Business Culture and Globalization
By: Miguel PremoliMiguel Premoli
Date: January 19 2004
As a result of globalization, as every day goes by, corporate executives are being asked to have
one more important sphere of competence: Cultural Diversity. This competence or skill implies
that management must understand the difference in the interrelations with people from different
Every cultural setting has its own pattern that shapes the manner by which people interrelate,
such as: how they greet each other, the conversations they have, they way they handle their table
manners, business protocol, and many more different ways of interacting.
It is different the way a man greets a woman, for example, in the United States and in Great
Britain, a handshake is the proper way, while in Argentina a man will kiss a woman on the
cheek. In many European countries, especially those of Latin descendants, a light kiss on each
cheek is exchanged, and in other countries, each cheek is kissed twice, and still in other countries
it is customary for the men to kiss each other twice on the cheek.
There is also a difference in the way that feedback is given to a colleague, what is considered to
be standard in the US could actually be considered rude in another cultural setting. They way by
which you deal with your boss is totally different in many countries, some of our bosses replies
can also have a different meaning, depending on the role that you play; and of course, body
language can also portray different interpretations, depending on the context.
It is a key issue to be able to understand these things, especially in today´s world. It is of utmost
importance for management at international levels to understand these different cultural customs,
especially to be able to carry forth business across frontiers.
Many people and organizations are well aware of this. There are companies that set up courses