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What Social and Cultural Issues Should a Manager Consider Before Doing Business in a Foreign Country?

What social and cultural issues should a manager consider when doing business in a foreign country? In order to be effective in a foreign business environment, a manager must understand and respect several different cultures within the organization. To do so, a manager should develop special skills that will enable them to handle cultural differences effectively and sensitively. Here are some of these skills. Read on to learn more.

Language: Some cultures find it offensive to hug someone of the opposite sex or make too much body contact. In an effort to avoid misunderstandings, a manager should understand the differences in greeting. For example, in America, people greet each other with warm hugs, but in China, businesspeople don’t shake hands. In other countries, businesspeople will place their palms together in front of their chests. Knowing the appropriate way to greet business associates will avoid awkward situations and improve their business relations.

Culture: A manager should take into account the differences between a society’s social and professional norms and practices. For example, in one country, a middle management employee may not speak up during meetings. In another, a manager may not allow middle managers or junior staff to ask questions. In another culture, it is improper to express differences of opinion, especially among senior officers.

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