Cultural Exploration

Throughout the textbook, there are sections named Global Guidelines.  On page 301, the authors point out that, “…the language, images, and other aspects of a communication that seem perfectly clear and appropriate in one’s own culture can be incomprehensible, laughable, or offensive in another.”  Although we may be aware that there are differences between cultures, it is important to know how to find information on different cultures so that we can communicate effectively.

  1. For this document, consult the Global Edge website at http://globaledge.msu.edu/global-insights (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. https://globaledge.msu.edu/global-insights
  2. Under “Insights by Country” choose one of the following countries, then click “Go”: Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Spain, Greece or Argentina.  (Alternatively, if you currently work for a company with ties to a particular country, you may choose that country.)
  3. On the left menu, select Culture.
  4. Explore the three cultural sources: Centre for International Learning, Culture Crossing, and Kwintessential Language and Culture Specialists.
  5. Look specifically for information on cultural customs such as level of formality, ways to address persons of other cultures, personal space, need to develop personal relationships before conducting business, etc.
  6. Write a formal memo that describes the most important considerations to observe when conducting business with people from the country you selected.

This memo is worth 40 points and should be at least 1-2 pages long, single-spaced.  Be sure to note which sources your information came from.  Grading will be based on the following:

  • Clear description of the country selected and why.
  • Explanation of 3-5 customs that are important when doing business with this country.
  • Note any customs you were particularly surprised by and why.
  • Conclusion that summarizes tips for communicating with the country’s people.
  • Formatting, spelling and grammar, and length of memo.
  • Proper credit to sources consulted on the Global EDGE website.