International trading activities are built on the concept of cultural differences. Culture refers to tastes, manners, and social values practiced by a certain community. Therefore, due to cultural diversity, there exist pronounced differences between local and international businesses resulted by preferential variations. For instance, the Hinduism culture respects the cow and thus do not eat beef. Successful international business relations call for the need to improve cross-cultural literacy (Hill, 2011).
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Cultural interaction brings on board different morals, beliefs, knowledge, and customs along with other managerial skills. These cultural values differentiate one community from the other and thus the need to reduce misunderstanding and conflicts in the business world. Cultural values provide a good understanding of a society’s attitude toward democracy, justice, integrity, personal freedom, and role of women in collective duties.
Different countries have a lot of varying practices ranging from politics and traditions to the language of communication. These variations are vital in business since they enlighten and improve cross-cultural relationships. Social stratification refers to the characteristic difference between persons of varying societies.
This results mainly from benefits of healthiness, education, living standards along with opportunities available to different social strata. Religious and ethical systems are some of the guiding cultures in the business world. These include the Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Muslim, and Hinduism cultures. Among all, Christianity is believed to be the most influential and has the most imperative implications.
Protestants stress on working hard to build up wealth for the glory of God. Language use is vital in the education system (Hill, 2011). Education, in international view, is featured by the element of competitive advantage where skills are more extensive in some societies than others. Nations with a competitive advantage benefit from reduced production costs, in addition to increased revenues due to an enlarged market share.
What I learned
From the understanding of international business, it is clear that cross-cultural literacy is beneficial to business in that it assists business persons to treasure other cultures. Cultural interactions assist the less equipped countries to seek assistance from the most developed ones. For instance, China offers a good example of a country that can help other countries improve their technological skills and expertise. In addition, cross-cultural literacy enables firms to cut production costs as well as adoption of the capitalist way of production.
Culture is affected by social structure in given perspectives. In an individual’s perspective, it is based on personal performance due to beliefs that warrant success. Social groups are essential in local and international business (Hill, 2011). This encourages teamwork in business activities that require varying ideas to perform and do well. Japanese are believed to work successfully through group work and hence achieve maximum results.
Social mobility enables people to move from one stratum to the other in a bid to advance personal skills, as well as access prestigious jobs. Social stratification affects business operations and thus the need for class consciousness to enhance inter-class relationships. Besides, hard work advocated by some religious cultures enables people to accumulate wealth to finance new investments as well as for expansion purposes. Protestantism encourages individual freedom in an attempt to develop a personal relationship with God.
The principles urged by Islam include honor and respect, generosity, equality, and perpetuation of other peoples’ rights. These ethical behaviors can improve inter and extra cultural relations and afterward be extended to the business world. As a result, communication could advance locally and internationally. However, it is clear that Hinduism recommends spiritual achievement over material gain (Hill, 2011). Societal change in relation to individualism and collectiveness positively impacts economic progress.
Hill, C. H. (2011). International business: Competing in the global marketplace. New York City: Irwin professional pub.