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Understanding Cultural Differences in Successful Global Businesses - Essay Example

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In the current age of globalization, interactions with other cultures are inevitable. In most activities, in business and in social and political interactions, cultural differences are an expected part of the global community…
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Understanding Cultural Differences in Successful Global Businesses
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This paper shall discuss the thesis that understanding cultural differences is fundamental to success in global business. This paper shall first discuss the common differences apparent in various corporations and businesses. Secondly, it shall then review how corporations are dealing with these differences. Thirdly, a deeper understanding of cultural differences and how they impact on successful global businesses will be presented. Lastly, this essay will provide a summary and conclusion of the discussion. This article is being carried out in order to establish a clear and deeper understanding of globalization as well as the impact of cultural differences in relation to this phenomenon. Body In the current business context, cultural differences have a significant impact on the way businesses are carried out. Culture refers to shared values which impact on perceptions, attitudes, as well as responses. These qualities are very much apparent in the workplace and marketplace. Language is one of the main elements of culture and although English is considered the universal language, not all states speak it.
Despite the universality of English however, corporations have sought to expand their language functionality, noting the marked increase in the number of languages being used in the business world, including Chinese, Spanish, and Japanese. For most international companies, most of them have understood that in order to be globally competent, they need to establish at least two versions of their websites. Japanese companies, for example, have adopted two versions of their websites – one in their native language and another one in English (Scholtens and Dam, 2007). Through these adjustments, these companies have managed to be accessible to their country and to the international community. Hofstede (1980) discusses how other elements of culture also impact on the effective globalisation of businesses. These elements include: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity, and long-term orientation. Power distance refers to the extent by which the less powerful members of society accept power (Hofstede, 1980). Cultures of Japan, Asian, and other Latin countries have high power distance relationships, however, this is low for the Nordic, Anglo, and German cultures (Robbins and Stylianou, 2008). Uncertainty avoidance is seen based on how people adjust to uncertainties, with some cultures having weak uncertainty avoidance and others having strong uncertainty avoidance. The Anglo and Nordic areas are known to have weak uncertainty avoidance, and the Latin, German, Asian, and Japan cultures have strong uncertainty avoidance (Robbins and Stylianou, 2008). As for individualism and collectivism, those which are individualistic are usually those who stick to rights of privacy and individual freedom; for those with collectivist cultures, their press is often controlled by the state and private lives are within public realms of interest (Robbins and Stylianou, 2008). Anglo, Nordic, Latin, and German cultures portray individualist qualities, while Asian cultures have collectivist cultures. In relation to gender divisions, the masculine-dominated cultures are those which have aggressive and assertive males and have strong material success goals; on the other hand, feminine cultures tend to focus on preservation, conservation, and sympathy for the weak (Robbins and Styl ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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