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3.6 End-of-Chapter Questions and Exercises

These exercises are designed to ensure that the knowledge you gain from this book about international business meets the learning standards set out by the international Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business website, accessed January 26, 2010, http://www.aacsb.edu. AACSB is the premier accrediting agency of collegiate business schools and accounting programs worldwide. It expects that you will gain knowledge in the areas of communication, ethical reasoning, analytical skills, use of information technology, multiculturalism and diversity, and reflective thinking.

Experiential Exercises

(AACSB: Communication, Use of Information Technology, Analytical Skills)

  1. As people look at their own habits and perceptions, they need to think about the experiences that have blended together to impact our cultural frame of reference. Many of you in this course come from around the United States, and some of you are from overseas. Furthermore, many of us have immigrant heritages adding to the number of influences that have affected our values. All of this just begins to illustrate how intricate the cultural web can be. Make a list of the most important factors that you think have contributed to how you see your own culture and other cultures.
  2. Identify two national cultures among your classmates. Visit http://www.geert-hofstede.com and research Hofstede’s five value dimensions for each country. If you were working for a company from one of the two countries selected, how would you advise the senior management on the compatibility of the two cultures? Are the cultures individualistic or collectivist? Do they have a high or low tolerance for risk? Do they have similar or opposite approaches to long-term orientation?
  3. Identify someone in your class or a colleague who has recently come from another country. Ask this person what their first impressions were when they came to the new country. Use Hofstede’s and Hall’s methodologies and determinants to analyze your classmate’s or colleague’s impressions and experiences. How might you feel if you were to relocate to their country?
  4. Pick a country that Dunkin’ Brands is not currently operating in. Outline key cultural issues that management should consider before entering that market. Use the cultural methodologies and determinants that this chapter discusses.

Ethical Dilemmas

(AACSB: Ethical Reasoning, Multiculturalism, Reflective Thinking, Analytical Skills)

  1. Section 3.1 "What Is Culture, Anyhow? Values, Customs, and Language" and Section 3.4 "Global Business Ethics" discuss how culture impacts local values and the perception of global business ethics. Each professional is influenced by the values, social programming, and experiences he or she has absorbed since childhood. These collective factors impact how a person perceives an issue and the related correct or incorrect behavior. Culture can also impact how people see the role of one another in workplace. For example, gender issues are at times impacted by local perceptions of women in the workplace. Knowing this, imagine you are a Western businesswoman doing business in Kuwait. Go to Geert Hofstede’s site at http://www.geert-hofstede.com, click on Arab World, and review Hofstede’s value dimensions and Hall’s categories to discuss how local businessmen may perceive your role. Discuss how you would handle an introduction, establish credentials at a first meeting, and conduct ongoing business. Would being a woman be the most difficult impediment to doing business? What other factors might impact your ability to conduct business effectively? How could you prepare yourself to be successful in this market?
  2. Both Chapter 1 "Introduction" and this chapter address global business ethics and gift giving in international business. Imagine you are the global business development director for a large American aircraft parts manufacturing firm. You want to make a big sale to an overseas government client. How would you handle a situation where you are doing business with a person from this culture in which gift giving is a routine part of traditional business life? Imagine that your competitors are from other countries, some of which are less concerned about the ethics of gift giving as this book defines it. Discuss if and how you can still win business in such a situation. How would you advise your senior management?
  3. You work for a pulp and paper manufacturing company. Using the Corruption Perceptions Index on Transparency International’s website (http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010/results), discuss how you would advise your senior management reviewing the possible setup of operations in either Latin America or Africa. Which countries would suggest further research and which countries would pose ethical challenges? How important do you think the Corruption Perceptions Index is to your business objectives? Should it be a factor in determining where you set up operations?