Culture viewed as phenomenon that surrounds us at all times

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Culture is what we follow in our daily walk of life. Schein (1992) says that culture is viewed as phenomenon that surrounds us at all times, being constantly enacted and created by our interactions with others.For example Indians eat their food with their hands and some of them may lick their fingers too, whereas Chinese use chopsticks to ear noodles. An Englishman on the other hand may not relish his food until and fork and knife are given to him. All this forms a part of the culture which pervades all forms of living standards.

As far as the definition of culture is concerned, culture is defined differently by different thinkers. For example, Hofstede (1980, P.21) defines culture as "the collective programming of the mind, which distinguishes the members of one group or category from another". Krober and Kluckhohn (1952) suggested a very comprehensive definition as:" culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit of and for behaviour acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiment in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached values''.

Hofstede (1980, P.21) distinguished culture from human nature on one side, and from individual's personality on the other. For Hofstede human nature is what all human beings have in common. For example American corporation's value independence in the work place, on the other hand the Japanese corporations value dependence. American corporation value honesty in business practices; if someone says they can do something it means just that. Japanese corporations, on the other hand, value "saving face," and to admit that they can't produce what you are asking for is an embarrassment.(Hall,1959, P.72).Victor (1992, P.135) concludes, "Business people should remain aware of the way in which the values to which a culture adheres affect international communication".

Impact of culture on International business and implications for Multinational enterprises:

Triandis (1994) describes culture as a challenging task for different areas of social research. Schwartz (1996, P.26) asserted that culture is an aggregate of individual values at a national level. There might be a variation in the individual's value priorities depending on the personal experiences and shared societal values that shape the views of individuals equally. At a national level the concept of culture tries to capture the typical individual priorities in a society which in turn contributes towards their shared enculturation. Culture differs from country to country. Rokeach (1973); Hofstede (1980) contends that cross border business involve interaction with different societal value systems. Although national boundaries do not always correspond with homogenous value systems, there are strong forces within nations to create and maintain a shared culture. Schwartz (1999) admits that adapting to local cultural values that are transmitted through nations political economy, education, religion and language may create and additional burden for multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in different countries. Ricks et al (1990) have identified that the study of principle differences in national cultures between the home country of the MNEs and their countries of operation, that is, cultural distance, has gained a broad interest in international business research.

One of the major driving forces underlying the other environments is culture. Culture and environments always go hand in hand to exert their influence. A related phenomenon of this is nothing but the business culture. Business culture largely depends on the interaction between the culture and the environment and details the appropriate behavior in business settings such as dress code, being punctual, gift-giving, etc., which vary from culture to culture and country to country. Not only has the verbal or non-verbal communication, the color also plays an important role in culture. White is a color of death in most of the Asian countries and is used at funerals. The orchid is also associated with funerals. Green is the symbol of youth and life in many Western countries and stands for the dangers of the jungle in many South-East Asian cultures. These are some of the good examples of different uses of colors in different cultures. Kaynak, Erdener (Ed.). (1991) identified that international marketer needs to understand the effect of cultural distance on entry mode choice. The European attitude that corn is to be used as an animal feed, and is not fit for human consumption slows down their product's European acceptance. Another example would be the Hindu prohibition of consuming beef leading McDonald Corp. to market veggie burgers in India. Coca-Cola among other American brands was seen in several Islamic countries as a challenge to their culture and this took considerable time and effort to overcome.

A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Ethical Attitudes:

References:

Schein, E.H. (1992), Organizational Culture and Leadership: A Dynamic View, 2nd ed., Jossey-

Bass, San Francisco, CA.

Hofstede, G. (1980), Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work-related Values,

Sage, London.

Hall, E. (1959). Silent language. New York: Doubleday.

Victor, D. A. (1992). International business communication. New York: Harper

Collins.

Triandis, H.C. (1994) Culture and Social Behavior, McGraw-Hill:

Boston, MA.

Rokeach, M. (1973) The Nature of Human Values, Free Press:

New York.

Ricks, D., Toyne, B. and Martinez, Z. (1990) 'Recent developments

in international management research', Journal of

Management 16: 219-253.

Kroeber, A. and Kluckhohn, C. (1952), A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions, Vol. 47,

Peabody Museum, Cambridge, MA.

