Contemporary business culture
MINISTRY OF ADUCATION AND SCIENCE,AND SPORTS OF UKRAINEUNIVERSITY
ODESA ACADEMY OF LAW
CONTEMPORARY BUSINESS CULTUREMANUALthe course of lectures in EnglishLaw Students and Post-GraduatesNational University "Odesa Academy of Law"
today's businesses are entering a globalized world, the interaction between different cultures is bound to happen. Merely learning different languages, won't be enough to reach success as there are many things like culture, economy, politics, etc. that impact the working of international businesses in the modern world. It is necessary to understand the social conditions of different countries to interact successfully on the international arena. Being sensitive to the values and beliefs of different cultures of the world is becoming one of key benefits for intercultural business communication because when different cultures converge at a common point at business platform, the clashes are likely to take place. It is obvious that tomorrow's world will rely more on a symbiotic relationship between international businesses and cultures as a whole.international business culture, as a whole, is a congregation of various cultural norms, peculiarities of the thought processes, business practices, protocol and etiquette rules around areas such as personal space, communication, gift giving, business meetings etc. followed in different nations. Consequently the way or view to see a problem might change from country to country, across the globe.businesses rely on legal advice, documentation and advocacy throughout the lifecycle of a business undertaking, lawyers are increasingly being asked to provide consulting relating to transnational business transactions and disputes.be effective in international environment, legal counsel must be aware of intercultural issues concerning business culture of different countries and to develop professional support for international negotiations and transactions that is accepted by the counterparty and enforceable in the relevant localities. Otherwise, cultural miscomprehension can result in significant costs and, sometimes, more lasting damage to future prospects.- is in the wide awareness of the need to include cultural dimensions in the training of skilled professionals prepared for intercultural business communication created by today's rapid development of international business relationships.- the international business culture, as a congregation of various business practices, etiquette rules, cultural orientation, that is, negotiating strategies, value system, locus of decision-making etc,- to teach students to understand the differences and similarities of world cultures and their impact on international relationships development; to use acquired information about foreign business practices to avoid negative cultural clashes within international business communication.- to provide the students with the knowledge of foreign countries background, that is, history, type of government, language; national characteristics of different peoples; business communication peculiarities, that is, negotiating strategies, value system, locus of decision-making, business practices, business entertaining, protocol, that is, greetings, forms of address, gestures, gifts, dress code.- to make students able to communicate effectively in the international environment, to be competent in dealing with business colleagues from different cultural backgrounds, to prevent social insults caused by ignorance of rules of etiquette and business practices.
PLAN OF SUBJECT
№TopicLectures (hrs)Seminars (hrs)Tuition (hrs)1.Introduction to contemporary culture. Cultural traditions and business communication style of the USA.2622.Introduction to contemporary culture. Cultural traditions and business communication style of the UK.263.Introduction to contemporary culture. Cultural traditions and business communication style of France.2624.Introduction to contemporary culture. Cultural traditions and business communication style of Germany.265.Introduction to contemporary culture. Cultural traditions and business communication style of China.266.Introduction to contemporary culture. Cultural traditions and business communication style of Japan.227.Credit6Total54
LECTURE 1. INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY BUSINESS CULTURE. CULTURAL TRADITIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION STYLE OF THE USA
. INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY BUSINESS CULTURE
American statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin wrote that the time is money. Globe-trotting businesspeople would add that being aware of culture differences and sensitivities is money too.
Todays globalization requires professionals to deal with their counter-parts in countries with different economic, cultural, legal, and political environments. When negotiators are from diverse cultures, they often rely on quite different assumptions about social interactions, economic interests, and political realities. Consequently, ability to communicate successfully with colleagues from other cultures is necessary for those who negotiate globally: managers, lawyers, government officials, and diplomats.
Since businesses rely on legal advice, documentation and advocacy throughout the lifecycle of a business undertaking, lawyers are increasingly being asked to provide counsel relating to international business transactions and disputes.
To be effective, legal counsel must be able to develop legal support for international negotiations. The absence of such capabilities in counsel can be disastrous. Cultural miscomprehension can result in significant costs and, sometimes, more lasting damage to future prospects. Differences in business culture may represent a greater obstacle to successful outcomes than even language differences.failure of business people to comprehend fully these disparities has led to most international business blunders. For example: - An American business person refused an offer of a cup of coffee from a Saudi businessman. Such a rejection is considered very rude and the business negotiations became stalled.in business culture may represent a greater obstacle to successful outcomes than even language differences. For example: General Motors has stated in court briefs that cross-cultural competence is the most important new attribute for future effective performance in a global marketplace. Microsoft has acknowledged past losses resulting from an inability to identify and bridge international cultural divides. Microsofts response, in common with large sections of the business community, has been to invest heavily to establish and broaden cross-cultural skills. The amount of attention devoted by the business media to cross-cultural management tools and techniques reflects the international business communitys recognition that developing cross-cultural competence internally is essential to international business success.
Culture, itself, is a set of learned core values, beliefs, standards, knowledge, morals, laws and behaviors shared by individuals and societies that determines how an individual acts, feels, and views oneself and others. These qualities shape the way you act, feel and view people - including the way you behave in business relationships. The key cultural components include language, religion, attitudes, manners, customs, the arts, education, social organization and humor. While some of these qualities may be expressed openly, such as spoken language, others are not. For instance, non-verbal communication is expressed through gestures, body language and facial expressions.
For instance, Americans think that looking someone in the eye during negotiations shows honesty and sincerity, whereas the British think a direct look is a sign of rudeness, unless you have a close personal relationship. The Japanese use less eye contact to show a higher level of respect.
Business culture, as a whole, is a congregation of various cultural norms, peculiarities of the thought processes, business practices, conducting meetings and negotiations, protocol and etiquette rules around areas such as personal space, communication, gift giving, business entertaining etc. followed in different nations. Every person is acculturated into a particular culture, learning the right way of doing things. Problems may arise when a person acculturated in one culture has to adjust to another one. The process of acculturation-adjusting and adapting to a specific culture other than ones own-is one of the keys to success in international cooperation.way to organize our experience and guide our behavior toward ethnic and national groups is to use stereotyping. Stereotypes never describe individual behavior; rather, they describe the behavioral norm for members of a particular group. Effective stereotyping allows people to understand and act appropriately in new situations. A stereotype can be helpful when it is
consciously held. The person should be aware that he or she is describing a group norm rather than the characteristics of a specific individual.
descriptive rather than evaluative. The stereotype should describe what people from this group will probably be like and not evaluate those people as good or bad.
accurate. The stereotype should accurately describe the norm for the group to which the person belongs.
modified, based on further observation and experience with the actual people and situations.conclusion, some people stereotype effectively and others do not. Stereotypes become counterproductive when we place people in the wrong groups, when we incorrectly describe the group norm, when we inappropriately evaluate the group or category, when we confuse the stereotype with the description of a particular individual, and when we fail to modify the stereotype based on our actual observations and experience.
A number of most valuable studies, which explain the effects of culture on business has been made by Edward T. Hall and Geert Hofstede. In this course of lectures well use some dimensions, developed by these researchers, which are the basis for distinctions between world business cultures. The distinctions between cultures are arranged according to the following dimensions.
. Individualism versus collectivism - societies that value individualism, such as the U.S., encourage independent thinking and personal success, while collectivist cultures, such as Japan and various Arabic societies, encourage group success and conformity.
. Power - distance - this dimension relates to how individuals view power and perceive their role in decision-making. In a low power-distance culture, like the U.S., individual employees will feel more empowered, accept more responsibility and want a role in decision-making, whereas in a high power-distance culture, like Russia, Japan employees look up to an authoritarian boss, seek direction and discipline, and accept the bosss decisions.
. Uncertainty-avoidance - this dimension relates to the ability to take chances versus the quest for certainty. For example, the Swiss, Germans and Japanese are high-uncertainty-avoidance cultures and prefer security and structure. On the other hand, those in the U.S., in low-uncertainty-avoidance culture, are much more open to taking risks and living with uncertainty. This even affects meetings, because the Japanese will carefully prepare and even rehearse meetings, while U.S. managers are more responsive to questions and changes in the agenda.
. Masculinity versus femininity - the distinction here is between societies that value masculine traits, such as aggressiveness, assertiveness and material acquisition, versus those that have more feminine traits, such as a concern with personal relationships. For instance, U.S. culture is high in masculine traits but French and Chinese cultures are higher in feminine traits.cultural distinctions include how individuals relate to time, context, tasks, relationships and the future. One distinction is between high- and low-context cultures.high-context cultures, such as Japan and Saudi Arabia, context is at least as important as what is actually said. The speaker and the listener rely on a common understanding of the context and what is not being said can carry more meaning than what is said.low-context cultures most of the information is contained explicitly in the words. North American cultures engage in low-context communications. Unless one is aware of this basic difference, messages and intentions can easily be misunderstood.are also task-driven cultures which focus on making the sale or deal quickly, whereas in relationship-driven cultures, you need to develop the relationship first. And, some places have a more present-oriented, short-term view, as in the U.S., but others, like Japan, have long-term view with much longer time horizon. Some cultures are monochronic, others are polychronic.
Now we are going to talk about some notions essential for understanding of the influence of intercultural awareness on international relations and business.cultural competence refers to the knowledge, skills that enable individuals to adapt effectively in cross-cultural environments. Hence, cross-cultural competence is becoming an essential part of qualifications for legal professionals able to operate in international environment. The following components are important for cross-cultural competence of international lawyers: 1. countrys basic information awareness and understanding of non-native culture (foreign countries background, that is, history, legal system, religion, national characteristics, etc.); 2. awareness of communication issues (language, nonverbals of particular culture: body language, gestures, etc.); 3. acknowledging and understanding of cultural differences concerning business relationships (meetings, negotiating, business etiquette and protocols, etc.)
Cultural risk - the risk of business blunders, poor customer relations, and wasted negotiations that results when firms fail to understand and adapt to the differences between their own and host countries cultures. Cultural risk is just as real as commercial or political risk in the international business arena.cultural communication occurs when a person from one culture sends a message to a person from another culture. Cross-cultural miscommunication occurs when the person from the second culture does not receive the sender's intended message. The greater the differences between the sender's and the receiver's cultures, the greater the chance for cross-cultural miscommunication.example: A Japanese businessman wants to tell his Norwegian client that he is uninterested in a particular sale. To be polite, the Japanese says, "That will be very difficult." The Norwegian interprets the statement to mean that there are still unresolved problems, not that the deal is off. He responds by asking how his company can help solve the problems. The Japanese, believing he has sent the message that there will be no sale, is mystified by the response. The reason for misunderstanding in this case is the lack of knowledge about Japanese style of communication as high-context culture.
There is one more example. A British boss asked a new, young American employee if he would like to have an early lunch at 11 A.M. each day. The employee answered, "Yeah, that would be great!" The boss, hearing the word yeah instead of the word yes, assumed that the employee was rude, ill-mannered, and disrespectful. The boss responded with a curt, "With that kind of attitude, you may as well forget about lunch!" The employee was bewildered. What had gone wrong? In the process of encoding agreement (the meaning) into yeah (a word symbol) and decoding the yeah spoken by a new employee to the boss (a word, behavior, and context symbol), the boss received an entirely different message than the employee had meant to send. Unfortunately, as is the case in most miscommunication, neither the sender nor the receiver was fully aware of what had gone wrong and why.
The ability to appreciate cultural differences is essential to successful international commerce, and to the provision of legal services that support it. For example, in the United States, profit is seen as a main goal. For the Japanese, the focus may not be on the profit alone, but on human efficiency; the group is superior to the individual. In France, there may be more of an emphasis on moderating ones own freedom of action in order to avoid harming the interests of others. This is not to say that a French or Japanese person does not seek to make profit. It simply means that they may not necessarily see true return on investment as measurable solely by bottom-line financial gain, but rather as a combination of profit, long-term market position, and the welfare of all stakeholders in the venture, including the workforce, and even the local community.commerce is shaped by culture, so is law. Legal systems that have developed organically over time fundamentally reflect the belief system that spawned and upholds them. Indeed, the rule of law is the very bedrock of our civilization. It is not surprising, therefore, that cultural diversity is, more pronounced in law than in commerce.example: the Anglo-American lawyer tends to evaluate the importance of code provisions, of decisions of higher courts and underestimate treatises or commentaries. The continental lawyer in contrast will usually find himself at a loss among the innumerable precedents which are binding and will vaguely look for precise concepts among the legal synonyms, loosely phrased decisions and unsystematic text books., the conceptual divide between established European civil and common law systems is far narrower than that between the traditional systems of many major trading nations. Both legal paradigms are primarily the product of Christian Western European peoples. For all the differences between them they have far more in common than regulatory mechanisms developed in other parts of the world. Other distinct legal traditions include Sharia law, Hindu law and various forms of cultural law, such as the guanxi system of relationships in China, or in Japan.of the most frequently used laws within international transactions and resolving of disputes is Contract Law. Where there is trade, some mechanism will have developed to ensure certainty in transactions and disputes resolution. However, this may not be legalistic. Cultural rules may be unwritten or may operate by changing the meanings of written law in ways that reflect the traditional values of the culture. Sometimes, the mechanism operates in the absence of enforced law, or outside of its structures. Dispute resolution may be based on the application of moral codes or interpretations of religious teachings. In such circumstances, transactional undertakings or litigation conducted on the basis of written law alone are unlikely to produce the desired outcome.profound impact of such cultural differences is illustrated by considering the differences in the concept of operation of contract between the closely-related Western European civil and common law traditions. Under common law, a contract is not binding unless consideration of at least nominal value is exchanged. Consideration is an inducement given to enter into a contract that is sufficient to render the promise enforceable in the courts. In civil law, the critical element is cause, which does not necessarily require any flow of consideration. Thus, gratuitous promises may form the basis of a binding arrangement, and, as a result, contracts in favor of a third party can be recognized and enforced despite no consideration having been tendered for the benefit. Differing attitudes toward contracts can cause even more confusion in other legal systems. For instance, the custom of naniwabushi allows the Japanese to request a change in a contract if the terms become onerous or unfair, which is not acceptable in Western cultures.should be wary of their own - and their colleagues culturally conditioned conceptions and the behavior that springs from these.
