Chapter 4

Purpose: The objective of this exercise is to help you internalize the knowledge you learned and apply to your career. In this process, you develop your critical thinking skills.

Note: To complete this assignment, you will need to:

1.   Submit one ppt file – the Reflection and Application Report (including a business news example)

2.   Submit one word file – three quiz questions (multiple choices)

3.   Respond to at least one peer classmate’s post (Reflection Report)

CHAPTER 4

Cultural Environment

 

Chapter Goals

The main goals of this chapter are to:

 

Show how a country’s material culture affects international business.

Explain how a culture’s language shapes global business strategies.

Explore the subject of a society’s aesthetics in connection with a firm’s products and its communications.

Describe the way that the local education and religion affects consumer behavior.

Demonstrate how values and attitudes influence purchasing decisions.

Explain how the social organization in a given country (family, age group, class, etc.) affects consumer behavior.

Culture Shapes Global Business

Culture is that which you can sense (hear, see, smell, taste, and touch) as well as that which is hidden (assumptions, attitudes, beliefs and values) —

What we can sense: (music, art, architecture, fashion, food, dance)

image2.wmf SHAPE \* MERGEFORMAT image1 What is hidden: (feelings about work, wealth, religion, future, family, friends, time)

image3.wmf ? ?

?

?

?

?

What we CAN see is a manifestation of what we CAN’T see. People’s reactions to the same marketing campaign are likely to be different from culture-to-culture and firms must recognize this if they are to develop effective strategies and accept that oftentimes, the movies, watches, cars, insurance and other products must be adapted to accommodate the differences among cultures.

image4.wmf image5.wmf

Figure 3-1

Culture

    • Culture is the sum total of artifacts, beliefs, institutions, rules, and techniques that characterize a human population.

 

  • More simply, culture is generally accepted behavior

One source for a definition or description of culture is provided by Eric Miraglia, Deptartment of English, Washington Ste University (http://www.wsu.edu/).

Refer to his “What is Culture” web site: http://www.wsu.edu:8001/vcwsu/commons/topics/culture/culture-index.html.

Characteristics of Culture

    • It is learned

 

    • It is shared

 

    • It is dynamic

 

  • It is a better human delimiter than most national boundaries
  • EX: Frito Lay to Netherland
  • EX: Can coffee to Japan and China
  • EX: Japanese cars to US market

It is learned, not innate, or something ‘hardwired’ or due to heredity.

 

It is shared; there are no ‘cultures’ of one. There are subcultures, most certainly and each of us may act differently when among different sets of people – when we’re at work or in class versus when out in the evening with other people.

 

It is dynamic; it changes. Culture is not static and we can see this in the ways people dress, the music people prefer, the architecture, and other manifestations of culture.

 

It defines a group of people better than national since these are often prescribed by early colonialism. Culture transcends geographic boundaries, that’s why Americans are often adamant about hyphens – (continents) Asian-American, African-American… (or countries) German-American, Russian-American, Mexican-American. All may live within the confines of the United States of America, but also share beliefs, attitudes and behaviors with others from other lands.

Importance of Cultural Characteristics

These characteristics are important because:

 

    • That culture is learned indicates that firms can affect change (i.e., act as change agents rather than as changed agents – our traditional way of thinking about international business).

 

    • That culture is shared indicates that there are some general characteristics, needs, wants, etc. which a firm can appeal to across a group of individuals. This makes mass marketing possible.

 

    • That culture is dynamic indicates there will always be new opportunities and that firms can not become complacent with established business plans and practices.

 

  • That culture defines groups indicates that firms must be aware of subcultures and all the opportunities and pitfalls associated with smaller groups within national boundaries — and opportunities that transcend national boundaries.

 

“American” Characteristics

  • Open
  • Friendly
  • Informal
  • Optimistic
  • Creative
  • Loud
  • Individualistic

Note that the word American is in quotation marks since there is a good deal of heterogeneity among the American (in this case, U.S. peoples).

 

These characteristics are taken in part from Hall, Edward T. and Mildred Reed Hall, Understanding cultural differences, Yarmouth, Me. : Intercultural Press, 1990.

 

Components of Culture

  • Aesthetics (sense of beauty and good taste)
  • Attitudes and beliefs (towards time, change, money or material wealth, work…)
  • Language (spoken and ‘silent’)
  • Education (vocational/technical versus liberal arts, importance of human capital…)
  • Religion (afterlife, supreme being, worship…)
  • Social Institutions (for example, family, legal, political)
  • …. all that defines the human population.

Aesthetics (sense of beauty and good taste);

  • please, thank-you, art, architecture, music, fashion – earrings, nose rings, neck rings,
  • voluptuous bodies versus muscular, tanned versus pale.

 

Attitudes and beliefs (towards time, change, money or material wealth, work, etc.)

  • change: traditional versus change oriented – convenience items such as frozen foods, instant coffee, etc.
  • time: punctual (German, Japanese) versus not punctual (Colombian, Nigerian) mañana.

 

Education (the importance of human capital, type: liberal arts versus technical, etc.)

    • Gerber baby food

 

Language (spoken and unspoken or silent);

  • spoken: Pschitt, Nova, Coca-Cola (‘bite the wax tadpole’, *black fungus and instructions, Esso, du/sie, etc.
  • we invite you to test drive our new car (sie or du?) [back translation or parallel translation]
  • unspoken: *gestures, facial expressions, body language, speaking distance, “head-nodding”/eye contact, hand-holding and fanny patting.

 

Religion

  • feng shui; ga-tex; Shinto opening ritual; Islam – prayer time

 

Social institutions (e.g., family).

  • nuclear family, nepotism

Aesthesis

Aesthetics – sense of beauty and good taste. Examples: belching after a meal, Eskimos; neck rings; etc.

 

As with other aspects of culture, aesthetics are dynamic. Look at various art forms. Art deco and ‘pop’ art no longer have the followings they once had.

 

Art, architecture, hair, makeup, fashion, jewelry, ‘to tan or not to tan’…. The materials we use and how we use them in our buildings, our clothing and in other things we create.

Aesthetics Affects Brand Names

  • The choice of brand names is affected by aesthetics.

 

Different Branding Strategy:

  • Local brand names – when local identification is important.
  • Global brand names – sometimes, firms will use a global brand name and translate the pronunciation (could turn out to be a nonsense word) into the local language.

Aesthetics (sense of beauty and good taste);

  • please, thank-you, art, architecture, music, fashion – earrings, nose rings, neck rings,
  • voluptuous bodies versus muscular, tanned versus pale.

