwen  E.  Madden  Guest  Presenter  April  27,  2013  hKp://  
  2. 2. 22Source:  hKp://,media/videos/culturalgaffes/  Introductory  Video:  Cultural  Gaffes  
  3. 3. 3¢ Group/community  ¢ Common  experiences  ¢ Heritage  ¢ Par,cipatory  inclusion  ¢ Socially  accepted  behaviors,  values,  beliefs,  and  standards 3What  is  Culture?  
  4. 4. 4“Culture  refers  to  the  socially  transmiKed  values,  beliefs  and  symbols  that  are  more  or  less  shared  by  members  of  a  social  group.”    Kevin  Avruch,  Culture  as  Context      “Culture  is  a  common  system  of  knowledge  and  experiences  that  result  in  a  set  of  rules  or  standards;  these  rules  and  standards  in  turn  result  in  behavior  and  beliefs  that  the  group  considers  acceptable.”    Pat  K.  Chew,  The  Pervasiveness  of  Culture  in  Conflict    4
  5. 5. 5• Beliefs (superstitions)• Corporate (“the Toyota way”)• Country / Region• Economic• Education• Ethnicity• Faith• Food• Generation• Interests (i.e., music, art…)• Language• Political• SocialCulture  Defined  It is what makes us unique and interesting and at times, causes misunderstanding
  6. 6. Culture  is  important  in  business  so  we  understand  how  to  effec,vely  communicate  and  produce  produc,ve  rela,onships.      First  –  Understand  your  own  culture.  Know  your  history  and  your  business  style.    Generally  most  of  us  do  this  naturally  without  thought;  become  aware  of  your  ac,ons.    Examples:    Did  you  know  that  in  the  United  States  a  woman  must  first  extend  her  hand  to  engage  in  a  handshake  with  a  male  or  else  it  is  considered  to  be  rude  (but  this  is  opposite  in  other  parts  of  the  world)?  Do  you  stop  to  think  about  this  or  do  we  naturally  act  out  of  habit  which  we  maybe  unconsciously  learned?    In  Mexico,  it  is  considered  rude  to  throw  your  cash  on  the  counter  when  checking  out  at  a  retail  store;  you  must  hand  it  to  the  salesperson.  No  maKer  how  “cultured”  U.S.  business  people  are,  I  see  this  mistake  take  place  over  and  over.      In  Korea,  it  is  rude  to  show  the  boKom  of  your  cup  when  taking  a  drink  to  someone  above  you  in  hierarchy.  Do  you  learn  this  in  business  school  or  from  experience?  Why  is  Culture  Important?  
  7. 7. 7¢ Mul,  Ac,ve    ¢ Linear  Ac,ve  ¢ Reac,ve  Many  cultures  are  a  mix,  but  tend  to  dominate  in  one  or  two  categories  _______________________________________________________________________________  Richard  D.  Lewis,  When  Cultures  Collide  (1996)    Cultural  Types  by  Lewis  
  8. 8. 8The  Lewis  Model  8
  9. 9. 9The  Lewis  Model  9
  10. 10. 10¢ Low  Context  Explicitly  communicated  verbally  and  in  contractual  agreements  (very  direct).  This  can  be  viewed  as  being  rude.    ¢ High  Context  Physical  context  or  ini,alized  in  the  person;  body  language  and  unspoken  gestures  (very  indirect).  This  can  be  viewed  as  confusing.    _____________________________________________  Edward  T.  Hall,  Beyond  Culture  (1989)    10Hall’s  Communica,on  Style  
  11. 11. 11¢ Monochronic  Time  Schedules,  segmenta,on,  and  promptness  ¢ Polychronic  Time  Characterized  by  several  things  happening  at  once  Quiz  yourself:  hKp://    _____________________________________________  Edward  T.  Hall,  Beyond  Culture  (1989)    11Hall’s  Time  Orienta,on  
