Research Paper: Cultural Barriers In Business

Sample Research Paper

The biggest cultural barrier that a new company might face in a foreign country is verbal and nonverbal communication. Language differences greatly impede understanding and transmission of information as people have different perceptions and attitudes about doing things. Communication is inevitable for business and the assumption that a monolingual approach to business will work in foreign countries often leads to failure.

Businesses are grounded in mutual understanding and trust and there is a violation of this trust if the company chooses to ignore the countries language of communication. Theodore Huebener in his book has said that knowing a customer’s language has a distinct sales value particularly in Latin American countries where business is often conducted in a social atmosphere. (Huebener,1961). The frequent use of a translator increases the distance between the company and the customers. It might also result in incorrect translations. American companies have been frequently involved in selling products whose names or labels were incorrectly translated thus causing low sales.  When Coca-Cola started selling in China, it sold the drink under the Chinese pronunciation of Coca-Cola not knowing that the word actually meant “Bite the wax tadpole” (Mark E. Mendenhall,1995). Obviously the new product was not very popular resulting from the management’s ignorance of the local language.

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