When working in the global commercial environment, awareness of the impact of the various cultural differences is one of the very important aspects towards the achievement of international business success. The improvement in the levels of cultural awareness can assist the companies in building international competencies and thus enabling the individuals to become more globally sensitive.
In the case of international business, the understanding of cultural differences and promoting cultural sensitivity will help in ensuring that the communication across borders is done more effectively and that the business transactions are successful.
It should be understood that each country has its own cultural standards of being, thinking, and acting, and these variations show a strong influence on the workplace values and also the business communication. The aspects that may be considered very much acceptable and natural in the workplace of one country, can indeed be considered as confusing or even offensive in the workplace of some other country.
It is a fact that every culture constitutes a unique mixture of different attitudes, values, as well as social expectations. When conducting business across various countries, it is important that the business representatives are rather provided with an understanding of the existing cultural differences and are able to be sensitive towards them.
Cross-cultural Management can be viewed as a program that aims to explore the various challenges and complexities that are related to the conduct of business across various cultural contexts. The executives who seek to do business across different cultures are encountered with the necessity of dealing with diversity. Cultures vary in terms of values and beliefs and these variations have the potential to shape all the dimensions of managerial practices ranging right from leadership, motivation, negotiation and the effective management of conflict.
Cultural considerations also form the basis to the definition of acceptable business conduct, and remain significant to the development of international standards around the business ethics, corruption and intellectual property, and these are the issues which shape some of the most effective business and trading relationships in the current world. Cross-cultural management deals with a wide variety of issues, some concrete, but others less tangible, but not of less importance, such as the significance of trust in international business.
The steps that can be taken to deal with the problem of various cultures are identifying the diversity, that is collecting data about the workforce of the organization, and then discover the differences that exist. It should be understood that cultures gather and process information differently, which is why certain management plans which seem logical to one (based on their culture) may not be followed by others. Misunderstandings can actually lead to both cooperation and communications barriers. These barriers can be lowered by means of discovering, accepting and learning about the work differences. The next step would be to develop a plan of action. The employees need to be helped regarding the development of a greater understanding of each others cultures. As the economy becomes more and more global, it turns out to be more vital to understand such aspects like diversity-of gender, race, culture, norms, values, information processing, comfort zones, and how to blend the various cultures within the organization into success.