Language has been described as the mirror of culture. Language itself is multidimensional by nature. Language capability serves three distinct roles in international business.
. Language aids in information gathering and evaluation. Rather than rely completely on the opinions of others, the visiting person is able to see and hear personally what is going on.
. Language provides access to local society. Although English may be widely spoken and may even be the official business language, speaking the local language may make a dramatic advantage.
. Language provides more than the ability to communicate. It extends beyond mechanics to the interpretation of contexts that may influence business operations., for example, how dramatically different English terms can be when used in the United Kingdom or the United States. In negotiations, for U.S. delegates, tabling a proposal means that they want to delay a decision, while their British counterparts understand the expression to mean that immediate action is to be taken. If the British promise something by the end of the day, this does not mean within 24 hours, but rather when they have completed the job. Additionally, they may say that negotiations bombed, meaning that they were a success, which to an American could have exactly the opposite message.languages are not immune to this phenomenon either. An advertising campaign presented by Electrolux highlights the difficulties in transferring advertising campaigns between markets. Electroluxs theme in marketing its vacuum cleaners, Nothing Sucks Like an Electrolux, is interpreted literally in the United Kingdom, but in the United States, the slang implications (to be repellent or disgusting) would interfere with the intended message.
. THE USA. COUNTRY BACKGROUND
. Virtually all the land that is now the United States was previously occupied for thousands of years by Native Americans (or Indians). The first permanent European settlement (by Spaniards) was in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565.
The United States was formed following its Declaration of Independence from England in 1776. The constitution dates to 1787. The country has been a representative democracy since its founding. General George Washington was elected the first president. Slavery was abolished in 1865, after a horrific civil war resulted in the defeat of the Southern Confederacy.U.S. became involved in the First World War during 1917 and the Second World War in 1941. The 1960s was a period of social unrest. The United States became involved in the war in Vietnam, which would eventually cost the lives of untold Vietnamese and nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers. The subsequent presidents were Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, Barakh Abama.attacks of September 11, 2001, by terrorists violated the self-confidence and sense of security in the United States. Over 3,000 people were killed.of Government. The government is a federal republic system. Individual states have sovereignty over their own territory. The president is both chief of state and head of the government and is elected for a term of four years. An electoral college of delegates from each state elects the president - an unwieldy system that gives disproportionate power to the most populous states. The legislative branch is elected by universal direct suffrage. It is made up of a bicameral Congress, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. For current government data, check with #"justify">re sure of usages within the group youre working with.
. VALUES AND ATTITUDES CHARACTERISTIC OF THE AMERICANS
characteristics. The national character of America is defined as impudent and materialistic. It is a cowboy culture where individuals are obsessed with time and deadlines. A society plagued by crimes and violence. American culture is task-driven, and place great value on individual achievement and thinking. It is monochronic with a very low risk-avoidance, which allows Americans to speak without thinking - and often act without thinking, sometimes in violent manner. Its very masculine culture, which means that society appreciates assertiveness while respecting the goal of material acquisition. Americans tend to be independently-minded people, ever protective of their civil rights and freedoms. The American character is based on freedom. Americans can be competitive in both work and leisure. Americans can appear too self-confident to many Europeans. They tend to speak louder than Europeans - very much louder, in some cases - use exaggerated body language, and manage to sound almost jarringly optimistic. They also talk in idiomatic phrases that create mini-pictures: Hes right behind the eight ball (hes on top of his job or project), or Im not going down that route (Im not going to talk about that, or pursue that course of action). Innovation usually takes precedence over tradition.orientation. The United States is generally ethnocentric and closed to most outside information. However, when a deficiency is recognized, outside information and techniques are eagerly accepted-such as Japanese just-in-time techniques. U.S. citizens are very analytical, and concepts are abstracted quickly. Universal rules are preferred, and company policy is normally followed regardless of who is doing the negotiating. There is minimal long-term orientation.of decision-making. Although the United States is the most individualistic of all cultures (followed by Australia and the United Kingdom), people are considered replaceable in their organizations. There is a high self-orientation emphasizing individual initiative and achievement. The individual has a life of his or her own that is generally private and normally not discussed in business negotiations. Friendships are few and specific to needs, but each person generally has loose ties with multitudes of acquaintances. In general, people from the United States do not find it difficult to say "no".of anxiety reduction. There is low anxiety about life, as external structures, religion, and science provide answers to important questions. Anxiety is developed over deadlines and results because recognition of one's work is a great reward. The work ethic is very strong, so that it appears that one lives to work. There are established rules for everything, and experts are relied upon at all levels. U.S. citizens are generally comfortable with risk.of equality/inequality. There is structured inequality in the roles people take, but personal equality is guaranteed by law. There is considerable ethnic and social bias against some minorities. Material progress is more important than humanistic progress. The society is still male dominated, but traditional sex roles are changing rapidly. Women have become more assertive and fight for equality in pay and power. There are many women executives, especially in fashion, cosmetics, arts and the media.
. BUSINESS PRACTICE IN THE USA
, to do business with Americans its a case of: chest out, shoulders back, head up and stand tall. That means: be proud of who you are and what you do; think positive and optimistically; say what you mean plainly and clearly.underestimate the speed at which business can be done in the United States. Purchasing decisions are often accomplished in one visit. Be aware that because the United States is the most litigious society on earth, corporations are extremely familiar with employment, health and safety, copyright, and every other type of law. There are lawyers who specialize in every industry and segment of society, from corporate tax attorneys to "ambulance chasers" (personal injury lawyers).the United States, differences in social and economic classes exist, but are not emphasized. Because equality is highly valued in the United States, formal situations that emphasize class differences are avoided. Social events are usually informal and relaxed. The Boss has authority but should not abuse it. As much as possible, the Boss should just be one of the workers. For this reason American executives are usually casual and informal with their employees. Because it is believed that good social relationships build a good work environment, bosses often throw parties to build a sense of unity among the employees and to strengthen employee identity with company.is important to remember that people in the United States write the month first, then the day, then the year; e.g., December 3, 2010, is written 12/3/10. This is very different from many Europeans and South Americans, who write the day first, then the month, then the year (e.g., December 3, 2010, is written 3.12.10 or 3/12/10).standard vacation policy is two weeks per year, in addition to some official holidays. The designated National Holiday is July 4. Punctuality is regarded as crucial in the USA, because time is equal to money. Start and complete tasks quickly and respond to emails and voicemail messages promptly - certainly within 24 hours. Office hours in the USA are from around 8am-5pm, although this varies according to the industry youre dealing with. Eating lunch at the desk is a common practice.. Meetings in America are for making decisions, rather than for gathering views or simply sounding out people. The pace is brisk - Time is money - and you should be open about your aims from the start. People are not always well prepared for meetings, and papers are not always read beforehand, but this wont stop them from commenting on your proposals. The seating is usually informal, and the discussion will follow the agenda.the Americans tend to speak rather loudly a visiting person should project his or her voice confidently, address all the people in a meeting or group instead of mumbling to the chairperson, and sound positive about what he or she is proposing. There should always the focus on the bottom line - American business is very much systems-oriented, and always wants to see how much money can be made, and when. You will often hear the phrase, Are you hitting your numbers? - that means are you achieving budget? The numbers are sacred in the USA, and those who dont hit them might experience a rapid farewell - still with that confident eye contact and the use of your first name as you are given that final handshake. Allow for a moderate attention span of 30-45 minutes in a presentation, and build in plenty of time for debate. Americans appreciate an informal style and humour. Relevance is very important - use simple, direct expressions, conveyed quickly with short pauses. If your pitch is going down well, expect categorical responses: Absolutely! Definitely!, Fantastic!, all of which reflect their can-do, achievement-focused attitude. Although Americans can often seem very direct, to the point of appearing rude, remember that their use of language is just different to that of British English. When an American says, Pass that file! its just the way of saying, Could I trouble you to just pass me that file, please? Theyre not being discourteous. In the United States people are rarely silent in conversation. Silence is considered to be a negative response to an offer.. In negotiations, points are made by the accumulation of objective facts. These are sometimes biased by faith in the ideologies of democracy, capitalism, and consumerism, but seldom by the subjective feelings of the participants.negotiation process can be divided into four phases: 1) building a good relationship; 2) talking about the business deal; 3) persuasion, bargaining, and making concessions; and 4) making a final agreement. In the United States, the first two phases are not emphasized, because personal relationships do not play a large role in business life and because making a quick deal is important. The negotiation process soon moves to the last two phases as bargaining and making a final agreement are the focus of negotiations. Concessions are made during most of the negotiation process. At the beginning, while the two parties are talking about the proposed deal, small concessions are given to show cooperation. As the two parties continue to talk about each issue of business, they bargain and make concessions. The bargaining continues issue by issue until the final agreement is signed. Each concession is met with a concession from the other party. In this way, the two parties treat each other as equals and demonstrate a cooperative attitude and a commitment to the negotiations. In the United States, sending a person with great technical competence and knowledge to negotiate is most important. It shows seriousness about negotiations because an employee who is ready to answer any product questions is being sent. Power and authority are important but are more the result of your talent and work record than of your age or seniority in the company. The sex of the negotiator is not important since many women occupy professional and managerial positions. North Americans are accustomed to sending only one person. Sometimes this is called John Wayne approach. This means that the individual thinks he or she can handle the negotiation on his or her own; it reflects the strong individualism found among North Americans.and debate are considered constructive and are highly valued. A tough negotiating style is often used, which can appear rude to non-Americans. Americans are willing to express disagreement frankly - You must be kidding! - but its part of what can be a rough atmosphere. Show humour, say what you think (even in front of seniors), and be ready to forget everything and start again if you lose the debate. Try not to appear old-fashioned or slow, or get into too much detail. Concessions may be agreed when time is running out, whereas in other cultures there would be a break for reflection and a subsequent meeting to try and reach a conclusion. Equally, decisions may initially be made on principles, with everyone happy to settle the details later.should keep up to date with new electronic gadgets and means of communications in the United States. The use of cell phones, and associated devices are common in business meetings. Taking calls while others are in the room can be highly irritating to international visitors-but be aware that it is common practice.Americans pride themselves with being consistent, so they will likely keep their commitments, at least if they are sufficiently documented. While you should not consider interim agreements final, avoid the impression that you are not willing to hold up your commitments. Nevertheless, only a contract signed by both parties constitutes a binding agreement. Negotiators sometimes request to document the progress of a negotiation by both parties signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). While much weaker than signed contracts, these documents may have legal implications. Contracts are almost always dependable, and strict adherence to the agreed terms and conditions is expected. American companies may prefer to resolve disputes in court, which can become very costly. It is highly advisable to fulfill your contractual obligations."bottom line" (financial issues), new technology, and short-term rewards are the normal focus in negotiations. U.S. executives begin talking about business after a very brief exchange of small talk, whether in the office, at a restaurant, or even at home. The standard U.S. conversation starter is "What do you do?"-meaning "What kind of work do you do, and for whom?" This is not considered at all rude or boring. Actually, to many U.S. citizens, you are what you do.
