Guide on How to Write University Essays, Courseworks, Assignments and Dissertations

International Business Requires Understanding Cultural And Managerial Differences

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Working successfully with or doing business in foreign countries requires a range of familiarities outside of those needed for national or regional business. However, business activities offshore frequently require familiarity with a distinct set of business ethics and cultural differences that are not ordinarily understood.  Even when a nation’s businesses are headquartered at home but operate facilities or subsidiaries abroad, understanding these differences is essential to successful relations. This is even more true when relationships are carried on in countries who are not English speaking.


Multinational companies face differences in culture, legal systems, language barriers, standards of living, ethics and business operating methods that must be realised, understood and embraced. These IBCs or international business companies include banks, insurance companies, trading firms, manufacturers, heavy construction, shipping, fast food, vehicle manufacturing and many more and they continue to proliferate as economies become more global in nature. (Wikipedia, 2007).


It is the appreciation of and respect for regional country and cultural differences or cultural diversity that must be understood in order to be successful in international business operations. This is critically important as people from different backgrounds come together for a common economic purpose. Learning the skills, proper etiquette, manners and means of intercultural communication represents the biggest challenge for UK, US and Canadian companies who are committed to international business success. This is evidenced, in part, by the fact that most MBA programs at leading schools worldwide emphasize these factors as an essential facet of their programs for students seeking advanced business degrees. Some universities even offer MBA programs specifically for international business. (Degree Abroad, 2007)


In order to remain competitive, companies continue to search for top and middle management people who have relevant knowledge, experience and training in international business. They search for individuals who understand international business finance, organizational behaviour, human resource management, information technology, market research and analysis and also quantitative methods. Employees selected must understand how individual interpersonal, group and organizational influences on behaviour influence the management process. Most of all, they are expected to be able to communicate effectively and confidently both in person and in the written word.


It is easy to understand how having important insights into the cultural dynamics of a region or country makes it easier to comprehend why it’s people act the way that they do. It also is important to help international business employees know how they must act while doing business abroad.


When outside of a formal international business educational program, the best way to begin this orientation is to read extensively about the target country, its customs and its people. There is also extensive coverage about the etiquette utilised within specific countries available on the Internet by searching under international business etiquette. This will provide insights on do’s and don’ts in areas like greetings, introductions, conversational behaviour, gift giving, dining, meetings, customs, protocol, negotiations and general behaviour. ( 2007)


Right now there are more than seventy colleges that offer two-year degrees in international business, trade and finance. These programs equip graduates to work in positions such as sales, marketing, customer, service, currency conversion and shipping within offshore branches of multinational firms. There are also on-line home study courses available for those determined to be self-educated about international business operations.     



Wikipedia (2007) “International Business” (on-line)

Available from:

Accessed: 10-20-07


Degree Abroad (2007) “Master of Business Administration in International Business” (on-line)

Available from:, cfm/listing/31693

Accessed: 10-20-07


International Business, Etiquette and Manners (2007) (on-line)

Available from:

Accessed: 10-20-07

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