As the epicenter of all cultures, American society embraces diversity. The American culture accords respect to everyone's cultural affiliations. More so in business, the American culture has never been more liberal. Adhering to the philosophy of freedom and independence, Americans believe in individualism as witnessed across all business dealings. As 'the land of opportunity,' American culture is accurate to this phrasal reference by forming amicable business relations with all people from across the World.
In as much people are the same biologically, individuals around the World are very different. Regional disparity is the focal aspect brewing the difference in people's nature and conduct. For instance, people greet others differently (Fair Point, 2016). Handshaking is perceived different by diverse societies. Handshaking etiquette is therefore different from one nationality to the other.
However, the dictates of one's community or region go as far as the confines of their domain. Trade and the perpetually growing globalization necessitates cultural and traditional consensus for business to thrive. It is prudent for those in the business world to understand other cultures and uphold principles and values that promote global relations. As the epitome of all cultural differences, sometimes in the business environment, awkward and relatively unethical behaviors occur.
For instance, there is a difference between Japan and American culture as to how each culture structures their organizational hierarchy. The liberal American society has a horizontal organizational structure as compared to the Japanese's vertical management structure (Gotoh, 2019). How employees treat seniors within the organization determines the level of interaction and flow of communication within that organization.
Such a difference in perception of authority affects communication in the workplace, determining what is deemed ethical and what is not. In a roundtable meeting, for example, Japanese nationalities in American dominated companies will never look eye to eye with their bosses. They might also never speak freely directly to top management across the table. This scenario plays out differently in case Americans are the subject of the illustration. They would talk informally, not disrespectfully, and would interact freely with top management as the mainstream American culture has no social boundaries based on rank.
The behavior will highly be viewed as unethical and uncalled for by the Japanese elite. The Americans, on the other hand, might not even have noticed the ethical breach of conduct. Understanding one's business partners' cultural affiliation and practices go a long way in ensuring conducive and productive business relations. The balanced cultural henceforth translates to more fulfilling business relations and company growth.
Fair Point. (2016, February 29) Handshake etiquette around the world [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2dGVrOtDtw&feature=emb_title
Gotoh, F. (2019). Japanese resistance to American financial hegemony: Global versus domestic social norms. Routledge.
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