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CHAPTER 2 The Cultural Environments Facing Business 1. _____ consists of specific learned norms based on attitudes, values, and beliefs of a group of people. a. Ethnology b. Civilization c. Culture d. Doctrine Answer: c. Culture 2. Culture may be defined as _____. a. the learned norms based on attitudes, values, and beliefs of a group of people b. the genetically determined norms of a group of people c. the behavior that separates the upper class from those below it d. leisure time activity as opposed to work activity Answer: a. the learned norms based on attitudes, values, and beliefs of a group of people 3. Cultural membership _____. a. is based only on nationality or ethnic background b. is usually multiple because people belong to different groups based, for example, on nationality and profession c. refers to membership in organizations such as book clubs that promote cultural improvement d. is ascribed rather than acquired Answer: b. is usually multiple because people belong to different groups based, for example, on nationality and profession 4. Because people belong to different groups based, for example, on nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, work organization, profession, age, political party, and income level, _____. a. each individual's membership is unique b. the study of national cultures can tell us little about expected behaviors c. identity crises make lives chaotic d. people have more than one cultural membership Answer: d. people have more than one cultural membership 5. A major problem when cultures collide in international business occurs when _____. a. a company's employees encounter distress because of an inability to accept or adjust to foreign behaviors b. employees disagree on the style of art for decorating the office c. local people have no expectation that foreigners should adjust to their culture d. companies understand and adjust to the national cultures in which they do business Answer: a. a company's employees encounter distress because of an inability to accept or adjust to foreign behaviors 6. In attempting to build cultural awareness, one can say that _____. a. researching descriptions of a culture offers the most accurate assessment b. business people can improve their awareness and sensitivity c. businesspeople are expected to memorize all the cultural variations for the country with which they are working d. all people seem to have the same innate ability to do and say the right thing or not in another culture Answer: b. business people can improve their awareness and sensitivity 7. Researchers have fairly recently concluded milestone studies to determine national norms in attitudes and preferences on a large number of issues that concern business managers. Businesspeople should, nevertheless, be cautious in how they use this information because _____. a. the studies were conducted unscientifically. b. changes in attitudes and preferences tend to occur very rapidly c. adults were the only people surveyed, thus the studies did not consider the opinions of the new generation d. responses are reported in averages and businesspeople can overlook variations within countries Answer: d. responses are reported in averages and businesspeople can overlook variations within countries 8. All of the following are problems of building national cultural awareness except _____. a. many published descriptions present unwarranted stereotypes or an assessment of only a segment of a population b. cultures evolve, thus studies and descriptions may be outdated c. systematic comparative studies have covered only high-income countries d. the way people respond to questions about attitudes and preferences may, themselves, be affected by culture Answer: c. systematic comparative studies have covered only high-income countries 9. The nation state offers a workable reference for studying cultural differences because _____. a. a nation state contains only one distinct culture b. similarity among people is both a cause and effect of national boundaries c. the commonality of language within a nation state eases the process of conducting surveys d. different groups within the same country always have more in common with each other than with groups in other countries Answer: b. similarity among people is both a cause and effect of national boundaries 10. A problem of using the nation state as a reference or proxy for a society is that _____. a. nation states fail to mediate the different interests within their boundaries b. self-stereotypes tend to fall along national lines c. such an approach tends to be polycentric d. variations may be great within a country Answer: d. variations may be great within a country 11. The nation state offers a workable reference for studying cultural differences because _____. a. the laws governing business operations apply primarily along national lines b. a nation state contains only one distinct culture c. the commonality of language within a nation state eases the process of conducting surveys d. different groups within the same country always have more in common with each other than with groups in other countries Answer: a. the laws governing business operations apply primarily along national lines 12. The nation state legitimizes itself by _____. a. disallowing subcultures that transcend national boundaries