1 Going global: How to succeed in International Business! (29 pages)

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Going Global: How to succeed in international business! 17

through the meeting to avoid public humiliation. What is likely to
follow such a situation is nothing. The proposed venture will fail,
literally off his desk. It is noteworthy to mention that in some cul-
tures, nodding up and down actually symbolizes disagreement.

Values and beliefs: Even further under the

water’s surface lies the


ual’s values and beliefs, that is to say, their idea of what is

morally right and wrong, how one should behave, and things like
what really counts in life. Is harmonious cooperation more or less
important than honest and direct communication? Is punctuality
and structured planning more important than flexibility and spon-
taneity? Does family always come first, or do work and career
take top spot? Value systems are heavily influenced by culture.
The ‘cultural-dimension’, which will be discussed in greater detail
in the next chapter, is an attempt to categorize cultural differences
into a manageable number of dimensions, such as the contrast
between Collectivism and Individualism or Masculinity and Femi-
ninity. This categorization, of course, relies on cultural stereo-
types, and there are always exceptions to a general national char-
acteristic. Not all Germans, for example, are exacting and punctu-
al, and there are even some Americans who are quiet and intro-
verted. Cultural dimensions describe tendencies. The difference
in value systems can often explain puzzling, surprising, or seem-
ingly incomprehensible behavior of business partners. This would
explain, for example, the unexpected resignation of a top pro-
grammer with a mid-sized German IT company. His manager was
flabbergasted that the young Indian, who was socially integrated,
had gained permanent residence status in Germany and had ex-
cellent career prospects, would choose to leave such an ideal set-
up. However, the prog

rammer’s family had arranged a marriage

for him in India. His duty to family, therefore, superseded any loy-
alty he might have had to his employer.

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