Since customs, culture and norms can be very different from their own, managers need to learn how to adapt to different cultures. .A good way to do this is by learning their language. In fact, according to this chapter, "language is an essential part of cultural learning and contributes to productive international business experience."(pg.318)
In addition, learning about how people behave and conduct business in other countries is essential. Therefore, companies need to provide language training and guidance for the expatriate managers because this will help them be more effective in foreign assignments. In fact, being in a foreign country can present many challenges for the expatriate manager. Some of these challenges have to do mainly with ethical issues. For instance, employers in the United States usually hire employees with whom they have no personal relationship, but who have high skill and qualifications rather than a friend or relative who is less qualified for the job.
This is part of our culture. But people from Spanish countries and Asia will consider this kind of practice unethical since they place more value on hiring family members or friends.
Another challenge is the fact that some cultures consider gift giving as okay. For instance, in Japan gift-giving can be an important part of conducting business. But in the United States gift giving is considered to be a bribe. That is, "an attempt to influence an individual's business decisions."(pg.319) In fact, these cultural differences can be challenging. So it is important that managers be discreet and wise when dealing with other cultures. Their goal should be of making it a positive experience instead of tense and nonproductive.
According to this chapter, if a company is doing business abroad, the company needs to develop guidelines and policies for their employees. Some of these guidelines...