Business Etiquette

Why is it so important to be aware of and sensitive to other cultures?

First impression is very important 


1.)      Globalization of markets

2.)      Technological advancements

3.)      Intercultural workforce

Understanding Culture

1.) What is culture and how Culture is learned : culture is different set of values that form by different background of countries which each country behave/ perform attitude different from others. When we learn culture, we learn set of rules, values and attitude that appropriate in that country.

2.) Cultures are inherently logical : values and beliefs  which are being viewed as traditional culture

3.) Culture is the basis of self-identity and community ;original culture and living community culture

4.) Culture combines the visible and invisible : background culture invisible / adapt community culture

5.) Culture is dynamic

Negative ways of characterizing people from different cultures: Stereotypes, Prototypes, Prejudices are . In some situations, generalizations with the goal of understanding the other culture can be very helpful in fostering enhanced communication.


Stereotypes: negative conclusion about a group based one or two people from the group prototype.

Prejudices: negative ways of judging people


Prototype: a characterization of a group in order to enhance understanding : have a dinner to understand about the person and his background before doing business.

Generalization: goal of fostering a good relationship

Dimensions of Culture: Hofstede’s framework of cultural dimensions

1.) Context – stimuli, environment or ambience surrounding an event

a.) Low context – in North America and Western Europe, people tend to be logical, analytical and action oriented (productive, consistently, achieve)

b.) high context – in Japan, China, and the Arab countries, intent can be less direct and more subtle

2.) Individualism – in the U.S., individualism is valued . Focus on personal needs, achievement, benefits.

Collectilism: Japan, Mexicon: group there is a more paternalistic culture

3.) Communication Style – in the U.S., we tend to be more direct and we like written contracts and documents.

Japan, Mexico, Middle East: indirect

4.) Time Orientation – in the U.S., we tend to be punctual,

Asian, Middle East, Mexico: more flexible schedules

5) Formality: US – informal – first name

Asian, Japan, Middle East – formal


Achieving Intercultural Proficiency

-Avoiding ethnocentrism : observer is the best way to understand someone culture or society culture in order to adapt and being able to communication. be patient to explain and listen.

-Bridging the Gap

-Saving Face


Improving Communication with Intercultural Audiences – Adapting Messages

Coping with Intercultural Ethics

Business Practices Abroad:

1.) Broaden your view

2.) Avoid quick judgments

3.) Find alternatives

4.) Refuse business

5.) Work in an open environment

6.) Don’t rationalize shady decisions

7.) Resist legalistic strategies

Diversity at its Best

1.) Consumers who are able to get and receive the special care and attention that their group would like to have.  For example, senior citizens can get appropriate and helpful attention for their special needs.

2.) Work teams that are made of a diverse group can brainstorm for solutions that encompass a spectrum of views.

3.) Businesses that are diverse can meet the needs of many communities.

Divisiveness of Diversity – this is a challenging issue because there are always times in the workplace when different practices can lead to misunderstandings.  It’s important to remain open minded and solution oriented while appreciating differences in the workplace.

Glass ceiling – this is the theoretical glass level that women in the work place look through but can not move through to get to top organizational and corporate jobs.  Although great strides have been made among women to break through this barrier, there is still room for growth. (gender barrier at workplace )

discrimination at the workplace



Phase 1:  Ask the question – Do I really need to write this e-mail or memo?

Should I send e-mail or a hard-copy memo?

Why am I writing?

How will the reader react?

How can I save the reader time?

Phase 2: Gather background information; organize it into an outline; compose message; 

Phase 3: Revise for clarity; proofread for correctness, plan for feedback.

Parts of the e-mail message:

  1. Subject Line : summaries the purp. of message in an abbr. form
  2. Saluation:  dear …, external ( nice friendly greeting: hello, dear, Hi, Mr. hallo, formal title, )
  3. Opening : reveal main idea immediately (topic sentence)
  4. Body: reason – explain 1 topic, designed for easy comprehension
  5. Closing: action items, dates, deadlines and closing thought.
  6. Putting it all together :
  7. Guide words : to, from, date, subject, salute and signature block : Name, MBA, title, Org, contact- phone, website, logo


Ideas – consider composing offline ( write on paper before type in email); get the address right; avoid misleading subject lines; apply the top of the screen test; be concise; care about correctness; care about tone.

Netiquette – limit blanket copies; never send spam; use identifying labels; don’t use capital letters; don’t forward without permission; reduce attachments, don’t send many attachments, don’t send too many emails, think before sending email when I am angry.

Don’t send a long-winded opener that bores readers and wastes time.  Be direct in your answer.

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