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Cultural Influences on Business and Tips for Doing Business in Another Culture (Coursework Sample)


I personally view Chapter 3 on culture as the most important chapter and topic in the course. I now have the notes from Chapter 3 posted along with some audio comments from me. With regard to "culture," it doesn't matter if you work overseas or not, you will be asked to work with people from other cultures and we all need to learn how to be culturally "intelligent" and culturally sensitive. In other words, we are attune to the cultural differences and we work extra hard to make sure the working relationship is solid and that misunderstanding or confusion doesn't hurt the business relationship. One of the best ways to work through these potential problems is to have a good sense and understanding of how cultures can differ and what potential problems can develop. For example, I have spent a lot of time trying to develop understanding on "what the French are like," which has helped me in my working and teaching in France. This is not to say that all French are the same, but if we can understand cultural tendencies it can help us expect certain behavioral patterns and understand the "why" in some of the things other cultures do.
For your second written assignment, I would like for you to write a fairly detailed paper (I'm guessing around 8 to 10 pages including references) on the following topic. I would like for you to explain as clearly and completely as possible what Americans are "like" using Erin Meyer's culture map and Hofstede's six dimensions of power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, masculine vs. feminine, uncertainty avoidance, indulgence vs. restraint, and long-term vs. short-term orientation. Feel free to integrate the two approaches somewhat (as there is certainly a lot of overlap), but just be sure to give me a very good profile on American "cultural style" especially in regard to business. Now I recognize that all Americans are not the same (far from it) but we can definitely pick out some tendencies on how Americans "tend to be," especially as perceived by people from other countries. To help you better explain and understand cultural style, I would also like for you to write about selected countries/cultures that are extremely different (perhaps opposite) on the various dimensions and thus would present great challenges to Americans. If Americans sit on one end of the scale, you might speak about a particular culture on the other end of the scale (and why dealing with this culture can possibly present challenges). If Americans are in the middle of the scale (e.g. masculinity vs. femininity) you might briefly talk about countries on either end of the extremes. In short, I want you to give me a good understanding of how typical Americans behave in the business environment, with appropriate contrasts on the various dimensions to help better explain and understand alternative behaviors. I also want you to touch on the challenges faced by Americans due to our cultural predispositions. Hint, I have given you a lot of material in the notes to help you write this paper but there is an absolute "overabundance" of articles/websites/videos to help you write this paper. Here are a couple of other comments about Americans that I recently talked to my undergraduate about.
American tend to be as follows: Americans are supremely confident. We tend to give others the benefit of the doubt and "second chances" if necessary. We are very informal and inclusive, treating people alike even when great differences in age or social standing exist. Americans are known as being very friendly and approachable. Some mistake our extreme friendliness for lack of intellect. Americans tend to be direct, meaning they don’t talk around things (but they are friendly and caring about it). We like to get to the point and get down to business. We like to use the word “frankly,” meaning we are about to dive right into some sensitive truths about a situation. Some foreigners think we can be rude because we are so direct and to the point. By the way, Southerners can tend to be less direct and “frank” than others. Americans are highly competitive and assertive and like to "keep score" of accomplishments. Americans are extremely competitive and we tend to force our will. Americans are achievers and we are proud of our accomplishments. Independent and individualistic. We like our freedom, our space, and we control our own destiny! We are not afraid to ask questions. We really want to understand causality and get to the bottom of things. Our questions may be informal like “how’s it going?” but they can be a lot more personal or perhaps pushy/forceful. For example, an American is more likely to ask “what is wrong?” or more likely to want to dive into who really pulled their weight and who didn’t (related to individualism). Americans cannot stand silence. We must keep conversations very active. We are much more assertive when it comes to driving a conversation. We like to be heard and can be perceived as being quite loud. Americans are very punctual and time-oriented. We have schedules and appointments to keep. Americans greatly value cleanliness. Deodorant and soap are big sellers in the U.S.! We like to keep our personal space (maybe even more now with Covid!).
Finally, in this paper I want you to give a short "guide" to the "do's and don'ts" or rules for conducting business in another particular country of your choice. You don't have to elaborate too much on these little rules but possible topics would be: introductions, time issues (for example punctuality), style/formality, what to talk about and what topics to avoid, gift-giving, how personal and friendly to get with them, taboos and issues to avoid, negotiation patterns, proximity and touching, meals and entertainment expectations, content vs. context of messages, who do you need to talk to in order to get a deal, importance of age (seniority) and rank, business cards, dress, and any other issues/characteristics that you would like to mention or discuss. I am looking here for a nice set of guidelines on how to deal successfully with business people in another particular culture. Once again, I think you will be overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of information and tips for dealing with particular cultures.


Cultural Influences on Business and Tips for Doing Business in Another Culture
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Cultural Influences on Business and Tips for Doing Business in Another Culture
Americans are long-term minded individuals. There is a reason why the freest country in the world is also the most developed. The United States (U.S.) has business sprouting in every little town. Las Vegas was born out of an individual's dream for a sprawling hub of casinos and hotels. Today, it is still the first largest desert city. Although other such cities are being developed in countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), this goes to show America's position as a business powerhouse. Most importantly, it shows the confidence of Americans and their will to believe in dreams. These dreams have led to the growth of most businesses in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. For instance, there is the Apple company, Amazon, and Facebook. These are the world's largest technology companies. They have also led to the growth of another sprawling technology hub known as Silicon Valley. This is the commercial capability of the U.S.
The Culture Map and The Six Cultural Dimensions
Erin Meyer's Culture Map proposes eight steps that managers and business leaders can use to improve multicultural environments' commercial effectiveness (Meyer, 2016). The model proposed by Meyer provides a platform that these groups can use to analyze the position of different cultures. This way, they can understand the actions of individuals from different cultures. Meyer's eight scales are communication, evaluation, persuasion, leadership, decision, trust, disagreement, and scheduling (Meyer, 2016). 

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