Cross Cultural Solutions for International Business

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Cross Cultural Solutions for International Business

By: Neil Payne

Globalisation, the expansion of intercontinental trade, technological advances and the increase in the number of companies dealing on the international stage have brought about a dramatic change in the frequency, context and means by which people from different cultural backgrounds interact.

Cross cultural solutions to international business demands are increasingly being viewed as a valid and necessary method in enhancing communication and interaction in and between companies, between companies and customers and between colleagues.

Cross cultural consultancies are involved in aiding companies to find solutions to the challenges cross cultural differences carry.

International and national businesses are ultimately the result of people. As with incompatible software, if people are running on different cultural coding, problems can occur. Cross cultural consultancies therefore concentrate their efforts on interpersonal communication.

Different cultures and cultural backgrounds between a highly diverse staff base brings with it obstacles, challenges and difficulties. Cross cultural differences manifest in general areas such as in behaviour, etiquette, norms, values, expressions, group mechanics and non-verbal communication. These cross cultural differences then follow on through to high level areas such as management styles, corporate culture, marketing, HR and PR.

In order to overcome potential pitfalls, specialist attention is required in the form of a cross cultural consultant. As one would approach a doctor for a medical diagnosis or an accountant to examine finances, cross cultural consultants offer the expertise, experience and know-how to diagnose problems and provide solutions to interpersonal cultural differences.

Within companies there are many facets in which cultural differences manifest. Some key areas which cross cultural consultants deal with include, but are not exclusive to, the following:

Cross Cultural HR: HR covers a wide range of business critical areas that need cross cultural analysis. Consultants may offer advice on a number of areas including recruitment, relocation, international assignments, staff retention and training programmes.

Cross Cultural Team-Building: in order to have a well functioning business unit within a company, communication is critical. Cross cultural consultants will provide tools and methods to promote staff integration, reduce cross cultural conflicts and build team spirit. This is essentially done through highlighting differences and building on strengths to ensure they are used positively.

Cross Cultural Synergy: international mergers, acquisitions and joint-ventures require people from different cultural backgrounds to harmonise in order to succeed. Cross cultural consultants counsel on group mechanics, communication styles, norms, values and integration processes.

Cross Cultural Awareness Training: working with colleagues, customers or clients from different cultural backgrounds, with different religions, values and etiquettes can occasionally lead to problems. Cross cultural awareness training is usually a generic introduction into a culture, country, region or religion. The aim is to equip the trainee with the adequate knowledge to deal comfortably with people from different cultures, avoiding misunderstandings and mistakes.

Cross Cultural Training for Expatriate Relocation: staff that travel overseas need to understand the cultural basics of the host country or region. Knowledge of the country's history, culture, laws, traditions, business practices and social etiquettes all help to minimise the impact of culture shock and hence smooth their transition overseas.

Cross Cultural Negotiations: equipped with their knowledge of the two or more cultures that can be meeting around the negotiation table, a cross cultural consultant advises on areas such as negotiation strategies, styles, planning, closure and etiquette in order to increase the chance of a successful outcome, free from misunderstandings, suspicions and general cross cultural communication breakdown.

Cross Cultural PR Consultancy: brand image, public relations and advertising are all areas companies must be careful of when moving out of the national context. Tastes and values change dramatically from continent to continent. It is crucial to understand whether the brand name, image or advertising campaign is culturally applicable in the target country. Cross cultural consultants examine words, images, pictures, colours and symbols to ensure they fit well with the target culture.

Cross Cultural Language Training: Language training is an area where little investment is made by companies, but where the business advantages are great. Linguistic knowledge goes a long way in bridging cultural gaps and smoothing lines of communication. Cross cultural consultancies provide language training to business staff, moulding their learning to the business environment in which they work.

In conclusion, clearly the role and expertise of cross cultural communication consultants is important for today's international business. The potential pitfalls cross cultural differences present to companies are extensive. In essence a cross cultural consultant's primary objective is integration. This integration, between colleagues, clients and customers is crucial for business success. Equipped with experience, knowledge and above all objectivity, a cross cultural consultant creates bridges of understanding and opens lines of communication.

For more information on cross cultural training please visit http://www.kwintessential.co.uk

About The Author

Neil Payne is Director of London based cross cultural communications consultancy, Kwintessential.


npayne@kwintessential.co.uk

Comments

?????????? 14.05.2009. 18:27

What are some websites that accept amazon payments? There was like some integration or something and i cant seem any websites that accept amazon payments as part of their accepted apayments.

??????????