 

Attitudes and beliefs (towards time, change, money or material wealth, work, etc.)

  • change: traditional versus change oriented – convenience items such as frozen foods, instant coffee, etc.
  • time: punctual (German, Japanese) versus not punctual (Colombian, Nigerian) mañana.

 

Education (the importance of human capital, type: liberal arts versus technical, etc.)

    • Gerber baby food

 

Language (spoken and unspoken or silent);

  • spoken: Pschitt, Nova, Coca-Cola (‘bite the wax tadpole’, *black fungus and instructions, Esso, du/sie, etc.
  • we invite you to test drive our new car (sie or du?) [back translation or parallel translation]
  • unspoken: *gestures, facial expressions, body language, speaking distance, “head-nodding”/eye contact, hand-holding and fanny patting.

 

Religion

  • feng shui; ga-tex; Shinto opening ritual; Islam – prayer time

 

Social institutions (e.g., family).

  • nuclear family, nepotism

Different Branding Strategy

  • Global Branding strategy – Carrefour
  • Local Branding strategy – Ahold
  • Combined Branding strategy – Whirlpool

 

Material Culture Matters

  • How and what people consume are heavily influenced by the technology and material culture.
  • Cars  makes suburban living possible
  • TV  changes consumer behavior
  • Microwave  influences the preparation of food and the nature of the food consumed.
  • Digital camera  ….
  • Cell phone  ….

Towards achievement and work — Americans place importance on work as a satisfying experience in and of itself in the us, not necessarily what the money earned will buy (in relation to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization) in other countries work is viewed merely as a means to the end – what earnings will buy. This would effect the types of benefit packages a firm could offer. Achievement in the us is often viewed as an individual effort and reward. In Japan the group is much more important and therefore individual efforts and achievements are less likely to singled out as major contributions.

 

Towards change — Americans are very change oriented. We want the latest, the newest, etc. The Japanese are often even more interested in new offerings. (consider our reaction to new coke – the firm was forced into reintroducing ‘classic coke’.) Europeans are typically more tradition oriented, not so much ‘newest is best’ mentality. An example of this is the attempt to introduce convenience foods to Europe. Adoption of frozen foods and instant coffee have taken much longer in Europe than in the United States.

 

Towards risk – some people are risk averse and don’t like to take risks; others are risk seekers (gamblers, entrepreneurs, …) and almost welcome uncertainty.

 

Towards time — in the U.S. it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes early or late to an appointment (if the meeting is for 10:00 am, it’s o.k. to arrive at 9:55 or 10:10); in some middle eastern countries the time frame is more flexible (you may find yourself ‘cooling your heels’ in the outer office until 12:00); in Germany, if the appointment is set for 10:00 a.m. and you arrive at 10:01, you’re late.

 

Towards risk….and many other aspects of life.

Material Culture Matters
– The Case of Mexico (in 2000)

  • Only 33% of the roads are paved.
  • The best of these roads are toll roads. (Traveling 200 miles costs $40 for cars and $115 for trucks).
  • Only 15 telephone lines for every 100 people.
  • Installing a line will take a month or two.
  • 25 cellular phones for every 100 people.
  • The costs of making calls is expensive b/c of high gov. taxes.
  • Mailing service is slow and unreliable.
  • 20 PC for every 100 people.
  • 10% of the population are Internet users.

Towards achievement and work — Americans place importance on work as a satisfying experience in and of itself in the us, not necessarily what the money earned will buy (in relation to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization) in other countries work is viewed merely as a means to the end – what earnings will buy. This would effect the types of benefit packages a firm could offer. Achievement in the us is often viewed as an individual effort and reward. In Japan the group is much more important and therefore individual efforts and achievements are less likely to singled out as major contributions.

 

Towards change — Americans are very change oriented. We want the latest, the newest, etc. The Japanese are often even more interested in new offerings. (consider our reaction to new coke – the firm was forced into reintroducing ‘classic coke’.) Europeans are typically more tradition oriented, not so much ‘newest is best’ mentality. An example of this is the attempt to introduce convenience foods to Europe. Adoption of frozen foods and instant coffee have taken much longer in Europe than in the United States.

 

Towards risk – some people are risk averse and don’t like to take risks; others are risk seekers (gamblers, entrepreneurs, …) and almost welcome uncertainty.

 

Towards time — in the U.S. it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes early or late to an appointment (if the meeting is for 10:00 am, it’s o.k. to arrive at 9:55 or 10:10); in some middle eastern countries the time frame is more flexible (you may find yourself ‘cooling your heels’ in the outer office until 12:00); in Germany, if the appointment is set for 10:00 a.m. and you arrive at 10:01, you’re late.

 

Towards risk….and many other aspects of life.

Material Culture Matters
– The Case of Mexico (in 2000)

  • The per capita income in Mexico in 2002 was $5,920; it is $12,800 in 2007.
  • Fewer Mexicans own cars, trucks, telephones, and PCs than people in US and other developed nations.
  • Because of these facts, it is difficult and expensive to ship goods, travel, and communicate with customers and suppliers.

Towards achievement and work — Americans place importance on work as a satisfying experience in and of itself in the us, not necessarily what the money earned will buy (in relation to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization) in other countries work is viewed merely as a means to the end – what earnings will buy. This would effect the types of benefit packages a firm could offer. Achievement in the us is often viewed as an individual effort and reward. In Japan the group is much more important and therefore individual efforts and achievements are less likely to singled out as major contributions.

 

Towards change — Americans are very change oriented. We want the latest, the newest, etc. The Japanese are often even more interested in new offerings. (consider our reaction to new coke – the firm was forced into reintroducing ‘classic coke’.) Europeans are typically more tradition oriented, not so much ‘newest is best’ mentality. An example of this is the attempt to introduce convenience foods to Europe. Adoption of frozen foods and instant coffee have taken much longer in Europe than in the United States.

 

Towards risk – some people are risk averse and don’t like to take risks; others are risk seekers (gamblers, entrepreneurs, …) and almost welcome uncertainty.

 

Towards time — in the U.S. it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes early or late to an appointment (if the meeting is for 10:00 am, it’s o.k. to arrive at 9:55 or 10:10); in some middle eastern countries the time frame is more flexible (you may find yourself ‘cooling your heels’ in the outer office until 12:00); in Germany, if the appointment is set for 10:00 a.m. and you arrive at 10:01, you’re late.

 

Towards risk….and many other aspects of life.

