Business Across Borders
In the business world today, borders are blending and multi-national mergers are causing many company nationalities to become indistinct. As the globalization of markets rapidly increases, many companies are finding international expansion a necessity of competition. North America is greatly affected by this movement towards a global market, and many companies are finding it extremely important to adapt to other cultures.
Favorable trade agreements and explosive growth of the middle class in countries once considered underdeveloped have both been important factors in the rush towards globalization. However, the most important factor in increased globalization has been technological advancements, including new transportation and information technologies. Presentation of information is more frequently processed by members of a virtual team - a work group not necessarily in the same geographical location. With the proliferation of e-mail, videoconferencing, fax machine, and the telephone, virtual teaming is becoming increasingly efficient.
The most considerable obstructions to successful international marketing involve misinterpretations and contrary views resulting from cultural differences.
Being both aware of some of these issues and prepared to make the necessary accommodations can save companies time, effort, and a considerable amount of money.
Context is described as the most important dimension of culture and yet is the most difficult to define. Context refers to the stimuli, environment, or ambiance surrounding an event. Communication styles and business practices as a whole are often identified with the context of a country.
North American, Scandinavian, and German communicators are generally considered to be low-context cultures. They expect a high level of detail in their visua,l verbal and written communication. Low-context cultures tend to be analytical, logical and find words and contracts very important. Individualism, freedom and personal achievement are highly valued by these cultures.
High-context cultures, such as Japan, China, Arabia, tend to...