Admin 14.05.2009. 18:27

According to the website:

Apparel, Shoes & Accessories

* Blitz Manufacturing
* Jockey.com
* LEAD Apparel
* PCscrubs, LLC
* PEP Eyeware
* Reading Glasses to Go
* Storenvy LLC

Back to top
Books, DVDs & Media

* AKM Partners LLC
* Always Good Music, Inc.
* BookHolders
* Brant Beene Creative
* ClassicTVAds.com L.L.C.
* Endless Graphic Productions LLC
* Lil' Jake Productions
* Polart Video Inc.
* RenderedTg

Back to top
Business & Services

* Comprendia LLC
* Flowroute LLC
* Hyperic Inc
* J&S America cargo Corp
* Levementum
* MileMeter Insurance Company
* Morse Best Innovation
* National Business Media
* RAD Game Tools
* SproutPoint
* UUorld Inc

Back to top
Computer Hardware & Software

* Advanced Reliable Software Inc.
* Connect A Desk LLC
* Griaule Technology LLC.
* John Edward Schwaner Jr.
* SET Consulting LLC
* Skyhound
* Ylastic, LLC.

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Electronics

* Abacus24-7 LLC
* antonline_com
* CherryPal, Inc.
* DataVision Computer Video Inc
* Elite Electronix Inc
* HIDEF Lifestyle Inc
* MTNStore.com LLC
* North Adams Outdoors
* OneCall
* PF Digital Inc.
* Phonopreamps.com
* Printer Professionals
* The Speaker Company
* Total Dropshipper Inc

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General Retail

* Andreas, Inc
* FERU DISTRIBUTION LLC
* SVMProducts,LLC

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Gifts & Flowers

* ecomZera
* HD Greetings
* Oregon Maiden Outpost
* SocialCalendar

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Grocery

* Euro Coffee
* Neem Tree Farms, Inc.
* Retrofuture Products LLC

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Health & Beauty

* Association of VA Psychologist Leaders
* At Home Medical Products, Inc
* Broadened Horizons, Inc.
* COSME-DE
* FIZZENTS
* Gentle Ventures Trust
* Neckblade, L.L.C.
* NorthShore Care Supply

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Hobbies, Toys & Games

* Better Indeed LLC
* Fat Brain Toys
* Karl Reinhart
* RoundTable Toys
* TOYSCAMP INC

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Home & Garden

* Artome LLC
* BENL
* K4 Products, LLC
* orangeonions
* Rayna Creations Inc.
* SmarterLight
* Stacks and Stacks
* TICO DECORATIONS
* Valley Curbside Recycling, LLC

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Internet & Network Services

* 1000 Markets, Inc.
* AisleTen, LLC
* Akhtaboot
* BrowserMob, LLC
* CommonsWare
* CrystalRoot, Inc.
* drop.io, inc.
* Eyejot
* KnowledgeTree Inc.
* MaineCreates.com - Maine Creates LLC
* Occipital, LLC
* Offerpal Media
* Refdesk.com
* Vertica Systems, Inc.
* Xivio

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Media & Entertainment

* Asymmetric Publications, LLC
* Beet/NECODO
* Blackout Gaming
* Dead Skull Video
* IndieCade
* IndieGoGo Inc
* Koblo
* Machinima Inc.
* MovieGoods, Inc.
* Music Intelligence Solutions
* MusicBoomerang.com
* Peanut Labs
* QnEZ
* RED CONTENT, LLC
* Slide Inc
* SurfCity Music

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Non-profit & Organizations

* AE Charter School Initiative
* American National Red Cross
* Digital Faith Community
* European Christian Mission International - USA
* HUCM Class of 1998
* mokugift.com
* OLPC Foundation
* Pumping Station: One
* Seattle Georgia Tech Alumni Club
* Turkish Cultural Foundation

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Sports & Recreation

* Advanced Outfitters, LLC
* Adventure Concepts Ltd
* bowlingball, Inc.
* Camp Voyageur
* gearLabs, Inc.
* Ivarson USA LLC
* JAS Sports Inc
* Long Acquisitions LLC
* Marc Servin
* Randa Luggage
* Statheads Sports

Admin

Mamun 29.10.2009. 11:23

can you supply me some mission and vision statements of various organizations? Array

Mamun

Admin 29.10.2009. 11:23

1.Flex Industries
Vision

At Flex we believe that, to eventually emerge as a World leader in providing total Flexible Packaging solutions, we need a customer focused approach.
The way to being a world class player is paved with state-of-the-art facilities blended with world class practices. And it shall be our endeavour to be placed amongst the top ten international players by the year 2005.