. BUSINESS ETIQUETTE IN THE USA
card. While businesspeople always have business cards, they are not exchanged unless you want to contact the person later. Be sure to include your e-mail address, Web site, etc., on your card. Your card will probably be put into a purse, wallet, or back pocket. People may write on your card as well. This is not meant to show disrespect.entertaining. Business breakfasts are common and can start as early as 7:00 a.m. Business meetings are very often held over lunch. This usually begins around 12:00 noon and ends by 1:30 or 2:00 p.m. Lunch is usually relatively light, as work continues directly afterward. An alcoholic drink (usually wine or beer) may be ordered. Dinner is the main meal; it starts between 5:30 and 8:00 p.m., unless preceded by a cocktail party. Like many other aspects of American life, business entertaining and socializing is often informal. Heavy or enthusiastic drinking is frowned on amongst Americans. Before smoking, ask if anyone minds, or wait to see if others smoke. Smoking is generally prohibited in public places: in airplanes, office buildings, in stadiums, and even in bars. Large restaurants in some states usually have a section where smoking is permitted.eating out, the cost can be shared with friends. This is called "splitting the bill," "getting separate checks," or "going Dutch." If you are invited out for business, your host will usually pay. If you are invited out socially, but your host does not offer to pay, you should be prepared to pay for your own meal. If you invite a U.S. counterpart out socially, you must make it clear whether you wish to pay.are quick to invite you to their homes. Arrive on time, as you should for all appointments in the US, and have the hosts phone number in case youre running late or get lost. Think about leaving by 10pm: many Americans go to bed early and rise early. In the U.S., there is not a big difference between how people socialize with colleagues and with friends. Both kinds of socializing are informal and relaxed. The party is a popular way of entertaining. Instead of a formal dinner at a table, often Americans entertain with an informal buffet or just cocktails and a snack. In addition to parties, common social activities include playing sports, going out for drinks after work, and going to sports or cultural events.is not considered rude to eat while walking; many people also eat in their cars (even while driving). However, it is usually illegal to eat on public transportation systems.are exchanged very often. They are often used as conversation starters. If you wish to chat with someone, you can compliment something that person has (e.g., clothing) or has done (a work or sports-related achievement). Until you know a person well, avoid discussing religion, money, politics, or other controversial subjects (e.g., abortion, race, or sex discrimination).common topics of conversation are a person's job, travel, foods (and dieting), exercise, sports, music, movies, and books. Certain behaviors are prohibited in work situations, like making sexual hints, touching other employees, offering special benefits in exchange for a personal relationship (quid pro quo, harassment), etc. Guidelines on U.S. sexual harassment law are available at www. americanbar.org/groups/public_e.
. The standard greeting is a smile, often accompanied by a nod, wave, and/or verbal greeting. In business situations, (and some social situations) a handshake is used. It is very firm and generally lasts for a few seconds. Gentle grips are taken as a sign of weakness. Too long of a hand clasp may make businesspeople uncomfortable.friends and family members usually embrace, finishing the embrace with a pat or two on the back. Executives from the United States are well-known for telling acquaintances to use their first names almost immediately. This should not be interpreted as a request for intimacy, but rather as a cultural norm. Even people in positions of great authority cultivate down-to-earth, accessible images by promoting the use of their first names, or nicknames.casual situations, a smile and a verbal greeting are adequate. If you see an acquaintance at a distance, a wave is appropriate. The greeting "How are you?" is not an inquiry about your health. The best response is a short one, such as "Fine, thanks."/forms of address. The order of most names is first name, middle name, last name. To show respect, use a title such as "Dr.," "Ms.," "Miss," "Mrs.," or "Mr." with the last name. If you are not sure of a woman's marital status, use "Ms." (pronounced "Miz"). When you meet someone for the first time, use a title and their last name until you are told to do otherwise (this may happen immediately). Sometimes you will not be told the last name; in this case just use the first name or the nickname. Nicknames may be formal names that have been shortened in surprising ways (e.g., Alex for Alexandra, or Nica for Monica). Be sure your U.S. acquaintances know what you wish to be called. The letters "Jr." stand for Junior and are sometimes found after a man's first name or surname.. The standard space between you and your conversation partner should be about two feet. Most U.S. executives will be uncomfortable standing closer than that.point, you can use the index finger, although it is not polite to point at a person. To beckon someone, wave either all the fingers or just the index finger in a scooping motion with the palm facing up. To show approval, there are two typical gestures. One is the "okay" sign, done by making a circle of the thumb and index finger. The other is the "thumbs-up" sign, done by making a fist and pointing the thumb upward. The "V-for-victory" sign is done by extending the forefinger and index finger upward and apart. The palm may face in or out. A backslap is a sign of friendship. To wave goodbye, move your entire hand, palm facing outward.sitting, U.S. citizens often look very relaxed. They may sit with the ankle of one leg on their knee or prop their feet up on chairs or desks. In business situations, maintain good posture and a less casual pose.. In the United States, gift giving at work is less commonplace than in other countries. U.S. gift giving often symbolizes an emotional attachment. It is generally done only at Christmas or at retirement parties. It is not usually a normal part of business.gifts can be given only after you close a deal. Gifts are usually unwrapped immediately and shown to all assembled. You may not receive a gift in return right away; your U.S. friend might wait awhile to reciprocate. Taking someone out for a meal or other entertainment is a common gift. Business gifts are discouraged by the law, which allows only a modest tax deduction on gifts.. In certain firms, conservative business attire may still be expected; however, many companies have adopted a "business casual" policy. Firms generally have guidelines about specific garments that are not appropriate (i.e., ripped or see-through clothing). However, many items that were not condoned a decade ago are now commonly worn everywhere from networking to manufacturing firms (i.e., khaki shorts, sportswear, etc.).
Five Ways to SucceedFive Ways to FailBe positive and clear about what you do and who you areUse and sarcastic humour Network and be visibleMake un-PC comments about sex, race and religionDeliver on time and on budgetSuggest that Americans lack a sense of humourAdopt a relaxed and friendly approachFail to advise of slippage in the projectBe supportive: modify proposals, dont reject themSlip out for a beer at lunchtimeLECTURE 2. CULTURAL TRADITIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION STYLE OF THE UNINED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NOTHERN IRELAND
. COUNTRY BACKGROUND
is only one part of the entity known as The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Most of the United Kingdoms international business is conducted through England. Britain refers to the island on which England, Wales, and Scotland are located. Although the English are in the habit of referring to all natives of Britain as Brits, this term is not appreciated by many Welsh, Irish, and Scots. Northern Ireland shares the island of Eire with the Republic of Ireland. It is both incorrect and insulting to call someone from Eire a "Brit.". Britain was first brought into contact with the world when it was invaded by Rome in the first century B.C. Rome ruled much of the region until the fifth century A.D. Various tribes from Europe and Scandinavia - the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes - invaded after the Romans departed. In 1066, the Normans invaded from France. The Normans transformed the region, making it a feudal kingdom.was frequently at war with continental powers over the next several centuries. Because it is an island, Britain had a tremendous defensive advantage. They realized they needed a strong navy to protect themselves, and this navy made the British Empire possible. Great Britain was the strongest of the European powers in the nineteenth century, with many territories abroad. The Industrial Revolution first arose on British soil. In 1926, the United Kingdom granted autonomy to New Zealand, Australia, and Canada; later in this century, it granted independence to India, Egypt, and its African colonies.First World War marked the end of the Victorian way of life. The Second World War ushered in the dismantling of the British Empire. After the war, many sectors of the British economy were nationalized. Britain did not fully recover from the destruction of World War II until the 1960s.the 1980s, Conservative Prime Minister - Margaret Thatcher privatized many services, undoing some of the postwar nationalization policies. In 1997, Tony Blair was elected prime minister, and the Labour Party assumed power in government once again. He was re-elected in 2001, and strongly supported the U.S. campaign against terrorism. Great Britain's devolution of powers has continued over the last decade. The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh opened in 1999, as did the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff.of Government. England has unwritten constitution which consists partly of statutes and partly of common law and practice. The monarch is the chief of state, while the prime minister is the head of government. In practice, it is the Cabinet (selected from Parliament by the prime minister) that has power, rather than the monarch. The prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons. The Parliament consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, with the Commons having more real power. The Commons is elected by universal suffrage every five years, although the prime minister may ask the monarch to dissolve Parliament and call for new elections at any time. Unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, the English judiciary cannot review the constitutionality of legislation. For current government data, check at #"justify">. VALUES AND ATTITUDES
characteristics. The British are stereotyped as stuffy, prim and proper. Business is done through the old boys network. British culture is characterized as low-context, low risk-avoidance and monochronic. It is a mixture of relation-driven and task-driven cultures. Just like any other culture, Britain is full of paradoxes. On the one hand, the British continue to believe in the values of tradition, caution, restraint and fair play. They support the underdog, tolerate eccentricity (often by ignoring it) and think that taking part is more important than winning. Modesty and politeness are also important to them. This, combined with their zeal for personal privacy, can produce bizarre effects such as a reluctance to say what they actually do in their working life. If asked at a party what his job is, a Briton might say, Im in advertising, when in fact hes the high-performing CEO of a major advertising agency. The British are also famous for their legendary ironic and self-deprecating humour. The British sense of humour is very varied but it depends ultimately on irony and sarcasm, which can make it hard for foreigners to enjoy, even if they have the language levels to understand it. Worse still, the British use jokes in business meetings to lighten the atmosphere, get through difficult moments and to prick pomposity and self-importance. In communities where meetings are taken fairly seriously, the British sense of humour may be seen as inappropriate and suggest a lack of commitment or interest. Old hands in international business will say, leave the jokes for the bar and replace them with charm until you really know those you are dealing with.has changed in Britain in recent decades is that the country has become much more informal in its social and business customs, and has shed much of its former respect for institutions, title and age. In this it follows the American model. People use first names very quickly, even to bosses, and the words Sir and Madam are now mainly used only by sales assistants in shops. Britons do, however, maintain a generally high level of respect for the law and for procedures, which largely explains the absence of corruption in British business and politics. This combination of tradition and rapid change can make life confusing for the foreigner in Britain. The secret is to watch and listen carefully, and to learn to read between the lines to try and establish what the British are really saying. In this respect Britain is closer to some Eastern cultures than Western ones. It can take years to fully decipher British codes, but this is also true of any culture where much of what is truly meant remains unspoken.stoic English "stiff upper lip", which means to maintain one's courage or composure during a time of trouble without giving way to or revealing one's emotions, has changed in the last few decades. In some circles, the concept of personal responsibility for one's actions has transformed into a fondness for blaming someone else for life's problems, and seeking damages. The tabloids are calling it a "compensation culture" and lawsuits for everything from personal injury to small negligence claims are becoming more common.British are often uneasy and nervous when dealing with other people, even amongst themselves. Perhaps this explains their reliance on their notoriously unpredictable weather as a subject of small talk. Its a shield to save having to talk about ones personal life or feelings. Americans get exasperated by the British fear of not saying clearly what they feel and what they want, and this impassive, undemonstrative approach also confuses many other cultures.orientation. The English are somewhat closed to outside information on many issues. They will participate in debate but are not easily moved from their perspective. They are quite analytical and process information in an abstractive manner. They will appeal to laws or rules rather than looking at problems in a subjective manner. There is a conceptual sense of fairness- unwritten, as is the constitution-but no less vital. Company policy is followed regardless of who is doing the negotiating.of decision-making. The English are highly individualistic, taking responsibility for their decisions, but always within the framework of the family, group, or organization. Individual initiative and achievement are emphasized, resulting in strong individual leadership. They do not find it difficult to say "no"; however, the English "no" is often communicated in a polite and somewhat subtle manner. The individual has a right to his or her private life, and this should not be discussed in business negotiations. Friendships are few and specific to their needs.of anxiety reduction. There are established rules for everything, and this gives a sense of stability to life. Well-established external structures (law, government, organizations) help to insulate them from life. The English are very time oriented, and they are anxious about deadlines and results. However, many do not display their anxiety; traditionally emotions are not shown in public.of equality/inequality. There is an inherent trust in the roles people play within the social or business system, and a strong feeling of the interdependency of these roles. There are necessarily inequalities in these roles, but the people are supposed to be guaranteed equality under the law. There is some bias against ethnic groups. Women have a great deal of equality in both pay and power.