b. accomodating diversity of cultural memberships and mediating their different interests c. privatizing the preservation of national sites d. restricting foreign travel of its citizens Answer: b. accomodating diversity of cultural memberships and mediating their different interests 13. Most people's basic value system is _____. a. inborn b. changed in adulthood through imposition c. affected primarily by teenage peer pressure d. fairly firmly in place at a young age Answer: d. fairly firmly in place at a young age 14. _____ tends to stabilize a culture; _____ tends to create cultural change. a. Normativism; relativism b. High-power distance; low-power distance c. Isolation; contact d. Natural selection; changes in gene frequency Answer: c. Isolation; contact 15. Creolization or indigenization refers to _____. a. government efforts to maintain a separate cultural identity b. the process of adding elements of an outside culture c. the use of stereotypes to describe a culture d. changes in the gene pool Answer: b. the process of adding elements of an outside culture 16. In which of the following situations would culture spread more easily between country A and country B? a. People from A and B speak different languages. b. People from A and B speak the same language. c. Both A and B lack significant ethnic subcultures. d. Both A and B have several significant subcultures. Answer: b. People from A and B speak the same language. 17. International businesspersons need to understand social stratification systems where they do business because _____. a. they reflect the willingness of the local society to accept product innovations the international company would like to introduce b. they reflect who people in a society will respect more c. the high similarity among countries is indicative that companies can be effective by using uniform hiring and promotion practices globally d. what is an ascribed group membership in one country is an acquired one in another Answer: b. they reflect who people in a society will respect more 18. Among the ascribed group memberships is _____. a. national origin b. political affiliation c. religion d. profession Answer: a. national origin 19. Internationally, how does performance capability (competence) affect the acceptance of people for jobs and promotion? a. Competence is generally more important for hiring than for promotion. b. Competence is more important in family-owned companies. c. National norms differ. d. Unless MNEs hire and promote abroad on the basis of competence, they meet resistance to the introduction of new management practices. Answer: c. National norms differ. 20. Old age is _____. a. a barrier in the workplace regardless of occupation b. considered to be advantageous in climbing the corporate ladder in the United States c. a greater barrier to employment than gender universally d. positive for organizational advancement in some societies because they equate age with wisdom Answer: d. positive for organizational advancement in some societies because they equate age with wisdom 21. Maslow's need hierarchy and Weber's Protestant ethic theories are examples of _____. a. work motivation theories b. buyer behavior models c. religious explanations of cultural diffusion d. dual-development theories Answer: a. work motivation theories 22. According to the theory of success and reward expectation, which of the following should result in the greatest enthusiasm for work? Answer: 23. In applying the hierarchy of needs theory, one should expect lower-order needs to be a better motivator in _____. a. wealthy countries b. collectivist countries c. countries with conservative religious beliefs d. poor countries Answer: d. poor countries 24. There is a strong correlation between the intensity of religious belief (regardless of whether one is Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim) and _____. a. the desire to take productivity gains in the form of more income rather than leisure b. attributes that lead to economic growth, such as obeying laws and being thrifty c. high collectivism rather than individualism d. the degree of ethnocentrism Answer: b. attributes that lead to economic growth, such as obeying laws and being thrifty 25. Attributes of _____ are low dependence on the organization and are a desire for personal time, freedom, and challenge. a. collectivism b. democracy c. individualism d. anarchy Answer: c. individualism 26. In societies with low power distance, most employees prefer a management style that _____. a. is autocratic b. is paternalistic c. permits nepotism d. is consultative Answer: d. is consultative 27. Safe work environments motivate _____; challenges motivate _____. a. individualists; collectivists b. collectivists; individualists c. nonfatalists; fatalists d. communists; democrats Answer: b. collectivists; individualists 28. People generally prefer little consultation between superiors and subordinates where _____. a. power distance is high b. fatalism is high c. collectivism is high d. masculinity is high Answer: a. power distance is high 29. If employees prefer set rules that are not to be broken even if breaking them is sometimes in the company's best interest, their preference is explained by high _____. a. femininity b. fatalism c. collectivism d. uncertainty avoidance Answer: d. uncertainty avoidance 30. In societies where trust is high, _____. a. people