Mission

We believe in using our creativity and aesthetic potential in providing flexible packaging solutions which make packaging easier, faster, more efficient and user friendly. In this way we too have a share in contributing to the conservation of resources by enhancing the shelf life of the perishable products.

2.Canara Bank
Vision

To emerge as a ?Best Practices Bank? by pursuing global benchmarks in profitability, operational efficiency, asset quality, risk management and expanding the global reach.


Mission

To provide quality banking services with enhanced customer orientation, higher value creation for stakeholders and to continue as a responsive corporate social citizen by effectively blending commercial pursuits with social banking.

3.Indian Institute Of Information Technology and Management Gwalior
VISION

"Global Excellence in Knowledge Economy"

MISSION

* Teaching and Research with focus on emerging technologies, business process and High-Tech Solutions in Low-Tech environment.

* Integrating Technologies and Management in cross-cultural environments.

* Shaping Students Innovative, Entrepreneurial, Supportive, Assured and International.

Admin

GoBuckeyes! 13.12.2006. 03:26

Cross-Cultural Solution? Has anyone heard of this organization? I'm looking to volunteer in China to teach young kids english for two weeks through this program. I saw a show on it on MTV, and although its MTV, I don't think they would show a bad program that would screw people over. Their sending me info soon through the mail, but I'm still kind of sceptical. Has anyone heard anything about this or done something through this program to give me good feedback on to make me feel more confident? Or does anyone know websites or ways to look into this organization a little more?

Any info would be GREATLY appreciated.

GoBuckeyes!

Admin 13.12.2006. 03:26

It's good that you are skeptical, you definately want to check out any program throughly before committing to one. In the interest of full disclosure I actually work for a study abroad program (www.afs.org) and we do offer volunteer opportunities abroad. That's all I will say about that, I don't do recruitment. However, since I work in the industry there are A LOT of sham study abroad organizations in the world - they are all about your money and not about your safety. That is why there are a few organizations that look out for your interests - they set the standards for study abroad programs that operate in the USA. There are 2, one is the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (visit www.csiet.org) and the other is called the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange (www.alliance-exchange.org). Both of these sites have a member's list - you want to check and see if organizations are listed as a member, if they are not you should be somewhat wary. It means they do not necessarily abide by the standards set by the watchdog groups or they haven't gained membership yet. Another excellent resource is the State Department, they do monitor the activity of study abroad organizations as well. The last place I would check is the Better Business Bureau, see if there are any complaints against an organization to see if they are legit.

Those are all really legitamate places to find fair and unbaised information about organizations and I agree with you that MTV is probably not the most reliable source as a reference. Another person mentioned to find out if you are paid or not - the majority of volunteer programs are not paid, you do in fact have to pay, that is why you are volunteering. Feel free to check out all of the programs listed on CSIET or Alliance - look at what their prices, shop and compare to see if what CCS offers is comprable. There are a few programs that do pay for you to go abroad, the one I can think of off the top of my head is the JET programme (www.jetprogramme.org), which hires Americans to go teach English in Japan for a year or two. Usually programs that pay you, it's more like a job than an exchange / volunteer program (even though you are probably paid like a volunteer!). Basically go with your gut too, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For the most part this program seems legitamate to me, but definately do all of your research first. Also, it wouldn't hurt to call them and ask who they get their accredidation through, if they are on CSIET or about their relationship with the State Department. That will be the most important thing, is the support the program offers - if you are in trouble or hurt yourself abroad, what will CCS do to support you, can they get you out of the country, and those kinds of emergency plans are very contingent on their relationship with the State Department. I hope that helps and best of luck on your trip! You won't regret it!

Admin

Ben 07.05.2012. 16:15

I would love to do some coaching abroad. Any ideas? I would love to experience football in another country. I would like to go away maybe for a month, preferably somewhere where English is a native language but im not fixed on that. I do not currently have any coaching badges as I just have not had the time to do them. I play at high standard, (two leagues below conference) so I have experience of working with very good, and sometimes professional coach's. As my season has just finished, I have a few months where im not doing much. Im self employed so I have no ties to a job. I would love to earn money whilst doing it but im happy if it would just cover expenses whilst I stay (accomodation, few meals etc). I would be happy to volunteer but Im not exactly well off at the moment. As my club play at a reasonable standard there is possibility for future commercial links, through equipment and both business. Im also looking down the possibility of obtaining a degree to maybe go into teaching in the future or possible something in the sports industry. Im 22.

Ben

Admin 07.05.2012. 16:15

Volunteer (aka voluntary) organizations such as International Volunteer Headquarters, Projects Abroad, and Cross Cultural Solutions all offer sports development programs where you can go abroad and coach kids in a sport.

Admin

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