. BUSINES PRACTICE
member of the EU since 1973, the UK is a monarchy that never seems quite sure whether its key alliance lies with Europe, the USA or the Commonwealth. It has always resisted joining the Eurozone, maintains sterling as its currency and opts out of much of the European Unions Common Agricultural Policy. It claims a special relationship with the USA that extends back to the two countries common roots (the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth, on Britains south-west coast, to America in 1611), and remains a leading member of the Commonwealth, a loose association of countries that were formerly part of the British Empire. The United Kingdom does not consider itself part of Europe-although it appreciates the economics of the European Union. And it still debates whether or not to adopt the euro.has copied many social and business mannerisms from the USA. People use first names almost immediately: many bosses actively encourage their staff to call them by their first name. This informality even extends to those you are dealing with purely by phone or email: the person you have just contacted responds using your first name even though they may know nothing about you. British style is to be courteous and friendly but detached. The British are practical, empirical people, and distrust too much theory, idealism. So pack your presentations full of attainable objectives, concrete detail and provable statistics. Time your presentation to last around 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the gravity of your proposal, and allow opportunity for debate and questions. People will concentrate more on the content of what you say than on how you say it or your body language. Remember that even if your audience is wildly excited about your project, their response may be muted: its the fear of being seen to be too enthusiastic. If your audience is highly divided, the discussion is unlikely to be heated: a sense of calm and proportion usually prevails in British business.British are famous worldwide for their punctuality, so ensure that youre there on time. Some British managers can get agitated if someone is as little as two or three minutes late. Office hours tend to start at 8.30 a.m. or 9a.m., although many professions in London, such as the media, tend to arrive at 10am and leave correspondingly later in the evening. As in the USA, eating lunch at your workstation while surfing the web is becoming commonplace.is no designated national holiday in England; however, there are several weeks of official holidays in the United Kingdom-(including several bank holidays). They are two Bank Holidays in May and a week between Christmas and New Year.. A formal business meeting in Britain will generally run to an agenda. If the discussion wanders too far from it, the chairperson may feel uncomfortable and try to drag everyone back on line. If important new matters arise in these digressions, the chair will often suggest that they are put on the agenda at the next meeting, or, if urgent, addressed rapidly by a sub-group of people outside the meeting. Meetings generally end on time. Following the American example, British meetings can be highly egalitarian affairs. Managers are often happy to sit beside staff and not at the top of the table, and will try to draw everyone into the discussion. The ideal is to achieve consensus so that everyone feels that they own the decision. The British like to arrive at decisions and action points in their meetings, which managers are then expected to follow up. The focus is on action rather than going through an exhaustive discussion of options.. Objective facts are the only valid source of truth for the British. Little credence is given to the feelings one has about an issue. They are the masters of understatement.best way to make contact with senior executives is through a third party. It is not appropriate to have this same third party intervene later if problems arise.a secretary will introduce you to the executive; otherwise, introduce yourself. Businesspeople are normally more interested in short-term results than in the long-term future. Change is not necessarily a good thing to the British. The British do not often reveal excitement or other emotions; try to keep yours restrained as well. They also traditionally underplay dangerous situations. Allow the British executive to suggest that the meeting has finished, then do not prolong your exit.U.S. executives are known for being direct, the British are even more so. Don't be offended if there's no hedging about whether your suggestion is good or not. It is wise to send your senior executives to the United Kingdom, as they may be received with more respect and are usually more restrained in conduct.general, try to avoid interrogating your British contacts. They feel that excessive questions are intrusive. Avoid controversial topics such as politics or religion. Speak in complete sentences. While the British are often self-critical, visitors should avoid joining in any criticisms- simply listen. Similarly, if they share their complaints with you, do not participate.British apologize often, for even small inconveniences. They also have a habit of adding a question to the end of a sentence; for example: "It's a lovely day, don't you think?" In debates the British tend to avoid absolute statements, and use words such as perhaps and maybe to imply that alternative points of view might be valid. In negotiations they are often willing to compromise to achieve a win-win situation in which both parties can feel that the agreement offers a reasonable deal and prospects of further cooperation. Operating in management teams is a basic principle of British business. This includes sharing information, regular briefings and teams taking credit for success.
. BUSINESS ETIQUETTE
Entertaining. Going for a pint after work is common in Britain. Its a good place to make friends and get to know the Brits, and you dont have to drink alcohol. Despite their reputation for reserve, the British are quite quick to invite visitors to their homes for dinner or for lunch at the weekend.breakfasts in hotels are becoming more common and are changing to a more Continental style - from the very large traditional breakfasts of eggs, bacon, sausage, kippers, etc. Lunch is generally between noon and 2:00 p.m. A business lunch will often be conducted in a pub and will be a light meal.to ban smoking in English pubs and private clubs was passed in 2006! A similar vote passed in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. That the traditional thick layer of smoke in pubs is now just one more English tradition left by the wayside.senior executives, lunch will be eaten in the best restaurants or in the executive dining room. When you go out after working hours, do not bring up the subject of work unless your British associates do-otherwise, you will be considered a bore.are usually a good topic of conversation. Do not make jokes about the royal family. It is not good form to discuss one's genealogy.
. A handshake is standard for business occasions and when visiting a home. Women do not always shake hands. When introduced, say "How do you do?" instead of "Nice to meet you." The question is rhetorical. It is polite to shake hands at the beginning and end of meetings. However, if youre a frequent visitor to a company, you will not be expected to shake hands with everyone in the office, only with those with whom youre dealing directly. Youll receive a limp, tenuous handshake from a surprising number of Britons: it is their nervousness at confronting someone new, combined with the British reluctance to reveal too much emotion too soon./forms of address. Business titles are not used in conversation. Find out the honorary titles of anyone you will be in contact with, and use them no matter how familiar you are with the person. Doctors, clergy, and so forth are addressed by title plus last name; however, surgeons are addressed as "Mr.," "Mrs.," or "Miss." Rather than "sir," you should use the title of the person you are addressing (i.e., "Yes, Minister," and not "Yes, sir"). The use of first names is becoming more common. However, you should follow the initiative of your host.. It is considered impolite to talk with your hands in your pockets. The British often do not look at the other person while they talk. Don't point with your fingers, but instead indicate something with your head. Sitting with your ankle resting on your knee may be seen as impolite. If you give the "victory" sign (a V with two fingers), do so with the palm facing outward. If the reversed (palm inwards) can be vulgar and offensive. Tapping your nose means confidentiality, or a secret. It is inappropriate to touch others in public; even backslapping or putting an arm around the shoulders of another can make the English uncomfortable. In addition, the English maintain a wide physical space between conversation partners. Avoid excessive hand gestures when speaking.. Gifts are not part of doing business in England. Rather than giving gifts, it is preferable to invite your hosts out for a meal or a show. When you are invited to an English home, you may bring flowers (not white lilies, which signify death), liquor or champagne, and chocolates. Send a brief, handwritten thank-you note promptly afterward, preferably by mail or e-mail-not by messenger. Great gifts: wine, chocolate, a souvenir from your own country. Avoid giving: most presents are acceptable.. Conservative dress is very important. Men in executive positions still generally wear laced shoes, not loafers. Men's shirts should not have pockets; if they do, the pockets should be empty. Men should not wear striped ties; the British "regimentals" are striped, and yours may look like an imitation. Men's clothes should be of excellent quality, but they do not necessarily have to look new. Women should also dress conservatively.
Five Ways to SucceedFive Ways to FailDeliver on time, without dramaBoast about your achievementsArrive at meetings punctuallyTalk for an hour in a presentationIf youre having difficulties, ask advice immediately rather than risk missing a deadlinePhone people in the evening about workCheck at the end of a meeting exactly what the Brits expect of youLet a colleague down once he or she believes they can depend on youJoin them for a beer after work, or in the gym (many Brits now avoid alcohol)Be patronizing to women
LECTURE 3. CULTURAL TRADITIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION STYLE OF FRANCE
. COUNTRY BACKGROUND
has a population of approximately 58 million people and is the largest West European country.. The cultural roots of the French go back to the Celtic Gauls, who were conquered by Julius Caesar in 51 B.C. Some regions of France came under the control of English kings. The Hundred Years War (1337-1453) ended with the English expelled from France by Charles VII-aided by Joan of Arc.Reformation made inroads into Catholic France, primarily in the form of the Huguenots, causing a series of civil wars. Eventually, most Protestants left, and France remained a Catholic nation.French Revolution of 1789 abolished feudalism and absolute monarchy but failed to establish democracy, France was held together by Napoleon I, who established the First Empire. France was at war for most of his reign, which ended in France's defeat by a European coalition in 1815.most of Europe, France suffered badly in the First World War (1914-1918). France entered the Second World War in 1939 and was soon overrun by Nazi Germany. The Allies landed in France at Normandy in June 1944, and the German occupation force was pushed back.1957, France joined with five other Western European powers to form the EEC (European Economic Community), a common market of 165 million people largely free of tariff barriers. This eventually evolved into the European Union. France, one of the founder members of the European Union, certainly sees itself very much as a driving force of the 'European project.
Type of government. France is a multiparty republic. The head of the government Is the prime minister; the president is chief of state. The French people elect the president and the two houses of Parliament. The president, who appoints the prime minister, serves for five years. The president has a large share of the power, including the right to dissolve the lower house of Parliament, the Assemblee Nationale, and call for new elections. According to the constitution, it is the government and not the president that decides on national policy. For current government data, check at <#"justify">. VALUES AND ATTITUDES
characteristics. According to the stereotype the French are romantic, fond of good food and good art, not overly concerned about doing great business. They are more eager to argue politics and art than to do business. French culture is highly feminine which values interpersonal relationships, putting quality of life before material acquisition. It is also high-context which means that the medium is the message and not overly concerned about precise detail or communication. The French value intelligence and eloquence, French people are said to belong to a generally polychronic culture (although not all people are exclusively polychronic). Polychronic people are used to doing several tasks at the same time. They do not have to complete one task before beginning the next. Instead, they can flow back and forth between tasks easily. As they work on one task, they may decide to go back and change parts of a previous task. In a polychronic culture, the future tends to be seen as unpredictable so that tight schedules are considered difficult and impractical. Therefore, schedules are often flexible to allow for unforeseeable interruptions and changes in plans. People understand that delays are a part of life and are necessary for developing the best possible product or service. They would rather spend more time perfecting a product or service than meeting a deadline. French attitudes about time are different from most of those in Northern Europe, the United States, or the United Kingdom, a French businessperson might give an excuse for being a few minutes late to a meeting, yet say nothing if he is a half-hour late. No insult is intended by tardiness. To the French, life is complex and many things occur that can cause a delay. People and relationships are always more important than a soulless schedule.French tend to be relationship-oriented, although this varies according to the business or profession you are operating in. In the office the French are more formal than the British, and it is easy for visitors to underestimate this.French believe the state represents them. From the revolution onwards, the French have seen themselves as citizens rather than subjects. Hierarchy in France is not determined by birth, but by intellectual achievements, technical preparation, diplomas and so forth. The importance of study and certificates cannot be overstated, so if you have a degree or doctorate make sure that you convey this to your French colleagues.is an important national characteristic. You will be expected to be logical, and your arguments will be expected to be rational.average French citizen develops personal relationships with many people - including local sales clerks. So much is accomplished through personal contacts in France that they do not feel any obligation to be deferential to strangers.orientation. The French will readily accept information for the purpose of debate and may change their minds quickly, but strong ethnocentrism will not allow the acceptance of anything contrary to the cultural norm. Ideas are very important to them and they approach knowledge from an analytical and critical perspective. They look at each situation as a unique problem and bring all their knowledge to bear on it.of decision-making. The French are strongly individualistic and have a centralized authority structure that makes quick decisions possible. The relationship between the participants becomes a major variable in the decision-making process. An individual's self-identity is based on his or her accomplishments in the social sphere. Individual privacy is necessary in all walks of life.of anxiety reduction. The French seem to be preoccupied with status, rank, and formality. Contacts are of utmost importance, and they may have a low tolerance for ambiguity in one's station. They feel comfortable with rules and regulations. If the French are provided with adequate details and assessments, they are more comfortable with business risks. Their attachment to a public figure gives them a sense of security. Yet, individuality is preferable to conformity. People are allowed to show both positive and negative emotions in public.of equality/inequality. An informal stratified class system still exists, but most people are middle class. People usually do not socialize across social and economic classes. Different levels of the company, such as secretarial and executive levels, are associated with different classes. So, in office life, secretaries and executives are not expected to socialize together. Superiors expect obedience from subordinates in all walks of life. Power is a basic fact of society, and leaders with the ability to unify the country or group are highly prized. Gender roles in society are fluid, and a person's status is more important than his or her sex.
