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

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Going Global: How to succeed in international business! 25

awareness of their own cultural framework, an openness and ac-
ceptance of the validity of the cultural framework of their col-
leagues, and a cautious approach to cooperation that integrates
cultural variables into the work flow. If this critical aspect of inter-
national business is overlooked, it can for example, lead to an
Eastern European employee of a Spanish hotel chain failing an
employee assessment (conducted in Austria) because they are
perceived as being men and women wearing the same cut of suit,
carrying the same

‘authoritative’ and ‘dictatorial’. This assessment

would be unfortunate given that the young talent conducted him-
self exactly in accordance with the management style of his native
culture, and likely would have been successful in that context.

Another example comes from a Turkish General Manager

who completed an extensive management training course in Ger-
many. He made the statement, “I can practise giving constructive

back but I certainly wouldn’t do it in my own country. I would

lose face. In Turkish business culture, I need to be able to harshly
criticize my team and em

barrass them publicly.” The saying then

remains valid: Think global, act local!

Yet still, many international companies assume that their

internal corporate culture and head office processes can be repli-
cated in international subsidiaries and that the same management
tools and recruiting procedures can be applied. Only after serious
problems develop, such as a loss in sales and market share or
exploding costs, do they realize that external help is required.

Conclusion: Whether a single consultant or a large multina-

tional corporation, whoever strives for sustainable long-term suc-
cess in international business needs to recognize and understand
the intercultural playing field. Only on this basis can they begin to

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