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Culture is human during the historical development of human society have created the material wealth and the intangible wealth, it is also the historical accumulation. Simultaneously, it is a character with the different regions, different countries and different nation. The historical development created different cultures that it is mutual influence and permeate. But different countries and peoples of culture is still maintained their unique personality. Culture reflected in every aspects of human life, such as humans produce the material products, humans and other individuals or groups of relationships, including the social legal system, economic system, marriage system, family system, human’s behavior and so on. Culture is also reflected in ideology, through religion, philosophy, morality and art to express. It includes different nation of value, mode of thinking and sense of art. Nowadays, the world economy regionalization and integration trend is increasing, the different countries are in contact with economic exchanges and the cooperation has also developed rapidly. International businesses in the cooperation of members are often having different culture; therefore these different members have different cultural differences. The cultural differences influence the whole system and the whole process with cooperation. It not only has adverse effects but also have positive and beneficial effects.
KEY WORD: culture, cultural differences, international business
2. The culture’s characteristic and concept
2.1 The concept of the culture
Culture is the collection of values, beliefs, types of behavior, customs and attitudes that distinguish a society. Culture is a group in a certain period form of thoughts, concepts, behavior, customs, and habits. Cultural was born by human survival and development which was faced by all kinds of challenge, such as flood, beast of prey, and earthquake and so on. Traditionally human often had said a people whether have culture that is stand for the people’s education level. Culture is reflecting the human life activities and historical accumulation, it is also the lives of the people needs and requirements, the ideal and desire, and it is people’s senior spiritual life. Culture include material culture and intangible culture heritage, it is unique phenomenon of human society. Such as village, city, factory, railway, dress and personal adornment and so on, they are belongs to the material culture’s form; on the other hand human living in the long term social life that it is a form of psychological sense, manners and customs, emotion, knowledge and so on, they are belongs to the intangible culture heritage. Culture is reflected in every aspects of human life, such as humans produce the material products, humans and other individuals or groups of relationships, including the social legal system, economic system, marriage system, family system, human’s behavior and so on.
2.2 The characteristic of the culture
Culture contains a certain thoughts and theory that it is people face to ethics, moral and cognitive behavior. It is people a way of the daily life methods and standards. Thought and theory is culture of core and soul. If culture don’t have thought and theory, in this way the culture is inexistence in our daily life. The every culture contains a kind of thought and theory; therefore it is also have the survival of the manner and method. In other words culture is a social phenomenon; it is the product of long-term that is created by people. Culture is a country or nation’s history, geography, customs and traditions, lifestyle, literature and art, behavior standards, way of thinking and values and so on. Culture includes two different characteristic, the one is national characters, and the other one is epochal character. The cultural national character means that cultural production and development is inseparable from the particular geographical environment, economic conditions and social structure. Different countries and peoples produce and develop different social environment and culture. In this way different counties will appear different characteristic of cultural differences. The cultural epochal character is reflects the spirit of the times, it also contain the contents of the era of aesthetic requirements and aesthetic standard. The cultural national character and cultural epochal character created cultural differences. It is provide a theoretical basis of culture and international business.
3. The cultural differences
The culture have has cultural differences that is a very important things to influence culture change, about other factors that it is not importance to culture change. Following the world economy structure changes and the world economic globalization, the international business is continuously expanding and deepening. Development of international business and cultural differences affect more obvious. The world trade cultural differences have affected the international business activities.
(1)The language of differences. Language is tools that express ideas and exchange thoughts; it is a special and universal social phenomenon. Language is the core of the culture. Each language has special cultural connotation. In the economic globalization develop international trade activities the different language of communication conversion is indispensable. But the cultural differences of existence influence different language exchange, therefore the language differences affecting international business contacts.
(2)The religious of differences. Religion is a kind of social phenomenon and social behavior; it includes the guiding ideology, organization, action, cultural aspects of content. It is a universal phenomenon, extending as far back in history as we can trace human activity and showed among people in every part of the world. It is an important social behavior that training and strengthens human’s social activity. Accordingly, the ideology of religion is also effect the international business operation. The world different countries have different regions, different nationalities and different religious beliefs. The world’s major religions have Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Therefore, in international communication should be paid attention to in the different religious beliefs.
(3)Social custom of differences. Social habits is long period gradually nurturance, it is don’t easy to change the behavior and tendencies. It not only will affect consumers’ consumption values, but also affects the people’s work and thinking mode. The international business unceasing develops that make multinational companies and rapid development. Famous multinational companies must have been a goal in their cultural understanding of the company and pays attention to cultural differences. For example; The Hilton Hotel is world famous hotel, it emphasize social habits difference is one of the reasons to achieve success. Hilton emphasize each hotel must have personality, according to their respective regions or countries to the needs of the market and have individual character of decoration and service. Moreover, encouraging chef use local materials made with local flavor food.
