Punctuality is not taken seriously in many Asian and African countries. Chinese are punctual for all social occasions and appointments. In India, the concept of auspicious time is most important for business deals to be commenced or finalized, apart from holding special significance even in most personal decisions like buying gold etc. Strategies for Dealing with Cultural Differences: 1. Making adjustments: This refers to modification of the product and other aspects of business including marketing strategies
MODULE - 2 47 where necessary based on the host country’s culture. For example, Whirlpool is successful in Indian market after modifying its washing machine to suit to wash Indian sarees. 2. Communication: Business houses should be cautious in spoken and written language, translation etc. For example, Microsoft purchased a thesaurus code for its Spanish version of word 6.0, but the meaning of many synonyms had changed and become insulting. This program was denounced by reports of newspapers and radio. Later the company corrected the software, but by that time the company lost many customers. United Airlines promoted a new passenger service in Hong Kong by providing white carnations to its customers, which backfired as people use them as a sign of sympathy for a family death. 1. Competitive advantage: Culture of a country determines cost of doing business, productivity, entrepreneurship and innovations. Japan’s culture emphasizes teamwork, loyalty, reciprocal obligations and honesty. American culture of risk taking and supportive of entrepreneurial activity helped the country in having competitive advantage in software and bio technology industries. 1. Business ethics: Though the basic ethical principles are more or less the same throughout the world, specific issues are closely related to the culture of a country. Reciprocal help is a culturally bound and ethically valued principle in China in the form of ‘guanxi’. Guanxi is giving gifts or money for help received. This is considered as corruption in most other countries. But, in China this is a practice of building network and relationship. Thomas Donaldson says the following 3 ethical principles are important in IB: a. Respect for core human values and human rights b. Respect for local tradition c. Considering situational factors while deciding what is ethical and unethical.
International Business 48 Example 1: In India, Pizzas are now the flavour of the season Chicken tikka masala may be ruling the roost in Britain, but in curry country- India-pizzas are the flavour of the month. Take, for example, Neelan Mehta. Whenever she hears the question “What’s for dinner, mum?” after she comes home from her Delhi office, her answer is often the same: “Pizza”. “It’s the easiest thing to do. Just pick-up the phone and order. I don’t have to sweat it out in the kitchen at the end of the day,” said Mehta, an Indian exporter with two teenage sons. Ever since India threw open its economic doors in the early 1990’s, a host of global pizza chains including Pizza hut, run by Yum! Brands
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