The Cultural Challenges of Doing Business Overseas
In the past few years, the word diversity has been used with greater frequency. It is a topic that demands for discussion in certain areas of life and also a topic that one cannot help it but to discuss. The businessperson that understands that there are over 500 other ethnicities or cultures besides their own, has a greater chance of being successful, especially in America. With the increase of companies wanting to outsource their employees with the hopes of getting less expensive labor, the successful businessperson now has no other choice but to accurately and respectfully understand not only how the different cultures function here in America, but also in their own country. Steve Kafka, an American of Czech origin, would like to expand his franchising business of Chicago Style Pizza to the Czech Republic. He feels he understands the Czech culture after visiting the country several times and being able to speak to the language.
However, the process understanding a culture accurately entails more than visiting the country a few times and being able to speak the language.
Many people will agree that ultimately all people, regardless of culture, are the same-"We're all humans" is the commonly used phrase. However, for business purposes and on the surface we are not. In the context of international business, culture is acquired knowledge that people use to understand experiences and spawn social behavior (Chapter 4, Hodgetts). With globalization being a common tool for business expansion and repair, one does not have a choice but to be culturally educated along with obtaining good listening skills. Learning about other cultures involves a advanced listening skills, hearing is not enough (Harris, 2003). Steve will soon find out that the Czech culture is different from American culture...