The Cultural Roots of Business - a Commentary

Modern organizations face many significant challenges because of turbulent environments and a competitive global economy (Shachaf, 2008). Every country has its own culture and managers from that particular region must have the essence of their cultures. For example, the passive and polite Chinese communication practices are in direct contrast to the Western tendency to be direct and articulate with co-workers regarding business issues; the proactive, risk-taking behavior of the foreigners to identify and resolve problems early enters into conflict with the Chinese preference to maintain harmony and peace by avoiding initiative taking; and Chinese respect for authority and seniority conflicts with the Western preference for competency-based business practices (Keefe and Keefe, 1997).  Managers doing business in emerging Asian markets need to go beyond traditional national culture stereotypes to capture cultural diversities and paradoxes in terms of, for example, ethnic culture, regional culture, professional culture, and emerging global culture groupings within and across national borders (Fetcher and Fang, 2006).

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