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International business styles

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1 International business styles

2 National culture is very important in determining the business style:
The characteristics of management often vary according to the particular culture, which can determine how managers are trained, how they lead people and how they approach their jobs The amount of responsability of any individual in a company depends on the position that he or she occupies in its hierarchy Managers, for example, are responsible for leading the people directly under them, who are called subordinates

3 In this process the authority is frequently mentioned:
The managers must use their authority, which is the right to take decisions and give orders Managers often delegate authority. This means that employees at lower levels in the company hierarchy can use their initiative, that is make decisions without asking their manager. However, these procedures vary from nation to nation. Each country has its own way of doing business which depends on the local mentality.

4 For example, the Australian business culture can be described as follows:
Appointments: In Australia appointments are relatively easy to schedule at practically all organisational levels. You’ll find that many executives will be pleasant, approachable, and willing to meet to discuss business. You should be punctual, but you must understand that Australians sometimes have a casual attitude toward time. In some cases, if you are a few minutes late to a meeting, it will be overlooked. In other instances your late arrival may be perceived as careless.

5 On the other hand, if you find yourself waiting for your Australian partners to arrive, remain patient and accommodating. If you are an employer, it’s not enough to insist that your Australian employees arrive on time; you will have to give convincing evidence that their tardiness is harming the organisation.

6 Business dress: Due to the size of Australia, climate varies greatly according to region. Business dress is conservative. Men wear a dark suit and tie; during the summer the jacket can be removed. Suits, skirts and blouses, or dresses are standard for women. Business dress may be more informal in very tropical climates. Some workplaces have a “casual Friday” policy where casual dress may be worn on Fridays.

7 Conversation: Australians generally prefer direct eye contact
Conversation: Australians generally prefer direct eye contact. People who avoid eye contact are not perceived as trustworthy. Australians tend to be enthusiastic conversationalists and debaters. The best policy, however, is to wait for your Australian companions to bring up a subject; be prepared to hear very strong and often confrontational opinions. Australians like to hear opinionated conversations so don’t hesitate to express your views if they are sincere and informed.

8 It is common for Australians to make provocative statements during conversation- you are expected to respond with humour. Your Australian companions will be quick to let you know if you say something that “crosses the line” (usually migration and aboriginal issues). Australians like to criticise themselves, but they are not receptive to criticism from others. Don’t boast about yourself or your company’s accomplishments. Australians prefer to judge your competence and abilities through your actions.

9 Let’s make a deal: Before a meeting proceeds, there is usually some “small talk”.
Speak plainly and expect what you say to be taken literally. In turn, interpret what is said to you in the same direct manner. Australians are usually distrustful of authority and of people who think they are somehow “better” than others. Australians generally dislike negotiating and aggressive sales techniques. Presentation should be straightforward, with an emphasis on both the positive and negative outcomes.

10 Keep your presentation simple and “to the point”, since excessive details will not be well received.
Australians are receptive to new ideas. Generally, they are analytical, conceptual thinkers. Empirical evidence and other facts are considered the most valid forms of proof. The work environment tends to be collaborative, so decision-making is slow and protracted. Deadlines are the main source of anxiety in this culture.

11 In Canada they follow these rules:
Appointments: Punctuality should always be a priority. You are expected to be on time for all business related meetings. If you cannot prevent being late, a telephone call is appreciated. In general, it is acceptable to be 15 minutes late for an evening social engagement. Mornings tend to be the preferred time for appointments. Business hours are generally 9 a.m. To 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Longer hours are also common.

12 Business dress: Canadians prefer comfortable, tasteful clothing which is also conservative in most cases. Your clothing does not necessarily have to be brand new or “trendy”. Wearing quality clothing that is old, but presentable, can be prefectly acceptable. The standard for men is a suit and tie, for women business suits or dresses. In rural areas and small towns, clothing tends to be more informal. During their leisure time, Canadians dress casually (jeans, t-shirts, shorts...)

13 Canadians in general, do not wear scent in a business setting
Canadians in general, do not wear scent in a business setting. Perfume, aftershave, and heavily scented personal care products as shampoo and hairspray should be avoided, or at least used sparingly. It’s often believed that perfume is worn to cover up poor personal hygiene. Furthermore, the presence of scent can also be a health hazard to individuals with asthma, a relatively common condition in Canada.