are naïve b. there tends to be a lower cost of doing business c. people tend to be fatalistic d. family businesses are dominant Answer: b. there tends to be a lower cost of doing business 31. In societies where people are more willing to work hard and to blame and reward themselves for outcomes, the societies are characterized by a belief in _____. a. self-determination b. fatalism c. individualism as opposed to collectivism d. low power distance as opposed to high power distance Answer: a. self-determination 32. Companies may be able to better motivate workers through delayed compensation, such as retirement programs, in a society characterized by _____. a. low uncertainty avoidance b. high trust c. high future orientation d. high self-determination Answer: c. high future orientation 33. A society characterized by considering relevant only firsthand information that bears directly on the decision they need to make is a(n) _____ culture. a. monochronic b. pragmatist c. idealist d. low-context Answer: d. low-context 34. A society characterized by problem-solving that first settles principles rather than specific demands is a(n) _____ culture. a. idealist b. polychronic c. high-context d. pragmatist Answer: a. idealist 35. A society characterized by preferring to finish one task before starting another is a(n) _____ culture. a. low-context b. monochromic c. pragmatist d. high power-distance Answer: b. monochromic 36. The attempt to resolve small issues before principles is an example of _____. a. relativism b. monochromic behavior c. pragmatism d. uncertainty avoidance Answer: c. pragmatism 37. All of the following are international business translation problems except _____. a. some countries mandate that all documents coming from abroad remain only in their original language, thus people within those countries may not fully understand them b. because languages and the common meaning of words are constantly evolving, the intended meaning of a word may be different from what the listener or reader understands c. some words in one language simply don't have a direct translation into another language d. words mean different things in different contexts, thus the wrong context may be translated Answer: a. some countries mandate that all documents coming from abroad remain only in their original language, thus people within those countries may not fully understand them 38. The term silent language refers to _____. a. methods used to communicate with hearing-impaired people b. messages communicated through such means as color, distance, time, and body movements c. different local contexts for the same words, such as summer meaning different months in different countries d. written as opposed to oral communications Answer: b. messages communicated through such means as color, distance, time, and body movements 39. When a company does business in another country whose official language is the same as in its home country, _____. a. it can assume that communications will go smoothly b. it should use back-translation on written documents c. it may encounter differences in meanings of the same words d. it can assume that although some spellings are different that words will mean the same thing Answer: c. it may encounter differences in meanings of the same words 40. When businesspeople communicate with people whose language is different from theirs, they should _____. a. tell a joke to put everyone at ease b. use slang to create an ambiance of informality c. use long words to impress counterparts about their intelligence d. budget extra time for translation and clarification Answer: d. budget extra time for translation and clarification 41. In spite of cultural differences, people working abroad are often able to do business successfully while still retaining their own cultural habits because _____. a. other cultures have always admired foreign values b. host country nationals are aware of differences and are willing to tolerate them from foreigners c. the business world has become culturally homogeneous d. host country nationals enjoy the humor of ridiculing these differences privately Answer: b. host country nationals are aware of differences and are willing to tolerate them from foreigners 42. The term cultural distance refers to _____. a. the normal space between people in a society when communicating b. the time it takes people to adjust to a different culture c. the degree that countries' cultures are similar, usually because they share attributes such as language and religion d. the preferred relationship between superiors and subordinates in a given culture Answer: c. the degree that countries' cultures are similar, usually because they share attributes such as language and religion 43. When the cultural distance is very close between two countries, _____. a. communications between them need not be translated b. the population in each country welcomes investments from the other more readily than investments from culturally distant countries c. the gender-based roles and behaviors are very similar in each d. a company may be lulled into complacency that overlooks important subtleties Answer: d. a company may be lulled into complacency that overlooks important subtleties 44. The frustration people encounter when having to learn and cope with a vast array a new cultural cues and expectations is _____. a. culture shock