“Companies that do not adapt to the new global realities will become victims of those that do.”
In this quote Theodor Levitt, a former professor at the Harvard Business School, points out that companies all over the world need to deal with a process which has changed the way they carry on a business in many ways. The process, namely globalisation, takes advantages as well as disadvantages, not only for the business world but also for the individual. The importance to face globalisation has always been there but, it has increased with the evolving stages of globalisation. Ever since this process started, companies have tried to derive advantage from globalisation while at the same time they had to deal with the disadvantages.
For marketers in particular, this process seems to offer a lot of potential for the exploration of new markets and customers. However, the questions determining the success or failure of a marketing campaign are more complex than in domestic marketing. Accordingly, the terms international and global marketing are strongly connected to globalisation, and have become a key factor for the success of companies. Corporations that want belong to these successful multi-national companies (MNC), or global players certainly have to deal with the different issues that come along with marketing products in other countries. These can have a significant impact on international operations but also on the overall performance of a company.
Since a company’s approach to these issues determines the success or failure in marketing a product abroad, these situations have to be addressed at an early stage. Among others, cultural differences are one of the major obstacles that have to be considered in international marketing. Every culture has its own individual values, behaviours, ways of thinking, lifestyle and language which make it unique. Accordingly, companies have two different possibilities to deal with that process. At first, standardisation, an identical marketing plan is used across different cultures, and secondly, adaptation, appropriate adjustments are made to the special cultural environment of the target market. It is therefore important for a marketer to be aware of these differences, and to use the right tools to advertise products successfully in multiple, varied cultural environments.
This study provides a comprehensive framework of cultural differences in the USA and Germany, and analyses how companies should conceive their […]
Chapter 3, Cultural Theories as a Tool to Visualise Cultural Differences:
3.1, Use of models and dimensions in intercultural studies:
Cultural differences have always been an issue. But the importance of becoming aware of these differences has increased in step with the advancing interconnectedness of the world, called globalisation. The first step to make the public familiar with culture is to help it visualise and give it tools to actually become aware of cultural differences. Scientists have therefore developed different tools and methods to visualise these differences.
Throughout the different groups of scientists and the decades, all approaches to cultural differences show similar components and structures. Hall’s four ‘distinguishing features ‘, Hofstede’s five dimensions, or Trompenaars’ seven dimensions model – all use the concept of models and dimensions to make cultural differences visible. Thus, it can be assumed that these concepts have been proven to be appropriate to analyse culture differences.
Models have been used in several different disciplines to enable scientists to better understand and handle highly complex situations. Accordingly models do not represent the entire system but show only abstractions. To understand the concept of culture with ist complexity and different patterns, the use of models is an appropriate approach to make culture comprehensible. As with the definition of culture, defining the term dimension also depends on the field a researcher comes from. There are several different definitions, for example in terms of mathematical or physical approaches. Usually dimensions are used to measure lengths, breadths, depths, or heights. In contrast to this usual usage physical approaches describe dimensions as ‘a physical property, such as mass, length, time, or a combination thereof, regarded as a fundamental measure or as one of a set of fundamental measures of a physical quantity.‘ To apply a concept of dimensions to cultural issues a general approach is more appropriate. Therefore, dimensions in general can be defined as an independent feature to describe a system. This feature connects allegories to the system to make it measureable and predictable.
These definitions, as well as the explicit wording, show similarities to the above-mentioned cultural theories. Connecting the two descriptions of dimension further underlines the applicability of dimensions in cultural sciences. Hence, it is appropriate that cultural scientists like Hall, Hofstede and Trompenaars used this concept to make cultural differences visible and give members of cultures a way to realise ‘the idea of situated difference, (…) difference in relation to something local, embodied, and significant.‘ Thus, dimensions are a tool for groups of people to understand the characteristics of different cultures and help them to scale and experience their culture in relation to other cultures. However, one has to keep in mind that everybody experiences these differences individually so these cultural dimensions are to a certain degree personal interpretations and not universally applicable.
Matthias Boeing, B.A., born in 1990 in Dorsten holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Management from the FOM University of Applied Sciences in Essen in 2012. At the same time he completed an apprenticeship in 2011 as an industrial business assistant at E.ON Ruhrgas AG in Essen and was further employed giving him the chance to gain extensive experience in the sales department. The author also studied one semester at Boston University in the USA, where he acquired knowledge about cultural differences in academic courses as well as in the direct contact to various different cultures. This aspect also contributes to his interest in different cultures and their effects on business topics. The author is currently attending the University of York, UK to achieve his Master of Science in International Business and Strategic Management.
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- Artikel-Nr.: SW9783954895366
- Artikelnummer SW9783954895366
- Wasserzeichen ja
- Verlag Anchor Academic Publishing
- Seitenzahl 78
- Veröffentlichung 01.06.2013
- ISBN 9783954895366