Communication
Verbal and Non-verbal

Whether words or something we write – we wave, we touch, or ‘give someone the look’ … there are many ways to express feelings, desires, etc.

Language – Verbal Communication

Translation problems:

The biographies of Italian ministers were posted in English on the government’s web site. Unfortunately, they were not translated well…

Some examples:

  • The Defense Minister graduated with a maximum of ballots.
  • …graduated at the top of his class.

You — we invite you to test drive our new car (would you use sie or du?) if translating this expression in to German? Use back translation or parallel translation. For translations, try Systran: http://www.systransoft.com/.

 

Damm beer <http://www.bluegrass-catalunya.com/damm.htm> from Spain.

 

Nova – GM used this brand in Puerto Rico (no va – doesn’t go). A General Motors Chevrolet model of the mid 1960s and 1990s. (No longer produced – because of large hispanic market in US?)

 

Coca-Cola – goal was to have the brand spoken phonetically in Chinese (loosely translated – ‘bite the wax tadpole’)

 

Spoken language, including slang expressions and words for which there is no foreign counterpart. What are some American slang expressions?

 

Language – Verbal Communication

  • The Technology Minister was born to Lucera; conjugated;

…was born in Lucera, is married,

  • graduated in Economy near the University Mouthfuls of Milan;

…earned a degree in economics from the Bocconi University in Milan,

  • moved newly to Paris to cover loads with President of IBM Europe.

…., and moved to Paris in 1994 to become president of IBM Europe.

You — we invite you to test drive our new car (would you use sie or du?) if translating this expression in to German? Use back translation or parallel translation. For translations, try Systran: http://www.systransoft.com/.

 

Damm beer <http://www.bluegrass-catalunya.com/damm.htm> from Spain.

 

Nova – GM used this brand in Puerto Rico (no va – doesn’t go). A General Motors Chevrolet model of the mid 1960s and 1990s. (No longer produced – because of large hispanic market in US?)

 

Coca-Cola – goal was to have the brand spoken phonetically in Chinese (loosely translated – ‘bite the wax tadpole’)

 

Spoken language, including slang expressions and words for which there is no foreign counterpart. What are some American slang expressions?

 

WSJ news – Bejing gets rid of bad translations (2/07/2007 – WSJ)

Examples of bewildering translations:

  • Toilets for deformed Man

…toilets for handicapped

  • Show Mercy to the Slender Grass
  • To take notice of safe: The slippery are very crafty.

Be careful, slippery.

  • For 2008 Olympics, Beijing wants to cleanse its signs of translation nonsense.
  • Ten teams of linguistic monitors will patrol the city’s parks, museums, subway stations and other public places searching for gaffes to fix.
  • Already, the city has replaced 6,300 road signs.

You — we invite you to test drive our new car (would you use sie or du?) if translating this expression in to German? Use back translation or parallel translation. For translations, try Systran: http://www.systransoft.com/.

 

Damm beer <http://www.bluegrass-catalunya.com/damm.htm> from Spain.

 

Nova – GM used this brand in Puerto Rico (no va – doesn’t go). A General Motors Chevrolet model of the mid 1960s and 1990s. (No longer produced – because of large hispanic market in US?)

 

Coca-Cola – goal was to have the brand spoken phonetically in Chinese (loosely translated – ‘bite the wax tadpole’)

 

Spoken language, including slang expressions and words for which there is no foreign counterpart. What are some American slang expressions?

 

Language – Verbal Communication

  • All these mistakes were attributed to the use of a computerized translation program.

 

Suggestions:

  • To use parallel translation

 have two people translate the same message and compare the differences.

  • To use back-translation

 translate into the target language, translate back into the original, and compare with the intended message.

You — we invite you to test drive our new car (would you use sie or du?) if translating this expression in to German? Use back translation or parallel translation. For translations, try Systran: http://www.systransoft.com/.

 

Damm beer <http://www.bluegrass-catalunya.com/damm.htm> from Spain.

 

Nova – GM used this brand in Puerto Rico (no va – doesn’t go). A General Motors Chevrolet model of the mid 1960s and 1990s. (No longer produced – because of large hispanic market in US?)

 

Coca-Cola – goal was to have the brand spoken phonetically in Chinese (loosely translated – ‘bite the wax tadpole’)

 

Spoken language, including slang expressions and words for which there is no foreign counterpart. What are some American slang expressions?

 

(American) English Idioms

Piece of cake Now you’re talking
No-brainer Ace in the hole
Get the ball rolling Strike out
Buy into it Cut-and-dried
Blank check Out of this world
Put our heads together Put my cards on the table
Hammer it out Eye-opener
Make cuts across the board Bail out
Think outside the box Bottom line
Ahead of the game Up his sleeve
Carry out Hit the nail on the head
We have come a long way Highway robbery
On top of it Have a ball
Run into problems Get away with murder
Beat around the bush Burn the midnight oil
Throw a wrench into the works Zero in on the problem

This makes an excellent exercise – translate the expressions into a variety of languages: http://www.systransoft.com/

 

What are some others? Between a rock and a hard place; We’ve got our backs against the wall… (see, for example, http://home.t-online.de/home/toni.goeller/idiom_wm/ or http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Aegean/6720/ for more)

 

What is the origin of these expressions?

 

Language
Non-Verbal Communication

‘Silent Language’- components

  • speaking (and other) distance
  • facial expressions and movements (nodding head up and down, sticking out of tongue..)
  • hand gestures (‘Ok’ symbol’)
  • posture
  • eye contact
  • touching
  • silence

Consider the following examples:

When faculty walk among students and either walk close to, or approach a particular student. The tendency is for the student to get defensive or afraid – not like if the person approaching were a friend.

 

What is our ‘standard speaking distance? In the us it is approximately at arms length, in other countries it is much closer – face to face (to watch our pupils). Location of office, use of office space, how long we keep people waiting, etc. Are all non-verbal cues that we use to judge peoples’ relative importance. Depth of bow, how business cards are received and offered reflect relative importance in Japan.

 

Erving Goffman refers to Americans “civil inattention” which is the practice of looking directly at someone to acknowledge their existence, but then look away to indicate that the other person is not odd or a curiosity. We walk down a street and looking ahead see someone, look at their face for a moment or two, but as they get closer (assuming they are a stranger and not too attractive), we look away. This generally takes place at a distance of about eight feet.

 

Goffman, Erving. Behavior in public places; notes on the social organization of gatherings. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1963.

