The impact of cross-cultural differences on business

8 August 2016

Today we are going to look at how they impact the organization within a business. Many readers may not quite be here yet. But I thought this would be interesting to look at. Are There Differences? What makes an international business different? Does an international business function differently from one that is not international? Are there international growing pains? Apart from the legalities of operating an international company, it is hard to identify any tangible differences.

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In my personal experience, the differences are nuanced. They center around collective “soft” skills. This obviously stems from the nature of “international skills” and “cross-cultural skills”. Cultural Influences There are some obvious ways culture influences an international business: The way how we present ourselves How we express opinions Assumptions based on the environment and context Perceptions of voice, and other personal physical details When you work inside an international company, you learn to adapt to these cultural differences. They stop interfering with communication.

Cultural Conflict Within A Company Some people may think that conflict within an international company is a result of the confrontation between cultures. Although cultural personality issues and misunderstandings do happen, it is difficult to identify how culture influences teamwork within a company. Most people learn to adapt to the different cultures and this enhances personal growth, interpersonal relations and intercultural interactions. And this is where there may be differences in an international company and a company that is not international.

Most of the employees in an international company will be at a comparable level of personal growth. They will have similar interpersonal and intercultural skills. And in a company that is not international, there could be wider differences in these areas. Better Practices Beyond soft skills… What I have noticed from working with international companies, is that they seem to strive harder to implement standard and industry best practices. Best practices seem to lessen the clash of cultures within a company.

These best practices are more widely accepted. They can also help to create a collective identity. Best practices can also lessen the clash of cultures outside the company when dealing with international clients. It does not matter where your clients are from, they also appreciate dealing with people that follow standard best practices. In the end it all comes down to working with good communication and within good business practices. Here’s more on Culture In International Business. What do you think? Please share your thoughts and comments below.

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