Differences Among Nations: Compared And Contrasted

2577 words - 10 pages

There are many aspects that affect the way international business is conducted. Differences in social, culture, economic, legal and political conditions can greatly affect the way globalized businesses are managed. Doing business abroad presents enormous challenges simply because countries and societies are so incredibly different. There is a need to appreciate not only that these differences exist, but also to appreciate how these differences impact doing business abroad. Doing business abroad requires flexibility to conform to the value systems and norms of that country. Adaptation can embrace all aspects of an international business's operations in a foreign country, from the way deals are negotiated, to the appropriate incentive pay systems, to the organization structure, product names, and relations between management and labor. What works in one country most likely will not work in another.Social differences play a key part in the way business is conducted abroad. Most clearly we must take into consideration the language barrier between countries. The U.S. obviously conducts its business in English. When conducting business in The Netherlands, English can be used in commercial correspondence; however, not all Dutch understand English, and for retail products it is essential to provide advertising, labeling, and user instructions in Dutch. While language barriers pose no major problems, some expressions and terms may have different meanings from those in the U.S. To assure better understanding and quality control it is best to define unfamiliar terms in commercial activities. Both parties will be using the established international set of commercial terms which helps reduce possible misunderstandings and promotes fair dealings.(U.S. Commercial Service, 2002). If we are to compare language barriers between Mexico and The Netherlands, we have an entirely new set of communication. Where possible it is necessary to provide written materials and/or copies of presentations. During a verbal presentation, it may be advisable to repeat key points for emphasis, and in almost all cases to have a professional interpreter. Another major difference in the social etiquette pertaining to business between The Netherlands and Mexico is the way business appointments and meetings are handled. Business appointments are required and visitors are expected to be punctual, it is considered rude and frowned upon heavily to do so otherwise in The Netherlands. In Mexico, however, be prepared to wait for your appointment beyond the scheduled time. Mexicans often schedule business appointments during siesta time (between 2 and 5 pm), when they will be at lunch or off-duty. They may also schedule several appointments at the same time, knowing that many people will not show up. (Gottlieb, 2003). These differences can cause major communication problems while trying to conduct business. These are just a couple, among countless other reasons why it is so important to be aware...

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