Education

Table 3-2: World Education

Source: World Bank, 2004 World Development Indicators

Income Group Primary School Teacher-Pupil Ratio a Secondary School Enrollment (%) b Adult Literacy Rate (%) c
 

 

 

Male Female
Low-Income 40 46 72 53
Lower-Middle Income 22 75 92 82
Upper-Middle Income 21 81 95 92
High Income 17 100 99 99
World 28 70 84 71

Table 3-2

 

Education – must consider human capital (shortcoming of many of the international trade theorists) when developing strategies for specific markets.

Issues include:

  • Unequal access to education for men and women
  • Introduction of new (inappropriate) technology (production techniques as well as products)
  • Study abroad opportunities, for example Socrates/Erasmus in EU (http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/programmes/socrates/erasmus/erasmus_en.html)
  • ‘Brain drain’ where gifted people study in a foreign country and decide to stay upon graduation, rather than return to their home country. Tendency has been to attract best and brightest to a well developed market, rather than where needed the most.

 

Notes:

a – 2001/02;

b – 2000/01 (gross enrollment, male and female combined);

c – 2002 (percent, over age 15).

Sources:
World Bank, 2004 World Development Indicators; Table 2.10 Education Inputs, pages 72-75; Table 2.1` Participation in Education, pages 76-79; Table 2.13 Education Outcomes, pages 84-87; UNESCO, Institute for Statistics, July 2004.

Education and International Business

Assuming that you, a general manager, are introducing a new product into a new national market.

How would you adjust your marketing strategy when facing the following situations?

  • When consumers are largely illiterate?
  • When women are largely excluded from formal education?
  • When conducting market research at where most consumers are illiterate?

Consider the following examples:

When faculty walk among students and either walk close to, or approach a particular student. The tendency is for the student to get defensive or afraid – not like if the person approaching were a friend.

 

What is our ‘standard speaking distance? In the us it is approximately at arms length, in other countries it is much closer – face to face (to watch our pupils). Location of office, use of office space, how long we keep people waiting, etc. Are all non-verbal cues that we use to judge peoples’ relative importance. Depth of bow, how business cards are received and offered reflect relative importance in Japan.

 

Erving Goffman refers to Americans “civil inattention” which is the practice of looking directly at someone to acknowledge their existence, but then look away to indicate that the other person is not odd or a curiosity. We walk down a street and looking ahead see someone, look at their face for a moment or two, but as they get closer (assuming they are a stranger and not too attractive), we look away. This generally takes place at a distance of about eight feet.

 

Goffman, Erving. Behavior in public places; notes on the social organization of gatherings. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1963.

Religion

  Islamic Element Marketing Implication
1. Daily prayers Work schedules; hours of peak/off-peak customer traffic; timing of sales calls.
2. Prohibition on usury, consumption of pork and alcohol Sales of certain products prohibited or difficult (insurance, banking and financial services); processes used in manufacturing of food and other products for human consumption or use; lay-away and other credit tools may not be appropriate.
3. Zakat (mandatory alms) Spending patterns; attitude towards charity; social consciousness; excessive profits used for charitable purposes.
4. Religious holidays (e.g., Ramadan) and other religious or sacred periods. Sales and special promotions; lavish gift periods; food distribution and restaurant hours. Moslem “weekend” is Thursday and Friday.
5. Public separation of sexes Access to female customers; direct-marketing to women; and mixed-gender focus groups.

Table 3-3

 

For example, Islamic belief of ‘Allah wills’ (god willing, the product will function as it was intended, if Allah doesn’t will, the product will fail. This requires more emphasis on product durability and less maintenance in product design and more emphasis on the need for proper product maintenance when selling the product to the consumer.) Certain middle eastern religions also require that participants pray five times a day. This can cause difficulties in scheduling production runs.

Businesses Attempt to Address Religious-Based Opportunities

  • US Post Office sells stamps for Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, and other holidays.
  • In Moscow – the religious theme park:
  • The visitors can dine on “Last Supper” meals.
  • In Florida – Christian Foundation theme park.
  • Coca-Cola and Pepsi held special promotions for Ramadan in Turkey.
  • McDonald’s agreed to pay $12 m to settle a class-action suit filed by Hindus for not disclosing that beef flavorings were used in the French fry recipe.

Consider the following examples:

When faculty walk among students and either walk close to, or approach a particular student. The tendency is for the student to get defensive or afraid – not like if the person approaching were a friend.

 

What is our ‘standard speaking distance? In the us it is approximately at arms length, in other countries it is much closer – face to face (to watch our pupils). Location of office, use of office space, how long we keep people waiting, etc. Are all non-verbal cues that we use to judge peoples’ relative importance. Depth of bow, how business cards are received and offered reflect relative importance in Japan.

 

Erving Goffman refers to Americans “civil inattention” which is the practice of looking directly at someone to acknowledge their existence, but then look away to indicate that the other person is not odd or a curiosity. We walk down a street and looking ahead see someone, look at their face for a moment or two, but as they get closer (assuming they are a stranger and not too attractive), we look away. This generally takes place at a distance of about eight feet.

 

Goffman, Erving. Behavior in public places; notes on the social organization of gatherings. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1963.

Social Institutions – ‘Family’

The size of households varies greatly around the world.

Average Number of Occupants per Household
Saudi Arabia 8.21 Nigeria 5.23 Czech Rep. 2.71
Gabon 6.87 Mexico 4.43 Japan 2.63
Pakistan 7.59 Turkey 3.97 United States 2.63
India 5.94 Ireland 3.12 Sweden 1.99

Table 3-4

 

Family is perhaps the most important of social institutions in most societies, but also consider political, economic, and legal institutions.

 

Source: International Marketing Data and Statistics, 2004, pages 449-453; European Marketing Data and Statistics, 2003, Euromonitor; Table 15.7, page 339.

Attitudes

    • Towards Achievement
    • Towards Material Wealth

 

    • Towards Change
    • Towards Risk

 

  • Towards Time

Towards achievement and work — Americans place importance on work as a satisfying experience in and of itself in the us, not necessarily what the money earned will buy (in relation to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization) in other countries work is viewed merely as a means to the end – what earnings will buy. This would effect the types of benefit packages a firm could offer. Achievement in the us is often viewed as an individual effort and reward. In Japan the group is much more important and therefore individual efforts and achievements are less likely to singled out as major contributions.