  12. 12. 12¢ Power  Distance  ¢ Individualism  ¢ Masculinity  _______________________________________  Geert  Hofstede,  Culture’s  Consequenses:    Comparing  Values,  Behaviors,  InsBtuBons,  and  OrganizaBons  Across  NaBons  (2001)    12Hofstede’s  Cultural  Constructs  ¢ Uncertainty  Avoidance  ¢ Long  term  Orienta,on  ¢ Indulgence  vs.  Restraint      
  13. 13. Cultural  Awareness  
  14. 14. 14¢ Individualists  Group  goals  are  subordinate  to  personal  goals,  the  individual  is  the  core  of  the  social  unit,  independence  and  personal  achievement  are  highly  valued,  discipline  is  loose,  tend  to  cherish  their  freedoms,  make  independent  decisions,  and  value  directness  and  strive  to  stand  out  (mostly  Westerners:  US,  Western  Europe,  Canada,  Australia)        ¢ Collec,vists  Personal  goals  are  subordinate  to  group  goals,  family  and  employment  organiza,ons  are  the  core  of  the  social  unit,  duty  harmony,  politeness,  and  modesty  are  very  important  with  high  discipline  and  individuals  should  not  stand  out.  (Asia,  Eastern  Europe,  La,n  America)    14Individualism  vs.  Collec,vism  
  15. 15. 15Hapden-­‐Turner  &  Trompenaars  Cross-­‐Cultural  Competence  ¢ Universalism  Vs.  Par,cularism  ¢ Specificity  Vs.  Diffusion  ¢ Status:    Achieved  Vs.  Ascribed  ¢ Inner  Vs.  Outer  Direc,on  ¢ Sequen,al  Vs.  Synchronous  ,me  _____________________________________________  Charles  M.  Hapden-­‐Turner  &  Fons  Trompenaars,  Building  Cross-­‐Cultural  Competence  (2000)  15
  16. 16. 16Kluckhon  &  Strodbeck  Value  Orienta,ons  ¢ Human  Nature:    Good  Vs.  Evil  ¢ Man  Vs.  Nature  Orienta,on  ¢ Ac,vity  Orienta,on:    Being  Vs.  Doing  _________________________________________  Florence  Rockwood  Kluckhon  &  Fred  L.  Strodbeck,  VariaBons  in  Value  OrientaBons  (1961)     16
  17. 17. 17¢ Rela,onship-­‐based  Vs.  Rule-­‐based  ¢ Sociocentric  Vs.  Egocentric  ¢ Emo,onally  Neutral  Vs.  Expressive    ¢ Technology  Vs.  Nurturing  ¢ Harmony  Vs.  Mastery  17Cultural  Variances  
  18. 18. 18¢ Poli,cal  Environment    Government  stability,  public  goods  available  for  business…  ¢ Economic  Environment    Income  levels,  demand,  exchange  rate  risk,  etc.    ¢ Social  Environment    Cultural  acceptance  and  idiosyncrasies    Comfort  Market:  a  market  in  which  you  understand  the  culture  and  the  local  business  nuances.     18Environment  
  19. 19. 19¢ Differences  That  Make  A  Difference    Language,  Religion,  Tastes,  Business  Prac,ces,  Income  Levels,  Product  Standards,  Physical  Environments,  and  Legal  Requirements  ¢ Adapta,ons  Worth  Considering    To  the  Product,  Promo,onal  Materials  and  Packaging  StandardizaBon  Vs.  LocalizaBon  19Market  Considera,ons  
  20. 20. 20¢ Economic  Freedom  hKp://    ¢ Global  Compe,,veness  hKp://­‐compe,,veness    ¢ Global  Peace  Index    hKp://  20Indices  
  21. 21. 21¢ Sell directly to end-users (short term)¢ Sell through an intermediary – an agent ordistributor (long-term)¢ Hire staff overseas (comply with localemployment laws)¢ Establish office overseas (investment)¢ Establish Joint Venture (JV) or subsidiariesabroad (investment)21Distribu,on  Channels  
  22. 22. 22¢ Should  I  conduct  a  background  check?  ¢ Should  our  agreement  be  in  wri,ng?  ¢ At  what  point  do  you  bring  out  the  contracts?  (lawyers  vs.  pracBcal  businessman)  Rela,onships  =  business;  trust  =  partnerships  _______________________________________________________________________________  Roger  B.  Myerson,  GeOng  to  YES  (1996)  -­‐  The  Nash  Equilibrium  by  John  Forbes  Nash  22BATNA  Best  Alterna7ve  To  a  Nego7ated  Agreement  Don’t  accept  anything  less!    
