Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is Culture a Liability?

A study of culture give rise of entity or behaviour a given group. This is in line with the definition which is simplified as set of values, practices, behaviors, attitudes, believes etc. - which is accepted collectively by group of people. This has become identity belong to a group. In return, one has sense of belonging to a given group. Don’t tell me you are not proud belonging to single ethnic group.
With so many groups in existence one can find many cultures in different geographical areas. If one have to cross to another group, one has to adapt or assimilate to the culture of a new group in order to be accepted. Such action is called acculturation.

Imagine there are nearly 200 countries all over the world which mean 200 national cultures. Business can be interpreted as transactions which in reality can be accomplish if customer trust you and they are willing to accept you be part of their family if you practice their culture or, at least respect their culture (but in return they accept you but of course not fully).

To anthropologist the existence of various cultures mean an opportunity to explore and understand the beauties of variety of cultures. Heh! quite interesting, don’t you? But to international business this can be a nightmare. Imagine you are dealing with various nationalities, which mean various cultures. Since culture is such a complex entity due to existence of subcultures within national cultures, further you have to understand there are many countries you have to deal with; don’t you think it is a great risk? Think about how you can adjust to different culture – learning their language, understand their religion, be part of their ritual and many more.

On the other hand, think if you can master various cultures – there are a lot of business opportunity that you can grab. In addition to this, in the era of globalization your firm can easily become internationalize – just create a web page and there you go you are exposing your firm to international market – more market opportunities.

Well, I'll  throw out this issue for you to think about.
Noordin Yahaya