Chapter 4

INTB 335
Chapter 4
Key Concepts
NAME _Autumn Ploof_
1. Refer to the opening profile, P. 117. What is the impact of social media
global business?
It seems that when it comes to global business, companies are confused on how
they’re supposed to market products now. Do they you indirect forms like social
media, or do they stick with the ways that have been working for generations? “…
they are here to stay, that they can have considerable impact on global
businesses, and that they are affecting political and social trends as well.”
2. Refer to “Communicating in India”, P. 122. Discuss the cultural variables
their impact on the communication process.
Well just to start off, they have multiple languages within the region, even though
one language was chosen to be the official language. Every relationship has a
clear cut hierarchy to in order to maintain a social order. In India they have a
strong connection to deep family roots as well, while still maintaining hierarchy.
They often don’t like the word “no” instead they’d rather tell you what you’d like
to hear. When communicating with them it may be best to read some nonverbal
cues. It’s crucial when meeting a group to address the eldest first, something I
find really important is that women shouldn’t shake men’s hands and vice versa.
It’s important to know the region because of religion, some people have
surnames and some don’t. There’s even gift-giving etiquette and general
guidelines for when and what to give.
Then there’s a side of business etiquette and protocol, like they prefer to do
business with people they know and trust. All-in-all Indians prefer to have a
personal relationship before doing business. Meetings need to be scheduled in
advance, confirm about a week prior, be punctual, and be ready to talk about
personal items, create an agenda, and set up a follow up meeting to discuss what
was spoken about at the meeting. The negotiating process is also similar, be
patient, don’t be to overbearing and logistical, stay calm, don’t publicly disagree
with members of your team, and whenever a deal is successful it’s typically
celebrated by meal. During these meetings we should dress conservatively and
formally. Be aware of titles like Professor, Doctor and Engineer, if they have no
formal title then sir or madam are acceptable. If you have a degree you should
include it on your business card.
3. What are the various forms of nonverbal communications? P. 133