b. polycentrism c. cultural distance d. high-context culture Answer: a. culture shock 45. Ethnocentrism in international business refers to the _____. a. study of group ethics b. comparison of the Protestant ethic with other religious views c. belief that what works best at home should work best everywhere d. study of ethnic groups within countries Answer: c. belief that what works best at home should work best everywhere 46. The process by which a company bases foreign operations on an informed knowledge of its organizational culture along with home- and host-country needs, capabilities, and constraints is _____. a. polycentrism b. best-practices management c. self-determination d. geocentrism Answer: d. geocentrism 47. One of the potential problems for an MNE that practices too much polycentrism is _____. a. duplication of efforts b. indifference to cultural differences c. difficulty of hiring local personnel who want to be upwardly mobile d. excessive dependence on home-country control Answer: a. duplication of efforts 48. A potential problem of polycentrism in international business is _____. a. location of operations in areas of rapidly rising costs b. failure to introduce innovative superiority c. lack of cooperation among ethnic groups within a country's operations d. the departure of employees to set up their own businesses Answer: b. failure to introduce innovative superiority 49. When a company wishes to introduce change in a foreign country, its likelihood of success can be improved by _____. a. introducing many changes simultaneously b. considering well-timed changes and the support of opinion leaders c. agreeing to make some home-country changes in return d. informing local people that it would not be there if it did not know what was best Answer: b. considering well-timed changes and the support of opinion leaders 50. Attempts to organize work differently to improve productivity will likely fail _____. a. if the work force has a low tolerance for authoritarianism b. unless workers are compensated with bonuses c. unless the changes are compatible with what competitors are already doing d. if changes interfere with strongly held values Answer: d. if changes interfere with strongly held values 51. An MNE may promote participation in the decision on whether and how to make organizational changes. Such participation _____. a. can be critical in countries with both high and low levels of employee education b. workable only when the work force has a good educational background c. is feasible only if power distance and uncertainty avoidance are low d. works best when the MNE is ethnocentric Answer: a. can be critical in countries with both high and low levels of employee education 52. Participation in decision-making and support of opinion leaders are _____. a. requirements for all international business undertakings. b. distinguishing characteristics of Western business practices c. strategies for firms to consider when introducing change in their foreign operations d. decreasingly important for international business success Answer: c. strategies for firms to consider when introducing change in their foreign operations 53. The growth of people with dual citizenship and people who maintain close contact with their original countries of citizenship even though living abroad is evidence that national cultures in the future will _____. a. be subject more to cultural imperialism b. strengthen to maintain their separate identities c. cause borders to change to accommodate separate cultures d. develop into new hybrids that accept and transfer culture both in and out of national boundaries Answer: d. develop into new hybrids that accept and transfer culture both in and out of national boundaries 54. The example of a Japanese tourist listening to a Filipino group sing a U.S. song in a British hotel chain in Indonesia is evidence that _____. a. new hybrid cultures are developing b. people's basic values are changing c. national regulations are attempting to slow the process of cultural evolvement d. cultural change is negative for the best interest of smaller, poorer countries Answer: a. new hybrid cultures are developing 55. U.S. companies largely control the international entertainment media, which largely portrays U.S. products and lifestyles as glamorous and appealing. This situation is used to support the argument that _____. a. new hybrid cultures are developing b. although, visible expressions of culture are becoming homogenized, basic differences in societal values are remaining strong c. cultures are becoming more fragmented d. the portrayal causes cultural imperialism in the periphery (smaller, poorer) countries Answer: d. the portrayal causes cultural imperialism in the periphery (smaller, poorer) countries 56. American hamburgers, Japanese sushi, Italian pizza, Mexican tacos, and Middle Eastern pita bread are now commonly found in most countries. This occurrence is used to support the argument that _____. a. although, visible expressions of culture are becoming homogenized, basic differences in societal values are remaining strong b. new hybrid cultures are developing c. cultural imperialism is taking place d. globalization is helping to fulfill lower order needs in Maslow's hierarchy Answer: b. new hybrid cultures are developing 57. The specific learned norms based on attitudes, values, and beliefs are known as