Different Cultural Elements from Eastern and Western Cultures in both Social and Business Environments and Their Effects

Different Cultural Elements from Eastern and Western Cultures in both Social and Business Environments and Their Effects

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Culture refers to how a person thinks and functions represented by eating, dressing, working and interactions behaviors. Culture creates many impacts towards the operation of global businesses (Aswathappa 2010). Eastern and western cultures differ in cultural elements in both social and business environments. The following paper represents a case of the United Kingdom firm that received a complaint from Chinese clients over a bad product that affects customers. Lane Crawford wishes to close the contract with Alexander Mcqueen because of complaints from customers. In order to resolve the issue Alexander Mcqueen had to send a team of experts to China, but unfortunately they barely know anything about the Eastern cultures. In order for the team to resolve the matter successfully and avoid cancelation of the contract, they ought to understand the following.

Different cultural elements from Eastern and Western cultures in both social and business environments, and their effects

Eastern and western cultures differ in the manner in which both people conduct business activities and their business environments. Economic globalization leads to increased communication of trading and economy among nations, where negotiation forms the important part of international business activities (Luo 2008). According to LeBaron (2003), the Western culture becomes hard to understand in terms of negotiating a business transaction. Unlike the Eastern culture such as the Japanese, the Eastern people are culturally homogenous. Western business people practice monochromic approach to negotiation while Eastern culture practices polychromic approach. The Western culture is represented by countries like United States, Germany, Switzerland and many others. On the other hand, the Eastern cultures represent countries like China, Japan and India among others.

On the other hand, the Eastern cultural background opts for prompt beginnings and endings in times of negotiations. Moreover, these people rely on specific, explicit and detailed information. The case above represents Chinese customers complaining of a perfume that has affected over 300 people. The case represents one cultural difference of the western and eastern cultures in the business environment concept. Negotiating a business deal with people of the Republic of China requires the negotiating firm to give clients time to digest what they discuss and provide feedback at the end of the negotiation. The aspect of time might have resulted to the above-named problem (LeBAron 2003). Business firms from UK follow the western culture that makes them more oriented to the present and the near future. In order for the British team of experts to easily negotiate with Chinese clients, they must conduct excellent negotiation that follows the Chinese business culture.

Another aspect of culture that differentiates the western from the eastern culture falls on thinking patterns. The modern thinking behavior rule and value view composes unique characters that differentiate one nation from another. Thinking mode of people from different origins leads to long-term cultural accumulation that influences the human social life. In the east culture, people emphasize on deductions accustomed to reason from common to specific while the western culture emphasizes from specific to common. Comprehensive thinking characterizes the eastern culture that involves uniting different parts of the object to make one entity. The eastern culture of unification and giving priority to one entity of thinking makes them more concerned about the end product (Luo 2008). In the above scenario, the perfume from McQueen may not have been made to the perfection leading to many customer complaints.

On the other hand, different thinking modes between the eastern and western cultures influence their behaviors in the business environment. Different approaches occur on value view of the product and services. The western culture emphasizes on value view of equality and ensures a reasonable principle of justice is achieved through double-winning. In the Chinese culture’s mode of thinking on the value, view is totally different because they emphasize more on strategy and single-winning. UK sellers treat all buyers equally, people with the same status, in all business activities. Americans are influenced by grading consciousness while people from the east treasure time in business transactions. The ability of western cultures to treat buyers equally creates a substantial effect to the business environment.

Ways to overcome obstacles to initial interactions between different cultures in a business context

The high growth rate of global economic forces increases international marketing activities that lead to interaction between people of different cultures. Business professionals have put fewer efforts to help multinational corporations overcome the issue of cultural barrier that hinders success in international business activities. Cultural barriers are common factors that interfere with business relationships between business partners coming from different cultural backgrounds (Chung & Smith 2007). The following case presents an issue of cultural obstacle that faces a U.K. based firm doing business with a Chinese firm. The employees from the U.K. firm do not understand the Chinese culture in terms of the business environment that created a big obstacle between these two partners. Culture plays a major role in business communication that helps in improving buyer-seller relationship. One of the most significant ways of overcoming the obstacles to the initial interaction between the western and eastern cultures in the business context is through intellectual communication. According to Aneas & Sandin (2009), intellectual communication promotes effective interaction between individuals and group from different cultures. Communication between cultures helps in understanding how other people behave, feel and think in terms of business concept. Additionally, understanding classes of social interactions helps in promoting cross-cultural relationship.

Secondly, overcoming obstacles to initial interactions between the two cultures in the business context requires that foreign firms doing business in China conduct a thorough research about the people of China’s culture in the context of the business environment. The main cultural difference that prevented Mcqueen address the issue perfume business in China was poor negotiation skills. The western and eastern cultures represent totally different negotiation skills in terms of time and value view. Overcoming such obstacles requires that one culture understands business negotiation practices of the other culture in order to understand one another and come up with a solution to the problem. Additionally, initial understanding of different cultural approaches used by Chinese culture would have saved Alexander Mcqueen the cost of hiring J.Jamds Intercultural Communication Agency to investigate the culture of China.

Another major obstacle that the U.K. firm should have initially avoided is time. Time concept difference acts as one of the major obstacles for eastern-western cultural interaction. The main time differences that form the basic challenge for two cultures conducting effective business are awareness of time zones, expectation for the future, and time perspectives. The Long Term Orientation index practiced by the Chinese business people creates a big obstacle to business operations between forms from the western culture (Gao & Prime 2010). The best way of avoiding time concept obstacle is by both parties ensuring they understand each other’s time zone and plan effectively of specific times when to conduct business operations. Additionally, the U.K. Company should practice long-term business goals in order to share business goals and strategies with the Chinese Company and become excellent business partners.

Examples of contrasting cultural approaches in a business context and within the general economic and business environment

International business firms demonstrate contrasting cultural approaches that interfere with the business environment. The business sector acts as the only field where an individual can observe the concept of culture in action. Cultures always reveal themselves whenever there is a challenge of complaint from the buyer. Contrasting cultural approaches contributes into many problems experienced in the international business concept. Communication acts as the major contrasting cultural approach in the business concept. Communication is the key to a successful business because it ensures effective interaction between buyers and sellers from all corners of the world. Proper coordination between buyers and sellers help in eliminating cultural barriers that contribute to poor business contracts. When two parties differ in communication modes, differences always take place resulting to a non-appealing business environment. Additionally, communication ensures people traveling to international destinations, like the consultants from U.K. traveling to China, understand their friends upon arriving at their destinations in order to eliminate any contrast that might interfere with business deals.

Secondly, cultural frameworks contrast general economies and business environment by ensuring visibility within two cultures. The western and eastern cultures demonstrate varying cultural frameworks that promote a deeper understanding of specific cultures of people living in these locations. Power distance forms one of the major cultural frameworks that determine the mode of power distribution between cultures. Members with a higher power distance like people from the west have a status difference and show more respect to other people. On the other hand, people with a lower power distance show varying characters in terms of the business environment. Cultural framework shown by Chinese allows them only to accept a business product after it achieves its objectives of satisfying customers. The following cultural approach contrasts with the western concept that gives room for trail and only accepts a product after its research outcomes allow them to use it. Cultural differences are hard to observe but play a major role in preventing business challenges, and promoting the economy of a nation through promoting interaction between cultures (Pankaj and Ghemawat 2011).

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