  23. 23. 23¢ Become  educated  ¢ Hire  staff  ¢ Travel    Cultural  miscommunica,on  is  the  main  reason  for  business  nego,a,ons  to  fail.  Lack  of  cultural  prepara,on  is  the  main  reason  for  ex-­‐pat  failure.  For  culture  to  be  engrained,  it  is  typically  experienced  rather  than  learned.     23Mi,gate  Cultural  Miscommunica,on  
  24. 24. 2424Cultural  Summary  -­‐  USA  
  25. 25. “Guanxi”  literally  means  "rela,onships“  and  in  the  Chinese  business  world  it  is  also  understood  as  the  network  of  rela,onships  among  various  par,es  that  cooperate  together  and  support  one  another.  In  essence,  this  boils  down  to  exchanging  favors,  which  are  expected  to  be  done  regularly  and  voluntarily.  Therefore,  it  is  an  important  concept  to  understand  if  one  is  to  func,on  effec,vely  in  Chinese  society.      Avoid  the  American  stereotype  of  self-­‐interest,  quick  profit  and  abandonment.  Rela,onships  are  NOT  project-­‐based,  they  are  life-­‐long.  Show  an  earnest  commitment  to  the  interests  of  the  community,  not  just  your  bank  account.      Example:  Cummins  -­‐  power  genera,on  equipment,  power  systems,  gasoline  engines,  custom  power  supplies;  paints  elementary  schools  on  the  weekends  but  does  not  boast  about  it.    hKp://chinese-­‐    Guanxi  
  26. 26. 26¢ CANNOT  “influence  a  decision”  (bribery)  ¢ Okay  to  expedite  ac,vity  or  incen,vize  service  (,ps)  ¢ Keep  ,ps/giqs  to  low  value  ($20  or  less  for  U.S.  government  officials)  ___________________________________  The  Foreign  Corrupt  Prac,ces  Act  of  1977  (FCPA)  is  a  United  States  federal  law  known  primarily  for  two  of  its  main  provisions,  one  that  addresses  accoun,ng  transparency  requirements  under  the  Securi,es  Exchange  Act  of  1934  and  another  concerning  bribery  of  foreign  officials.    26Foreign  Corrupt  Prac,ces  Act  
  27. 27. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud SectionAttention: FCPA /
  28. 28. California  Country  Contacts  hKp://,onal/contacts/pages/countrycontacts.aspx    
  29. 29. 29¢ Introduc,ons  ¢ Appointment    ¢ Business  Dress  ¢ Conversa,on  ¢ First  Name  or  Title  ¢ Giq  Giving   29¢ Nego,a,on  ¢ Entertaining  Social  E,queKe  
  30. 30. 3030Color  Supers,,on  Color   Lucky/Popular   Unlucky/Unpopular  Black   All  Asia-­‐Pacific  Cultures  White   China,  Japan,  Vietnam  Red   China,  Japan,  Philippines,  South  Korea,  Thailand,  Vietnam  Names  and  red  ink;  China,  Japan,  South  Korea  Blue   South  Korea   China  Gold   Asian  Cultures   On  leaves:  Japan  Green   Philippines,  Vietnam   Japan;  Don’t  wear  a  green  hat  in  China  Yellow   All  Asia-­‐Pacific  Cultures   Personal  wear:  Malaysia  Purple   China  
  31. 31. 3131Number   Lucky/Popular   Unlucky/Unpopular  0   Philippines  3   All  Asia-­‐Pacific  Cultures  4   China,  Japan,  South  Korea  5   South  Korea  6   China   Thailand,  Vietnam  7   Western  Countries,  Japan,  South  Korea    8   China,  Japan,  Philippines,  Vietnam  9   China,  South  Korea,  Vietnam  10   Vietnam  13   All  Asia-­‐Pacific  Cultures  Number  Supers,,on  
  32. 32. JapanSouth KoreaChinaSingaporeHong KongCanadaUSAAustraliaVery HighHighModerately HighModerateModerateModerately LowLowVery LowMost FormalLeast FormalFormality  Factor  
  33. 33. 33¢ Percep,ons  ¢ Behavior  ¢ Communica,on  ¢ Management  ¢ Nego,a,on/decision-­‐making  ¢ Rela,ons  (your  business  base)   33Business  Implica,ons  
  34. 34. 34¢ Date/,me/loca,on  ¢ Décor  (flags,  flowers)  ¢ Contact  person  (including  mobile  #)  ¢ Mee,ng  par,cipants  list  with  ,tles  ¢ Objec,ves/goals  34¢ Talking  points  ¢ Dress    ¢ Sea,ng  chart  ¢ Giq  Business  Mee,ng  Best  Prac,ces  
