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As time progresses, the world, in terms of business is rather contracting. There is growing communication, interaction and exchange between different parts of the world. Technologies that were once thought of as a far sighted notion are now being using like household commodities and communication mediums that were once considered luxuries available to few are now a necessities needed to prosper. The world is becoming more integrated by the day and countries are becoming more and more dependent on one another in terms of trade and business.
This paper focus on how the culture and environment that a business operates in affects the organization. It will outline some constraints and will generally give a picture of how to cope with changing cultures as in today’s expanding work environments it is vital to understand the attitudes, values, perceptions of the regions. Also, the role of media and politics would be discussed. Discussion: It is now a well known and widespread phenomenon that the world is a ‘global village’.
This means that globalization has taken its toll and the entire world is somewhat a unified society or community that needs to interact in order to get on. But what exactly is Globalization? Globalization is basically the term used to describe the integration of economic, political and . it refers to the greater freedom of movements of goods, capital and people around the world. this shrinking of the world is having a major impact on business activity especially from multi-nationals which are the business organizations that have their headquarters in one country but operating branches, factories and assembly plants in others.
In recent years there have been moves to reduce the number and level of trade restrictions that limited the trade between countries. The free trade movement and the aid of information technology are reducing the differences that once existed between national markets, reducing the importance of national borders and making it easier for firms to trade with and locate in many countries. This is forcing firms, which were once protected by national governments to become internationally competitive (Stimpson, 2002).
Globalization integrates people, companies and governments and effects the environment, culture and political systems as well as economic development and human physical well-being in societies all around the world. The focus here, however, is on how the culture of a society or region shapes the operations of multi-nations and globalization as a whole. Culture, most simply described, is the behaviors, beliefs, values, underlying assumptions and perceptions shared by a group of people with respect to their environment and societies.
Many characteristics of human life are transmitted genetically, they are innate and are naturally present and then there are other qualities that are learned. Culture is the name for the body of learned behaviors common to a society that form as a template for shaping behavior, manners and conduct from generation to generation. Culture exists in businesses as well, it is the attitudes and behaviors that employees of an organization embrace as an affect of their working environment. Working culture of an organization has a great impact over how workers feel, behave and work.
Hence, national culture similar to corporate culture is the values and attitudes shared by individuals from a specific country that shape their behavior and their beliefs about what is important. Culture has the characteristic of being learned as well as taught. Culture is something that evolves and is in a constant state of change. The basic indicators and manipulators of culture are the values, customs and beliefs that rest in the society. These factors carry on for generations and are manifested in individuals as they live according to the routine of their environment.
Culture has a direct and deep association with these features as these values and customs are what combine together and form the basis of culture. Ethnocentricity is a dilemma faced by many societies when dealing with different regions and areas. Ethnocentrisms are the conviction that one has that his or her culture or ethnicity is most superior. Ethnocentricity is the belief that some people have which makes them consider other cultures with respect to their own and manifests a superiority which is indicated through their behavior and attitudes towards other cultures.
It is noted that cultural ethnocentrism is becoming prominent and is one of the stronger motivators of people pulling away from other economies. Ethnocentricity has rather negative impacts on multi national companies, as it causes consumers to distrust the international brands which adversely affect the consumer purchasing behavior. Cultural openness and demographic variables are factors that affect the ethnocentrism that persists in a society. Companies can remove these barriers through promoting awareness of their brand as well as educating and informing people about internationalization of businesses.
Maintaining a positive approach is a key to attracting ethnocentric societies. Also, by targeting markets considering their age, gender and their cultural background shows apathy and reduces ethnocentric behaviors. For a firm to operate internationally, it needs strategies that would help it create a market outside the home country. In order to create an awareness or better described as a competitive advantage, businesses need effective global strategies. Global strategies can take the form of reducing costs and increasing efficiency, taking risks, or creating brand identification and reputation.
Whichever the strategy chosen, it is very important to understand the local cultures and environment before entering a market. Strategies can be of numerous forms but branding is considered as most efficient when it comes to entering a completely new market. Brand strategy focuses on influencing the perceptions of people in a way that they persuaded to act in a certain manner. In today’s highly competitive and expanding business markets, it is necessary to create a positive and lasting impression on the consumers through branding.
When entering a new market, a company needs to analyze the culture of the region and adapt to it in a manner that it does not seem awkward or unnatural to the consumers. A global brand needs to pertain a relevant meaning and significance to people across multiple societies, the strategy needs to be diverse and devised in a fashion that blends well with the people, their experience and the society. Different societies have different mind frames, values and in simple words, a different culture as a whole.
For example, animals such as a horse is recognized all over the world but it is perceived differently, in some societies it may be considered as a mode of transport, in some, a gambling opportunity while in some, it symbolizes independence. These differences must be acknowledged when formulating strategies. Cultural conventions determine how people in a society interact with each other, what their beliefs are, and what meanings do they attach to their representations. Cultures develop through experience and learning, they are not static (Baker, 2001).
Strategies must be aware and on a look out of these cultural shifts that may create a booming opportunity to replace something that is losing its value. Therefore, Companies can follow their regular patterns of strategy formulation which integrates its overall objectives with its marketing and financial counterparts but when looking for a new market in a new region, the first consideration must be the analysis of the local market trends, customs, traditions and adopt these within the strategy.
In general, a company must be aware of the societal beliefs and stand points of the cultural areas that it is catering to. No aspect of the product, branding or the company policies must collide with the cultures. Every culture is dissimilar to another and so are its values and characteristics. The concepts and perceptions towards the routine items such as leisure, work, family structures and religion are separate in every society or culture and may be at different priority levels.
A culture that is based to moral values of responsibilities and independence may have more influence on working and exerting. While a culture that does not ingrain a sense of self-sufficiency may promote a lifestyle of leisure and relaxation. Family structures also differ, so do religious beliefs. These two factors are most important when framing a culture as they define the mode of life and the code of conduct of people that follow it.
Therefore, different religions may impose different conditions and these conditions, with the passage of time, become a part of the society and culture. Communication is generally the sharing of information between two or more individuals or groups to reach a common understanding (Jones & George, 2007). Good communication is necessary for an organization to gain a competitive advantage. Good communication, within an organization, is vital for managers to learn about new technologies, implement them in their organization and train workers in how to use them.
Culture plays a central role in the communication process. Perception, which is the process through which people select, organize, and interpret sensory input to give meaning and order to the world around them, affects the meaning of the message. Perceptual biases can hamper a company and its communication just like ethnocentricity. Perceptual biases pertaining in a culture can use information about the company in a way that could create inaccurate perceptions and thus have a negative effect.
Communication is basic way through which a business can promote itself and its product across borders and so it is very important that this be done in the most efficient manner without causing and negative impact upon the consumers. Thorough analysis of culture is essential in order to for communication to be well understood in the way intended. For example, the details written on a product may have to be translated into the local language. Also, non-verbal messages such as images may have a different meaning from culture to culture and if not properly surveyed may end up displaying the wrong meaning and impression.