3. BUSINESS PRACTICE
has a civil law system, rather than a common law system. Commercial agreements are short because they refer to the legal code. Many businesspeople have studied law and can draw up their own contracts. Parties to an international contract may choose which country's laws will govern it. One must be aware international law does not exist in France, the country runs following national laws. It is important to choose the correct law in the business contract. In international contracts the French will often go to arbitration in order to settle disputes.French government has played a central and vital role in the shaping and direction of French companies ever since the end of the Second World War.is certainly more bureaucracy and more lengthy procedures to be respected, for example than in the UK. The Napoleonic code mentality is at play again: there are rules and regulations that apply for every single situation.French state is well organized and on the whole efficient. There arte higher taxes, but excellent public services: health, education, transport etc. The French love credit cards, numbers, codes.35-hour working week introduced in the Socialist era in an attempt to create more jobs has effectively been relaxed in France for private companies. They can now offer employees up to 13 hours overtime, allowing them to put in up to 48 hours a week - the maximum allowed by the European Union.relationships is important in French business, and it's a process that French people do not like to rush. Lunches and dinners are important opportunities to develop these bonds. Although shorter lunch breaks are becoming more common, much of France stops work between 12 noon and 2pm, and in August many firms close down for the annual summer break. Indeed, except for the tourist industry, France virtually shuts down in August. Try to conduct business during other months. The best times to schedule meetings are around 11:00 a.m. or 3:30 p.m.boss represents authority in France. The boss should not be too casual or social with his employees. If the boss is too relaxed, the employees lose their respect for his or her authority.. The purpose of business meetings in France is coordination, briefing and allocation rather than to arrive at decisions. Given the French desire to debate intellectual propositions as well as practical points, you should outline the general principles of your idea before you get into the details. Rationality and logic are important to them: simply having a warm feeling for something will not do, so one should go in armed with plenty of knowledge about your product. An agenda might be circulated, but no one will expect to keep to it. French meetings can be long and wordy, and the debate can become an intellectual exercise. The French believe that clarity of thought is achieved through intensive discussion, so it is important not to rush the proceedings. Expect to be questioned if there is imprecision in your proposition. The French enjoy using wit in business discussions, but avoid criticizing France. Assume a relatively short attention span of about 20 minutes when you are addressing a French audience, so keep your presentation moving briskly. Stress the style, imaginative features and elegance of your idea or product, and expectative audience involvement and questions.French are precise when it comes to examining information and proposals. Bring plenty of information in written form for your French counterpart to examine. Direct questions may sound abrupt What are you saying exactly? What is this expected to do? They are in reality probing questions. Strong statements are being made: I disagree totally! where a British counterpart might have said: I fear we might not be seeing eye to eye on this one. It is simply a clear statement of position. No hard feeling involved. Do not take it personally, Don't lose your temper, just respond in kind. Make your views and how you feel known, clearly.the contrary, the French are very formal and very polite in writing. They do like to waste time with little formalities and courtesies and lots of letters to and fro. A business letter demands an appropriate introduction, a main body, and a conventional conclusion. It is a very formal business! Where a British business person would end his letter with yours sincerely, or even regards, his French counterpart will end with a formula like this: literally, it means: I pray you, Sir/Madam, to accept the expression of my most distinguished greetings, It is acceptable for an email to be sent to a business partner, but be aware that it is considered less formal.are usually formal occasions. Expect a hierarchical seating arrangement. It is important to dress appropriately and smartly. It is as statement of position, power, hierarchy, all important to establish in France! Surnames and formal introductions are used, and jackets are usually kept on. The style of the meeting will probably be polite and formal: use respect at all times. The French like to find out your position without revealing theirs until late in the discussion. Their approach is likely to be perceptive and opportunistic, but cautious., political correctness, team spirit are not strong themes in French business culture. Life is expected to be unfair (Cest la vie).make appointments for both business and social occasions. Be punctual, although the French are more relaxed about time especially in the South.. Arguments tend to be made from an analytical, critical perspective with eloquent rhetorical wit and logic. There is a great love for debate, striving for effect rather than detail and image over facts. Eye contact among the French is frequent and intense-so much so that some Asians and North Americans may be intimidated. During negotiations, the French may want to express every possible objection. It is not necessary to respond to each and every single statement-French conversational habits encourage all opinions to be voiced, even if they are not critical to the outcome. Before you ask for directions, assistance, or just plain information, apologize for not speaking French!and exchanging written understandings after meetings and at key negotiation stages is useful since oral statements are not always dependable. Although interim agreements are usually kept, do not consider them final. Only a final contract signed by both parties constitutes a binding agreement. While your counterparts will expect you to keep all your commitments and respond harshly if you fail to do so, they may not always fulfill their own obligations to the letter.French are known for their formal and reserved nature, A casual attitude during business transactions will alienate them, During negotiations, the French may make you seem to be the petitioner, thus putting you in the weaker position. Hierarchies are strict. Junior executives will pass a problem on to a superior. Try to cultivate high-level personal contacts. Women should not mistake French gallantry for condescension. Do not start a conversation by asking personal questions. Do not mistake a high-pitched voice and excited gestures for anger; they usually just mean great interest in the subject.is important to be correct in style and manner and to be seen as professional in France. French companies take time to reach decisions, and prefer to examine a problem or proposition from every angle. It is considered rude to end a meeting if the business to be conducted has not been concluded, which can affect overall punctuality. There is a stress on comprehensive, well-structured and well-written reports and studies.
. BUSINESS ETIQUETTE
card. Always present your business card. When receiving the cards of others, treat them very carefully. One side can be in English, with the translation in French on the other side. On the French side, include any academic credentials and your school if it is a prestigious one.entertaining. Business entertaining in France is usually formal in style and takes place in restaurants. It is important to establish a rapport to facilitate business. To build a positive personal relationship is the best way to be trusted, so time spent to make friends is time well spent. However - this is still business - do not confuse this advice with the idea that you and your family should mix with business colleagues out of the office. French people keep their private and public lives very separate, and tend not to invite visitors to their homes until real bonds have been established. Business colleagues usually socialize in restaurants or other public places.social entertainment, the French rarely throw parties, It is much more common to have a small dinner party where everyone sits down together to eat. The informal come and go style is not popular.and drinking well are quite central to the all-important quality of life in France, A dejeuner d'affaires can be a time-consuming affair, but generally it will be a pleasant experience! In France, you are more likely to go to a top restaurant (at the expense of the company or the government), seen in France as part of the benefits of business. However, do not raise business concerns before the end of a meal. Keep your distance, especially if you are in a senior management position.French have a great appreciation for good conversationalists. A rule true all over the word if you want to endear yourself to the locals is praise, do not criticise. France is no exception here.can be conducted during any meal, but lunch is best. Business lunches usually last one to one and a half hours. Dinner is late (8:00 or 9:00 p.m.).not drink hard liquor before meals or smoke between courses. The French believe this deadens the taste buds.is a declining habit even among the French, although you'll often see people lighting up at the table, and certainly in the bar, without any embarrassment. Drunkenness or over-familiar talk after too many glasses is not seen as cool by the French. Chewing gum at meetings and social events is considered rude.French have a great respect for privacy. Knock and wait before entering into a room. Additionally, do not "drop in" unannounced. Always give notice before your arrival.
. Always shake hands when being introduced or when meeting someone, as well as when leaving. The French handshake is brief, and is accompanied by a short span of eye contact. In general, the woman offers her hand first. French handshakes do not usually involve a strong grip. In social settings, with friends, expect touching cheeks and kissing the air, Saying Bonjour monsieur or Bonjour Madame is important in greetings: It preserves a degree of formality until you get to know people./form of address. Find out the titles of older French people you meet and address them in that way, both during the introduction and in the course of conversation. Even simple titles like "Madame" should be used as you converse, whether in English or French, Use "Madame" for all women except young girls. Do not use first names until you are told to do so. Do not put off by the use of last names; it does not mean that the French are unfriendly. The French sometimes say their last names first, so that Pierre Robert might introduce himself as "Robert, Pierre." Business women found business gentlemen 'charming'. Paying personal compliments to a woman is accepted as a due by French women, and not found discriminatory. Remember that this is the French way, rather than an anti-British or sexist attitude.. The "thumbs-up" sign means "okay"; the North American "okay" sign (forming a circle with thumb and forefinger) means "zero" in France. Slapping the open palm over a closed fist is vulgar. To call for the check, make a writing gesture. Men may still stand up or make a move to stand up when a visitor or a superior enters the room.. Do nOt give a business gift at your first encounter. Avoid gifts that are either too lavish or too skimpy, as well as gifts with your company logo. Good taste is everything. You can insert a business card with your gift, along with a small card that states: "with the compliments of Mr./Madame. . . "gifts: flowers, in odd numbers and not yellow; also avoid chrysanthemums (associated with funerals) and carnations (may be seen as a sign of bad will), chocolates or liqueur.giving: wine - it may suggest they do not know their vintages. By bringing your own bottle, you may inadvertently communicate that you have doubts about the quality of his or her wine cellar.. Clothes are very important in France. This is not surprising; the very words used in English to describe fashion-haute couture," "chic," etc, are from the French language.executives purchase the best suits and styles possible. The French also tend to have excellent posture, which makes their clothes look even better. In the north and in the winter, men should wear dark suits. Patterned fabrics and dark colors are most acceptable, but avoid bright colors. French businessmen do not loosen their ties or take off their jackets in the office. Women should also avoid any glitzy or overpowering objects, such as flashy jewelry.thing that is common is the need to appear well-presented. Dress codes vary with position within the company, industrial sector and region in France. The higher the position within a larger organisation, the more formal will be the dress code with formal suit and tie being worn. The further south one travels, the more informal business dress becomes, with open shirt and slacks being the norm. Appearances are important at all times in France.
Five Ways to SucceedFive Ways to FailUnderstand the free market v social contract debate in FranceDo it all in English - if you have no French,Show appreciation of French cultureIgnore the French intellectual approachMake sure that French guests eat and drink wellSwear and drink too muchMaintain a degree of formality until you're invited to use first namesDig up the old cliches about Anglo-French conflictBe logical and consistent in negotiations, and when you reach a decision, stick with itDecline lunch invitations and buy a sandwich to eat at your desk
LECTURE 4. CULTURAL TRADITIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION STYLE OF GERMANY
Federal Republic of Germany has a population of 81 million people. Germany's economy ranks as the largest in Europe, and the third largest in the world, behind the U.S. and Japan. There are sixteen states, or Lander, with the federal capital in Berlin.. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the first strong German king Otto I loosely organized the domain that stretched from Germany down into northern Italy. To modern Germans, this Holy Roman Empire was the "First Reich."the eighteenth century, two German-speaking kingdoms had come to dominate Central Europe: Prussia and Austria. But Prussia eventually won out when Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck led his country into war, first against Denmark, then against Austria and the Austrian-allied German kingdoms, then against France. As a result of Bismarck's efforts, the Prussian King William I was crowned Kaiser (emperor) of all Germany in 1871. The German nation dates its existence from this event. This "Second Reich" was to last until Germany's defeat in the First World War.the First World War, Germany became a republic. Burdened with enormous war reparations and the Great Depression, Germany fell into the hands of the "National Socialists," as they are known to Germans-the term "Nazi" was rarely used within Germany, The atrocities of Adolf Hitler's "Third Reich" present a moral dilemma that each new generation of Germans must face.the end of World War II, Germany was occupied by England, France, the United States of America, and the USSR. This resulted in the division of Germany into the capitalist, NATO-allied Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the Communist, German Democratic Republic (or GDR). Berlin was also divided into West and East. Consequently, Bonn was selected as the capital of West Germany. Only the changed priorities of Mikhail Gorbachev's Soviet Union allowed the two halves of Germany to reunite on October 3, 1990.the largest and most populous nation in the European Union, the reunited Germany has developed into a leading power, and one of the strongest members of the EU.of Government. The reunited Federal Republic of Germany is a democratic federal multiparty republic. Voting is done by proportional representation. There are two legislative houses: the Federal Council and the Federal Diet. The president is the chief of state, and the chancellor is the head of the government.from military intervention after the Second World War, Germany influenced the world via checkbook diplomacy contributing far more than its share to international organizations. However, Germany can no longer afford to be so generous. In 2005 Germany elected its first female chancellor, Angela Merkel. For current government data, check at www. germany-info. org.and education. The official language of Germany is German, which is called Deutsch German has many dialects. English and French are currently the preferred foreign languages that Germans study. This is especially true among executives. Germans who grew up in the former German Democratic Republic were forced to study Russian in school. This is no longer the case, but you will find fewer English speakers in eastern Germany. Unlike France where traditionalists go to great lengths to forbid the use of any anglicisms, the English language has steadily permeated everyday German, and politicians, dignitaries, scientists and schoolboys take great delight in using English words to replace perfectly good German terms.education is highly respected in Germany, German managers often spend more years at university than their counterparts in other countries, and may not enter the workforce until they are 27 or even older, German managers and business leaders may have doctorates, and the appellation Herr Doktor is not uncommon. Key factors in promotion in Germany are a person's education and qualifications, track record and seniority.. Germany's religions are split evenly between Roman Catholics, who are concentrated in the southern part of the country, and Protestants, who are found in the northern region. Many Germans describe themselves as nonreligious. There are small populations of Jews and Muslims.