14 Conversation: First name or title
Conversation: First name or title? The best thing to do is to wait for your Canadian colleagues to invite you to move to a first name basis. Be careful of name pronounciation. To show respect use a common professional title such as Dr. Or courtesy titles such as Mr., Ms., Miss.,.. with the last name. If you are unsure of a woman’s marital status use Ms. (pronounced miz) followed by her last name.

15 Let’s make a deal: Canada is officially bilingual (English and French)
Let’s make a deal: Canada is officially bilingual (English and French). In Quebec make sure that you provide a French translation for promotional material and documents. Write your business cards in both French and English; business cards are usually exchanged during an initial greeting. Canadians are very friendly and take a genuine interest in other countries. They are tolerant, calm and very practical. They stress one’s ability and competitive behaviour.

16 While negotiating mantain good posture and air of formality
While negotiating mantain good posture and air of formality. Your negotiation must lead to a direct action plan. Even in business deals, a good sense of humour is always welcome. Canadians don’t have difficulty saying NO if they feel strongly against something. Try not to bring up the subject of family and other personal affairs in the course of negotiatons.

17 France: Appointments and behaviour: Punctuality is taken very casually in France, so being 10 minutes late is never considered disrespectful. Always shake hands when meeting someone, as well as when leaving. French handshake is not as firm as in the United States. The French have a great respect for privacy. Knock and wait before entering into a room. Do not “drop in” unannounced and always give notice before your arrival.

18 Business dress: The French are very much aware of their appearance.
You will be expected to dress conservatively and invest in well-tailored clothing. Patterned fabrics and dark colours are most acceptable, but avoid bright colours. French businessmen do not loosen their ties or take off their jackets in the office. Women should also dress conservatively and avoid bright colours and too much flashy jewelery.

19 Conversation: The French are extremely proud of their heritage and they often boast of their long history and their important roles in world affairs. If you do not speak French, it is very important that you apologize for your lack of knowledge. However, most individuals in business speak English. The French frequently interrupt each other because, for them, arguing is a form of entertainment. Eye contact is frequent and intense, and can often be intimidating to North Americans.

20 Let’s make a deal: The French usually choose any meal to conduct business, but lunch is best.
The atmosphere is often informal. However, they tend to be very precise when money or personal involvement are discussed. On these occasions they do not show excessive tolerance. Moreover, a streak of egoism is sometimes present in many business situations.

21 Germany: Appointments and behaviour: Puctuality is a necessity in Germany. Arrive on time for any appointment, whether for business or social. Being late, even if it is only by a few minutes, is very insulting to a German executive. Germans do not like surprises. Sudden changes in business transactions, even if they might improve the outcome, are not welcome. German citizens do not need to be complimented. In Germany it is assumed that everything is satisfactory unless the person hears otherwise.

22 In business situations, shake hands at both the beginning and the end of a meeting. Be sure to look directly into the person’s eyes while shaking hands. Business is viewed as being very serious and Germans do not appreciate humour in a business context. Germans are able to consume large quantities of beer in one evening, but public drunkenness is not acceptable. It is best to know your limits, especially in Bavaria where two litres of beer is an ordinary evening. Pace yourself and eat plenty of food.

23 Business dress: It is very conservative
Business dress: It is very conservative. Men wear dark suits, solid, conservative ties, and white shirts. Women also dress conservatively, in dark suits and white blouses. Chewing gum while talking to someone is considered rude. Don’t be surprised if occasionally you see a fashion statement with white socks being worn with a dark suit.

24 Conversation: Germans love to talk on the telephone
Conversation: Germans love to talk on the telephone. While important business decisions are not made over the phone, expect many follow up calls or faxes. Germans guard their private life, so do not phone a German executive at home without permission. Titles are very important to Germans. Do your best to address people by their full, correct title, no matter how extraordinarily long. This is also true while addressing a letter.

25 Let’s make a deal: Germans are very serious and extremely precise in decision-making.
Everything concerning business must be previously established and checked. There is no room whatsoever for mistakes.

