1.1 Definitions of Culture
Culture can be simply considered as "the way we do things around here", said Cartwright (2004, pp.85). A further understanding given by Deresky (2006, pp.83) is that a culture is composed by 'shared values, understandings, assumptions, and goals that are learned from earlier generations, imposed by present members of a society and passed on to succeeding generations'. It can be seen that culture is formed by lifestyle and knowledge acquisition of people from a certain region, and then it stands for a general preference, opinion, and value of them. So that's why people from the same place may have much in common.
1.2 The role of Culture in Management Decisions
As culture may impact people's behaviours generation by generation, in other words, the consumer's need of business in some level depends on cultural influence. Cultural influence lies in a variety of forms, from laws, regulations, religions to personal interests.
For instance, automobiles in countries like the UK, Australia, India, New Zealand and so on, must run on the right side of the road, while those in the US, China, France, etc., run on the left side. This totally determines which kind of car should be designed and sold to that country.
Another example is Starbucks' logo problem in Saudi Arabia. Due to the country's Islamic convictions, Starbucks' green mermaid logo was thought to be inappropriate and immoral and forced to remove the mermaid with only its brand's name left. (Daniels, Radebaugh, and Sullivan, 2004; Fox, 2011)
As a result, culture plays a vital role in expanding international business with its impacts from general strategic direction to details like logo.
2. Four Dimensions of National Culture
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...-national work settings: Incidence and outcomes. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35(4), pp.440-451.
Starbucks, 2012. Our heritage. [online] Available at: < http://www.starbucks.com/about-us/our-heritage> [Accessed 22 April 2012]
Svensson, G., 2001. 'Globalization' of Business Activities: A 'Global Strategy' Approach, Management Decision, 39(1), pp.6-18.
Thomas, D. C., and Ravlin, E. C.,1995. Responses of employees to cultural adaptation by a foreign manager. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80(1),pp.133–146.
Wanasika, I., Howell, J.P., Littrell,R., Dorfman, P., 2011. Managerial Leadership and Culture in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of World Business, 46(2), pp.234-241.
West, J., and Graham, J. L., 2004. A linguistic-based measure of cultural distance and its relationship to managerial values. Management International Review, 44(3), pp.239-261.
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