International Conduct And Behaviour Essay

1118 words - 4 pages

As Americans, we usually conduct our everyday business with an unwritten set of rules or guidelines. Most of us are very aware of what is and what is not acceptable at the workplace, in the classroom and in our community. So much is made of accepting others and being mindful as to not offend our colleagues, classmates and neighbors. When we enter into the international business scene, we are certainly operating under a different set of "rules." While reading the article for this assignment, so many cultural differences were brought to my attention that I haven't ever thought about. Today, every large corporation has some type of international impact and or business dealings. My "company", the United States Air Force is no different and we are certainly international, due to the necessity of our global reach capabilities. Many times in America, we have the attitude that "our way is the only way and the best way." While that may be true in some instances, it's important to remember that sometimes our way is just different from that of other countries. For international businesses to be successful we must identify our differences and respect each other's cultures, while understanding how our behavior may affect another culture and the way international business is conducted.As with so many difficult problems in our lives, we must recognize and identify that a problem exists. Corporations are in business to succeed and so much relies on the international market, especially today. The proper preparation and research is very important when dealing with cross-cultural business practices. Seven years ago, I was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. After the "fall" of communism and the Soviet Union, the Americans began a campaign heralded as Operation "Friendly Skies." This was a program in which Russian and American fighter pilots would visit each other's home base and fly in the same jet as their former enemy. We received a detailed, thorough pre-briefing of what was the culturally accepted do's and don'ts of the Russian culture. I remember specifically, one of them was the Russians were known to often carry their own Vodka with them. In their culture, it was considered rude to not drink the entire bottle once you opened it. Having just one drink was not acceptable. My outlook on that was, "well, they're in America now and they should do as we do." The visit was a success and the following year our pilots reciprocated and visited Russia. There were many cultural differences that could have come between us if we didn't identify the problem and learn some of the cultural differences prior to the Russian's arrival.While I certainly don't believe me must agree with other cultures rituals, business practices and religions, I know we must respect them from a human viewpoint. Additionally, we need this basic human respect to be successful in cross-cultural businesses. Most of us are probably aware of the type of greetings many Europeans...

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