(4) The political philosophy of the differences. Politics is the advanced field of powers in subject to maintain our own interests of specific behavior. It is an important social phenomenon that it was produced by human history to certain period. Political has significant impact on all aspects of society. International business is in different countries and regions development, it was necessary to influence and effect of political philosophy. In international business, because every country has different conditions, therefore the political factor is different from the commodity packaging material, structure, design and texts marking have different requirements. For example; Arab state regulations import commodity packaging don’t use six-angle star patterns, because the six-angle star and pattern is similar with Israeli flag. Therefore, recognize that political differences, understand relevant historical and cultural background that is better promote foreign trade export.
(5) The social structure of the differences. Social structure is a social system of the basic elements of the organizational relationship. Social structures include social stratification, along with the class rating and human’s level. Social structure greatly affecting international business operation and multinational company target market positioning.
(6) The differences in education. As a branch of culture education, through the change of a country’s comparative advantage or marketing way affect different countries and the area of trades. If the national education level and the quality-oriented education with low levels, the comparative advantage more tilt to labor-intensive. But if a country seriously receive education and the education level is higher, therefore the countries advanced technology, innovation ability, and the comparative advantage mainly for technology-intensive or capital-intensive industries. Similarly, education is also affecting marketing way. About the companies implement sales strategies, they employee education training for the development of the company has the important influence. The world famous multinational companies more pay attention to staff’s education training, such as Wal-mart, GE, and IBM. What’s more these companies establish specialized schools which cultivate own management personnel. On the other hand, the marketing strategy recipients namely customer, the different education level of customer demand is different, so its development international business activities should be formulated different marketing strategy.
4. The impact of culture to international business
Culture is a kind of the invisible power, business personnel must learn the cultural differences as cooperation advantages tries to use. Every enterprise should process Cultural differences to use correct ways. In this way it can enhance the vitality and competitiveness with collaborators, what’s more it become the business cooperation development of the power. The culture has different impact to international business; the enterprise should make use of beneficial effect and avoid the adverse effect.
4. The impact of culture to international business
4.1 The beneficial effect
(1) Help to improve the decision-making more scientific. Every culture has itself particular problem of understanding and the solving methods, Cultural differences make collaborators in decision-making through members of the ongoing debate and extensive communication that from many different factors and levels of understanding, analysis, and to grasp a certain question more comprehensive and profound. It can produce more alternatives scheme and consist of network decision-making. Through repeated analysis, comparison and selection learn the new ideas to the formation. Not only guarantee the decision-making scientific and feasible, but also prevent and avoid by personal bias or understanding the deviation and make the mistake of judgment. It can avoid your partner unnecessary management risks and losses. At the same time, members of decision-making the broad participation on the formed decision-making plan were agreed on understanding and the understanding that can improve the execution of the decision-making level.
(2)It can improve competitiveness of the collaborators. Cultural differences make cooperation have to face to a series of challenges, but it also brings some opportunities and advantage. On the one hand, the international partners aware of different countries have different national culture. They understand that management culture differences to adapt the cooperator’s survival and development of significance. Therefore, they should learn In-depth understanding of international market demand and discern the foreign social, cultural, political and economic environment, and they clearly understood another culture the demand and expectations. Make a plan according to local customers with the characteristics of the nationalities market strategy, then developed by the cultural characteristics of products and services, moreover effectively occupy the local market target, and improve the local market competitiveness. On the other hand, different employees can communicate with other countries employees using the common communication channels that learn from each other and think out some new viewpoint. In this way, they improve the ability to solve problems, and enhance the innovative consciousness. However, this is a business personnel’s foundation in the constant development of market competition in remain invincible.
(3)It can promote all kind of cultural exchange fusion
The culture itself is dynamic and growing, it is not standing still. Cultural differences and fusion is culture in the process of the development of two contradictory aspects, they not only are opposite, but also are uniform. They are human culture development and advancement of source and direct motivation. The cultural differences often reject two different cultures to get together, but the absolute exclusion is impossible. Moreover, cultural fusion is not fully realized too. Cultural conflict and cultural exchanges fusion is always in order appeared. They occur during the development process. International business cooperation not only expresses the opposed point of view and it means different cultures fusion in the cultural differences. In daily life every enterprise in interactions and working process, gradually is aware of each cooperative partner’s culture, and through the cultural differences to communicate and study, in addition accept each other culture. Furthermore, in a certain extent promoted different countries and different nationalities of cultural exchanges for social development made significant contribution.
4.2Adverse effects of the culture differences
(1)The language differences and behavioral differences may cause information understand error. The average person can understand the speaker of the content 80%-90% at the same cultural background. This fact means about 10%-20% information misunderstood or listen to the wrong. As you can imagine when a person speaking second language, misunderstanding or listen to wrong percentage will be increase sharply. When the second language ability is limited and even whole session may all be misinterpreted. When foreign cooperators send out the different of nonverbal signals with different cultural background partners easily misunderstood these signals, moreover it also not is realized that the mistake had been occurs.
