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Culture And Cultural Mistakes In The Foreign Market

1036 words - 4 pages

How should a company approach their foreign market in regards to culture and the cultural mistakes and still be successful? Many companies depend so heavily on their foreign market for fiscal security that it is paramount for these companies to develop strategies that incorporate foreign culture and make every attempt to avoid cultural mistakes that can topple a company. It is imperative for them to have management teams that can recognize impending cultural differences and be able to effectively minimize the potential damage that can be done.One of the reasons you may not hear about a lot of cultural mistakes, is that sometimes they have to be very colossal in nature to capture the attention of the government that may prompt an investigation. Most companies do not put together blue-ribbon investigative committees to find causes of failures and recommend improvements. In business, we see all kinds of failures that are not investigated in any serious depth unless laws were violated or people were physically injured, an investigation is not really started. Physical disasters, things like plants blowing up, are usually investigated in depth because companies have visible and usually costly incentives to understand them. Physical events that make the news, can affect public safety, insurance costs, and liabilities related to injury or death. However, management mistakes that do not "hurt anyone" except perhaps shareholders, employees, and communities are rarely investigated with the same fervor as physical disasters. While not as visible, I would argue that strategic and management blunders are likely to be more costly to a corporation and its stakeholders than almost any physical disaster. They deserve the same level of inquiry, learning, and improvement to avoid repetition and future damage. It has also been observed that many physical disasters have root causes that are similar to management blunders. The specifics are different, but the human behaviors, biases, and blind spots are similar. Mistakes are made in not thinking through situations ahead of time, in not anticipating the possible range of consequences, or through incorrect remedial actions. Regardless of what we call such an occurrence, the idea is to focus on the occurrence and what we can learn from the pattern of mistakes that led to it and the resulting damage to prevent similar situations or to minimize damage in the future.Damage does not occur overnight; it occurs slowly and consistently until someone or something breaks the chain and fixes the problem. Breaking the chain for these types of mistakes is difficult because the decision criteria and mindset are hard-wired into the brains of company managers and executives as a result of past successes. The U.S. auto industry has been guilty of many of these mistakes and is trying to change, but serious remedial action was delayed for years until their market share and profitability was decimated by competition from Japan and Germany....

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