From Cross-cultural communication to Business Culture
We do not only need to be aware of cross-cultural communication, but we also need to be aware of business culture. It is not only about different kinds of business etiquette, this term refers to norms, values and beliefs that pertain to all aspects of doing business in a culture. Business culture has a big influence on internal operations and business decisions. It tells people the correct or acceptable way to make business in a society.
As there are many different regions with many different languages there are also many kinds of business culture; and as I referred to the Whorf hypothesis: The language determines the nature of culture.
So I thought it might be a good fit to go on in the field I have chosen and also to connect it with business.
Business culture could also be seen as a reflection of national culture, because in any society, business is closely connected with the broader values, norms and beliefs of the culture. Examples for this could be the behavior towards elderly people or the equality of women in business. For the last of the two examples it would be worth writing about vertical and horizontal segregation as this is a very important aspect of gender equality, so this might be the topic of my next post, but for this one I have some more aspects to write about here.
Another concern of business culture could be the expected behaviour of managers towards their co-workers.
Business culture influences actually all issues about work and organizational life like for instance the selection or promotion of employees but also the way employees are lead and motivated as well as strategic and negotiation issues.
Relationships may be more important than skills
As all the information I gave you above might sound rather theoretical I chose to take a closer look at a country and for this I have chosen to take a look at Mexican Business culture. In General most of the Mexican businesses are rather small and they are often family businesses, even the larger businesses have emerged out of small family businesses with a rather traditional pattern. So you might consider Fernando as the superior of a business and if one of his relatives needs a job, he might prefer giving the job to this person rather than to any other person, because of the trust he has in this person. Of course the education of a candidate also plays a role. Organisations in Mexico are rather hierarchical in other words power is executed by top management. A negative point of this is that the structure of the organization is that it has many levels of management which could be the reason for slow decision-making processes. To avoid this it is important for a foreign organization to build up trust with the Mexican organisation to make the decision processes go on faster. If there trust is not yet built one should not be too impatient and one should not make too fast decisions with the Mexican firm because this would also stop the process of building trust. As Mexican organisations are rather traditional it is often regarded as a high priority to be very sensitive towards the needs of work colleagues and to keep good relationships. For them an ideal workplace is free of excessive stress which normally comes from competition and conflicts. Of course it cannot be generalized all over the Mexican businesses.
If you are interested in Mexican business you can read more in this blog here