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Cultural traditions, attitudes and norms form the identity of individuals as well as the character of the state. Due to discrepancies and changes in cultural norms, states have diverse corporate cultures that have been the standard with their codes of conduct. In this view, difficulties and issues typically arise as a result of a disagreement with or between people who participate in the business. Cases found, for example, in the United States of America vs. Norwegian.
According to In Buckley, In Majewsk, In Giannakopoulos and IGI Global (2016), the Norwegian market community is unique to a specific style of greeting. It is in their culture to only tolerate direct handshakes whenever they are conducting any business. The handshake has to be firm with direct eye contact between the two people involved in the business. In comparison, the United States of America does not have a particular type of greeting. For them, greetings can either involve firm handshake or hugs with an extension to a peck if a woman is involved with or without direct eye contact. These observed differences are likely to result in a misunderstanding since a Norwegian will be of the opinion that the U.S person is not ready to be involved in the business and maybe holding some thoughts of malice that possibly explains the avoidance of direct eye contact.
The Perception of Gifts
The Norwegian business culture does not allow bringing of gifts to a person in business or to an individual who one expects to meet. Bringing gifts or taking gifts in the context of Norwegian cultures is perceived as an act of bribery. On the other hand, the United States of America accepts and allows taking and bringing gifts to a person in a business. According to Schroeter, (2007), bringing gifts is a show of appreciation, which may be coupled with taking one for dinner of lunch. Problems caused such differences results into a misconception of one’s intentions, which possibly interferes with the business.
Time in Norwegian business culture is strictly observed. In any business meeting, transaction and all business related events, the stakeholders and other related personnel involved in the business have to be on time. Comparatively, the U.S business culture is not as strict with time as the Norwegian is. The U.S citizens in their businesses have room for understandable lateness. As such; there is a higher chance of there not being a successful business transaction between a Norwegian, and American. Their rules concerning time management are divergent. An individual transacting business with a Norwegian has to show up on time while a person involved in a business with an American can politely show up late.
Place of Business
The Norwegian business culture exemplifies business transactions within recognized office for purposes of accountability transparency. On the contrary, the use permits business transactions within and outside the office whichever the place the parties are pleased with to conduct the business. In the event that a given business lacks an office, then no transactions can never be a business between such an individual who lacks an office with a Norwegian
Values of the Cultures
The cultures have values such as the ability to dictate the manner in which the business is conducted. In general, all the discussed aforementioned observed differences between Norwegian and U.S are dependent on the culture. The values with which the cultures are regarded shape and guided the formulation process of the policies that govern the business and its environment. For example, business and employee’s ethics and expected codes of conduct respectively are observant of the cultural values.
The U.S work environment is both formal and informal hence; their business culture allows choosing to dress professionally or casually. In comparison with the Norwegian dressing code, the business culture recommends that employees be dressed professionally. Men should always be in suits while women must be in tailored trousers and blouses. Such contradictions in cultures are a challenging environment for an American to engage with a Norwegian in their normal business environments.
Things That Might Offend the Culture and Power Context
Factors that offend are other cultural practices that are against the cultural values of those that have become the norms of one state. For instance, all Norwegian cultural values that are opposite to the U.S cultural values are considered offenders and vice versa. Similarly, power context in Norwegian business culture exalts equality while in the U.s gender disparity is observed
In Buckley, S., In Majewsk, G., In Giannakopoulos, A., & IGI Global,. (2016). Organizational knowledge facilitation through communities of practice in emerging markets.
Schroeter, H. G. (2007). The European enterprise: Historical investigation into a future species. Berlin: Springer.
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