 

Towards change — Americans are very change oriented. We want the latest, the newest, etc. The Japanese are often even more interested in new offerings. (consider our reaction to new coke – the firm was forced into reintroducing ‘classic coke’.) Europeans are typically more tradition oriented, not so much ‘newest is best’ mentality. An example of this is the attempt to introduce convenience foods to Europe. Adoption of frozen foods and instant coffee have taken much longer in Europe than in the United States.

 

Towards risk – some people are risk averse and don’t like to take risks; others are risk seekers (gamblers, entrepreneurs, …) and almost welcome uncertainty.

 

Towards time — in the U.S. it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes early or late to an appointment (if the meeting is for 10:00 am, it’s o.k. to arrive at 9:55 or 10:10); in some middle eastern countries the time frame is more flexible (you may find yourself ‘cooling your heels’ in the outer office until 12:00); in Germany, if the appointment is set for 10:00 a.m. and you arrive at 10:01, you’re late.

 

Towards risk….and many other aspects of life.

Firms as Change Agents
(Business Shapes Culture)

  • Some societies (e.g., North Americans) accept change easily, some are more tradition-oriented.
  • When a company enters a foreign market, it brings change by introducing new ways of doing things and new products.
  • Two approaches when entering a new market:
  • Congruent – Relate the product to traditional values
  • Incongruent – Emphasizing what is new and different about a product

We often discuss international business from the perspective of how they must be adapted to fit the cultural environment. But, we forget that businesses have an impact on culture too.

 

Firms can purposefully set out to change behavior and are at the core of such campaigns such as anti-smoking, anti-drug, use of smoke alarms…

 

Sometimes, though, the change is unplanned. Post introduction of fast food in many markets has led to increased cholesterol levels.

 

When something is congruent, it ‘fits’ with what cam before. So switching to a liquid clothes detergent from a powder detergent is congruent in that it is purchased and used in a similar fashion from what the consumer had done in the past. Dropping off clothes at a service that washes and folds clothes is more incongruent.

 

Typically, adoption rates are quicker for products which are congruent with those it replaces. The less consumers have to adapt behavior, the more likely they are to purchase a product.

Self-Reference Criterion (SRC)

Self-reference criterion is the subconscious reference to one’s own culture to solve problems and for general activities.

When conducting international business, it can mean the difference between success and failure.

 

 

To reduce SRC:

  • Be observant – be sensitive
  • Be open-minded – not judgmental
  • Be adaptive – be willing to try new/different things
  • Don’t assume – consider your actions before proceeding

Not part of the discussion in the text, but depending on the audience, this may be added here.

Comparing Cultures

Consider using the following dimensions:

  • Orientation towards time
  • Relationships – within gender, across gender, within age group, across age groups
  • Gender – equality versus dominance
  • Social mobility – mobile versus caste-type
  • Individualism versus collectivism (or group)
  • Decision-making – democratic vs. authoritative

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Culture is Dynamic

Consumers’ preferences change over time:

  • People’s behavior changes in response to changes in the environment  the dynamic nature of culture.
  • Demand for kitchen appliances is changing in Europe  people want larger refrigerators.

– Europeans are working longer hours

– moving farther from cities, which requires a longer commute.

  • Manufacturers have to adapt their designs.

 

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Culture is Dynamic

People live longer nowadays:

  • People who retire at 60 or 65 can expect to live another 25 years or longer.
  • Americans over age 55:
  • own 75% of all financial assets,
  • control over 80% of money invested in savings and loan associations,
  • own 67% of all shares sold in the stock market.
  • Because older people are one of the largest, faster-growing populations that control a lot of wealth, firms are making more adaptations to products to cater to this group of rich consumers.

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Culture is Dynamic

New products for older people:

 

OXO Good Grips utensils

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Culture is Dynamic

NTT Raku Raku (“easy easy”) cell phone

 

– With large key pad

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Culture is Dynamic

Fiskars Soft Touch scissors

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Recommended Web Sites

 

 

  • Your Dictionary (http://www.yourdictionary.com/); Translate words and phrases, play games (crossword puzzles in English, French, German, and Spanish; write your name in Hieroglyphs); and learn about ‘dead’ and ‘dying’ languages.

 

    • World Religions: Adherents.com (http://www.adherents.com); Includes brief explanations of religions and statistics on adherents.

 

 

Chapter 3

Figure 3-1

Chapter 3

One source for a definition or description of culture is provided by Eric Miraglia, Deptartment of English, Washington Ste University (http://www.wsu.edu/).

Refer to his “What is Culture” web site: http://www.wsu.edu:8001/vcwsu/commons/topics/culture/culture-index.html.

Chapter 3

It is learned, not innate, or something ‘hardwired’ or due to heredity.

 

It is shared; there are no ‘cultures’ of one. There are subcultures, most certainly and each of us may act differently when among different sets of people – when we’re at work or in class versus when out in the evening with other people.

 

It is dynamic; it changes. Culture is not static and we can see this in the ways people dress, the music people prefer, the architecture, and other manifestations of culture.

 

It defines a group of people better than national since these are often prescribed by early colonialism. Culture transcends geographic boundaries, that’s why Americans are often adamant about hyphens – (continents) Asian-American, African-American… (or countries) German-American, Russian-American, Mexican-American. All may live within the confines of the United States of America, but also share beliefs, attitudes and behaviors with others from other lands.

Chapter 3

 

Chapter 3

Note that the word American is in quotation marks since there is a good deal of heterogeneity among the American (in this case, U.S. peoples).

 

These characteristics are taken in part from Hall, Edward T. and Mildred Reed Hall, Understanding cultural differences, Yarmouth, Me. : Intercultural Press, 1990.

 

Chapter 3

Aesthetics (sense of beauty and good taste);

  • please, thank-you, art, architecture, music, fashion – earrings, nose rings, neck rings,
  • voluptuous bodies versus muscular, tanned versus pale.

 

Attitudes and beliefs (towards time, change, money or material wealth, work, etc.)

  • change: traditional versus change oriented – convenience items such as frozen foods, instant coffee, etc.
  • time: punctual (German, Japanese) versus not punctual (Colombian, Nigerian) mañana.

 

Education (the importance of human capital, type: liberal arts versus technical, etc.)

    • Gerber baby food

 

Language (spoken and unspoken or silent);

  • spoken: Pschitt, Nova, Coca-Cola (‘bite the wax tadpole’, *black fungus and instructions, Esso, du/sie, etc.
  • we invite you to test drive our new car (sie or du?) [back translation or parallel translation]
  • unspoken: *gestures, facial expressions, body language, speaking distance, “head-nodding”/eye contact, hand-holding and fanny patting.