. VALUES AND ATTITUDES
characteristics. The Germans are usually seen as rigid, somewhat humorless and obsessed with order and formality. A smile doesn't come easily and business is taken seriously. They are particularly focused on detail. The Germans belong to low-context culture that values precise communication. The representatives of this culture focus on what is being said rather than on who is saying it. They are monochronic, that is, prefer to do one thing at a time. Time is divided into segments that are measured by the clock. Tasks are assigned to each of these segments and so are given a limited amount of time. Usually, each task is finished before the next task is begun. It is not easy for a monochronic person to return to a task once it has been completed. In a monochronic culture, future time is predictable and carefully planned. Scheduling events means that each segment of time is carefully arranged. If extra time is needed, schedules and deadlines affects future schedules and deadlines. This can have negative effects on relations with those people or companies who are asked to delay their plans and change their schedules. The German culture is one of the very high-risk avoidance.is imperative to the Germans. In business they seek order and clarity to achieve an organized system, and they expect a strong work ethic, reliability and honesty from their employees and partners, Formality, punctuality, fairness and obedience to authority are other German characteristics.all Germans profess a love of nature. Many Germans enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, bicycling, camping, and skiing. They also enjoy long vacations to take advantage of their country's scenic landmarks.foreigners have described Germans as positively manic once they get behind the wheel of a car. Certainly pedestrians must keep an eye on the traffic, especially when crossing the street. However, even when driving, Germans tend to obey traffic regulations. Difficulties arise when foreigners do things that violate unwritten rules, such as jaywalking.your home region or country has any oddities, be prepared to discuss them. Germans are known for odd hobbies and enthusiasms. Many visitors remark on the difference between German business and domestic life. The friendliness and coziness of German homes contrast starkly with the utilitarian nature of many of their offices. The Germans still maintain a stronger separation between home and office than Britons or Americans do. Dienst ist Dienst und Schnaps ist Schnaps - work is work and play (drink) is play - is an important distinction in their culture.and duty are important values for Germans. They are brought up to believe that using their language correctly and precisely is a point of honour, and that to say what you mean and mean what you say is important. This leads to a degree of directness that can come across as rude or arrogant to foreigners, although this is rarely intentional.also have a strong sense of social responsibility and citizenship. This affects everything from their attitude to organization to their recycling habits. By and large they show tolerance to foreigners, but they're prepared to remind them of their social responsibilities, such as how to put out the rubbish, when to wash or not wash cars, and when to make noise. The Germans simply regard this as good citizenship. Doing things thoroughly and in the right way is also a German value.orientation. Germans have historically been closed to outside information, and they did not freely share data among units of the same organization. However, the younger generation is becoming more open. Germans are analytic and conceptual in their information processing. They are strongly committed to the universal beliefs of their culture. Friendships are not developed quickly, but they are deep and highly selective.of decision-making. A desire to seek consensus and a widespread respect for order are German characteristics. This is reflected in the German phrase: Ordnung muss sein (There must be order!). Every German has a responsibility to follow the rules, both written and unwritten. Actions that disrupt this social order are seen as inherently wrong decisions must be made in reference to larger units: society, one's company, and one's family., the ability of Germans to compartmentalize allows for substantial Individual freedom. As long as an individuals duties to society and employer are met, Germans have a wide latitude for private individual behavior. Decision-making is slow and involved, as all peripheral concerns must be taken care of in the process. Once a decision is made, it is unchangeable. Individual privacy is necessary in all walks of life, and personal matters are not discussed in business negotiations.of anxiety reduction. Germans have a fairly high index of uncertainty avoidance. As a result, Germans use laws and morality to give structure to their worldview. Germans tend to be risk-averse and cautious about making decisions. They also buy every conceivable sort of insurance: life insurance, fire insurance, theft insurance, travel insurance, personal liability insurance, and so on.rules and regulations combined with strong internal discipline give stability to life and reduce uncertainty. There is a high need for social and personal order, and a low tolerance for deviant behavior. There is very little show of emotion because of strong internal structures and control.are more oriented toward near-term issues. German skepticism about the future (economic, political, and social) can breed anxiety and pessimism. There is a sense of helplessness about humanity's ability to produce a desirable outcome in the long-term.of equality/inequality. Titles of nobility were gradually abolished after the First World War, but Germany still has a class system with very little flexibility. Business leaders tend to come from the upper class. Although equality is guaranteed by law, German businessmen sometimes denigrate women as lacking self-confidence and unable to command male subordinates. This is changing, as evidenced by the 2005 election of Angela Merkel, the first female Chancellor of Germany. One thing is clear: Germans respect self-assurance. If you do not project it, whatever your gender, you will not be well-received in Germany.
. BUSIESS PRACTICE
s powerful economy has been in the doldrums since the 1990s. Restrictive labor laws and high taxes made Germany an unwelcome place for foreign investment. Unemployment has remained relatively high. Many observers believe that Germans are unwilling to allow their industry the flexibility to compete in the global market.manufacturing has a reputation for high quality, which German consumers demand. Most Germans get at least six weeks of paid vacation per year, plus numerous paid holidays and sick days with partial pay.business matters, Germans do not like the unexpected. Sudden changes-even if they may improve the outcome-are unwelcome.working relationships can be easily formed, but be careful not to lapse into over-familiarity. Formality is important in office dealings, and endearments and diminutives - using the short form of someone's name - are not acceptable.visiting person should respect the hierarchy: never split or undermine superiors in German organizations, and do not bypass people by going higher to complain or search for decisions. Propose constructive alternatives rather than offering criticism. Differences of opinion are best dealt with in face-to-face discussions rather than via a third party or on paper.. Appointments should be made well in advance. Give at least one weeks notice for an appointment made by telephone. If at all possible always confirm appointments in writing. Nowhere in the world is punctuality more important than in Germany. Be on time for every appointment, whether for business or social engagements. Arriving just four or five minutes late can be insulting to a German executive, especially if you are in a subordinate position.in Germany are used to implement planning, brief participants and agree decisions. The pace may be slow if technical issues are presented in detail, and the agenda will be followed in order. The discussion will seek consensus and common ground, reliable partners and long-term profit. Jokes to lighten the atmosphere are not generally appreciated in meetings.you know German or use your own language, speak in complete sentences. Germans are in the habit of listening for the end of a sentence and can be annoyed if it doesn't materialize. The person who speaks the most softly in a meeting usually is the person who has the most authority.topics of conversation include hobbies, soccer, the places you have traveled in Germany, and the duration of your stay. Topics to avoid include World War II and personal questions. Avoid asking personal questions of a German executive. If a businessperson wants you to know if he or she is married or has children, he or she will find a way to communicate this to you. Family life is kept separate from work in Germany.a business meeting, expect the doors to be closed. Be sure to walk to your contacts left. By doing so, you will be giving the person a position of respect. Sit down only after you have been offered a seat.writing the date, Germans write the day first, then the month, then the year (e.g., December 3, 2010, is written 3.12.10 or 3/12/10).hours in Germany tend to be from 8am to 5pm or 5.30pm. Do not schedule appointments on Friday afternoons; some offices close by 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. Many people take long vacations during July, August, and December, so check first to see if your counterpart will be available. Also be aware that little work gets done during regional festivals, such as the Oktoberfest or the three-day Carnival before Lent. In the former East Germany, businesses did not usually schedule appointments on Wednesdays. This has been changing since reunification.is money in the minds of most German businessmen, and generally speaking at a business meeting they will want to get down to the heart of the discussion quickly. A certain amount of small talk is in order, but is best kept until the end of the meeting, When you are presenting to a German audience, they will expect to hear the full technical details of your idea. They prefer logical arguments rather than emotionally persistent type of proposals and the content is more important for them than body language. They also look for well worked-out proposals, with evidence that it has been tried or piloted successfully elsewhere. They feel perfectly capable of making up their own minds on the evidence presented. The attention span in German meetings is usually long - up to an hour. They will ask detailed questions and expect in-depth answers. They also have a great respect for the truth as they see it, and this may lead them to appear unusually outspoken at times.. Data, data, data: Germans depend upon objective facts. Emotional involvement is unacceptable in negotiations. Once a position is decided upon, Germans rarely budge, which gives them the reputation for being tough negotiators. A strong faith in their social democratic ideology influences Germans' perceptions of the truth.pace of German corporate decision-making is methodical-much slower than in the United States or Great Britain. The decision-making process in German firms can be a mystery to outsiders. In addition to the official chain of command, German companies often have a parallel hidden series of advisers and decision-makers. The approval of this informal kitchen cabinet is mandatory. Directness is appreciated. Germans may bluntly criticize your product or your company; do not take it personally. Germans can not hype and exaggeration. Be sure you can back up your claims with lots of data. Case studies and examples are highly regarded.German reputation for quality is based (in part) on slow, methodical planning. Every aspect of the deal you propose will be pored over by various executives. Do not anticipate being able to speed up this process. This slowness extends through all business affairs. Germans believe that it takes time to do a job properly.of German negotiators view being forced to compromise as a personal failure. As some observers have noted, Germans come in expecting 110 percent. They might settle for just 100 percent.Civil Code declares contracts even non-written contracts legal, for example, in situations such as purchase, rent, booking a journey etc. Written contracts are serious matters in Germany and tend to be lengthy. Legal aspects may be reviewed repeatedly. In most German companies, only high-ranking managers have signature authority. Oral agreements and statements of intent may already be legally binding and are usually dependable, though they do not substitute for written contracts. Actions that have been agreed upon are usually implemented immediately, even if a final contract is still pending. German law makes offers binding unless otherwise noted. It is best to mark your offers with good until… or to add a subject to change clause.also take a lot of time to establish a close business relationship. Their apparent coldness at the beginning will vanish over time. Once they get to know you, Germans are quite gregarious.if the German executives speak your language, all promotional materials and instruction manuals should be translated into German. Germans smile to indicate affection. They generally do not smile in the course of business, either at customers or at coworkers. Compliments tend to embarrass Germans; they expect to neither give nor receive them.intending to be impolite, Germans tend to be more direct when it comes to expressing views or making statements and will expect the same from you. Therefore be careful not to use typical English sentences like - we may be able to deliver - when what you really mean is - there is no way we can deliver. Your counterpart will only understand that you can deliver.example: when an English contact once said we 11 go away and think about it. The German delegation were horrified because they thought that that meant they had been "dismissed" and that it spelt the end of the negotiations. Always remember that if your contact is speaking English, this is not their mother tongue - you should always summarise meetings at the end in order to avoid any misunderstandings.
. BUSINESS ETIQUETTE
cards. Bring plenty of business cards; quite a few Germans may wish to exchange them with you. If your company has been around for many years, the date of its founding should be on your business card. If you have a large number of employees, that number should be included too. Since education is highly respected in Germany, consider including any title above the bachelor's level on your card. Rather than presenting your business card to your potential German business partner, attach it to the material in your presentation folder.entertaining. Germans have a much more rigid definition of friendship than exists, for example, in Britain. In Germany a friend is a close friend for life, and the relationship with a foreigner will be initiated from the German side.meetings are still somewhat uncommon in Germany. However, business lunches are customary. At lunch, be aware that business may be discussed before a meal, but never during the meal itself. If you are invited out to a luncheon, you may offer to pay, but expect your host to decline your offer. Insist on paying only when you have made the invitation.business dinners take place from 7pm. They're usually formal affairs, so wear a lounge suit or a jacket and tie; a trouser suit is appropriate for women. Titles may be used (Herr Professor, Frau Doktor), and there might be a formal seating plan. The host will propose any toasts, and you can then reciprocate: do not touch glasses until the first toast has been raised.eating, always use utensils; very few items are eaten with the hands. Place your utensils vertically side by side on the plate when you are finished eating. If you smoke, always offer your cigarettes to everyone else before lighting up. Of course, ascertain if smoking is banned at your location. It is considered impolite to put your hands in your pockets. Gum chewing in public is also considered rude. Germans may not use a smile as a nonverbal cue that they are pleased about something., direct eye contact is expected when conversing. Failure to meet a German's gaze will give the impression that you are untrustworthy.
. In business situations, most Germans shake hands at both the beginning and the end of a meeting. The German handshake may be accompanied by a nod of the head. Although this gesture is subtle, it is important. Germans keep a slightly larger personal space around them than do most British or North Americans. Stand about six inches beyond handshaking distance. It is common for a third party to introduce two people who do not yet know one another. The avoidance of public spectacle is reflected in the way Germans will get quite close to each other before offering a greeting.and forms of address. The order of names in Germany is the same as in most of Europe: the first name followed by the surname. Traditionally, only family members and close friends addressed each other by their first names. When speaking to persons who do not have professional titles, use Mr., Mrs., or Miss, plus the surname. In Germany, these titles are Mr. = Herr; Mrs. (or Ms.) = Frau; Miss = Fraulein. Fraulein is now used only for young women (under age eighteen). Any businesswoman you meet should be addressed as Frau, plus her surname, whether or not she is married.is very important to use professional titles. Attorneys, engineers, pastors, and other professionals will expect you to address them as Herr or Frau plus their title. This goes for anyone with a Ph.D. as well (e.g., Herr (or Frau) Doctor/Professor). However, make sure you know the correct professional title.. To get someone's attention, raise your hand, palm facing out, with only the index finger extended. Do not wave or beckon. When sitting, cross one knee over the other, rather than resting your ankle over one knee. Do not prop your feet on anything other than a footstool. Okay sign is an obscene gesture.. German businessmen do not give or expect to receive expensive gifts. A gift should be of good quality but not of excessive cost. Gifts that are small in size are preferred. German civil servants are prohibited from accepting any form of gift whatsoever. Appropriate gifts include good-quality pens, reasonably priced electronics (MPS players loaded with music that your associate will like, etc.), or imported liquor. Gifts from your home region or country are good choices, such as an illustrated book of your home city. The only article of clothing considered an appropriate gift is a scarf. Other clothing, perfume, and soap are considered too personal. An invitation to dinner at a German home is considered an honor, and you should send a bouquet of flowers ahead of time for your host. The bouquet should not be ostentatiously large and should have an uneven number of flowers (but not thirteen). Business gifts are usually given at Christmastime, although many German companies restrict themselves to sending Christmas cards or a calendar. Avoid giving: lilies and chrysanthemums (associated with funerals), and intimate gifts such as perfume or jewellery; be careful about wine - many Germans have good cellars.. Business dress in Germany is very conservative. Virtually all businessmen wear dark suits, sedate ties, and white shirts. However, blue blazers and gray flannel pants are also considered formal. Khaki suits are not acceptable! Women dress equally conservatively, in dark suits, pantsuits, and blouses of a neutral color. Follow the lead of your German colleague with regard to removing your jacket or tie in hot weather. Do not be surprised if he or she remains fully dressed in sweltering heat. Business wear is also appropriate for most formal social events: parties, dinners, and the theater.
