CULTURE & TRADE
INTERNATIONAL
BUSINESS
TOPIC
CULTURE & TRADE
What are the
Issues?
Getting the
Culture --- what to do?
CHANGE, OPPORTUNTY
AND THREATS
CHANGES IN THE WORLD
ENVIRONMENT GIVE RISE TO BOTH
NEW OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS
 ONE COMPETES SUCCESSFULLY IN A
GLOBAL MARKETPLACE AS IT BOTH
EXISTS CURRENTLY AND ALSO AS IT
EVOLVES
 CULTURE AND POLITICAL
ENVIRONMENTS INFLUENCE
BUSINESS DECISIONS
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COMMUNICATIONS ARE KEY IN
BRINGING NEWS AND CULTURAL
ENVIRONMENTS TO VARIOUS PARTS
OF THE WORLD
 MTV HAD A BIG ROLE AROUND THE
WORLD, FOR EXAMPLE
 MTV BROUGHT THE WORLD GERMAN
HARD ROCK, AND MEXICAN HIP HOP
 MTV BRINGS BREAKING NEWS
AROUND THE GLOBE
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MTV REACHED OVER A BILLION PEOPLE IN
18 OR MORE LANGUAGES IN 164 NATIONS
MTV IS A GLOBAL BRAND SIMILAR TO
COKE WALMART AND McDonald's
BUT MTV IS CRITICIZED AS BEING A
CULTURAL IMPERIALIST ORGANIZATION–
DESTROYING REGIONAL VALUES AND
CULTURES
BUT THE NEWS AND TEEN-TV SAVVY
STYLE IS WIDESPREAD
BUT EVEN MTV HAS CATERED TO
LOCAL CULTURES
 MTV PLAYS CHINESE OPERA ARIAS
 BRINGS ROCKGOL (SOCCOR &
BRAZILIAN MUSIC BLEND) TO SAO
PAULO
 U.S. TV SHOWS BROUGHT INTO
VARIOUS REGIONS OF THE WORLD
ARE NOW GIVING WAY TO REGIONAL
TV FAVORITES
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CHINESE POP STAR JOLIN TSAI CAME
INTO MAINLAND CHINA VIA MTV
 A MULTIRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS
SHOW IS THE FAVORITE IN SOUTH
AFRICA --- GENERATIONS
 A FRENCH POLICE SERIES IS THE KEY
SOAP IN FRANCE CALLED JULIE
LESCAUT
 CNN OFFERS 22 VERSIONS OF ITS
PROGRAMMING WORLD WIDE
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ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION HAS TO
MOVE WITH THE WAVE OF REGIONALISM
UNIVISION – THE SPANISH-LANGUAGE TV
NETWORK AND TELENOVELAS ARE HEAVY
IN THE U.S.
THESE NETWORKS COME FROM MEXICO’S
TELEVISA
BBC, EVEN ARTE AND FRANCO-GERMAN
CULTURE NOW COMES TO THE U.S.
CULTURE
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DEALING INTERNATIONALLY INVOLVES
ONE WITH CULTURE AND CULTURAL
DIFFERENCES
CULTURE IS THE BLENDING OF LEARNING
AND EXPERIENCE
CULTURE IS AN ANCHORING POINT, AN
IDENTITY AND EXHIBITS CODES OF
CONDUCT
THESE CONDUCT RULES AND IDENTITIES
MEET UP WITH TRADE NEGOTIATIONS
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COMMON WAYS OF THINKING AND
BEHAVING DEVELOP AS THE CODES ARE
PAST FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION
CULTURE ENTERS RELIGION,
GOVERNMENT CONDUCT AND SCHOOLS
SUBCULTURES DEVELOP WITHIN REGIONS
OF NATIONS
THESE PRESENT DIFFERENT MARKETS
FOR TRADE AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE
A BROADER DEFINITION OF
CULTURE
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AN INTEGRATED SYSTEM OF LEARNED
BEHAVIOR PATTERNS THAT ARE
CHARACTERISTIC OF THE MEMBERS OF
ANY GIVEN SOCIETY
ACCULTURATION --- THE PROCESS OF
ADJUSTING AND ADAPTING TO A SPECIFIC
CULTURE OTHER THAN ONE’S OWN
TRADE INVOLVES DEALING WITH CULTURE
DEALING WITH CULTURE--- WHAT
TO KNOW?
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HIGH CONTEXT CULTURE
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CULTURE IN WHICH BEHAVIORAL AND
ENVIRONMENTAL NUANCES ARE AN
IMPORTANT MEANS OF CONVEYING
INFORMATION
LOW CONTEXT CULTURE
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CULTURE IN WHICH MOST INFORMATION IS
CONVEYED EXPLICITLY RATHER THAN
THROUGH BEHAVIORAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL
NUANCES
CONTEXT ORIENTATION
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HIGH CONTEXT
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JAPANESE
CHINESE
ARAB
GREEK
SPANISH
ITALIAN
ENGLISH
FRENCH
UNITED STATES
NORTHERN EUROPE
GERMAN
SWISS
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LOW CONTEXT
--- FROM E. T. HALL AND M.R. HALL UNDERSTANDING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES,
INTERCULTURAL PRESS
WHAT DO YOU THINK?? IS THIS THE CASE?
ANY EXPERIENCE WITH THESE CULTURAL
CONTEXTS?
