More and more companies are doing business internationally. One major thing that companies have to take account of is cultural awareness. In big multinational corporations there can be employees from tens of different countries. It´s important that these people, employees and customers can feel they are equal between each other.
It is important to take into consideration cultural differences. European people behave differently than example Asians. In working life Asians are more structured and the hierarchy is important to them. They are polite and discreet. People in Middle East usually avoid the word “no”. That may lead to misunderstandings.
Cross-cultural differences have several times prevented successful international projects. Only those who have the ability really understand and respect other people with even absurd culture heritage, can manage globally.
Diversity is not a bad thing, it´s actually a huge richness. Diversity is big factor in global business. It has in all areas of business. Of course, there are more differences between people who come from different cultures.
If you think and act wisely, you can make yourself and your business rich just by take into account the widest possible spectrum of people. This should be obvious, but in many cases it is not.
I myself work in an international company. The company´s headquarter is in Finland, but there are multiple branch offices in other European countries and also in Russia. There are employees from about fifty different nationalities and this number includes only employees who work in Finland.
Ethics and consideration of other cultures is a large deal in my workplace. We have education how to take account people from different cultures in our everyday work. I would say that “equality” is the most important word there. That is something that all workers must follow, otherwise you may find yourself unemployed in the worst case.
Even when we treat everybody equally and with approval, it is not always enough. There can be nationalities who just can´t work together. I have seen that. Usually these people´s home countries are at war with each other or by the culture heritage they can´t respect each other.
Cultural awareness can push business to the next level. That is something that people should remember when working in global business areas. Respect is important in every culture and by respecting others you can make them respecting you. If you have to travel to other country to example negotiate something, it´s good to find out about polite behaviour. You can only win by doing that.
Fenner, Anne-Brit. 2001. Cultural Awareness and Language Awareness Based on Dialogic Interaction with texts in foreign language learning. Strasbouorg.
Trompenaars, Fons & Woolliams, Peter. 2003. Business Across Cultures. Chichester.
Statman, Meir. 2008. Countries and Culture in Behavioral Finance. Santa Clara University. Research.