ethnology. Answer: False 58. People have more than one cultural membershipage. Answer: True 59. Researching descriptions of a culture offer the best way to build cultural awareness. Answer: False 60. As cultures evolve studies and descriptions of the cultures may become outdated. Answer: True 61. Similarity among people is both a cause and effect of national boundaries. Answer: True 62. Different groups within the same country always have more in common with each other than with groups in other countries. Answer: False 63. Most people's basic value system is fairly firmly in place at a young age. Answer: True 64. The process of adding elements of an outside culture is known as creolization. Answer: True 65. National origin is an ascribed group membership. Answer: True 66. Unless MNEs hire and promote on the basis of competence, they meet resistance to the introduction of new management practices. Answer: False 67. There is a strong correlation between the intensity of religious belief and attributes that lead to economic growth, such as obeying laws and thriftiness. Answer: True 68. In applying the hierarchy of needs theory, one should expect higher-order needs to be a better motivator in poor countries. Answer: False 69. Preference for a consultative management style is prevalent in a society with low power distance. Answer: True 70. Low dependence on the organization and a desire for personal time, freedom, and challenge are attributes of democracy. Answer: False 71. In societies where trust is high, there tends to be a lower cost of doing business. Answer: True 72. Employees tend to prefer set rules in societies with high uncertainty avoidance. Answer: True 73. A society characterized by problem-solving that first settles principles is a pragmatist society. Answer: False 74. A society characterized by preferring to finish one task before starting another is a lowcontext society. Answer: False 75. When a company does business in another country whose official language is the same as in its home country, it can assume that although some spellings are different that words will mean the same thing. Answer: False 76. The term silent language refers to written as opposed to oral communications. Answer: False 77. In spite of cultural differences, people working abroad are often able to do business successfully while still retaining their own cultural habits. Answer: True 78. The term cultural distance refers to the degree that countries share attributes that help mold their cultures. Answer: True 79. A potential problem of polycentrism is failure to introduce innovative superiority. Answer: True 80. The process by which a company bases foreign operations on an informed knowledge of its organizational culture along with home and host country needs, capabilities, and constraints is geocentrism. Answer: True 81. A successful strategy for introducing change into a foreign country is to introduce many changes simultaneously. Answer: False 82. Participation in decision-making can aid companies in making organizational changes only when the work force has a good educational background. Answer: False 83. The availability of American hamburgers, Japanese sushi, Italian pizza, and Mexican tacos within a country is evidence that cultural imperialism is taking place. Answer: False 84. The control of so much international media by U.S. companies is used to support the argument that cultural imperialism is taking place, especially in small poor countries. Answer: True 85. In a short essay, define culture and discuss cultural differences and its effects on international business. Answer: Culture consists of specific learned norms based on attitudes, values, and beliefs, all of which exist in every nation. Culture cannot easily be isolated from such factors as economic and political conditions. A company that is new to international business may need only a minimal level of cultural awareness, but a highly entrenched company needs a high level of awareness because of its multifunctional operations in multiple countries. When a company engages in few foreign functions—for example, exporting only its home country production—it must be aware of only those cultural factors that may influence its marketing program. 86. What are the advantages and shortcomings of using the nation as a proxy for culture? Answer: The nation provides a workable definition of a culture for international business because basic similarity among people is both a cause and an effect of national boundaries. The laws governing business operations also apply primarily along national lines. Within the bounds of a nation are people who share essential attributes, such as values, language, and race. However, these shared attributes do not mean that everyone in a country is alike, nor do they suggest that each country is unique in all respects. 87. What features influence cultural stability and cultural change? Answer: Individuals and societal values and customs may evolve over time. Examining this evolution and its reasons is a useful indicator of the changing acceptance of practices that international companies might like to introduce. Change may come about through choice or imposition. Change by choice may take place as a reaction to social and economic changes that present new alternatives. Change by imposition, sometimes called cultural imperialism, has occurred, for example, when countries introduce their legal systems into their colonies by prohibiting established practices and defining them as criminal. In addition to national boundaries and geographical obstacles, language is a factor that greatly affects cultural stability. Religion is also a strong shaper of values. 