Facial expressions
Body posture
Gestures with hands, arms, head, etc.
Interpersonal distance (proxemics)
Touching, body contact
Eye contact
Clothing, cosmetics, hairstyles, jewelry
Paralanguage (voice pitch and inflections, rate of speech, and silence)
Color symbolism
Attitude toward time and the use of time in business and social
Food symbolism and social use of meals
4. What are some options for Americans to develop cultural sensitivity? P.
There are 9 things that are recommended for us; read a map, dress up, talk small,
no slang, slow down, listen as much as you talk, speak lower and slower, religious
restraint, and political restraint. We’re loud and obnoxious over here in the
states, it’s important to consider how other cultures view that. We talk a lot,
women more than men, and we talk fast, it’s easy to lose information if we don’t
slow ourselves down.
INTB 335
Chapter 4
Discussion Questions
Thoroughly discuss the following questions
1. How does culture affect the process of attribution in communication?
Not understanding a person’s culture before a business transaction could be
detrimental to a partnership, investment, development etc. In the previous
section you asked a question about India and needing to understand all of their
background and nonverbal ques. It’s really quite simple, understand the people
and the area before meeting anyone there. Be respectful and do some research
to help not only yourself but your company grow.
2. What I stereotyping? Give some examples, including yourself if
Stereotyping is making preconceived judgements against someone based off a
certain attributes or characteristics, typically against a large group of people. I
found an example online of pros and cons (stereotypes) and the con list definitely
outweighs the negative. It’s important when traveling elsewhere due to the way
we ourselves are viewed around the world. Knowing that, leads to my next point,
we need to be aware of our judgements of others as well. It is unfortunate, but
it’s real, judgements of all races, all sexes, and in order to make the best decision
we have to put those aside.
3. What is the relationship between language and culture?
Each culture has its own set of shared values, understandings, assumptions, and
goals that are passed down through generations and imposed by social media,
family, society, TV, movies, the list goes on. The characteristics of each culture
influence the language and therefore language is inseparable from culture. We
know that within each culture there are certain inflections in tone and nonverbal
cues while we are conversing, therefore it’s in every language. In order to fully
understand people you have to have some form of base knowledge of their
culture, knowing some of the language is beneficial as well.
4. Give some examples of cultural differences in interpretation of body
What is the role of such nonverbal communication in business relationships?
In many Asian cultures, it is expected to keep your gaze low when an elderly
person or a person of higher rank is speaking to a subordinate. In the U.S., eye
contact is essentially mandatory when two people are communicating.
Proxemics is also an interesting nonverbal cue, the book mentions how Americans
like to have distance because it communicates power (Germany is also like this).
We have our top floor offices or corner offices, whereas France is positioned right
in the middle of subordinates where they can stay informed. Understanding how
people like to act at work is a great way to know how to approach them about
negotiations, promotions, mergers, etc.
INTB 335
Chapter 4
Case Brazilian Auto Parts Manufacturer P. 146
1. What are three of the cultural missteps that Wally Astor and his fatherin-law,
Henry Williams, made in this scenario? Why did this happen?
1. He dressed casually
2. Showed lack of respect of when they held their meal time
3. He spoke to them informally
This happened because Henry Williams sent Wally into an important business
deal as a car salesman when he really needed to step up into an automotive parts
dealer. Wally needed to do his research and learn about Brazil’s culture and how
to show appropriate respect to others.
2. If you were a native of Brazil and advising American business
about what to do when talking with Brazilian business partners, what would
you tell the Americans about Brazilian culture?
We need to always be conscious of how we portray ourselves to those we hope to
maintain a business relationship with, by doing so we need to do a little research
in order to show proper respect. For instance, Brazilians believe business of any
kind should be treated in a formal matter. They prefer face-to-face interaction
when getting to know someone they’re doing business with. Brazilian managers
care a lot about professionalism and respect, but they are also very forgiving. Like
when Mr. Silva offered Wally a chance to go to dinner even after he vocally
prioritized his trip to Rio rather than attempting to grow a relationship with him.
Nevertheless, they could easily lead you through just to drop you on the following
day for not meeting their standards of the appropriate business partner. They
prefer to call their partners by their last name, as a sense of respect, but once
they get to know you more deeply, they will call you by your preferred name. Last
but not least, Brazilians seek to form deeper, stronger, and longer relationships
with their partners. Along with wanting to become friends with whomever they’re
doing business with before they even agree to do business together
Current Events Article: “Communicating Across Cultures”.
One full page. 3 paragraphs minimum: introduction, body, personal conclusions. 2
references: text and article.
I chose an article that discussed Biden and Xi’s virtual meeting last January. I
enjoyed that the article started with stating the key points of the meeting. The
article really comes down to understanding each other and moving forward
through greater communication. President Xi mentioned three principles that
needed to be followed to ensure that a “new era” (I really liked that phrase)
would succeed. Those principles are “… mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and
win-win cooperation…”.
Xi made a great analogy to compare the two countries, and I couldn’t agree more.
He said that we’re like two large ships that need to move forward together
without colliding. Understanding that we’re better together, with effective
communication, will lead to a better relationship. We are in competition with
each other and that’s what helps the economy in both countries. Another section
of the article talks about how Xi greeted President Biden, saying he was very
happy to see his “old friend” when they had never been that formal with one
another. I think this could have impacted the meeting in a negative way due to
the fact that they weren’t “old friends” and implying that could make on off
standish. I assume that when they meet in person there will be plenty of
nonverbal ques that they’ll pick up that they didn’t really notice via virtual
All in all it sounds like they really understand that developing better
communication is crucial to their success in coexisting. Although some issues
weren’t really discussed as much as they should have been, I imagine it’ll be
brought up in future conversations. It seems (for the most part) that they respect
and understand each other’s culture and how to interpret one another.
International Management, Managing Across Borders and Cultures. Helen Deresky.

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