Five Ways to SucceedFive Ways to FailDemonstrate efficiency and punctualityBe disorganized and ignore due processBe straightforward and directPromise and fail to deliverDo what you say you will doDo things without consultationFind out the rules and follow themGo over the heads of line managers or reportsRespect the management hierarchyBe over-familiar with colleagues
LECTURE 5. CULTURAL TRADITIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION STYLE OF CHINA
. COUNTRY BACKGROUND
business culture communication style
China has 1.3 billion inhabitants, making it the most populous country in the world. One quarter of the earths population lives there. China has implemented a rigorous birth control program that limits couples to only one child. The People's Republic of China is well on its way to becoming the superpower of the twenty-first century. Now it is a global economic power as well.Chinese boast the world's oldest continuous civilization, with more than 4,000 years of recorded history. Beijing (old Peking) has been the capital of China for over 800 years and is the country's political, economic, and cultural hub. China was ruled by strong dynasties for thousands of years. The first recorded dynasty, the Hsia, existed around 2200 B.C., and the last dynasty, the Ch'ing, ended in 1911. Some of the most important cultural achievements in history were produced during this time, such as papermaking, the compass, gunpowder, and movable-type printing.the fall of the last dynasty, Sun Yat-sen founded the Republic of China and was succeeded by Chiang Kai-shek in 1927. Mao Tse-tung's Communist forces took control in 1949 and established the Communist government that still exists, although events- from the massacre in Tiananmen Square in June of 1989 on-have shown an increasingly popular demand for democratic reform. China has been divided into twenty-two provinces, five autonomous regions, and three municipalities.of government. The People's Republic of China has a Communist government. There is a single legislative house, the National People's Congress; all members belong to the Communist Party. The National People's Congress elects the Standing Committee, which holds executive power and is made up of the premier and leading ministers. The premier is the head of the government; the president is the chief of state. The position of secretary general of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party is also an office of great power; it is often held by the current president.Communist regime is highly centralized and authoritarian, and controls many aspects of life in China. Current government data can be found at #"justify">. VALUES AND ATTITUDES CHARACTERISTIC OF THE CHINESE
characteristics. The Chinese are quiet, reserved and never lose their temper. But at times they can seem chaotic and unfocused. It is collectivist, high-context, polychronic culture. A key organizing principle in Chinese society is Confucianism. It states that the family is the basic unit of society, and praised the virtues of hierarchy. All actions of the individual reflect upon the family, and filial devotion is of utmost importance. The virtues of kindness, propriety, righteousness, intelligence, and faithfulness have also been deeply revered. One must be preserved in relationships. These relationships are between ruler and subjects, between husband and wife, between father and son, between elder brother and younger brother, and between friends. Since all but the last are hierarchal, rank and age have historically been very important in all interactions.reciprocity is an important principle in Chinese society (if you receive something, you give something back), companies investing in China need to ensure that potential partners are fully aware of the issue of intellectual property rights.centuries, China's civilization was more advanced in the arts and sciences compared with the West, so it is not surprising that its people continue to believe in their superiority, despite the social and military problems that afflicted the country in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Chinese admire the work ethic, Confucian tenets, the power of the extended family and sincerity. They appreciate patience, soft-spokenness, adaptability, humility and perseverance. They do not appreciate boisterousness, impetuousness or anger, and they also dislike losing face, immodesty, disrespect towards elders and extravagance., self-sacrifice, gentleness and wisdom are other traits admired by the Chinese. They consider that relationships are more important than tasks, and that the quest for virtue is more important than the search for truth. The Chinese do business with people rather than companies, so personal contact and loyalty are important. They value sincerity above all other qualities.is deep rooted respect for the older generation which still embraces the more traditional values and is not as profit orientated. Senior people are "paraded" at official events as grey hair symbolises influence and respect. Consequently, it is advisable to send senior staff to important events. This also "gives face" to the hosts by demonstrating that they are being taken seriously.orientation. The Chinese are generally circumspect toward outside sources of information. They usually process data through a subjective perspective, derived from experience-unless they have been educated at a Western university.of decision-makings. In a centrally controlled economy, responsibility rests with government planners, but individuals are held responsible for their decisions within the system. Local decisions are made by the head of the collective, and members must behave accordingly. Collectives are insular, closed entities in which individual goals are subordinated to those of the collective. In the zones of free enterprise, businesses are experimenting with freedom from party rule but not from the collectivist way of thinking.of anxiety reduction. The family, school, work unit, and local community are the basic social structures that give stability to a person's life. There is a strong commitment to the extended family. The state, rather than religion, traditionally dictated the standards of wisdom, morality, and the common good. Obedience to parents is integral to a sense of security and stability. Maintaining harmony is vital. Faith in the Communist Party, which rules the PRC, is abating.of equality/inequality. Relative to the general population (over 1.3 billion), the number of people who are powerful members of the Communist Party is small. There has always been some concern about inequality in a system in which equality is the purpose, but being a member of the party is the only avenue to the position of authority. Free enterprise is purported to breed inequality and uncertainty, but there are rapidly increasing areas where it is allowed to flourish. Age is the only noticeable interpersonal indicator of inequality because it is still revered. Women are purported to be equal to men, but economic and social inequalities continue. The principle of respect in China means that women may be polite to senior men, which may be seen as sexist by some Westerners. Do not react to this. Chinese women have considerable authority at home, in politics and in commerce.
3. BUSINESS PRACTICE OF CHINA
has a civil law system and its judicial decisions do not have precedential value. The Chinese Communist Party currently controls all aspects of China. There is no separation of the judicial, legislative or executive powers. Regarding the law and litigation, there is an old Chinese proverb: "It is better to be vexed to death than enter into a lawsuit." Chinese business is based on the development of good personal relationships over time, from which the business will grow. They are formal and quite ritualistic in business behaviour. They are quite reserved, and separate emotions from business. Experienced business travelers to China avow that patience is the most important skill needed to do business in this country. The Chinese are very good at figuring out when a foreigner is under pressure from a tight deadline, and they turn that to their advantage in negotiations. China is still a hierarchical society. Age is respected. When you send more than one representative to China, the oldest person should receive deference from the younger ones. The elder representative should even enter and leave the conference room first. When entering a business meeting, the highest-ranking member of your group should lead the way.concept of "face" can also be a major obstacle. It means that situations should be avoided where your Chinese partners are put in a situation where they "lose face" (for example by contradicting them or exposing them publicly). Chinese culture is based on the principle of "shame" (Confimcianism) as opposed to the Western culture which is based on the principle of "guilt" (Christianity). When there is a problem or something goes wrong, your Chinese partners are very likely not to tell you as this would bring shame upon them.principle of "Guanxi" (connections) is very important in China. It runs like a red thread through a person's life, starting at family level and continuing through school, university and employment. It is a system of favours and relationships that is hard to duplicate! 'Guanxi' - sometimes termed as 'value-laden relationships' -which means the building up of a network of contacts to help you succeed in all aspects of life in China. Also, do not forget to mix business and pleasure. If you cultivate your contacts and make an effort to understand the culture and your partner, your connections will develop automatically. It is also important to remember that Guanxi influences a Chinese person's decisions. There are situations where social acceptance is more important than individual desires. For instance, an offer may be declined because accepting it would mean to upset the family or social circle. The Chinese are very sensitive to western criticism in politics and business.and regulations are generally complex and difficult to understand or interpret. Chinese law is advisory only. It is often up to the local authorities to interpret and apply them. This can lead to great uncertainty. A foreign company can also face the problem that business activities can be very restrictive. Companies need to apply for a business license and must not operate outside that license. There are many levels of regulations and permits, industry restrictions. The Chinese enjoy reluctance to resort to formal legal proceedings.is still wide-spread, although the government is starting to crack down. For large foreign companies it is less problematic, but for small companies it is much more difficult to resist. China is a bureaucratic country, so things are unlikely to happen fast. Do not show impatience or anger: this is seen as a serious character flaw. Keep your schedule light to allow for long meetings. Office hours tend to be 9am-5pm with a half day on Saturday, although a five-day working week is becoming more common. The key break is between noon and 2 pm, when there is a general lull in the working day. One should be cognizant of the fact that the Chinese write the date differently than most North Americans. The year is written first, then the month, then the day (e.g., December 3, 2010, is written 10.12.03 or 10/12/03).is advisable avoid traveling to China during the lunar New Year. Also called Spring Festival, this is China's most important, nationwide weeklong holiday. Tradition demands that every Chinese return to his or her traditional home during the lunar New Year. With so many migrants to the cities, this means that there are millions of trips taken by car, bus, train, or airplane during the festival.. Punctuality is very important in China, not only for business meetings, but for social occasions as well. Lateness or a cancellation is a serious affront. Be sure to establish contacts in China before you invest in a trip. Your government's Department of Trade or Commerce can usually assist in arranging appointments with local Chinese business and government officials, and can identify importers, buyers, agents, distributors, and joint venture partners.are often used in discussions, but never make the mistake of addressing the interpreter and not the boss. Allow for a moderate attention span of about 30 minutes when presenting. Stress the benefits of your proposal for China and for the bottom line. Remember that the Chinese rarely say 'no'. Instead they will hint at difficulties, so be sensitive to this. Show commitment and enthusiasm to your project, and repeat your key points several times. Don't assume that silence means acceptance, and avoid asking personal opinions.teams are groups of specialists working under a leader, who may not himself be a specialist but will have links to the head of the company. Show respect to him and refer issues to him in the first place. Any one-to-one contact between members of your team and the Chinese should be authorized by the team leader first. The Chinese like to experience harmony and consultation. The working pace tends to be slow and methodological, and deadlines are regarded as flexible. Emphasize the moral and social aims of the project.. Agendas are adhered to in China, but expect slow, repetitious dealings: patience is essential. The Chinese like to establish general principles before moving onto detailed discussion. They also take the long view - sometimes extending over several generations. Be prepared to discuss problems at length to achieve total agreement, and be ready to understand their difficulties - these may be linked more to social matters or relationships than to the business. Do not push for information, and despite any irritation that you might feel internally, maintain a flexible but firm negotiation style. Your aim is to develop mutual trust in the long-term.general, truth is subjective, and one's feelings, along with a modified belief in the Communist Party line, are primary sources of the truth. Facts are accepted by younger Chinese, particularly within the burgeoning entrepreneurial sector. However, they still strongly consider the other two sources, and will not usually accept a proposal if it is in conflict with their personal feelings for the prospect.short, simple sentences, and pause often to make sure that your exact words are understood. Expect to make presentations to different groups at different levels. Unless you understand the significance of different colors in China, use black and white for your collateral materials.executives-especially those from the USA-have a reputation for impatience, and the Chinese will drag out negotiations well beyond your deadlines just to gain an advantage. They may try to renegotiate everything on the final day of your visit, and they may continue to try for a better deal even after the contract is signed.to make several trips to China before negotiations are final. The Chinese are cautious in business matters and expect a strong relationship to be built before they close a deal Unlike many Western organizations, the Chinese are not obsessed by achieving short term successes that may look impressive, but have not been fully thought through.executives tend to establish contractual relationships based on trust and honor without any reliance on the enforcement powers of law. "A contract is considered unnecessary, sometimes offensive, when rules of loyalty and mutual obligation structure the business environment." They will frequently ignore the written contract and treat it as a mere formality. Even if a contract is ultimately signed, a signed contract means the beginning of a relationship, not the "be all and end all" document which controls the parties' economic relationship, as in the eyes of U.S. contract law.Chinese expect the business conversation to be conducted by the senior officials of each side. Subordinates may speak when they are asked to provide corroborating data, or a comment, but in general, they do not interrupt. Familiarize yourself with all aspects of China before you arrive. The Chinese appreciate Western visitors who demonstrate an interest in their culture and history. Be patient, expect delays, show little emotion, and do not talk about your deadlines. At the end of a meeting, leave before the Chinese.structures in China are vertical. A manager will seek consensus from his team, but will take personal responsibility for decisions. One potential difficulty for visitors is that a manager's authority is often based on his wealth and family background, rather than purely on his competence at the job. All of this, together with language difficulties, makes it hard for visitors to read meetings and negotiations accurately. In addition, family businesses tend to belong to trade groups, which will also exert pressures.
