Thai Culture And Business Practices Essay

4689 words - 19 pages

Thai Culture and Business PracticesI. Executive SummaryThailand is situated in the Southeastern Asia and is well known as the land of smile. Thailand is perceived to be an interesting market for foreign investment due to its geographical location and its governmentally supported incentives that facilitate Thailand's economic development. Hence expanding business to Thailand will create many opportunities to the company. On the other hand, a major problem that the company should be considered is the cultural differences.Thai culture is quite complicated and different from the U.S culture. The aim of this memo is to give an insight on Thailand and to give advice for people intending to work there. This memo will address Thai culture, business practices, cultural pitfalls, and effective strategies for doing business in Thailand. This memo reflects information gathered through interviews with a Thai businessperson and other related sources on the Internet.Approximately, ninety-five percent of Thais are Buddhist. Therefore, the culture focuses on respect and politeness, avoiding offensive behaviors, being compassionate, and discouraging certain ambitions. Besides, Thailand is a hierarchical society, social relationships are defined as superiority over each other. This leads to the value of status and "face" in Thai culture. Thais family name, title, seniority (in rank or age), education, connections, clothes, etc. are far more vital to them than to many foreigners. As a result, Thai etiquette and business practices are based on the value of status and face, which involves the Buddhist religion. For example, showing anger, or raising your voice in public is not appropriate, Thais show respect and obedience to their superiors, therefore, questions or disagreements rarely are raised in meetings or presentations.Moreover, Thais will be appreciated if you show interest in getting to know and understand Thai culture and trying to learn and follow the 'rules' of proper behavior. The major cultural pitfalls that should be avoided are do not insult the king, their main religion, do not touch anyone on the head and not point your feet at anyone or anything, do not display sexual affection in public and do not touch Thai people.Finally, the recommendations in this memo will help you become more effective when interacting with Thais. For example, using a Wai (Thai traditional greeting) to show respect, never criticizing Thais in public, using first name rather than surname, also "Khun" is used in front of the person's first name. When working with Thais, give clear and explicit directions to them, show respect and deference to those higher up the ladder and most importantly be patient with the language barrier.The major advantages of working with Thais are their hospitality, politeness and willingness to compromise. Nevertheless, at first you may feel frustrated by the difference in culture and business practices but be patient, learn and appreciate Thai culture....

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