As Business Goes East, Global Integration Calls for Greater Cultural Sensitivity

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As businesses move further into eastern markets, companies like Global Integration are highlighting the need for greater cultural awareness.

Global Integration
Each culture faces different challenges in globalisation and each culture tends to think that their way of operating is correct. In reality, all cultures are logical

Global Integration, the matrix management training and consultancy firm, is calling on companies in Western countries, including the US, UK and Europe, to brush up on its intercultural skills after its online poll revealed that 83% of respondents(1) are seeing a trend for more business with Eastern countries (India, China etc).

“It pays to become culturally aware,” said Kevan Hall, CEO, Global Integration. “Learning the external signs is a nicety, but doesn’t get to the bottom of understanding cultures any more than putting on Kimono makes you Japanese. There are so many variables, such as company culture and personality, that a wider awareness is called for.”

“Each culture faces different challenges in globalisation and each culture tends to think that their way of operating is correct. In reality, all cultures are logical. Developing approaches that work across a range of very different cultures can be both challenging and a great way of stimulating innovation and flexibility. The rewards of becoming more culturally aware can stretch way beyond another culture and into your immediate workplace.”

His colleague, Phil Stockbridge, director, Global Integration, notes that this applies equally for Eastern countries looking to trade with the west. “More and more Indian and Chinese companies are taking the lead and having to manage Western workers and suppliers, whose expectations and attitudes are typically very different.”

US Trade with India was around $US 49 billion in 2010 (4), and with China almost $457 billion (5). India seeks to increase its bilateral trade with the UK to £24 billion in the next few years (6).

Businesses have good reason to look East for business: India plans to spend well over $US 1 trillion on infrastructure development alone in the next five years (2). China's advertising sector will have overtaken the UK and Germany to become the world's third-biggest by 2012 (3).

Commenting on the results of the poll, Kevan Hall, CEO, Global Integration said: “This result may be exaggerated because our web visitors tend to come from multinational companies, but even so, despite noting a trend we had not expected it to be this pronounced.”

Global Integration itself is expanding in Asia, announced in February 2011, growth spearheaded by Vice President Tun-Hao “T.H.” Ong.

Customer contact details for Global Integration are:
Asia telephone: +65 6832 5603 or email: asiapac(at)global-integration(dot)com.
US telephone: +1 (415) 848 2995 or email: america(at)global-integration(dot)com.
Europe telephone: +44 118 932 8912 or email: europe(at)global-integration(dot)com.

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Kevan Hall

Kevan Hall