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Canada (161,820)
Commerce (1,695)
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Chapter 4

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IB Chapter 4 Characteristics of Culture Culture is the collection of values, beliefs, behaviours, customs, and attitudes that distinguish one society from another Culture determines rules that govern how firms operate Characteristics of culture: - Reflects learned behaviour transmitted from one member to another - Elements are interrelated - Adaptive, changes in response to external forces - Shared by members of society and defines membership in that culture Elements of Culture Basic elements - Social structure - Language - Communication - Religion - Values and attitudes Interaction of these elements affects the local environment in which IBs operate Social Structure Individuals, Families, and Groups Involve individuals living in family units and working with each other in groups Differences in definition of family and individual roles within groups Reflected in importance of family to business (nepotism) Social stratification Societies categorize people to some extent on the basis of their birth, occupation, educational achievement etc. Importance of these categories, and their interactions b/w one another varies across countries MNCs operating in highly stratified societies often must adjust their hiring and promotion procedures to take into class or clan differences among supervisors and workers In less stratified societies firms are freer to seek out the most qualified employee Highly stratified societies, advertisers must tailor messages more carefully to ensure they only reach their target audience (no so in less stratified societies) Social Mobility: Ability of individuals the move from one stratum of society to another Higher in less stratified societies Language Primary delineator of cultural groups because it is an important means by which society’s members communicate with each other Organizes the way members of a society think about the world Provides important clues about the culture values of the society and aids acculturation Presence of more than one language group is an important signal about the diversity of a country’s population One language = homogenous More than one language = heterogeneous Savvy business people operating in heterogeneous societies adapt marketing and business practices along linguistic lines Language as a Competitive Weapon Linguistic ties often create important competitive advantages because the ability to communicate is so important in conducting business transactions E.g. Giro sport design moving from US to Ireland, English speaking well-trained labour Linuga Franca English is predominant common language of IB Some countries that have many linguistic groups adopt English as an official language to facilitate communication among diverse groups Does not eliminate all cross-cultural misunderstandings (e.g. differences in humour) Failure to learn a second language puts them and their firms at a decided disadvantage Translation Can be overcome by translation Translation can crea
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