88. In a short essay, describe the various affiliations a person's ranking can be based on and discuss how social stratification affects such business functions as marketing and employment practices. Answer: a. A person's ranking is partly determined by individual factors and partly by the person's affiliation or membership in a given groupage. Affiliations determined by birth— known as ascribed group memberships—include those based on gender, family, age, caste, and ethnic, racial, or national origin. Affiliations not determined by birth are called acquired group memberships and include those based on religion, political affiliation, and professional and other associations. b. Social stratification affects such business functions as marketing as companies choose to use people in their advertisements that its target market admires or associates. Further, stratification affects employment practices as illustrated in the following example: When banks needed to make staff reductions, British banks were most prone to discharge on the basis of performance-to-salary, while German banks discharge young managers who could find jobs more easily. 89. In a short essay, explain the difference between ascribed and acquired group memberships, and give examples of each. Answer: Every culture values some people higher than others, and this dictates a person's class or status within that culture. A person's ranking is partly determined by individual factors and partly by the person's affiliation or membership in given groups. Affiliations determined by birth—known as ascribed group memberships—include those based on gender, family, age, caste, and ethnic, racial, or national origin. Affiliations not determined by birth are called acquired group memberships and include those based on religion, political affiliations, and professional and other associations. 90. Describe the major theories that explain why motivation may differ from one country to another. Answer: a. Materialism and Leisure – Historically, there is strong evidence that the desire for material wealth is a prime incentive for the work that leads to economic development. b. Expectation of Success and Reward – Generally, people have little enthusiasm for efforts that seem too easy or too difficult, where the probability of either success or failure seems almost certain. The greatest enthusiasm for work exists when high uncertainty of success is combined with the likelihood of a very positive reward for success and little or none failure. c. Masculinity Index – The average interest in career success varies substantially among countries. In one study, employees with a high masculinity score were those who admired the successful achiever, had little sympathy for the unfortunate, and preferred to be the best rather than be on par with others. d. Need Hierarchy – According to this theory, people try to fulfill lower-order needs sufficiently before moving on to higher ones. People will work to satisfy a need, but once it is fulfilled, it is no longer a motivator. 91. In a short essay, list and discuss the various needs in order of lowest to highest needs. Answer: The most basic needs are physiological, including the needs for food, water, and sex. One needs to satisfy or nearly satisfy a physiological need before a security need becomes a powerful motivator. Then one must satisfy the security need, centering on a safe physical and emotional environment, before triggering the need for affiliation, or social belonging (peer acceptance). After filling the affiliation need, a person may seek an esteem need—the need to bolster one's self image through receipt of recognition, attention, and appreciation. The highest-order need is that for self-actualization, which means self-fulfillment, or becoming all that is possible for one to become. In very poor countries, a company can motivate workers simply by providing enough compensation for food and shelter. Elsewhere, other needs will motivate workers. Researchers have noted that people from different countries attach different degrees of importance to needs and even rank some of the higher-order needs differently. 92. Discuss the values of power distance, individualism and collectivism in international cultures. Answer: a. Power distance is a term describing the relationship between superiors and subordinates. Where power distance is high, people prefer little consultation between superiors and subordinates—usually wanting and having an autocratic or paternalistic management style in their organizations. Malaysia, Guatemala, Panama, and the Philippines are countries with high power distance. Austria, Israel, Denmark, and New Zealand are countries with low power distance, where people prefer to have consultative styles. b. Countries that rank individualism scores the highest are the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Netherlands. Attributes of individualism are low dependence on the organization and a desire for personal time, freedom, and challenge. Countries that rank high in collectivism are Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, and Colombia. Attributes of collectivism are dependence on the organization and a desire for training, good physical conditions, and benefits. In those countries with high individualism, self-actualization will be a prime motivator because employees want challenges. However, in countries with high collectivism, the provision of a safe physical and emotional environment will be a prime motivator. 