. CHINESE BUSINESS ETIQUETTE
cards. Business cards are important. Bring business cards with a translation printed (in Mandarin Chinese) on the reverse side. Gold ink is the most prestigious color for the Chinese side. Never place a person's card in your wallet or put it in your back pocket.entertaining. Hospitality is an important tradition in China, and sharing the bill is unknown. You must reciprocate, however. Business lunches have become popular. Tea is always served in mugs with lids: never refuse. You will probably be treated to at least one evening banquet. Banquets at restaurants can be ordered in varying degrees of extravagance. Most banquets start between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. and last for several hours. Business is not generally discussed during a meal. Never begin to eat or drink before your host does. Start by eating lightly, as there could be up to twenty courses served. Expect your host to keep filling your bowl with food whenever you empty it. Finishing all of your food may be an insult to your host, because it can mean he did not provide enough food. Leaving a bowl completely full is also rude.is popular. At banquets, the host offers the first toast, and the ceremony continues all evening. It is acceptable to toast with a soft drink, but various alcoholic drinks will be available.is considered polite to sample every dish. The Chinese may even test your fortitude on purpose with exotic delicacies, like thousand-year-old eggs or marinated, deep-fried scorpions (completely intact with their stingers).Chinese use chopsticks for eating and a porcelain spoon for soup. Your attempts at using chopsticks will be appreciated When you are finished, set your chopsticks on the chopstick rest. Placing them parallel on top of your bowl or dropping is considered a sign of bad luck.serving of fruit signals the end of the meal. If you do not want refills of tea, leave some in your cup. Historically, women did not drink alcoholic beverages. If the business dinner is extremely formal (like a black-tie event), businesswomen should accept a drink if offered, take a sip, and leave it. However, at a less formal affair (like a trade association dinner), women can now be the drinking representative!topics of conversation include Chinese sights, art and inquiries about the health of the other's family. Generally, conversation during a meal focuses on the meal itself and is full of compliments to the preparer. While the Chinese are not traditionally sports fans, their interest in sport has been increased by the Olympics. U.S. football is called "olive ball" in Mandarin Chinese because the ball is roughly olive-shaped.
. Introductions in China are courteous and formal, so expect to take a fair amount of time over them on your first visit. The highest-ranking member of your group should lead the way. The Chinese nod or bow slightly when greeting another person, although handshakes are common. Wait for your Chinese associate to extend a hand first. Visitors to factories, theaters, or schools may be greeted with applause as a sign of welcome. The usual response is to applaud back./forms of address. The Chinese are sensitive to titles, so use them whenever possible (e.g. Director, Engineer), Do not address a Chinese person with the word 'comrade', a privilege reserved for Communist Party members. If you do not know a person's title, use Mr., Mrs. or Miss until you are advised otherwise. Names are listed in a different order from Western names. In China the surname comes first and the given names second. So Mao Tsedong was known as Chairman Mao, not Chairman Tsedong.. The Chinese do not use gestures and strong facial expressions, and are not tactile, so it's not surprising that they are often said to be inscrutable. One should avoid making exaggerated gestures or using dramatic facial expressions. The Chinese do not use their hands when speaking, and become distracted by a speaker who does. The Chinese do not like to be touched by people they do not know. This is especially important to remember when dealing with older people or people in important positions. Use an open hand rather than one finger to point. To beckon, turn the palm down and wave the fingers toward the body.. Gift giving is a sensitive issue in China. While often in violation of Chinese law, gift giving is widespread. Avoid giving anything of value in front of others; it could cause the recipient both embarrassment and trouble. A gift from your company to the Chinese organization or factory is acceptable. Make it clear that the gift is on behalf of the whole company you represent and is for the whole group on the receiving end. Be sure to present the gift to the acknowledged leader of the Chinese delegation. A banquet is considered an acceptable gift. Your Chinese hosts will certainly give you one, and you should reciprocate.giving or receiving a gift, use both hands. The gift is not opened in the presence of the giver. The Chinese traditionally decline a gift three times before accepting; this prevents them from appearing greedy. Continue to insist; once they accept the gift, say you are pleased that they have done so.of food are always appreciated by Chinese, but avoid bringing food gifts with you to a dinner or party (unless it has been agreed upon beforehand). Stamps are appreciate gifts if your associate is a collector (stamp collecting is popular in China). Older Chinese associate all of the following gifts and colors with funerals-avoid them: straw sandals, clocks, handkerchiefs (they symbolize sadness and weeping), gifts (or wrapping paper) in which the predominant color is white, black, or blue. If possible, wrap gifts in red, a lucky color. Pink and yellow are happy, prosperous colors, and are also good choices. All business negotiations should be concluded before gifts are exchanged.gifts: company pens, ashtrays, paperweights, books, whisky. Avoid giving: flowers, chocolates and especially knives or clocks, which represent death or the end of a relationship. Money should be given in even numbers.. For business, men should wear conservative suits, shirts, and ties. Loud colors are not appropriate. Women should also wear conservative suits, with relatively high-necked blouses and low heels-their colors should be as neutral as possible. At formal occasions, evening gowns are not necessary for women unless the event is a formal reception given by a foreign diplomat. Men may wear suits and ties.is still somewhat conservative. Revealing clothing may be offensive, but jeans are acceptable for both men and women.
Five Ways to SucceedFive Ways to FailBe sincere: it is the quality most prized by the ChineseExpect quick resultsDo favours: it is a great way to build relationships and they will be returnedLose your temper or get impatient - it shows a lack of controlShow respect to senior people and older peopleFail to keep regular contactSpend time building the relationshipBe extravagant or immodest in your dress, behaviour or personal habitsReciprocate: if someone asks for your help, help themIgnore Chinese social etiquette -especially at mealtimesLECTURE 6. CULTURAL TRADITIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION STYLE OF JAPAN
. COUNTRY BACKGROUND
's population is approximately 127 million (2006 estimate). This dense population is cited as the prevailing factor explaining the Japanese "group mentality." Over 99 percent of the population consists of native-born Japanese. The largest minority (less than 1 percent) are Koreans.. The Japanese Islands have been occupied for thousands of years. The dynasty of the current emperor is said to have been founded in 660 B.C. Historically, Japan has resisted outside influences and frequently closed itself to foreigners. The United States of America forcibly opened Japan to foreign markets in 1853 when Commodore Perry sailed his war fleet into Tokyo Bay.Westerners consider World War II was only part of a long-running Asiatic war in which Japan invaded neighboring nations. Korea was annexed in 1910, Manchuria was annexed in 1931, and China proper was invaded in 1937.surrendered to the Allies in 1945, and was occupied until 1952. The USA, wishing to demilitarize and democratize Japan, imposed many reforms after World War II. These efforts included a decrease in the power of the emperor and decentralization of the government. Subsequently, the Japanese recentralized much of their government.by the war, the Japanese rebuilt their factories and infrastructure. Japan's economy boomed in the 1970s and 1980s. Recently, the government led byMinister Junichiro Koi-zumi has made some painful changes to the economy. While this resulted in economic improvement in 2003, it remains to be seen if this recovery will be sustained.of government. Japan is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch. The chief of state is the emperor; Emperor Akihito was crowned in 1990. The head of the government is the prime minister. (Currently, the 95th Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.)within the government resides mainly in the prime minister, who is the leader of the majority party of the Diet, or Parliament. The prime minister dissolves the House of Representatives every two or three years. The prime minister also appoints the Supreme Court and leads the Cabinet.Diet is made up of two houses, the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors. Both are elected, with the House of Representatives having more authority. Finally, the Cabinet is responsible to the Diet. In the Cabinet, it is the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) that are the most important.
MITI, through involvement in business and industry following the Second World War, helped Japan gain its strength. Today MITI does not have the same authority it once did, both because it is not as needed as much as before and because of pressure from other governments (such as the United States of America). For current government data, visit <#"justify">. VALUES AND ATTITUDES CHARACTERISTIC OF THE JAPANESE
characteristics. For two centuries, from 1648 to 1853, Japan was cut off from Western and other Asian trends. This isolation, together with crowded living conditions, has produced a society with carefully evolved social rituals marked by high degrees of politeness and consideration. The Japanese are highly respected of status and position. They negotiate in groups or teams and avoid criticism of partners or proposals. A Japanese will work his or her whole career at a single company. The Japanese culture is collectivist by nature, that is, group achievement and harmony comes before that of individual fulfillment. It is a high power-distance culture where workers do not seek personal decision-making power.Japanese have a unique culture and language. Despite increasing scientific evidence, many Japanese believe that they are genetically unique as well. (One good way to make yourself unpopular in Japan is to quote studies that indicate the Japanese are descended from immigrants from mainland Asia.)Japanese are extremely protective of their culture and their society. They discourage large numbers of foreigners from coming to work and live in Japan. You may be told that certain services are "for Japanese only, "especially when you travel outside areas frequented by tourists. Foreigners in Japan are often considered to be the source of crime and public disorder, Often, Japanese who spend too much time studying abroad are stigmatized for "not being Japanese enough."important aspect of Japanese behavior is apology. Not only do individuals apologize for missteps, but companies do as well (in the person of their highest-ranking officers). For example: both foreign and domestic companies are expected to offer apologies for wrongdoing in Japan. In October of2004 Japan's bank regulatory department, the Financial Services Agency, ordered Citigroup to close its private banking business for fraudulent transactions. Citigroup subsequently flew the company's chief executive officer to Japan to hold a press conference. During the conference, he bowed deeply and apologized for his company's failure to comply with legal and regulatory requirements in Japan. " His apology was broadcast on Japanese television, and it was viewed as an important first step in repairing its reputation with regulators and customers.Japanese respect age and experience. Listeners are careful not to disagree with teachers or presenters. Communication in Japan is subtle and much is left unspoken, although it is perfectly understood by the Japanese. It is easy for Westerners to cause offence where none is intended, so until you are attuned to Japanese nuances always check that you have clearly understood instructions.Japanese think it is wrong to get emotional or lose your temper. Rather than saying 'No' outright, they will convey disagreement through silence, hesitation, or responses such as, Yes, but ... or The situation is delicate They often refuse by saying, Thank you. We'll study that'psychology requires that people observe the proper order of things. For example: when three Japanese hostages were released from Iraq in 2004, they had to pay for their own flights home. Instead of being welcomed back to Japan, they returned to widespread animosity because they had entered Iraq against their government's recommendation. This was a violation of protocol, and they were perceived to have put the government and the Japanese people in a bad position.orientation. The Japanese generally close all doors to outside influences, although they are open to ideas from within their group. They are subjective and experiential in their thinking, holding fast to traditional values. Strong loyalty to their groups makes the Japanese look to the particular and specific rather than the universal and abstract. While the Japanese pride themselves on anticipating others' needs, they can also be very compartmentalized.of decision-making. Decisions are made within the group. A person's actions reflect on the group, particularly his or her family. Outsiders must be accepted into the group before they can participate in decision making. The Japanese are only moderately collective.of anxiety reduction. The Japanese have very high anxiety about life because of the need to avoid embarrassment. There are constant pressures to conform. A very strong work ethic and strong group relationships give structure and stability to life. Emotional restraints are developed in childhood, and all behaviors are situation-bound. This makes it extremely difficult for a foreigner to understand the culture.of equality/inequality. Age is revered. There is a great deal of competitiveness among equals, but also an inherent trust in people. Ethnocentrism is very strong. Male dominance is still strong in public situations. Japanese politics, like most areas of power, has been almost exclusively male for decades. Recently this has begun to change. In 2000, Fusae Ota became the first Japanese woman to win a gubernatorial election when she became governor of Osaka.
. BUSINESS PRACTICE IN JAPAN
Japanese are relationship-focused, formal, very time conscious and reserved. It is extremely difficult for a foreign business to establish itself without first generating a trusting relationship that enables it to gain entry through a joint venture in this country. The Japanese may rely more on their feelings than on facts, because they tend to be more subjective than objective. Since they strive for consensus within their groups, individuals are prepared to change their position for the sake of group harmony.Japanese value hard work and long hours. Business hours are from 8am- 6pm, and although Saturday duties do not exist everywhere, many executives go in then to get themselves noticed. It is considered respectful to leave the office after the boss.sometimes interpret the Japanese dismissal of facts and decision-by-consensus process as evidence that Japanese belief in their superiority to others. The non-transparency of their decision-making and their tightly controlled communicative behavior complicates this situation with unknowing foreigners.poker face that means an expression on the face that shows none of your feelings is of great use in Japan. The Japanese dislike strong public displays of emotion. If you show shock or anger during business negotiations, they will believe that you lack self-control and are questionable as a business partner.Japanese have sometimes been characterized as averse to all-controlling written contracts. Rather, certainty comes from giri, a system of intertwining social and moral obligations. In the event that parties under giri should fall into a dispute, then they will adopt a conciliatory and flexible concessionaire approach. The presence of giri might be incompatible with the nature of litigation and operate to inhibit a resort to legal resolution of disputes. Differing attitudes toward contracts can cause even more confusion. Agreements of confidentiality are vague. Contracts are not perceived as final agreements. You or they may renegotiate. For instance, the custom of naniwabushi allows the Japanese to request a change in a contract if the terms become onerous or unfair, which is not acceptable in Western cultures. A business contract in Japan is like a wedding vow: it means more in spirit than in substance. If the relationship is not working, rereading the contract will not help. The Japanese are insulted when an executive brings a lawyer to negotiations.the Japanese get to know and trust you, they will reveal their real feelings and be more direct and honest. This often happens not in the office, but in social events. It's important to take every opportunity to attend these. Next you can practise consistency in thought and action by doing what you say and showing loyalty and respect - to build still more trust.positive, persuasive presentation works better with the Japanese than does a high-pressure, confrontational approach. To get the ideas accepted one should seek adoption