Essay about Reflections on Cultural Aspects of International Business

3268 Words Jan 18th, 2013 14 Pages
Reflection Paper


The five weeks of the Cultural aspects of international business course have been a truly enriching life experience for me. I must admit that I was a little skeptical about the value proposition of the course as I thought this was going to be one of those purely theoretical pro-diversity lectures with no potential for practical application. However, the fact that Professor Lane co-authored the textbook intrigued me so much (I have never had a Professor who actually wrote the textbook for the course) that I decided to give it a chance and sign-up for the course.

The Cultural aspects of international business course has helped me to discover new perspectives and taught me to look at things through
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This course has taught me that it is always helpful to explore another culture through the lens of the Gofstede model before assuming that someone else who belongs to a different culture is automatically wrong because he or she reacts to a situation totally different than I or people from my country would have reacted to.

Another very important take-away from this class is about cultural stereotyping. The article "Beyond sophisticated stereotyping: Cultural sensemaking in context" by Osland and Byrd echoed Professor Lane by concluding that even though people from a certain culture generally fit into general cultural characteristics, such as the Hofstede national culture dimensions, assigned to that culture, cultural paradoxes are not uncommon. What this means is that we need to recognize that cultural characterizations can be used only as our best guess not as a norm because not all people within the same culture possess all national cultural qualities assigned to that culture. There are many exceptions and we should always take into account the situational context before drawing conclusions about cultural influences to one's behavior. Let me tie my earlier example about the Mexican culture into the following story. As a part of my work responsibilities, I reach out to a real estate team in Mexico each month to obtain their most recent assumptions on facilities

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