Essay on Reflections on Cultural Aspects of International Business

3278 Words Feb 1st, 2013 14 Pages
Reflection Paper

Introduction

The five weeks of the Cultural aspects of international business course have been a truly enriching life experience for me. I must admit that I was a little skeptical about the value proposition of the course as I thought this was going to be one of those purely theoretical pro-diversity lectures with no potential for practical application. However, the fact that Professor Lane co-authored the textbook intrigued me so much (I have never had a Professor who actually wrote the textbook for the course) that I decided to give it a chance and sign-up for the course.

The Cultural aspects of international business course has helped me to discover new perspectives and taught me to look at things through
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The above characteristics suggest that I work in a truly global and culturally diverse business environment; therefore; cultural wisdom and cognition gained through this course can definitely improve the effectiveness of our global interactions.

Cultural dimensions and stereotypes

I had basic knowledge of the Gofstede national cultural dimensions – Power distance, Uncertainty avoidance, Individualism-Collectivism, Masculinity-Femininity, and Long term-short term orientation; however, I have never viewed them as a helpful tool to analyze cultural differences related to conflicts at a workplace. For example, every time I used to e-mail or call the Mexico office with questions about planning assumptions, the second in command finance staff member would never give me an answer and would always say that I should speak to the manager. This looked strange to me because an identical position holder from a US office would always give me an answer followed by a detailed explanation. I simply thought that the Mexican lower rank staff members were incompetent and that I was better of contacting someone higher in the ranks right away; however, if I had looked up national cultural dimensions for Mexico, I would have found that Mexico, different than the U.S., is a very hierarchical society. It is
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