FOR HIGH CONTEXT CULTURES, THE
CONTEXT OF A COMMUNICATION IS
AT LEAST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT IS
ACTUALLY SAID IN THE
COMMUNICATION PROCESS
 IN LOW CONTEXT CULTURES, MOST
OF THE COMMUNICATION IS
CONTAINED EXPLICITLY IN THE
WORDS THAT ARE COMMUNICATED
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THE JAPANESE BUSINESSMAN PRESENTS
A BUSINESS CARD WITH BOTH HANDS
 ETIQUETTE THEN REQUIRES THAT
FOREIGNERS STUDY THE CARD WHEN IT
IS HANDED TO THEM
 MAKING NOTES ON THE CARD IS
CONSIDERED TO BE OFFENSIVE
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BRANDS OR PRODUCTS SOMETIMES
SERVE AS CHANGE AGENTS IN CERTAIN
CULTURES
THE BRAND BECOMES GLOBAL --- THEN
CHANGES TIME HONORED CULTURAL
DISTINCTIONS
McDONALD’S HAS ALTERED SOME AGEOLD EATING HABITS OF YOUNGER
GENERATIONS AT THE SAME TIME THAT
CULTURAL DISTINCTION PERVADES
OTHER GENERATIONS
THE EXPANSION OF MULTIPLEX
CINEMAS AROUND THE WORLD HAVE
CHANGED MOVIE GOER HABITS
GLOBALLY TOWARD U.S. FILMS
 TELECOMMUNICATION VIA CELL
PHONES IS PUSHING INTO ALL KINDS
OF CULTURES
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THE ELEMENTS OF CULTURE
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LANGUAGE --- THE MIRROR OF CULTURE
• OFTEN MASTERY OF THE LANGUAGE IS A
REQUIREMENT FOR RELATIONSHIPS AND
HENCE TRADE TO EXIST
• IN HONG KONG THE GOVERNMENT IS
PROMOTING CANTONESE RATHER THAN
ENGLISH AS THE LANGUAGE OF COMMERCE -BUT SHANGHAI IS BECOMING THE FINANCE
AND PORT CITY
• Translation of advertising from one culture to
another involves a good deal more than just
finding the right words --- messages in
advertising are fundamentally linked to culture
Some language examples
The KFC case: for Kentucky fried chicken, KFC advertises
the chicken as “finger licking good” --- some
translations would have this as “ KFC is “ so good it
makes you want to eat your fingers” --- needs to be a
little more accurate back translation here
MasterCard’s “Priceless” campaign --- adaptation
for the Hispanic family oriented culture --- a
grandmother and her granddaughter go shopping
for a meal in a pictorial – in the “intangible
moments that transcend price-tags” theme --- the
grandmother selects onions and the announcer in
Spanish lists the price, “Cebollas, 4 dolares”
--- then follows by, “El tiempo que toma
en cocinarse: no tiene precio (the time it
takes to simmer: priceless) --- then
ends with a translation of MasterCard’s
theme, “there are some things that
money can’t buy; for everything else
there is MasterCard. Accepted
everywhere, even at small shops” --Someone with Spanish needs to state this last
theme --- did we get the first part right??
Then there is the Electrolux add of a few
years ago (Electrolux is a carpet vacuum
machine) --- “Nothing sucks like an
Electrolux” --- well, where is that going to
take you in certain crowds?? -- a couple
of different meanings here?
 How about nonverbal language?
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4
keys here --- time, space, body language,
and friendship patterns ---- targeting high
contextual culture vs low contextual culture
Time may be flexible in some cultures --- 1:00
p.m. appointment shows up at 1:45 p.m. in
Mexico --- being indignant toward such
behavior would get you nowhere in Arab, Latin
American, or some Asian cultures
 After a deal is made by a U.S. manager in
France, the manager may give a “finger-and
thumb”, “OK” sign --- which in southern France
would signify that the deal is worthless!
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infrastructure
There is social infrastructure -housing, health, etc.
 There is economic infrastructure –
energy, transportation etc.
 There is financial infrastructure --banking, capital markets
 Sometimes one has to be a partner in
the provision of these infrastructures
before you can make a deal
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Education
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Education levels sometimes determine the
creation of new products or the resistance to
new products
Education sometimes determines the
success in recruiting local sales forces
In Japan, a talented prospect may be taking a
risk to go with a non-Japanese firm --shunned by the culture --- when the job ends,
the prospect cannot find a job with a
Japanese firm
Social institutions
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Social institutions affect the ways people
relate to one another
The family unit of parents and children in
western culture may extend to grandparents
and other relatives in other cultures
Social stratification matters --- in northern
Europe, most people are in the middle class -- other cultures concentrate buying power in
more restricted classes
Religious structure
Christianity claims some 2 billion
people in a rather diverse spread of
nations around the world --- holidays
and purchases are tied to religious
beliefs
 Islam – Islam structure is seen from
West Africa and across the sea to the
Philippines, then around the globe to
Tanzania, central Asia, western China,
India and other areas --- over 1.2 billion
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Hinduism has more than 860 million
followers in India, Nepal, Malaysia,
Guyana and other nations --- family is
an important element in Hinduism
 Buddhism has influence throughout
Asia with a guess of around 360 million
followers or more
 Confucianism follows with around 150
million followers
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There are cultural differences
The “I” consciousness relative to the
“we” consciousness
 The “power distance” influence, that is
the level of equality in society
 The “uncertainty avoidance”
preference, or the need for formal rules
and regulations
 The “masculinity” attitude toward
achievement, roles of women and men
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Japan would be high on uncertainty avoidance
and also in the power distance group ---receptive to risk-reducing programs and return
privileges, warranties, etc.
 Some individualism is preferred in the U.S. – so
promotion should emphasize “empowerment”
 The U.S., Netherlands, and U.K. would be high
on individualism and in the masculinity group
 Cultural shock – everyone experiences it --- you
just have to get over it and follow the cultural
structure to some degree to make the deal
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CULTURE AND TRADE - huntsman.usu.edu