[if !supportLists]· Rich nations could offer workers their wage insurance, subsidized health insurance if out of work, and improve education. Rich nations could help enforce labor standards, help clarify environmental agreements, and research the environmental implications of trade agreements. CHAPTER 3 Learning Objectives for Chapter 3: • Explain culture and the need for cultural knowledge. • Summarize the cultural importance of values and behavior. • Describe the roles of social structure and education in culture. • Outline how the major world religions can influence business. • Explain the importance of personal communication to international business. • Describe how firms and culture interact in the global workplace. CHAPTER OVERVIEW This chapter describes culture in the context of international business, explains how culture affects international business practices and competitiveness, and presents two methods of classifying cultures. WHAT IS CULTURE ? Culture is the set of values, beliefs, rules, and institutions held by a specific group of people. Main components include: aesthetics , values and attitudes , manners and customs , social structure , religion , personal communication , education , and physical and material environments . National culture : Nation-states support and promote the concept of a national culture by building museums and monuments to preserve the legacies of important events and people. Nation-states intervene to help preserve their national cultures. Companies get involved in supporting culture, in part, for the public relations benefit. Subculture : A subculture is a group of people who share a unique way of life within a larger, dominant culture. It can differ from the dominant culture in language, race, lifestyle, values, attitudes, and so on. Companies must be mindful of subcultures when formulating business strategies. Decisions regarding product design, packaging, and advertising must consider distinct cultures. Subcultures also can extend beyond national borders.
Physical environment : These heavily influence a culture’s development and pace of change. Topography : all physical features that characterize the surface of a geographic region. Cultures isolated by impassable mountains or large bodies of water are less exposed to the cultural traits of others and change slowly. Topography impacts product needs. Topography impacts personal communication (e.g., mountains and the Gobi Desert consume two-thirds of China). Climate affects where people settle and directs systems of distribution (e.g., Australian desert, jungles, and coastal areas). Climate plays a large role in lifestyle, clothing, and work habits, such as organizing production schedules for idled machines. Need for Cultural Knowledge [if !supportLists]1. [endif]Avoiding ethnocentricity [if !supportLists]· [endif]Ethnocentricity is the belief that one’s own ethnic group or culture is superior to that of others. It causes people to view other culture in terms of their own and overlook beneficial aspects of other cultures.
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- Fall '07