Culture And International Business Commerce Essay

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This project is to enhance our knowledge about the various cultures with respect to the kind of communication among the cultures that includes behaviour, artefacts and nature.

According to Brown (1995), cited in Willcoxson & Millett (2000) "Like wider delineations such as national culture, an organisational culture may be generally described as a set of norms, beliefs, principles and ways of behaving that together give each organisation a distinctive character."

Culture comprises of assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs of members and their behaviours in an organization. Culture is difficult to express distinctly, but everyone knows it when they sense it. Like the culture of a corporate company is different than that of a hospital or an university.

Culture is important with respect to wide changes in different organizations and different nations Strategic planners have now laid almost equal importance in identifying the strategic value of developing right culture for the organization as they do for Mission and Vision of the organization. Many organizations have failed to embrace change appropriately due to lack of understanding the role of culture and its impact on the organization. Developmental and integration process of different cultures is essential especially when merger or acquisition takes place. Quite often it has been observed that organization failed to get the best synergy if the culture of the both the organization is not well understood and has not been integrated well. This has now become one of the key elements of any integration process and strategic planners had laid more emphasis in implementing this change management process.

While collecting data from various organizational documents and through personal interviews, a distinct and comprehensive overview of an organization culture is understood. Researchers, most of the time involve themselves almost in an 'cultural audit' while investigating organizational culture using anthropological paradigm.

(Willcoxson & Millett, 2000)

Intercultural awareness

Intercultural awareness is a way to establish professional relations and to promote healthy business scenario by reducing misunderstandings created due to intercultural differences.

There are four distinct categories of people those are needed for intercultural awareness the most.

International Tourists

Surface level knowledge of native culture and understanding their boundaries while visiting a foreign country promotes good relations and appropriate behaviour.

People who work in Multi-Cultural Teams

Intercultural awareness ensures clarity in interaction and communication amongst employees with varied cultural background to bring in a homogenous team

 People who work globally

In order to establish better working relationship and to achieve healthier business prospects in a global business platform, intercultural awareness and understanding is essential.


Expatriates need to understand native culture in order to develop interpersonal communication, build effective managerial style, resolution of conflict and to develop the organizational culture (patrimoine, 2006).

Intercultural Communication

Intercultural Communication is the method for creating meaning across cultures.

Companies around the world are trying to expand their business beyond their national borders to conduct business. Independent of any organization one joins he/she has to deal with people coming from different nations and different backgrounds and need to communicate across different languages and varied cultural barriers. Without leaving ones own country, people are likely to come into contact with people from various backgrounds working in the same company, industry, or community.

Communicating with people from other cultures can be challenging. At the same time, one's ability to foster successful communication between people of differing cultures will bolster his/her success in business and career to overcome cultural barriers to effective communication (Jones and Quach, 2001).

Cross cultural awareness and communication

Cultures differ in attitudes, behaviour, motivation, management and leadership styles which varies from country to country, and has an impact on how business is done both with internal and external suppliers. Cultural awareness aims at building trust and mutual understanding between cross cultural business partners and colleagues.

The dynamism of global economy is forcing to change the fundamental nature of our governments, businesses and workforce. There are no constrains by state boundaries but have become part of an interdependent international network.

A change that has triggered is the requirement to communicate successfully with different people having varied language and culture.

Two most essential areas of knowledge are the linguistic and cultural knowledge of the organization which comes to obtain knowledge to integrate progress and succeed in the marketplace (Zakaria, 2000).

Influence of culture on individual

An individual working in an organization is greatly influenced by the group culture prevalent in the organization. Generally an individual is forced to adapt to the new culture so as to align himself.

Hofstede Dimensions

This dimensions helps in understanding that different members of different society behave differently in a given situation.

1 Power Distance Index (PDI);

Is defined as: "the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally". E.g.CEO maintains a distance with his peon (Hofstede, 1994, p. 28)

High Power Distance rank indicates inequalities of power and wealth existing in the society between powerful and less powerful members in the society.

E.g. Servant working in a house-hold

Low Power Distance rank indicates that the society de-emphasizes the differences

between citizen's power and wealth.

E.g. in communist countries

2 Individualism (IDV); Is defined as "individualism pertains to societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after himself or

herself and his or her immediate family."

E.g. Govt does not ensure social securities

High Individualism rank indicates that individuality and individual rights are paramount within the society.

E.g. Democratic society

Low Individualism rank typifies societies of a more collectivist nature with close ties among its members.

E.g. Communist society

3. Masculinity ; it focuses on degree to which 'masculine' behaviour like competitiveness and the acquisition are valued over 'feminine' values like relationship building and quality of life.

High Masculinity rank indicates aggressive and assertive

Low Masculinity rank is a kind of society in which caring 'feminine' characteristic is predominate.

4. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI): focuses on the level of tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity within the society.

High Uncertainty Avoidance: this indicates the rank of a country having low tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity.

Low Uncertainty Avoidance: This indicates the ranking of the country which has less concern about vagueness and hesitant and it also has more diversity in the minds of the people.

5. Long-Term Orientation: This indicates long term commitment, high opinion for custom where the rewards are the expectations of day-to-day's hard work.

Low Long-Term Orientation: This indicates where the organization stands and does not reinforce the concept of a long-term, traditional orientation and people expect short-term rewards from their work. (Andy Tamas, 2007)


People differ in various ways, language, behaviour, the environment and the society in which they have been brought up etc. However, it is important to evolve a common culture within an organization to get the best efficiency. Therefore, awareness and surface level understanding of various cultures is essential for a better global business prospect. Cross culture communication and awareness brings out knowledge about the various people behaving in their own unique way.