The purpose of this
proposal is to inform the company of training necessary to expand the business.
The company should
have a training program that will prepare the product managers for their
overseas assignments. By increasing the managers’ awareness of cultural
differences could benefit the company with prospective business deals. A
training program is essential to the success of plans to expand international
operations and to the organization due to differences in cultures and norms in
Latin America and East Asia. Plans to expand international operations can be
hindered if the representatives are unaware of the different culture. It is
imperative to understand the customs, practices and habits of the host country.
Cross-cultural training is essential
to the success of the organizational plans to expand the operations into Latin
America and East Asia. Training
can help to communicate across cultures. It is imperative for the preparation
for executives moving overseas to work. Working closely with companies and
people around the world should be handled appropriately from the beginning,
middle, and end. Companies have to understand the culture they are working in
before presenting a contract. Corporations can prevent their employees’ mishaps
by educating them about foreign customs, manners and culture. In some countries business is personal as
it is professional. Overseas clients could be as unprepared for the company’s
way of doing business also, which it is crucial to do homework first and get
one step ahead before meeting in person. Thorough research and preparation is
necessary. Offending the local sensibilities should be prevented.
Cultural differences are varied from country to country. Business deals will vary from the East Asian
company to the Latin American company. Unaware of the different cultures
differences can damage a business deal, relationship, and appearance of the
company. Training can help
identify major differences, such as time, communication, and etiquette. Many
people can assume that we’re all the same, but in most cases that is not true.
a faux pas is known as a slip or blunder in etiquette, manners or conduct. A
big business deal can be lost because it did not understand a company’s
business culture. According to Stoller (2007), “Much of the disaster, as
they acknowledged, was caused by a basic lack of understanding of each others’
national and, by implication, corporate-cultural differences”(2007).
Awareness is imperative when the company representatives
arrive to meet the prospective company. A negative possibility is apparent not
only for a company but for employees as well. According to Stoller (2007) “Deals
are jeopardized or lost when foreign associates are offended by Americans
unaware of other countries’ customs, culture or manners, etiquette experts say”(2007).
Mohn (2010) found the following:
Jill Kristal, a psychologist in
Larchmont, N.Y., said inadequate preparation “puts undue stress on the family.”
The adjustment when Americans move to other Western countries may be the most
challenging because people do not anticipate differences and there is often
less preparation, said Geoffrey W. Latta, executive vice president of ORC
Worldwide, a human resources consulting firm (2010).
information about the other culture is not the only way to prepare the representatives.
The representative can also seek out personnel from the prospective country. Tulshyan
(2010) found the following, “Establish
your business connections in advance of your arrival with your Chinese
counterpart,” says Lisa La Valle-Finan (2010).
and emphasizing that cultural differences are real, cultural differences do
affect organizational behavior, and a training program is therefore essential
to the success of the planned expansion into Latin America and East Asia.
Costs Associated With
There is a cost
associated with adding a training program. The company can add the program to
enhance the representatives’ knowledge. A web-based program is an option, also
hiring a training coach to inform the representative for the company. Mohn (2010) found the following, “Thomson Reuters uses CultureWizard, a
Web-based tool created by the company RW 3, for its employees in 93 countries
for what he said was “a fraction of the cost” of formal training”(2010). According
to Garfinkel (2004), “Web site called CultureGrams.com, a
primer on the customs and geography of 180 countries ($199 a year for up to
five users)”(2004). The cost associated for the training program can be an
asset to the company due to expanding the business.
Even in the same language, communication
miscues can occur, which are known as cultural misunderstandings. Mispronouncing
a name or a slip-up of syllables can change the meaning on what the
representatives want to say.
Garfinkel (2004) found the following:
Joe Romano found out on a business trip to Taiwan how
close a one-syllable slip of the tongue can come to torpedoing a deal. This is why translators are worth the investment for
delicate business negotiations overseas, suggests Heike Estey (2004).
It is not only spoken language that can
create tension for the representative trying to understand and learn an
unfamiliar culture. Body language can also send out the wrong signals if the
individual is unaware.
Differences in Non-Verbal Communication
Body language is seen by many when communicating. Nonverbal
messages is sent from the sender and received by people present. Non-verbal
communication is also important to be aware of in a different country due to
different norms. The behavior of one representative will be how others perceive
There are rules on whom to touch, where,
when, why, for how long and with what degree of enthusiasm vary starkly from
country to country. Latin Americans like to throw their arms around colleagues’
backs or grab them by the arm to show their friendliness, physical acts that
can startle or discomfit Yankee visitors. Showing the soles of your feet to
someone is a serious insult in Thailand and most other Asian countries as well
as in much of the Middle East. Putting hands on hips when talking noted that
when you stand that way it’s seen as a sign of rudeness or defiance.” Non-verbal communication is
important as well as symbols when conducting business (2004).
also usual in all countries. There are positive symbols as well as negative
symbols. Awareness is imperative with symbols as well for any business deal.
The representatives should be aware and well trained on how to handle symbols
from others and their own. Different symbols examples are as follows.
