National Cultural Variables

National Cultural Variables An entire country may have a series of cultural norms individual ethnic groups within that country may accept most of those norms as well as add their own. A)

Education

Management education, including training in business communication, is more prevalent in the United States than in other countries. Some countries have no academic courses in communication training. For example, in China and most Asian countries, managers have less formal education than those in Europe and America.

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  • Law and regulation In both developed and underdeveloped countries, various government regulations affect business communications and the sale of products. For example, cigarettes cannot be advertised in Europe, no fashion magazines are allowed in Iran, etc.
  • Economics Availability of capital and transportation and the standard of living per capita varies from nation to nation. The opportunity to borrow money, the rate of inflation, and the exchange rates influence business and a country’s ability to communicate concerning that business.
  • Politics Even concepts of democracy will vary from as interpreted in Korea, the Philippines, or Great Britain. Even the events in Tiananmen Square affected individual and business contacts with China. Such events affect communication, understanding of a country, and a country’s willingness to do business in an unclear political environment.
  • Religion In connection with religion there is a great need for tolerance. Christians, Muslims and Buddhism are found all around the world, affecting the values of people professing these faiths. Religious holidays affect international communication, interrupting work schedules or delaying responses to requests. To communicate well internationally, it also pays to understand the diversity patterns within one’s own country.
  • Social norms In various ways any national environmental constraints – education, law and regulations, economics, politics, religion – affect a nation’s social norms. In many countries, a male line of the family profoundly influences some business decisions. Beyond the immediate family, a bond may exist between persons, based on caste, class, age, or even special interests.
  • Language Knowing the language of your host country is the most significant contributor to improved communication, on a personal and business level. Unless the sender and receiver understand a common language, the opportunities for successful business communication are significantly limited.

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