Module 2 SLP
International Business 401
December 12, 2011
Impact of Culture on International Business
1. Identify cultural conflicts or issues in the company you selected.
Sony is a Japan based company and is one of the largest producers of consumer electronic
goods in the world. With being an electronic giant, there will be areas of the world where culture conflicts with the organization’s goals. Sony employs more than 180,000 employees in its various subsidiaries all across the world (Corporate Information, 2009). People from all backgrounds work for Sony and have different cultural backgrounds too. The corporate culture of Sony takes its values very seriously. Culture plays an important role in Sony. When opening markets or occupying markets, Sony must know that area and relate to their culture. With all Sony’s employees different backgrounds they must adapt.
We will now look at the five dimensions developed by Hofstede. They scored high on ...view middle of the document...
This vision and philosophy is embedded in Sony and the employees.
2. Identify and discuss the sources of conflict related to the culture of the country or countries where your Company does business?
Sony is a Japanese based company with subsidiaries all over and a corporate office in New York. The Asian market has a very strict social structure unlike the US where it is more open and informal. Direct conflict is frowned upon in Asia. Confrontation is more direct in the US. When in Japan, US visitors must hold back on being an individual and thinking for oneself. While individualism is encouraged in the US, it has brought about culture clashes. A lot of other countries including Japan think collectively or how can we all benefit. They look at the group and how the decisions will affect them. A reputation is very important in Japan. If an action will hurt someone, it is avoided. If shame occurs they will resolve it or quit their job to gain it back. Not in America, reputations come and go. Asians do a lot of socializing for business and can even put business aside as long as there is sufficient socializing. Americans get to the deal or transaction. The Asian people place morals very high. These are not real big in the US. Time is very important in the US but not so much in the Asian culture. There in Japan it is more of a suggestion. Respect is of real high importance in Japan. The US has lost sight of this.
3. Discuss why these conflicts occurred and who was involved.
These conflicts occur because of the way people were raised and how businesses have operated. Countries differ from one another based on society and their beliefs. This has come from years of traditions. Some of the conflicts occur in Japan and the US based on different cultures. These really haven’t been conflicts but more of misunderstandings. We have to learn how one culture is and learn their way of life. These conflicts can occur when having operations in different areas of the country with different people of society.
1. Corporate Information. (2009). Sony Global - Corporate Information. Retrieved April 29th, 2009, from http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/CorporateInfo/index.html
2. Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s Consequences. 2nd ed. USA: Sage Publications, Inc.