According to Mohn
The words in Mandarin for clock and the number
four are similar to the word for death, and white is a funeral color in many
Asian countries. “The symbolism was so powerful,” Mr. Foster said, that the man
lost the deal (2010).
Stoller (2007) found the following:
hand is considered inauspicious in India, and there was consternation all
around,” says Manian, the author of Doing Business in India for Dummies. “Never
turn up your nose at the local delicacy,” says Morrison. “It may be
the most prestigious item on the menu, which they bought at great expense just
for you (2007).”
The symbol was very
important for this country and they took matters into their own hands to
correct the mishap. When a prospective offers you a gift in some countries such
as a delicacy, it is rude and can alter business if you do not accept.
Jenkin (2014) found
Business cards are incredibly important
in Japan, Tindall says. In Tokyo, although I was giving this business card a
lot of respect, the idea of writing on it was definitely frowned upon. Make
sure you know which way up the Japanese language side is facing; handing
someone an upside down card is also considered rude (2014).
imperative to be aware of as well as etiquette in another country.
Differences in Etiquette
Etiquette is important for how you handle yourself when
representing a company. Etiquette ranges from country to country and should be
taught to employees entering another country.
Etiquette can be handled appropriately if aware or unknown to
individuals. Belching is looked upon differently in different countries. Starting
off a meeting can be offensive if that country values patience or
Stoller (2007) found that:
Burns first business meetings in Thailand a few years ago, he started the
gatherings by talking about business. “That’s a no-no,” he says.
“I quickly figured out that I was creating problems by talking business
before eating lunch and by initiating the talks.” In some regions of Asia,
it’s “a sign of pleasure to belch after a meal,” and you “should
slurp your noodles as loudly as possible,” Zablith says. When dining in
the Middle East, North Africa or other Muslim lands, always use the right hand,
because the left “is deemed unclean and disrespectful,” Zablith says
Dress & Time
Dress is viewed very
different depending on the country. Color can be important and representative
should be aware of the expected dress code. The representatives for the
business should be trained on dress code in the visiting country and the importance
of time. Each country varies greatly on dress and time.
Tulshyan (2010) found
Modest dressing in China, Japan, India,
Russia and the Middle East includes keeping knees and elbows covered and
buttoning shirts up right to the collar. Brightly colored business attire for
women is accepted, nay welcomed, in Latin American countries. Across Latin
America and Europe, women are respected for being fashion-forward. But in Asia
and the Middle East, neutral-colored clothes for women are a near-uniform. A
woman wearing pants in Japan and the Middle East, specifically, is also
Time can be
important for the representatives to know due to differences. Time is valued
differently in different cultures.
found the following:
Time is fluid in the Middle East and Latin
America, cautions La Valle-Finan. China and India, among other countries, are
also known to have “flexible” timings. Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore or
the U.K., punctuality is a sign of professionalism (2010).
building is valuable in some country’s culture. The representative for the
company awareness is important. The training program should have this in the
found the following:
In countries like Dubai, China, Russia and
India, each business encounter should be taken as another step forward in
building trust with your hosts. Never rush to get a contract signed, and understand
that accepting your host’s hospitality is but a first stop in a longer
Benefits to Cross Cultural Training
There are many benefits for cross-cultural training for
employees. Benefits include long relationships, expanding business, and
employee gains. Cross-cultural training can benefit the company today and for
the future. Representatives for the company and the company itself have many
benefits apparent when proper training is sought out. Respect is a huge benefit
from the country that business will expand in.
Stoller (2007) found the following:
customs and culture of a foreign country “signals respect for the other
side, and respect is important in developing a business relationship,”
says Tufts’ Salacuse. “The fact that you haven’t learned the history and
the customs raises questions about the sincerity of how committed you are to
doing business in the country.” They love the extra effort that you go to (2007).
Johnson-Lopez (2016) says:
Cross cultural training demystifies other cultures
through presenting them under an objective light. Through learning about other
cultures, barriers are slowly chipped away thus allowing for more open
relationships and dialogue (2016).
According to Payne (n.d.), “Cross
cultural training enhances people’s skills and therefore future employment
There are a few resources available for the company with
training employees. There are personal trainers, web-sites, application on
phones, and representative and contacts from the prospective country. Effective
training starts with an effective program or personnel. Such resources can be
valuable for non-travelers, because the business world is confronting an
“etiquette learning curve” for new technologies, says Sue Fox.
Andrew P. Walker, vice president of
global mobility for Thomson Reuters, said online training was easier, quicker
and cheaper than in-person training. “Culture Guides-to-Go” offer strategies
for running successful meetings, conducting negotiations or brushing up on
dining protocol in more than 120 countries. She says the website had
such tips as, “The French will revert to English if they see you
floundering. There is a website that employees can use. www.executiveplanet.com (2010).
The company will benefit from a training program offered to
the employees. There are cost associated with the program but can be offset by
expanding business in East asia and Latin America. There are proper nonverbal
communication, etiquette, and dress that employees should know. The company
should invest in the training program to ensure a successful business deal with
other countries. Expanding the business into East Asia and Latin America takes
knowledge that the training program can offer.