In this global society, Culture has gradually seeped into our everyday lives where it is almost impossible to avoid culture. Companies like multi-national organizations are required to apprehend every aspect of the local national culture which they are operating or selling their products in. David Harrison has highlighted that “there are 3 key trends that promise to shape and change the economic landscape well in the 21st century; (1) continued globalization of business (2) enhanced information technology and (3) increasingly diverse workplace” (Harrison, 2000). This further explained the importance of cross cultural awareness between the national level, industrial level, organizational level and individual level. Statistics have shown that 51 out of the 100 largest economies in the world are corporations and the top 500 multi-national organizations justify for 70% of the worldwide trade and this phenomenon have been stealthily increasing throughout the years (WTO, 2003). With the increasing encouragement for globalization in business ventures, companies can now search for cheaper and better raw materials globally. Nonetheless, by venturing out into the international borders, it is unavoidable that one needs to interact with the diverse culture of different nations. A case study have shown that the lack of cross cultural awareness have caused Tiz Razor, a manufacturing firm operating with British license to encounter cultural challenges in the Qatari Market. Tiz Razor in local languages would mean sharp and they have enjoyed good customer acceptance with its “sharp” image. In the mid 1980s, Tiz Razor was encouraged to mount an export drive due to the government foreign currency deficit (consequences of war with Iraq). The next target segment would be Qatar the next richest and nearest country from Iran. Qatar is a part of the United Arab Emirates which uses Arabic alphabet. However, the products were not very well received with the customers. It is later known that Tiz, the Persian brand name in Arabic slang is referred to “Passing wind”( Tevfik Dalgic and Ruud Heijblom, 1996). The above example has further proved and emphasizes the importance of cross cultural awareness between the different nations. Despite the escalating volume of academic research on cultural issues in international business, firms appear not to be doing sufficient to prepare their managers for the international business environment (Apud et al. 2006). Cultural differences, while difficult to observe and measure, are obviously very important (Pankaj Ghemewat, 2010). According to Pankaj Ghemewat, culture is defined as a set of shared values, assumptions and beliefs that are learnt through membership in a group, and that influence the attitudes and behaviors of group members which Geert hofstede defines as a process of “collective programming of the mind”. It is further explained that “some cultures put more emphasis on universal commitments (like honesty) and others put more weight on loyalty to particular people and relationships.” Given the apparent importance of cross cultural awareness in this global market, literature reviews have shown 4 surprising results (James P. Johnson, Tomasz Lenartowicz and Salvador Apud, 2006) that there are a: Lack of agreement of what constitutes to cultural competence.
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