 

Religion

  • feng shui; ga-tex; Shinto opening ritual; Islam – prayer time

 

Social institutions (e.g., family).

  • nuclear family, nepotism

Chapter 3

Aesthetics – sense of beauty and good taste. Examples: belching after a meal, Eskimos; neck rings; etc.

 

As with other aspects of culture, aesthetics are dynamic. Look at various art forms. Art deco and ‘pop’ art no longer have the followings they once had.

 

Art, architecture, hair, makeup, fashion, jewelry, ‘to tan or not to tan’…. The materials we use and how we use them in our buildings, our clothing and in other things we create.

Chapter 3

Aesthetics (sense of beauty and good taste);

  • please, thank-you, art, architecture, music, fashion – earrings, nose rings, neck rings,
  • voluptuous bodies versus muscular, tanned versus pale.

 

Attitudes and beliefs (towards time, change, money or material wealth, work, etc.)

  • change: traditional versus change oriented – convenience items such as frozen foods, instant coffee, etc.
  • time: punctual (German, Japanese) versus not punctual (Colombian, Nigerian) mañana.

 

Education (the importance of human capital, type: liberal arts versus technical, etc.)

    • Gerber baby food

 

Language (spoken and unspoken or silent);

  • spoken: Pschitt, Nova, Coca-Cola (‘bite the wax tadpole’, *black fungus and instructions, Esso, du/sie, etc.
  • we invite you to test drive our new car (sie or du?) [back translation or parallel translation]
  • unspoken: *gestures, facial expressions, body language, speaking distance, “head-nodding”/eye contact, hand-holding and fanny patting.

 

Religion

  • feng shui; ga-tex; Shinto opening ritual; Islam – prayer time

 

Social institutions (e.g., family).

  • nuclear family, nepotism

Chapter 3

 

Chapter 3

Towards achievement and work — Americans place importance on work as a satisfying experience in and of itself in the us, not necessarily what the money earned will buy (in relation to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization) in other countries work is viewed merely as a means to the end – what earnings will buy. This would effect the types of benefit packages a firm could offer. Achievement in the us is often viewed as an individual effort and reward. In Japan the group is much more important and therefore individual efforts and achievements are less likely to singled out as major contributions.

 

Towards change — Americans are very change oriented. We want the latest, the newest, etc. The Japanese are often even more interested in new offerings. (consider our reaction to new coke – the firm was forced into reintroducing ‘classic coke’.) Europeans are typically more tradition oriented, not so much ‘newest is best’ mentality. An example of this is the attempt to introduce convenience foods to Europe. Adoption of frozen foods and instant coffee have taken much longer in Europe than in the United States.

 

Towards risk – some people are risk averse and don’t like to take risks; others are risk seekers (gamblers, entrepreneurs, …) and almost welcome uncertainty.

 

Towards time — in the U.S. it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes early or late to an appointment (if the meeting is for 10:00 am, it’s o.k. to arrive at 9:55 or 10:10); in some middle eastern countries the time frame is more flexible (you may find yourself ‘cooling your heels’ in the outer office until 12:00); in Germany, if the appointment is set for 10:00 a.m. and you arrive at 10:01, you’re late.

 

Towards risk….and many other aspects of life.

Chapter 3

Towards achievement and work — Americans place importance on work as a satisfying experience in and of itself in the us, not necessarily what the money earned will buy (in relation to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization) in other countries work is viewed merely as a means to the end – what earnings will buy. This would effect the types of benefit packages a firm could offer. Achievement in the us is often viewed as an individual effort and reward. In Japan the group is much more important and therefore individual efforts and achievements are less likely to singled out as major contributions.

 

Towards change — Americans are very change oriented. We want the latest, the newest, etc. The Japanese are often even more interested in new offerings. (consider our reaction to new coke – the firm was forced into reintroducing ‘classic coke’.) Europeans are typically more tradition oriented, not so much ‘newest is best’ mentality. An example of this is the attempt to introduce convenience foods to Europe. Adoption of frozen foods and instant coffee have taken much longer in Europe than in the United States.

 

Towards risk – some people are risk averse and don’t like to take risks; others are risk seekers (gamblers, entrepreneurs, …) and almost welcome uncertainty.

 

Towards time — in the U.S. it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes early or late to an appointment (if the meeting is for 10:00 am, it’s o.k. to arrive at 9:55 or 10:10); in some middle eastern countries the time frame is more flexible (you may find yourself ‘cooling your heels’ in the outer office until 12:00); in Germany, if the appointment is set for 10:00 a.m. and you arrive at 10:01, you’re late.

 

Towards risk….and many other aspects of life.

Chapter 3

Towards achievement and work — Americans place importance on work as a satisfying experience in and of itself in the us, not necessarily what the money earned will buy (in relation to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization) in other countries work is viewed merely as a means to the end – what earnings will buy. This would effect the types of benefit packages a firm could offer. Achievement in the us is often viewed as an individual effort and reward. In Japan the group is much more important and therefore individual efforts and achievements are less likely to singled out as major contributions.

 

Towards change — Americans are very change oriented. We want the latest, the newest, etc. The Japanese are often even more interested in new offerings. (consider our reaction to new coke – the firm was forced into reintroducing ‘classic coke’.) Europeans are typically more tradition oriented, not so much ‘newest is best’ mentality. An example of this is the attempt to introduce convenience foods to Europe. Adoption of frozen foods and instant coffee have taken much longer in Europe than in the United States.

 

Towards risk – some people are risk averse and don’t like to take risks; others are risk seekers (gamblers, entrepreneurs, …) and almost welcome uncertainty.

 

Towards time — in the U.S. it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes early or late to an appointment (if the meeting is for 10:00 am, it’s o.k. to arrive at 9:55 or 10:10); in some middle eastern countries the time frame is more flexible (you may find yourself ‘cooling your heels’ in the outer office until 12:00); in Germany, if the appointment is set for 10:00 a.m. and you arrive at 10:01, you’re late.

 

Towards risk….and many other aspects of life.

Chapter 3

Whether words or something we write – we wave, we touch, or ‘give someone the look’ … there are many ways to express feelings, desires, etc.

Chapter 3

You — we invite you to test drive our new car (would you use sie or du?) if translating this expression in to German? Use back translation or parallel translation. For translations, try Systran: http://www.systransoft.com/.

 

Damm beer <http://www.bluegrass-catalunya.com/damm.htm> from Spain.