Kaynak Erdener. (1979). "A Refilled Approach to the Wheel of Retailing," European

Journal of Marketing, Vol. 13, No.7, pp. 237-245.

Kaynak, Erdener (Ed.). (1991). Sociological Aspects of International Marketing. New

York: Haworth Press.

Rokeach, M. (1973) The Nature of Human Values, Free Press:

New York.

Schwartz, S.H. (1999) 'A theory of cultural values and some

implications for work', Applied Psychology: An International

Review 48(1): 23-47.

Ricks, D., Toyne, B. and Martinez, Z. (1990) 'Recent developments

in international management research', Journal of

Management 16: 219-253.

Assignment Question:

Discuss the ways in which the culture influences International Business, and draw managerial implications to MNEs? Support your arguments with examples.

Culture is what we follow in our daily walk of life. Schein (1992) says that culture is viewed as phenomenon that surrounds us at all times, being constantly enacted and created by our interactions with others.For example Indians eat their food with their hands and some of them may lick their fingers too, whereas Chinese use chopsticks to ear noodles. An Englishman on the other hand may not relish his food until and fork and knife are given to him. All this forms a part of the culture which pervades all forms of living standards.

As far as the definition of culture is concerned, culture is defined differently by different thinkers. For example, Hofstede (1980, P.21) defines culture as "the collective programming of the mind, which distinguishes the members of one group or category from another". Krober and Kluckhohn (1952) suggested a very comprehensive definition as:" culture

consists of patterns, explicit and implicit of and for behaviour acquired and transmitted

by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including

their embodiment in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas

and especially their attached values''.

Hofstede (1980, P.21) distinguished culture from human nature on one side, and from individual's personality on the other. For Hofstede human nature is what all human beings have in common. For example American corporation's value independence in the work place, on the other hand the Japanese corporations value dependence. American corporation value honesty in business practices; if someone says they can do something it means just that. Japanese corporations, on the other hand, value "saving face," and to admit that they can't produce what you are asking for is an embarrassment.(Hall,1959, P.72).Victor (1992, P.135) concludes, "Business people should remain aware of the way in which the values to which a culture adheres affect international communication".

Impact of culture on International business and implications for Multinational enterprises:

Triandis (1994) describes culture as a challenging task for different areas of social research. Schwartz (1996, P.26) asserted that culture is an aggregate of individual values at a national level. There might be a variation in the individual's value priorities depending on the personal experiences and shared societal values that shape the views of individuals equally. At a national level the concept of culture tries to capture the typical individual priorities in a society which in turn contributes towards their shared enculturation. Culture differs from country to country. Rokeach (1973); Hofstede (1980) contends that cross border business involve interaction with different societal value systems. Although national boundaries do not always correspond with homogenous value systems, there are strong forces within nations to create and maintain a shared culture. Schwartz (1999) admits that adapting to local cultural values that are transmitted through nations political economy, education, religion and language may create and additional burden for multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in different countries. Ricks et al (1990) have identified that the study of principle differences in national cultures between the home country of the MNEs and their countries of operation, that is, cultural distance, has gained a broad interest in international business research.

One of the major driving forces underlying the other environments is culture. Culture and environments always go hand in hand to exert their influence. A related phenomenon of this is nothing but the business culture. Business culture largely depends on the interaction between the culture and the environment and details the appropriate behavior in business settings such as dress code, being punctual, gift-giving, etc., which vary from culture to culture and country to country. Not only has the verbal or non-verbal communication, the color also plays an important role in culture. White is a color of death in most of the Asian countries and is used at funerals. The orchid is also associated with funerals. Green is the symbol of youth and life in many Western countries and stands for the dangers of the jungle in many South-East Asian cultures. These are some of the good examples of different uses of colors in different cultures. Kaynak, Erdener (Ed.). (1991) identified that international marketer needs to understand the effect of cultural distance on entry mode choice. The European attitude that corn is to be used as an animal feed, and is not fit for human consumption slows down their product's European acceptance. Another example would be the Hindu prohibition of consuming beef leading McDonald Corp. to market veggie burgers in India. Coca-Cola among other American brands was seen in several Islamic countries as a challenge to their culture and this took considerable time and effort to overcome.

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