93. In a short essay, list and discuss the three aspects of risk-taking behavior as described in the text. Answer: a. Uncertainty avoidance – Studies on uncertainty avoidance show that, in countries with the highest score on uncertainty avoidance, employees prefer set rules that are not to be broken even if breaking them is in the company's best interest. Further, these employees plan to work for the company a long time, preferring the certainty of their present positions over the uncertainty of better advancement opportunities elsewhere. In countries characterized by high-risk avoidance, few consumers are prepared to take the social risk of trying a new product first. b. Trust – Where trust is high, there tends to be a lower cost of doing business because managers do not have to spend time foreseeing every possible contingency and then monitoring every action for compliance in business relationships. Instead, they can spend time investing and innovating. c. Fatalism – If people believe strongly in self-determination, they may be willing to work hard to achieve goals and take responsibility for performance. But a belief in fatalism, that every event is inevitable, may prevent people from accepting this basic cause-effect relationshipage Countries with a high degree of fatalism then affect business because people plan less for contingencies. 94. In a short essay, describe the two cultures and discuss the difference between the two. Answer: a. Low-context cultures – Refers to when most people consider relevant only firsthand information that bears directly on the decision they need to make. In business, they spend little time on "small talk." b. High-context cultures – Refers to when people consider peripheral information valuable to decision making. c. When managers from the two types of cultures deal with each other, the low-context individuals may believe the high-context ones are inefficient and time-wasters. The highcontext individuals may believe the low-context ones are too aggressive to be trusted. 95. In a short essay, contrast monochromic versus polychromic cultures. Answer: Information processing is universal in that all cultures categorize, plan, and quantify. All cultures also have ordering and classifying systems. Information processing also includes ordering tasks. Cultures such as those in Northern Europe are called monochromic, preferring to work sequentially, such as finishing with one customer before dealing with another. Conversely, polychromic Southern Europeans are more comfortable working simultaneously with all the tasks they face. 96. What influences how much adjustment companies and managers must make in foreign countries? Answer: International companies sometimes have succeeded in introducing new products, technologies, and operating procedures to foreign countries with little adjustment. That's because some of these introductions have not run counter to deep-seated attitudes or because the host society is willing to accept foreign customs as a trade-off for other advantages. Some countries are relatively similar to one another, usually because they share many attributes that help mold their cultures, such as language, religion, geographical location, ethnicity, and level of economic development. 97. In a short essay, discuss the difficulties and the rules used to offset the obstacles in handling translations. Answer: First, some words do not have a direct translation. Second, languages and the common meaning of words are constantly evolving. Third, words mean different things in different contexts. And, finally, grammar is complex, and a slight misuse of vocabulary or word placement may change meanings substantially. Although there is no foolproof way of handling translations, good international business managers use the following rules to handle translations. a. Get references on the people who will do translations for you. b. Make sure your translator knows the technical vocabulary of your business. c. Do a back-translation for written work by having one person go, say, from English to French and a second person translate the French version back into English. d. Use simple words whenever possible and avoid slang. e. When you or your counterpart is dealing in a second language, clarify communications in several ways to assure all parties have the same interpretation. f. Realize and budget from the start for the extra time needed for translation and clarification. 98. In a short essay, discuss the elements of a "silent language." Answer: Colors conjure up meanings that come from cultural experience. For products to succeed, their colors must match the consumers' frame of reference. Another aspect of silent language is the distance between people during conversations. People's sense of appropriate distance is learned and differs among societies. Perception of time and punctuality is another unspoken cue that differs by context and may differ across cultures and create confusion. Another silent language barrier concerns a person's position in a company. Body language, or kinesics (the way in which people walk, touch, and move their bodies), also differs among countries. Few gestures are universal in meaning. 