The Cultural Challenges of Doing Business Overseas
Steve Kafka has decided to expand his franchise of Chicago Style Pizza to the Czech Republic. Steve is somewhat familiar with the lifestyle of the Czechs, he his family and friends in the country and he even speaks the language. Despite the fact that he is familiar with the country on a social level he must examine whether or not this business venture is an advantageous risk for him to take.
Identify the Major Differences and Incompatibilities between U.S. and Czech Cultures
Cultures are one country’s traits and characteristics that separate it from others. Hodgetts, Luthans and Doh define cultures as the “acquired knowledge that people use to interpret experience and generate social behavior” (2005, p.93). Upon examining the United States and the Czech Republic cultures it has been determined that there are not many major cultural differences between the two nations. The two countries do differ in how its residents communicate with one another. For example, in the United States, “it is best to avoid discussing religion, money politics, or other controversial subjects,[until one knows a person]”(US Countrywatch, 2008); where as in the Czech Republic it is customary to discuss “politics and other complicated issues such as religion, (Czech Republic Countrywatch, 2008). Another example is how the countries differ in their dining patterns. Both countries residents eat with utensils but in the U.S. hold the fork in the hand that they right with; whereas in Czech they always hold the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right. Another interesting point to note is that “most Czechs do not dine out often” and “hot dogs and pizza [are considered] snack foods” (CultureGram, 2008) from street vendors.
The minor differences among the countries maybe seen as major business risks for Steve; as long as he recognizes that there are some cultural differences; and find the opportunities in those differences to...