 

Nova – GM used this brand in Puerto Rico (no va – doesn’t go). A General Motors Chevrolet model of the mid 1960s and 1990s. (No longer produced – because of large hispanic market in US?)

 

Coca-Cola – goal was to have the brand spoken phonetically in Chinese (loosely translated – ‘bite the wax tadpole’)

 

Spoken language, including slang expressions and words for which there is no foreign counterpart. What are some American slang expressions?

 

Chapter 3

You — we invite you to test drive our new car (would you use sie or du?) if translating this expression in to German? Use back translation or parallel translation. For translations, try Systran: http://www.systransoft.com/.

 

Damm beer <http://www.bluegrass-catalunya.com/damm.htm> from Spain.

 

Nova – GM used this brand in Puerto Rico (no va – doesn’t go). A General Motors Chevrolet model of the mid 1960s and 1990s. (No longer produced – because of large hispanic market in US?)

 

Coca-Cola – goal was to have the brand spoken phonetically in Chinese (loosely translated – ‘bite the wax tadpole’)

 

Spoken language, including slang expressions and words for which there is no foreign counterpart. What are some American slang expressions?

 

Chapter 3

You — we invite you to test drive our new car (would you use sie or du?) if translating this expression in to German? Use back translation or parallel translation. For translations, try Systran: http://www.systransoft.com/.

 

Damm beer <http://www.bluegrass-catalunya.com/damm.htm> from Spain.

 

Nova – GM used this brand in Puerto Rico (no va – doesn’t go). A General Motors Chevrolet model of the mid 1960s and 1990s. (No longer produced – because of large hispanic market in US?)

 

Coca-Cola – goal was to have the brand spoken phonetically in Chinese (loosely translated – ‘bite the wax tadpole’)

 

Spoken language, including slang expressions and words for which there is no foreign counterpart. What are some American slang expressions?

 

Chapter 3

You — we invite you to test drive our new car (would you use sie or du?) if translating this expression in to German? Use back translation or parallel translation. For translations, try Systran: http://www.systransoft.com/.

 

Damm beer <http://www.bluegrass-catalunya.com/damm.htm> from Spain.

 

Nova – GM used this brand in Puerto Rico (no va – doesn’t go). A General Motors Chevrolet model of the mid 1960s and 1990s. (No longer produced – because of large hispanic market in US?)

 

Coca-Cola – goal was to have the brand spoken phonetically in Chinese (loosely translated – ‘bite the wax tadpole’)

 

Spoken language, including slang expressions and words for which there is no foreign counterpart. What are some American slang expressions?

 

Chapter 3

This makes an excellent exercise – translate the expressions into a variety of languages: http://www.systransoft.com/

 

What are some others? Between a rock and a hard place; We’ve got our backs against the wall… (see, for example, http://home.t-online.de/home/toni.goeller/idiom_wm/ or http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Aegean/6720/ for more)

 

What is the origin of these expressions?

 

Chapter 3

Consider the following examples:

When faculty walk among students and either walk close to, or approach a particular student. The tendency is for the student to get defensive or afraid – not like if the person approaching were a friend.

 

What is our ‘standard speaking distance? In the us it is approximately at arms length, in other countries it is much closer – face to face (to watch our pupils). Location of office, use of office space, how long we keep people waiting, etc. Are all non-verbal cues that we use to judge peoples’ relative importance. Depth of bow, how business cards are received and offered reflect relative importance in Japan.

 

Erving Goffman refers to Americans “civil inattention” which is the practice of looking directly at someone to acknowledge their existence, but then look away to indicate that the other person is not odd or a curiosity. We walk down a street and looking ahead see someone, look at their face for a moment or two, but as they get closer (assuming they are a stranger and not too attractive), we look away. This generally takes place at a distance of about eight feet.

 

Goffman, Erving. Behavior in public places; notes on the social organization of gatherings. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1963.

Chapter 3

Table 3-2

 

Education – must consider human capital (shortcoming of many of the international trade theorists) when developing strategies for specific markets.

Issues include:

  • Unequal access to education for men and women
  • Introduction of new (inappropriate) technology (production techniques as well as products)
  • Study abroad opportunities, for example Socrates/Erasmus in EU (http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/programmes/socrates/erasmus/erasmus_en.html)
  • ‘Brain drain’ where gifted people study in a foreign country and decide to stay upon graduation, rather than return to their home country. Tendency has been to attract best and brightest to a well developed market, rather than where needed the most.

 

Notes:

a – 2001/02;

b – 2000/01 (gross enrollment, male and female combined);

c – 2002 (percent, over age 15).

Sources:
World Bank, 2004 World Development Indicators; Table 2.10 Education Inputs, pages 72-75; Table 2.1` Participation in Education, pages 76-79; Table 2.13 Education Outcomes, pages 84-87; UNESCO, Institute for Statistics, July 2004.

Chapter 3

Consider the following examples:

When faculty walk among students and either walk close to, or approach a particular student. The tendency is for the student to get defensive or afraid – not like if the person approaching were a friend.

 

What is our ‘standard speaking distance? In the us it is approximately at arms length, in other countries it is much closer – face to face (to watch our pupils). Location of office, use of office space, how long we keep people waiting, etc. Are all non-verbal cues that we use to judge peoples’ relative importance. Depth of bow, how business cards are received and offered reflect relative importance in Japan.

 

Erving Goffman refers to Americans “civil inattention” which is the practice of looking directly at someone to acknowledge their existence, but then look away to indicate that the other person is not odd or a curiosity. We walk down a street and looking ahead see someone, look at their face for a moment or two, but as they get closer (assuming they are a stranger and not too attractive), we look away. This generally takes place at a distance of about eight feet.

 

Goffman, Erving. Behavior in public places; notes on the social organization of gatherings. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1963.

Chapter 3

Table 3-3

 

For example, Islamic belief of ‘Allah wills’ (god willing, the product will function as it was intended, if Allah doesn’t will, the product will fail. This requires more emphasis on product durability and less maintenance in product design and more emphasis on the need for proper product maintenance when selling the product to the consumer.) Certain middle eastern religions also require that participants pray five times a day. This can cause difficulties in scheduling production runs.

Chapter 3

Consider the following examples:

When faculty walk among students and either walk close to, or approach a particular student. The tendency is for the student to get defensive or afraid – not like if the person approaching were a friend.

 

What is our ‘standard speaking distance? In the us it is approximately at arms length, in other countries it is much closer – face to face (to watch our pupils). Location of office, use of office space, how long we keep people waiting, etc. Are all non-verbal cues that we use to judge peoples’ relative importance. Depth of bow, how business cards are received and offered reflect relative importance in Japan.

