While there is pressure to develop similar business practices from organizations such as the international accounting standards body, from the Global Commerce Initiative, and from the World Trade Organization, business practices in India, China, and US are not the same. Business practices in each of these three countries result from their individual traditions, philosophies, religions, languages, and government. Because of the two sets of pressures, business practices in these countries share some similarities and exhibit distinctive differences. So, how do you prepare to adapt to do business in each country?
Understanding the regulations and pressures toward similar business practices and transparency is relatively easy. The guidelines, laws, and proposed regulations are published and discussed in major publications and available from major governmental agencies.
Adapting to the differences is always more of a challenge. Investing time to understand the structure of business, the flow of activities, and process of doing business in each country is important for understanding the expectations of typical business activities. The Schuster and Copeland International Business Practice Matrix will be used to explain the assumptions related to each element and how it applies to each country. With this framework, businesspeople can identify different business practices and the rationale behind them.
Understanding similarities and differences is the first part of preparation. The second part is determining how to adapt your “typical” business behavior when doing business in each of these countries. Determining which strategies and tactics are likely to be more successful, developing a repertoire of choices, and practicing new skills is the second part of successful preparation.
Then, when engaging in business in these countries, there is one more important factor to consider. Business is conducted by individuals with individuals who may or may not reflect the general culture of their country. Individual’s values are formed by the age of 7-10 and remain fairly constant unless a person faces a life-changing event. Individuals also adopt the culture of the country in which they receive their undergraduate education, change values based upon their experiences while traveling or living in other locations, and are influenced by the cultural values of the company for which they work.
As a result, learning to adapt to cultural differences is essential for success but is not sufficient for success. When doing business with individuals from India, China, or US, success depends upon determining the cultural values of those individuals so you can decide which of the strategies and tactics in your repertoire are appropriate for each individual situation.
Send in your specific questions about "Adapting Business Practices for India & China" for Dr. Camille Schuster, Full Professor of Marketing and Management at California State University. Dr. Schuster has conducted seminars and worked with over 60 companies in more than 20 countries around the world. Her books, Global Business Practices: Adapting for Success and Global Business: Planning for Sales and Negotiations were co-authored with Michael Copeland, retired human resources manager with Procter & Gamble.
Full Professor of Marketing and Management at California State University San Marcos
President of Global Collaborations, Inc.
Co- Author of Global Business Practices: Adapting for Success.
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