99. In a short essay, discuss culture shock and the sequence of events that takes place during this event. Answer: Culture shock is the frustration from experiencing a new culture and having to learn and cope with a vast array of new cultural cues and expectations. People working in a very different culture may pass through stages. First, like tourists, they are elated with "quaint" differences. Later, they may feel depressed and confused—the culture shock phase—and their usefulness in a foreign assignment may be greatly impaired. Fortunately for most people, culture shock begins to ebb after a month or two as optimism grows and satisfaction improves. 100. In a short essay, discuss the three attitudes or orientations that affect how a company and its managers adapt to foreign cultures. Answer: a. Polycentrism—In polycentric organizations, control is decentralized so that "our manager in Rio" is free to conduct business in what he thinks in "the Brazilian way." In other words, business units in different countries have a significant degree of autonomy from the home office and act like local companies. Polycentrism may be, however, an overly cautious response to cultural variety. b. Ethnocentrism—That is, the belief that one's own culture is superior to others. In international business, it describes a company or individual so imbued with the belief that what worked at home should work abroad that it ignores environmental differences. c. Geocentrism—Refers to when a company bases its operations on an informed knowledge of home and host country needs, capabilities, and constraints. This is the preferred approach to business dealing with another culture because it increases introduction of innovations and decreases the likelihood of their failures. 101. In a short essay, discuss the three general forms of ethnocentrism. Answer: a. Managers overlook important cultural factors abroad because they have become so accustomed to certain cause-effect relationships in the home country. b. Management recognizes the environmental differences but still focuses on achieving home-country rather than foreign or worldwide objectives. c. Management recognizes differences but assumes that the introduction of its new products or ways to produce and sell them is both necessary and easy to achieve when it is really a complex process. 102. What are the disadvantages of excessive ethnocentrism and excessive polycentrism? Answer: A country that is too polycentric may shy away from certain countries or may avoid transferring home-country practices or resources that may, in fact, work well abroad. Polycentricism may lead to such extensive delegation of decision-making or such extensive imitation of proven host-country practices that the company loses it innovative superiority. Furthermore, the company may lose overall control as managers within each country foster local rather than worldwide objectives. Excessive ethnocentrism may cause costly business failures if a manager believes his or her own culture is superior to others and is not willing to adapt regardless of the situation. 103. In a short essay, list and discuss the various approaches international managers seek to understand when instituting change in the international arena. Answer: a. Value system—It is much easier to adapt to things that do not challenge our value systems than to things that do. When changes do not interfere with deep-seated customs, accommodation is much more likely. b. Cost-benefit of change—Some adjustments to foreign cultures are costly to undertake, while others are inexpensive. Some adjustments result in greatly improved performance, such as higher productivity or sales. Other changes may improve performance only marginally. A company must consider the expected cost-benefit relationship of any adjustments it makes abroad. c. Resistance to too much change—If resistance is too high, make fewer demands at one time and phase out former policies more slowly. d. Participation—One way to avoid problems that could result from change is to discuss a proposed change with stakeholders in advance. By doing so, the company may learn how strong resistance to the change will be, stimulate recognition of the need for improvement among stakeholders, and ease their fears of adverse consequences resulting form the change. e. Reward sharing—Sometimes a proposed change may have no foreseeable benefit for the people who must support it. A company's solution may be to develop a bonus system for productivity and quality based on using the new approach. f. Opinion leaders—By discovering the local channels of influence, an international company may locate opinion leaders who can help speed up the acceptance of change. g. Timing—Many good business changes fall flat because they are ill-timed. A culture's attitudes and needs may change slowly or rapidly, so keeping abreast of these changes helps in determining timing. Test Bank for International Business: Environments and Operations John D. Daniels, Lee H. Radebaugh, Daniel P. Sullivan 9780131869424, 9780201846188, 9780130308016, 9780201566260, 9780201107135, 9780132668668

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