Free «International Business Report» Essay
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The area of international business has continued to change. Shifts in culture are a primary contributing factor in this development (Oddou, 2000). In order to carry out a project that is geared towards exporting products, conducting an assessment is necessary (Linehan & Mayrfer, 2005). As indicated, the markets become saturated. When markets become saturated, the onus is on the leadership of entities to solicit for alternative markets. Alternatively companies could consider repackaging or rebranding of their products (Earley & Perterson, 2004). Such a move would ensure that customers have new products to choose from. It is worth noting that since the ABC is operating in a saturated market, growth opportunities are limited. In addition, the problem associated with the business is that the company is operating below capacity. In addressing the two questions, considering moving to China is an alternative. China has a difference when viewed alongside other countries (Politzer, 2008). The differences are in terms of culture and values. The variations in culture imply that preferences would not be similar (Briscoe & Schuler, 2004). Hence, ABC has a responsibility of understanding the cultural dynamics before embarking on an export project to China. Given cultural differences, the question regarding whether to customise or to standardise the products in question is considered.
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The cultural environment is critical in the conduct of business. For instance, language is crucial in conducting business (Briscoe & Schuler, 2004). Language is used as a communication tool. In this process, language is also significant in the collection of data regarding an issue. Such issues may include conducting research to determine the feasibility of launching a product or assessing the reception a product would have. By speaking a language that is accessible to the local community, it is possible to exchange ideas on products. Closely connected to this, it is discernable that an entity is in a better position to reduce chances of committing errors. Error reduction is critical in the pursuit of success. Logically, people are able to communicate when they understand the language being used. Classical Chinese is the ancient written standard of the Chinese language (Princeton, 2005). The language was used for several years although scholars later reversed it. Scholars were the top class of the Chinese society then.
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Social institutions are also crucial in the conduct of business. Social institutions influence the way people relate. Similarly, such institutions, affect the consumption patterns that are depicted. Thus, understanding social institutions is significant as they help to avoid complications that could emerge. Moreover, understanding how social institutions operate could be helpful in comprehending the role of social class as well as the levels of societal stratification. This also has an effect on societal values since it is possible to understand reference groups which shape the behaviour of people (McLaughlin, 2005).
Values and Attitudes
The role of values and attitudes in business is well documented. Values reflect shared beliefs in a group of people. Values are also seen as norms that have been internalised over time. Once the beliefs are internalised, they play a critical role in shaping the conduct of people. On the other hand, attitudes guide in the evaluation of alternatives based on the value system (Wingfield, 2006). Variations in culture imply that the value effect is a critical element that affects planning, decision-making, strategy and in the selection of personnel to fill various positions within business or other forms of organisations.
In China, social values are derivatives of Taoism and Confucianism (Seth, 2010). However, in the current times, concepts such as Neo-Confucianism and Buddhism have emerged as dominant value systems within the country. In regards to the Chinese business culture, the focus is on guanxi, which indicates the primacy of associations in respect to rules (Ching-Ching, 2005).
The economic rise of Europe has affected the Chinese philosophy greatly. With the rise of Europe, the Chinese who were hitherto adherents of the Chinese culture began embracing ideas associated with new ways of life. This shift in adherence could be seen in the political and social systems of the Chinese Republic. Whereas some people sought to reject the existing ways of life in totality, others felt the need to combine the preferable aspects with those from the western culture. It is thus not surprising that observers opine that the 20th century was a period whereby the Chinese were experimenting with new social, economic, and political orientations. It should be noted that China has become increasingly integrated into the word. Thus, marketing products into China could be challenging since customization or standardization could achieve dissimilar results.
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Up until the 20th century, several citizens outside the "shi da subclass" remained illiterate (Ching-Ching, 2005). The push for written vernacular led to the permitting of reading. In the present day, different people use various dialects. Thus, people from different dialects may not understand each other. However, a significant number has begun learning English due to the preference of the language. The ABC group should consider this aspect.
Guanxi culture is a central concept that captures the aspect of relationships (Xu, 1999). Guanxi reflects networks of associations that centre on promoting cooperation and trust. The two attributes were critical in the accomplishment of goals. Thus, establishing a sincere and supportive relationship was a requirement. Such relationships were based on mutual respect. The implication is that understanding Chinese culture, as well as ethical aspects of the Chinese people before venturing into the country would be crucial. The term calls for limiting of frustrations and disappointments in business.
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Mianzi is also another critical aspect. The issue implies that personal pride influences business. Mianzi, which refers to the face, reflects personal reputation and social status (Beech, 2003). In the Chinese business culture, the concept of saving face is dominant. Other related aspects are giving and losing face. Issues that could force one person to suffer public humiliation borders on loosing face. Thus, a business that humiliates people would be inappropriate. On the other hand, giving face is referenced when somebody is praised in public. Such aspects can help businesses to progress by enhancing sealing of deals.
Keqi is another important attribute of the Chinese culture. Keqi gravitates around two words of Chinese origin, ke that means guest and qi which implies behavior (Kong, 2002). The cultural term advocates for courtesy and thoughtfulness in regards to conduct (Fan & Ariana, 2008). In terms of business, parties are expected to demonstrate humility in addition to modest while conducting their business activities. The implication is that exaggeration of ability is viewed suspiciously.
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Since China has witnessed tremendous change, it is discernable that the country has opened up to the world (Kong, 2002). This signals that the country has undergone diverse economic, political and social change. With the entry of the country into WTO, it is clear that investors have various opportunities in the Chinese market. It should be noted that although the Chinese market has opened up, certain features in terms of culture remain different. In light of this, ABC should consider customizing its products for the country's customers. Customizing the products would help the company to satisfy the customers owing to the differences that characterize the market.