The following sections explore the cultural differences encountered by all businesses desiring to expand their organizations internationally. There are many elements which comprise a country’s culture. Unfortunately, many of these elements are not obvious and are all too often overlooked. For most, international culture is typically associated with visible and/or audible elements such as language, food, music and fashion. In 1976 Edward T. Hall developed “The “Iceberg Model of Culture” (Figure 1) which provides a good visual aid to broaden one’s understanding of the plethora of cultural elements which businesses should understand and consider. The “Iceberg Model” illustrates both visible (surface) and invisible (sub-surface) cultural elements (MacLachian). In an
international setting, it is the sub-surface elements which tend to be more significant and should be the focus of understanding. The subsurface elements include cultural aspects such as thought processes, gender roles, values and body language. Regardless of the industry sector the business is operating in; cultural differences will have a direct impact on your profitability (“Cultural Differences in Business – Are You Aware of Them.”). Therefore, an organization giving thoughtful consideration to the cultural implications of their international expansion plans will undoubtedly improve their likelihood of success. Conversely, a business choosing to ignore the cultural aspects of the host country will certainly lessen their chances of success.
The word "culture" derives from a French term, which in turn derives from the Latin "colere," which means to tend to the earth and grow, or cultivation and nurture (Zimmerman...
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... score in this particular Hofstede dimension suggests eliciting feedback from club members and employees may be difficult. A cornerstone of Snap Fitness’s success is their ability to solicit feedback from and respond to member’s requests. The management of the new Snap Fitness locations may want to consider incentives such as promotional giveaways (i.e. T-shirts, water bottles) in exchange for member feedback. Bear in mind, this may increase operating costs as compared to U.S. based clubs. In addition to individual feedback, personal trainers may find it difficult to interact with their clients. The interaction between the client and trainer are key to the success of the member fitness training program. Snap Fitness should consider additional education for their personal trainers to assist in overcoming the power distance barrier they will likely encounter.
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