26 Italy: Appointments and behaviour: Foreign business people should be punctual for business appointments, although the Italian executive may not be. “Time is money” is not a common phrase in Italy. Do not expect quick decisions or actions to take place, as the Italian bureaucracy and legal systems are rather slow. It is common for everyone to speak simulteneously at Italian gatherings. This applies to business meetings as well as social events.

27 Business dress: In the business world, good clothes are a signature of success.
Men should wear fashionable, high quality suits. Shirts may be colored or pin-striped, and they should be paired with an Italian designer suit. Women dress in quiet, expensive elegance. Quality accessories such as shoes and leather goods will make a good impression with Italians.

28 Conversation: Italians appear very lively in both private and business communication.
They interrupt each other while striving to make their point. Fortunately, English is spoken by many businesspeople. Avoid talking about religion, politics, and World War II. At social gatherings, it is considered insulting to ask someone you have just met about their profession.

29 Japan: Appointments and behaviour: If you are invited to a social event, punctuality is not expected. It is the custom to be “fashionably late”. The Japanese tend to be rather direct in their questioning of foreigners. You may be asked personal questions such as how much money do you earn or how large is your house? If you take your host out insist upon paying. The Japanese will refuse, but insist. Do not openly display money. It is important to use an envelope to pass money.

30 Business dress: Men should wear dark, conservative attire
Business dress: Men should wear dark, conservative attire. Business suits are most suitable. Casual dress is never appropriate in a business setting. Women’s dress should be conservative with minimal accessories. Women should not wear pants in a business situation. Japanese men find it offensive. Women should only wear low-heeled shoes to avoid towering over men.

31 Conversation: The Japanese prefer not to use the word no
Conversation: The Japanese prefer not to use the word no. They may simply respond with a yes but clearly mean no. The customary greeting is the bow. However, some Japanese might greet you with a handshake, but frequently a weak one. Do not a weak handshake as an indication of character. If you are greeted wit a bow, return with a bow as low as the one you received. How low your bow determines the status of the relationship between you and the other individual.

32 Prefixes I The imperative

33 Exercise 1: Match the prefixes with the groups of adjectives:
Dis il im in ir un- ___ possible probable precise ___ honest similar organised ___ popular economical manageable ___ legible legal logical ___ complete expensive efficient ___ regular relevant responsible

34 Exercise 2: Add prefixes to the following adjectives:
Likely Literate Resistible Respectful Frequent Liberal Polite Awful Mature Rational Proportionate Helpful

35 Complete the following sentences with the appropriate adjectives from exercise 1:
Her desk is so ________ that it is hard to find anything there. Their payments have become ______. We will have to find another supplier who will pay on time. We are spending too much money. This new procedure is highly ___________. His methods are ________. His trainees have little success in all the activities. I cannot read this note. It is completely ________. Your question is ________ for this situation. We must concentrate on concrete suggestions.

36 The imperative It has the same form as the infinitive without to.
It is used to give orders or instructions: Fill in the form in block capitals. Empty the contents into boiling water. It is used to give strong advice: Avoid showing the soles of your feet in the Middle East. If you want to be emphatic you can use do or always: Do learn a few words of the language. Always familiarise yourself with the basics. The negative is formed by using don’t or never. Don’t appear too reserved. Never cross your legs in the Middle East.

37 Complete the sentences below using the following expressions, positive or negative:
study, expect (2), increase, invest, assume, beware, be flexible, judge, leave _____ attitudes like “my way is the only way” behind. ______, be curious and fascinated instead. ______ some time in preparing yourself for encounters with other business and cultural styles. ______ your understanding of the countries and cultures you are visiting by attending cross-cultural seminars. ______ the general protocol and etiquette of the country or countries you are visiting. _______ delays, frequent changes in plans and cancellations.

38 _____ to have easy access to your e-mail while on the road
_____ to have easy access to your while on the road. In some cases it may be impossible to log on to your internet server remotely. _____ when negotiating prices. _____ that market or sales techniques that work in your country, work in others. ______ of drinking too much alcohol over a business lunch; you might need to make important decisions.


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