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Doing Business in Asia
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 2 All people are the same... its only their habits that are so different! Confucius All people are the same... its only their habits that are so different! Confucius
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 3 East Meets West Cultural and personality differences Common courtesies and customs Culture shock The foreign enterprise or business Our goal
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 4 continued... Cultural and Personality Differences Modesty and reserve vs. pride and familiarity Individuals from countries with a pioneering experience consider the traits of pride, boldness, aggressiveness, achievement, frankness and familiarity to be assets This may be the opposite in some countries The virtues of humility, reserve, modesty and consensus are the most greatly admired and respected Eastern familiarity is a natural sign of friendliness to Americans and Australians. Getting familiar is not thought of by Asians as synonymous with getting friendly
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 5 Tone of Voice The more important the subject the more quiet the voice Language barriers are not over come by speaking loudly Speak in complete sentences Cultural and Personality Differences continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 6 Cultural and Personality Differences Temper Tantrums In western societies, anger can be expressed loudly and usually no harm is done. Often results are quick and forthcoming. In the East, it is a different story ä Speaking in a raised voice, shouting and swearing and a display of temper are considered in excusable. ä The person involved will suffer a lose of face and the person who has shown the anger a loss of respect that may never be regained continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 7 Cultural and Personality Differences The Back-Home Syndrome Pride in ones country is natural. However, statements such as Back in _______ are resented. A person can feel free to criticize his own friends, family or country, but outsiders should never do it. continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 8 The western profile If we look at ourselves the way others might see us, we can tone ourselves down so that we dont seem to be so overwhelming Cultural and Personality Differences continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 9 continued... Cultural and Personality Differences Sense of humor We should understand the difference in west-east reactions
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 10 Cultural and Personality Differences Compliments Beware and Danger ä Do not praise an Asians beautiful child, do not say how fat and healthy or how much it has grown. It is believed that this cast an evil eye and some harm may come to the child or person. continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 11 Cultural and Personality Differences First-Name Basis Never call an acquaintance by the first name until asked to do so It is considered polite to seek out the elderly person to announce your presence continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 12 Cultural and Personality Differences Touching people Westerners are touchy people. In some cases this is considered an unnatural form of intimacy. continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 13 Cultural and Personality Differences Discussions on a personal or emotional level Westerns often speak in a deep or personal level ä They strive for openness in their relationship with others ä It is seen as a sign of weakness In the Asian culture, much value is placed on the reserved Conversely, Westerners are reluctant to discuss the price paid, salary, rent, etc. To the Asian, this is a sign of friendly interest continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 14 Cultural and Personality Differences Offensive or obscene gestures The pointing fingers Calling someone to you Making a fist and striking the other hand Hands off the hip continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 15 Cultural and Personality Differences Ethnocentricity Characterized by or based on the attitude that ones own group is superior One looks at cultures through their own eyes ä Reacts to bigoted, prejudiced, or close minded ways ä Ones sees ones own culture as virtuous or select and values are universally true ä All other customs are inferior… Back-home, we do it this way continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 16 Asian yes Sometimes means, I hear what you are saying, but I do not necessarily agree. It could mean no or maybe. When I dont want you to feel bad, I say yes with my mouth and no with my face. Cultural and Personality Differences continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 17 Cultural and Personality Differences Formality Asian cultures are much more formal and traditional than Western cultures The Asian appreciates and respects preliminaries and form The importance of the deal is measured by how much formality surrounds it and how it is set up. Westerners often make decisions in an atmosphere of informality, giving little time to preliminaries, getting strait to the heart of the matter, and feeling that formalities are a waste of time. continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 18 Cultural and Personality Differences Asian face Saving face…. If you go to a party in Australia, you are expected to bring your own bottle of sprites. In Asia, the host would feel insulted (lose face). It might imply that the host did not have enough for him to drink. Difficult concept to understand, recognize and internalize... ä Making someone feel embarrassed; making someone feel humiliated; causing someone to feel inferior; giving insult to someone. Dishonest verses disagreement or respect continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 19 Cultural and Personality Differences The Westerner Sometimes it is best not to be yourself Many times what the westerner feels is normal in his culture, is seen as irritating to peoples of other cultures An Asian is less likely to admire a Westerner for his friendliness, outspokenness, and frankness, than he is to view him as lacking grace, manners and cleverness continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 20 Cultural and Personality Differences Summary It is not that Westerners must restrain their warm and friendly ways toward their Asian host. However, misunderstanding occurs when peoples assumptions failed to be met on both sides. Most cultures are willing to overlook all kinds of mistakes when the visitors heart is in the right place. continued...