  35. 35. 35¢ McCaffrees  book  Protocol  ¢ Holberg’s  book  Forms  of  Address  ¢ CultureGrams®    ¢ Execu,  guides  Many  others…The  four  listed  are  well-­‐known  authori,es  on  culture  and  protocol;  however,  there  are  a  variety  of  resources  available  including  the  Dos  and  Taboos  Around  the  World,  Kiss  Bow  or  Shake  Hands,  Business  Strategies  Interna,onal  Keys  to  Success,  Kwintessen,al  Global  Guides,  etc.    35Cultural  Protocol  Resources  
  36. 36. Giq  Giving  Selec,ng  and  presen,ng  an  appropriate  business  giq    Lets  Make  a  Deal!  What  you  should  know  before  you  nego,ate;  Intermediaries,  protocols,  and  the  nego,a,ng  process    Prosperous  Entertaining  General  ,ps,  ea,ng  and  drinking;  Ea,ng  contd  and  business  entertaining;  Social  entertaining    Public  Behavior  Acceptable  public  conduct    About    Introduc,on,  geography,  climate,  and  popula,on    Demographic  profile,  government  and  poli,cal  structure    Economy  and  entrance  requirements    Appointment  Alert!  Making  appointments    Business  Dress  Guidelines  for  business  dress    Conversa,on  General  guidelines;  Welcome  topics  of  conversa,on;  Topics  to  avoid  in  conversa,on    First  Name  or  Title?  Addressing  others  with  respect    Execu,ve  Planet  Guides  -­‐   Outline  hKp://execu,    
  37. 37. 37¢ Self-­‐awareness    ¢ Awareness  of  others  [Distribute  CultureGrams]  37All  About  Understanding  
  38. 38. Los  Angeles  Center  for  Interna7onal  Trade  Development    Hosted  by  El  Camino  College    Bronwen  E.  Madden,  Ac,ng  Director  El  Camino  College  Business  Training  Center  13430  Hawthorne  Boulevard  Hawthorne,  California  90250  USA    Appointment  Line:  (310)  973-­‐3177  Fax  Number:  (310)  973-­‐3132  Contact  
  39. 39. Quiz  What  is  the  belief  that  your  own  group  culture  is  superior  to  other  groups  or  cultures?    (A)  egocentrism  (B)  ethnocentrism  (C)  cultural  rela,vism  (D)  Stereotyping      ___________________________________________________________  Source:  McGraw-­‐Hill  Higher  Educa,on  ,  Human,  CommunicaBon  Third  EdiBon  (2008)  hKp://highered.mcgraw-­‐,ple_choice_quiz.html      
  40. 40. Quiz  People  from  _____________  cultures  rely  heavily  on  situa,onal  cues  for  meaning.        (A)  high-­‐context    (B)  low-­‐context    (C)  monochronic    (D)  universalist    (E)  rela,vist    ___________________________________________________________  Source:  McGraw-­‐Hill  Higher  Educa,on  ,  Human,  CommunicaBon  Third  EdiBon  (2008)  hKp://highered.mcgraw-­‐,ple_choice_quiz.html      
  41. 41. Quiz  The  Germans  have  a  _____________  culture.        (A)  universalis,c    (B)  rela,vist    (C)  low-­‐context    (D)  high-­‐context    (E)  collec,vist      ___________________________________________________________  Source:  McGraw-­‐Hill  Higher  Educa,on  ,  Human,  CommunicaBon  Third  EdiBon  (2008)  hKp://highered.mcgraw-­‐,ple_choice_quiz.html      
  42. 42. Quiz  People  from  _____________  cultures  tend  to  place  greater  emphasis  on  community  goals  and  subordinate  their  own  wishes  and  goals.      (A)  monochronic    (B)  rela,vist    (C)  low-­‐context    (D)  heterogeneous    (E)  collec7vist    ___________________________________________________________  Source:  McGraw-­‐Hill  Higher  Educa,on  ,  Human,  CommunicaBon  Third  EdiBon  (2008)  hKp://highered.mcgraw-­‐,ple_choice_quiz.html      
  43. 43. Quiz  People  in  polychronic  cultures  view  ,me  as        (A)  linear    (B)  standardized    (C)  precise    (D)  mul7dimensional    (E)  inelas,c      ___________________________________________________________  Source:  McGraw-­‐Hill  Higher  Educa,on  ,  Human,  CommunicaBon  Third  EdiBon  (2008)  hKp://highered.mcgraw-­‐,ple_choice_quiz.html      
  44. 44. Quiz  Someone  from  England  is  likely  to  require  greater  interpersonal  space  than  someone  from        (A)    Korea    (B)    U.S.    (C)    Canada    (D)    Switzerland    (E)    Germany    ___________________________________________________________  Source:  McGraw-­‐Hill  Higher  Educa,on  ,  Human,  CommunicaBon  Third  EdiBon  (2008)  hKp://highered.mcgraw-­‐,ple_choice_quiz.html