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Culture’s Impact on Business Practices. Business Customs Data. CountryWatch Data Base People Cultural Etiquette Travel Guide globalEdge web site maintained by Michigan State University Ciber Center at Click on culture

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business customs data
Business Customs Data
  • CountryWatch Data Base
    • People
    • Cultural Etiquette
    • Travel Guide
  • globalEdge web site maintained by Michigan State University Ciber Center at
    • Click on culture
    • Click on Global Road Warrior for following info:
      • Business Culture
      • The Businesswoman
      • Travel Essentials
      • Etc.
business customs data cont d
Business Customs Data (cont’d.)
  • globalEdge web site maintained by Michigan State University Ciber Center at
    • Click on culture
    • Click on Executive Planet for following info:
      • Let’s Make a Deal
      • Prosperous Entertaining
      • Appointment Alert
      • Gift Giving
      • First Name or Title
      • Public Behavior
      • Business Dress
      • Conversation
what is adaptation
What is Adaptation?

Understanding of cultural differences and willingness to accommodate those can cause misunderstanding

hierarchy of dos don ts
Hierarchy of Dos & Don’ts
  • Norms – Rules that dictate what is right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable in a society
    • Imperatives - Norms referring to what individuals must or must not do in a culture
      • Guanxi (China), Ningen Kankei (Japanese, Compadre (Latin America) Personal relationships key to successful business dealings
      • Germany, business relationships formal, address by title and last name
2. Adiaphoras – Customs that a foreign national may engage in but is not necessarily expected to do so
  • E.g. eating with chopsticks, kissing a woman’s hand
3. Exclusives – Norms that refer to activities that are appropriate only for locals from which individuals from a foreign country are excluded
  • Christian trying to act like a Muslim
importance of language
Importance of Language
  • Explicit (words communicated)
  • Implicit (gestures, tones, unspoken, context)
what language do they speak in australia or maybe you should rent crocodile dundee
What language do they speak in Australia? Or maybe you should rent Crocodile Dundee
  • Footy?
  • Barbie? “Let’s go to the beach and have a barbie.”
  • Cuppa? “What you need is a good cuppa.”
  • Chips?
  • Concession?
  • Chemist?
  • The Bush?
  • Fine?
  • Long black?
context categorization of culture
Context - Categorization of Culture

Low Context -

messages are explicit, verbally explicit

Gets down to business quickly

High Context

Communication depends on context, non-verbal cues, read between the lines

Person’s word is his bond


Contextual Background of Various Countries

High Context Implicit




Latin American



English (UK)


North American (US)



Low Context Explicit



importance of time
Importance of Time


One thing at a time


Don’t waste time

Never underestimate the importance of punctuality in German business culture. Arriving merely two or three minutes late is a grave insult, especially if you are a subordinate.Make your appointments well in advance. Give at least one or two weeks’ notice for an appointment made by telephone; allow at least a month for an appointment made by mail. If you don’t have much preparation time, it's sometimes possible to arrange for a brief, introductory meeting within a few days' notice.

importance of time1
Importance of Time
  • Polychronic time
    • More emphasis on building relationship than holding to a schedule
    • Greater flexibility in defining being late
    • “Wait and see what develops”

Italy Store Hours

7 a.m. – 1 p.m. And 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

? – 1 p.m. And 5:30 – 8 p.m.

business ethics
Business Ethics
  • Bribery
    • Extortion (Payments forced by someone in authority)
    • Subornation (Giving larger sums of money to entice an official to commit an illegal act)
    • Lubrication (Relatively small sums of cash, gift or service to a low-ranking official”
u s foreign corrupt practices act when in doubt don t
U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act“When in doubt, Don’t.”

US FCPA 1977 “makes illegal for companies and their representatives to bribe government officials and other politicians or candidates to political office. The Act also prohibits payment to third parties when the company has good reason to assume that part of the payment is being used for bribery.”

omnibus trade and competitiveness act 1988
Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act 1988
  • OTCA Among other ways to make U.S. more competitive, small payments O.K. to encourage officials to complete routine government actions such as processing papers, stamping visas, and scheduling inspections.