I. Opening Section
The Opening Section presents six useful rules for Americans going to other countries to sell and
in doing so, points out some cultural differences. These rules are: Be prepared, slow down,
establish trust, understand the importance of language, respect the culture, and understand the
components of culture.
II. What Is Culture?
A. Culture is the sum total of beliefs, rules, techniques, institutions, and artifacts that
characterize human populations.
B. Culture is learned and shared, its various aspects are interrelated and it defines the boundaries
of different groups.
C. Anthropologists often combine the words social and cultural into one word, sociocultural.
This is the term we use because the variables in which businesspeople are interested are both
social and cultural.
D. Most cultures consider their culture superior to other cultures. This is a fundamental example
of ethnocentric thinking.
E. Hall, a noted anthropologist, says there are only two ways to learn about another culture: (1)
spend a lifetime in a country or (2) undergo an extensive training program that covers the
main characteristics of a culture, including the language.
III. Significance of Culture for International Business
A. Culture impacts all business functions, marketing, HR, production, accounting and finance,
B. Worldview: Disneyland is a good example of the impact of culture on operations.
IV. Frameworks to Understand Culture
A. Hall's High and Low Context
1. High Context Culture: communication tends to be implicit and indirect, polychronic
2. Low Context Culture: Communication tends to be direct; context plays little role,
B. Hofstede's Five Dimensions
1. Individualism-collectivism dimension: degree to which people in the culture are integrated
2. Uncertainty avoidance: society’s comfort with uncertainty
3. Masculinity-femininity: distribution of roles between the genders
4. Power distance: extent to which members of a society expect and accept power to be
5. Long term orientation/Confucian Dynamism: dealing with Virtue regardless of Truth, that
is, the level to which people in the culture will persevere to overcome obstacles they
cannot overcome with will or strength
C. Trompenaars Seven Dimensions
1. Universalism vs. Particularism: whether rules or relationships regulate behaviors
2. Individualism-Communitarianism: whether people plan their actions with reference to
individual benefits or group benefits
3. Neutral vs. Affective: the culture’s rules for display of emotions