The development of today’s global economy has been influenced by two processes – internationalization and globalization. The phenomena they induce mean an increase of business connections between individual markets and regions, which in consequence often brings the need to face up to the existing cultural differences. Therefore, it has become necessary to include cultural aspects by entities involved in international business and to be capable of coping with the challenges resulting from cultural differences. This applies not only to the biggest players – transnational corporations – but also to small and medium companies.
Due to the ambiguities of interpreting culture as such, as well as the multitude of approaches to the elements of cultural surroundings, it is not an easy task. This has been confirmed by the experiences of many companies operating in the international arena. One should also agree with the opinion expressed by Geert Hofstede, that the international environment and cultural differences existing in individual domestic markets create complications in the international business activity and may also be a source of serious disruption. At the same time it should be pointed out that research and the skillful use of the knowledge about this sphere can become a factor which contributes to building a strong competitive advantage.
The main objective of the monograph is to identify the elements constituting cultural surroundings and demonstrate their multidimensional influence on business activity in the international markets, including negotiations and marketing. The authors included the importance of such significant aspects as culture shock, cultural stereotypes and prejudice, as well as political correctness. Another aim of the publication was to provide information which can be useful in the process of making business decisions by considering the existing cultural differences. For this reason the theoretical discourse is accompanied by numerous examples which bring a practical dimension to the monograph.
The publication consists of following seven chapters: culture – definitions, subjects, typologies; religion, values, customs; verbal and non-verbal communication; education and material culture; social organization; selected problems of a multicultural environment and specificity of business activities in selected regions. The book has a total of 206 pages.
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