 

Erving Goffman refers to Americans “civil inattention” which is the practice of looking directly at someone to acknowledge their existence, but then look away to indicate that the other person is not odd or a curiosity. We walk down a street and looking ahead see someone, look at their face for a moment or two, but as they get closer (assuming they are a stranger and not too attractive), we look away. This generally takes place at a distance of about eight feet.

 

Goffman, Erving. Behavior in public places; notes on the social organization of gatherings. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1963.

Chapter 3

Table 3-4

 

Family is perhaps the most important of social institutions in most societies, but also consider political, economic, and legal institutions.

 

Source: International Marketing Data and Statistics, 2004, pages 449-453; European Marketing Data and Statistics, 2003, Euromonitor; Table 15.7, page 339.

Chapter 3

Towards achievement and work — Americans place importance on work as a satisfying experience in and of itself in the us, not necessarily what the money earned will buy (in relation to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization) in other countries work is viewed merely as a means to the end – what earnings will buy. This would effect the types of benefit packages a firm could offer. Achievement in the us is often viewed as an individual effort and reward. In Japan the group is much more important and therefore individual efforts and achievements are less likely to singled out as major contributions.

 

Towards change — Americans are very change oriented. We want the latest, the newest, etc. The Japanese are often even more interested in new offerings. (consider our reaction to new coke – the firm was forced into reintroducing ‘classic coke’.) Europeans are typically more tradition oriented, not so much ‘newest is best’ mentality. An example of this is the attempt to introduce convenience foods to Europe. Adoption of frozen foods and instant coffee have taken much longer in Europe than in the United States.

 

Towards risk – some people are risk averse and don’t like to take risks; others are risk seekers (gamblers, entrepreneurs, …) and almost welcome uncertainty.

 

Towards time — in the U.S. it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes early or late to an appointment (if the meeting is for 10:00 am, it’s o.k. to arrive at 9:55 or 10:10); in some middle eastern countries the time frame is more flexible (you may find yourself ‘cooling your heels’ in the outer office until 12:00); in Germany, if the appointment is set for 10:00 a.m. and you arrive at 10:01, you’re late.

 

Towards risk….and many other aspects of life.

Chapter 3

We often discuss international business from the perspective of how they must be adapted to fit the cultural environment. But, we forget that businesses have an impact on culture too.

 

Firms can purposefully set out to change behavior and are at the core of such campaigns such as anti-smoking, anti-drug, use of smoke alarms…

 

Sometimes, though, the change is unplanned. Post introduction of fast food in many markets has led to increased cholesterol levels.

 

When something is congruent, it ‘fits’ with what cam before. So switching to a liquid clothes detergent from a powder detergent is congruent in that it is purchased and used in a similar fashion from what the consumer had done in the past. Dropping off clothes at a service that washes and folds clothes is more incongruent.

 

Typically, adoption rates are quicker for products which are congruent with those it replaces. The less consumers have to adapt behavior, the more likely they are to purchase a product.

Chapter 3

Not part of the discussion in the text, but depending on the audience, this may be added here.

Chapter 3

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Chapter 3

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Chapter 3

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Chapter 3

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Chapter 3

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Chapter 3

Sociologists have studied many dimensions, of which these are but a few.

 

See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn’s vast works:

Culture and behavior; collected essays. Edited by Richard Kluckhohn, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Mirror for man : the relation of anthropology to modern life, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1985.

 

Condon, John C. & Fathi S. Yousef, An introduction to intercultural communication, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

 

and of course, the studies conducted by Edward Twitchell Hall and colleagues, a few of which are:

The silent language, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The hidden dimension, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.

Understanding cultural differences, E. T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall, Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Chapter 3

Culture is that which you can sense (hear, see, smell, taste, and touch) as well as that which is

hidden (assumptions, attitudes, beliefs and values) —

 

What we can sense: (music, art, architecture, fashion, food, dance)

 

What is hidden: (feelings about work, wealth, religion, future, family, friends, time)

? ?

?

?

?

?

What we CAN see is a manifestation of what we CAN’T see. People’s reactions to the same

marketing campaign are likely to be different from culture-to-culture and firms must recognize

this if they are to develop effective strategies and accept that oftentimes, the movies, watches,

cars, insurance and other products must be adapted to accommodate the differences among

cultures.

 

Average Number o f Occupants per Househol d

Saudi Arabia 8.21 Nigeria 5.23 Czech Rep. 2.71

Gabon 6.87 Mexico 4.43 Japan 2.63

Pakistan 7.59 Turkey 3.97 United States 2.63

India 5.94 Ireland 3.12 Sweden 1.99

 

 

Islamic Element Marketing Implication

1. Daily prayers Work schedules; hours of peak/off -peak customer traffic; timing of sales calls.

2. Prohibition on usury,

consumption of pork

and alcohol

Sales of certain products prohibited or difficult (insurance, ban king and financial

services); processes used in manufacturing of food and other products for human

consumption or use; lay -away and other credit tools may not be appropriate.

3. Zakat (mandatory

alms)

Spending patterns; attitude towards charity; social co nsciousness; excessive

profits used for charitable purposes.

4. Religious holidays

(e.g., Ramadan) and

other religious or

sacred periods.

Sales and special promotions; lavish gift periods; food distribution and restaurant

hours. Moslem “weekend” is Thursd ay and Friday.

5. Public separation of

sexes

Access to female customers; direct -marketing to women; and mixed -gender focus

groups.

 

 

Adult Literacy

Rate (%)

c

 

Income Group

Primary School

Teacher-Pupil

Ratio

a

 

Secondary

School

Enrollment

(%)

b

 

Male Female

Low-Income 40 46 72 53

Lower-Middle Income 22 75 92 82

Upper-Middle Income 21 81 95 92

High Income 17 100 99 99

World 28 70 84 71

 

 

Piece of cake Now you’re talking

No-brainer Ace in the hole

Get the ball rolling Strike out

Buy into it Cut-and-dried

Blank check Out of this world

Put our heads together Put my cards on the table

Hammer it out Eye-opener

Make cuts across the board Bail out

Think outside the box Bottom line

Ahead of the game Up his sleeve

Carry out Hit the nail on the head

We have come a long way Highway robbery

On top of it Have a ball

Run into problems Get away with murder

Beat around the bush Burn the midn ight oil

Throw a wrench into the works Zero in on the problem