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 21 Common Courtesies and Customs Driving Smoking and littering Taxis Tipping Toilet facilities Conversation Eating
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 22 Common Courtesies and Customs Driving The driver normally watches the front and assumes the back will take care of itself. In most countries, formally or not, buses have the right of way Western cultures are generally not Bike Smart. Bikes and other local transport must be given the right of way. If you chose to drive, remember… ä Each city and culture have unwritten rules, a rhythm. Find it and join it. ä Always carry your papers, have insurance, and know who to call for help.
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 23 Common Courtesies and Customs Smoking and littering The rules are changing in many countries. Smoking in public places, such as theaters, may be prohibited and should always be verified. Littering is the highest form of public disrespect. Do not do it!
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 24 Common Courtesies and Customs Taxis The taxi industry generally is highly regulated. The government knows that a large portion of their income is from tourism. Remember:.. ä There should always be a meter. ä Ask rates before entering. ä Bargaining--sometimes yes, sometimes no. ä No business conversations or complaints with your colleagues ä If it doesnt feel right, do not do it!
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 25 Common Courtesies and Customs Tipping Tipping varies by country. If a sign is posted, do not tip. To do so will embarrass your host and server. ä Hotels ä Restaurants ä Taxies
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 26 Common Courtesies and Customs Toilet facilities For the first time traveler or his his guest, the toilet can be an interesting journey. Do not be surprised. Carry with you whatever you think you may need. There is a difference…both western and squat types toilets will be found. Even with the western type, the seat may be missing. You may find a bucket of water and bailing scoop. It is believed, and it may be true, that washing is more sanitary than paper. Also, it has been proved that squatting is more natural and is one of the reasons given for the low rate of colon cancer in Asian countries.
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 27 Common Courtesies and Customs Conversation It is always best to avoid sex talk or risqué jokes in mixed company. Young people should not correct an elder. Be courteous, simply ask for clarification. Speak softly, avoid wild gestures, and be restrained in front of elders--both in age, statue or position.
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 28 Common Courtesies and Customs Eating Enjoying the foods of different countries is an essential part of being in the culture. Be conscious of the style, placement of the hands, utensils and protocol.
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 29 continued... Culture Shock What do you think it is? What does it mean? Psychological symptoms of the culture impact How do we react ä The encapsulator ä The cosmopolitan ä The absconder.. Go native How to deal with culture shock as quickly as possible. ä Physical differences ä Adjusting to the environmental difference
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 30 Environmental Impact Cultural DifferencesSensory Differences Psychological Symptoms The 1001 Stress Producing Differences in the Everyday Life of the Expat Depth of Expats Experience Reactions Cultural EmpathyGoes Native Fight or Flight Cultural Types The Cosmopolitan The Absconder The Encapsulator Expat Culture Shock Physical Impact Psychological Symptoms
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 31 continued... The Foreign Enterprise or Business Some Advice Be aware that there are differences in the business structure Ask local businessmen in the office to explain how things should be done Ask the old-timers to explain what to do and what not to do Smile a lot
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 32 continued... The Foreign Enterprise or Business Some Advice In the field, always speak to the foreman, or who you think is the most important supervisor Do not make obscene gestures to local workman … they may walk off the job Never shout Never say anything against a father or mother Pay employees through the foreman
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 33 continued... The Foreign Enterprise or Business Some Advice Always negotiate – bargain Never discuss business immediately, spend at least 45 minutes in pleasantries. Always offer tea first, not drinks. It is wise to talk about food, compliment their government. It is not wise to talk about personal things and private matters.
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 34 continued... The Foreign Enterprise or Business Some Advice Business ethics: ä Westerners like to get to the point immediately ä Easterners like formality ä Cleverness is admired ä They send in the second team first... they can always come back and say father said no.
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 35 The Foreign Enterprise or Business Walk and talk softly... you never know who you are speaking to Some Advice Never negotiate business in one day - three days is about normal. Time means a different thing in Asia. A 12-course dinner is a good sign. The Eastern business is often a family concern.
PROPRIETARY © 1988 Thomas Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 36 Our Goal It is through shared common business interests and goals that multi-national corporations can bridge the gap that separates one country from another.
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