Differences Among Nations: Compared and Contrasted

Essay by PhillipJasonCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 2004

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There are many aspects that affect the way international business is conducted. Differences in social, culture, economic, legal and political conditions can greatly affect the way globalized businesses are managed. Doing business abroad presents enormous challenges simply because countries and societies are so incredibly different. There is a need to appreciate not only that these differences exist, but also to appreciate how these differences impact doing business abroad. Doing business abroad requires flexibility to conform to the value systems and norms of that country. Adaptation can embrace all aspects of an international business's operations in a foreign country, from the way deals are negotiated, to the appropriate incentive pay systems, to the organization structure, product names, and relations between management and labor. What works in one country most likely will not work in another.

Social differences play a key part in the way business is conducted abroad. Most clearly we must take into consideration the language barrier between countries.

The U.S. obviously conducts its business in English. When conducting business in The Netherlands, English can be used in commercial correspondence; however, not all Dutch understand English, and for retail products it is essential to provide advertising, labeling, and user instructions in Dutch. While language barriers pose no major problems, some expressions and terms may have different meanings from those in the U.S. To assure better understanding and quality control it is best to define unfamiliar terms in commercial activities. Both parties will be using the established international set of commercial terms which helps reduce possible misunderstandings and promotes fair dealings.(U.S. Commercial Service, 2002). If we are to compare language barriers between Mexico and The Netherlands, we have an entirely new set of communication. Where possible it is necessary to provide written materials and/or copies of presentations. During a verbal presentation,