(2)Nonverbal communication skills differences may produce the asymmetry of information. Sometimes in order to gather information from cooperative rivals, enterprise often adopt “one-way type” cooperative strategy that let competitor to provide information. Because the different cultures result in objectively influence communication skills, such as silent time, differences between chime in frequency and stare at time difference. Especially, when these differences are relatively obvious and the information asymmetry is naturally produced. Such as, between French and Japan cultural comparison, people can discover not hard, the Japanese at gaze and cut in is low frequency in communication skills, when they were stay longer in silent environment. While the French seems unwilling keep silent, when other people keep silent time period.
(3)The values differences may cause information feedback speed and content of asymmetry. Different cultures have different time utilization ways: single time utilization ways or more time utilization ways. The single time mainly emphasize “time” and “speed”. While much time utilization mainly emphasize “multi-purpose make use of time”. Values are a pattern constituted by a person or group through cultural communication. They are the deepest of culture; people believe that all people have values. The values will determine people have what kind of beliefs and attitudes. Any language culture will reflects certain values. The values determine how people communication. No matter what language communication or non-verbal communication is controlled by values. In communication people’s language and behavior is culture surface phenomenon that is a particular cultural value. In other words, values led to cultural differences that influence background of communicative language and behavior of the differences. For example; America is individualism as the center, they think people first individual and secondly is group, therefore the individual value above the group value. This kind of values for business staff has strong personal struggle consciousness and competitive consciousness. However China is “collectivism” as the center of the country, it advocate group value is more than the individual value, the individual is regarded as one of the group. It point of view is emphasize individual of social responsibility and duty, it also emphasize the collective strength and personal constraint.
5. The suggest to deal with the international business cultural difference
Cultural differences in the one aspect can play a positive role, also can cause negative consequences. But it need a certain condition to play positive role, namely cooperators can with scientific attitude to cultural differences, and use correct scientific methods dealing with cultural differences. In international business cooperation every partners have to face of cultural differences, therefore every enterprise neither blindly avoid nor suppress cultural differences. The partners should take the right attitude to face the influence of the cultural differences. Enterprise should adopt corresponding countermeasures. In order to enterprise establish shared goals that enterprise need to improve the partner’s performance and service with cultural differences. Now, below are a few suggestions to deal with the international business cultural difference.
Firstly, foster intercultural consciousness. Cross-cultural awareness reflects to business personnel for the cultural differences understanding and appropriate response of a kind of business awareness. In other words, it reflects international trader’s native culture values standards of behavior that had already cannot satisfy the needs of the development of the multinational company. International business operation of each link, such as international marketing, human resources management, incentive mechanism and so on all needs the higher cross-cultural awareness. Therefore, the international business personnel must learn basic cross-cultural consciousness.
Secondly, understand intercultural business skills. Intercultural business contacts should possess the culture and organizational competence, adapting ability, establishing relations capacity, systems and thinking ability, attitude, sensitivity, language, and culture under the influence of the decision-making ability, diplomatic abilities and intercultural skills. Therefore, on-the-job personnel should strengthen relevant ability training; on-the-job personnel who had accepted higher education business talents, it should strengthen cross-culture business contacts consciousness cultivation, what’s more, the school should provide relevant courses and practice opportunities.
Thirdly, in the strategy formulation should pay attention to the cultural integration. A transnational company which should make transnational investment management, it often needs to learn three kinds of culture: country’s culture, target market’s culture, and organizational culture. Therefore, transnational company focuses on the cultural integration. In this way, enterprise can adapt to market’s development, and then expand market.
Fourth, Strengthen cultural exchanges and exhibition. Multi-layers and many forms of cultural exchange and exhibition is an effective way that understanding cultural differences. It is not only beneficial to cultural exchanges between countries and regions, also has promoted economy and trade cooperation.
Finally, pay attention to cultural changes in international business. Every culture is not stagnant water, along with time change, culture is constantly development, and changes. Therefore, the international traders must timely change business strategy, in order to adapt to the new features of cultural change.
Nowadays, more and more multinational company with the development of the world economy, globalization of trade has become an irreversible trend that means the enterprise need more cross-cultural management. However the cultural difference has affected the international business activities. Especially in ideology, is embodied in the cultural elements of all levels. In order to further promote the free trade development, and promoting trade environment legalization and standardization. Therefore, we should carry on the international cultural exhibition and pay attention to the local cultures, in various ways of culture training, foster intercultural management personnel.
Every culture all have own value system, and only respect and in-depth research different culture, in this way, it can better development international trade market. With the development of international business, the cultural differences influence trade more obvious than other factors. It is reflected in language, religion, social habits, political philosophy and social structure, cultural education. Therefore, every enterprise must foster intercultural consciousness, strengthen cross-culture business communication ability, cultural exchanges and trade show. What’s more, enterprise should pay attention to culture fusion and promote the development of world trade. Culture is connected closely with the international business. With the development of social economy, the basic material needs to satisfy the different companies. Every transnational corporation begins to pay more attention to culture and spiritual and psychological need. Moreover, no matter what trade in goods or service trade, every enterprise will increase more cultural factors. In this way, in the current international business, how to play a unique indigenous culture are particularly important.
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