Business Culture of the United States
Culture and business have a direct relationship with each other. A specific region’s culture has a deep impact and influence on how that nation conducts business on a global scale. The culture of a given nation is made up of several intricate segments that include religious belief, managerial philosophies, business etiquette, and general work attitude among others. When all these elements collide, they significantly influence the conductance of business. Therefore, it is of vital importance that every business manager who wishes to expand his business, say to an international market, studies the culture of his target region before making full scale investment. This aim of this paper is to explore the business culture of one of the most powerful nation in the world, the United States, and explore how this culture influences its business operations. Exploring such an issue is crucial especially at this period when there has been a relative increase in the amount of international trade. Due to this increase, there is a huge need for business to understand how the culture of a particular geographical region will influence business activities (Marx, 1999). Understanding the culture of a given nation, in this case the United States requires the business to understand the nation more. Once a business understands the culture of a given nation, then the problems as well as the benefits of working with this culture can be understood and the business can decide whether to proceed with the venture or abandon it altogether (Marx, 1999). As will seen, the United States culture is however one that significantly favors a lot of business activities.
The United States exhibits a superb exemplification of equality and democracy at its core. The nation I said to be the home of the free and the brave. The business culture is unique or special in a variety of ways (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 2000). The country is home to human beings of almost all races and walks of life. It is nation that is filled with immigrants. In addition, the nation has been blessed with a wealth of resources and unlimited frontier. In terms of cultural values, there are several that are very conspicuous and that therefore influence how business is conducted in the nation. First, the United States is characterized by a sense of individualism. Unlike in countries like Japan where the general interest of the society comes before the interests of an individual, the situation in the United States is quite different (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 2000). Here, the interests of an individual are placed before those of others and they are given higher emphasis. Another distinct characteristic of the United States culture is the ‘equality and fairness” value. As mentioned previously, the United States is often viewed as the perfect embodiment of equality and democracy. In this nation, everyone is free to do anything that is in their best interests and everyone is accorded an equal chance to succeed or make in life.
The United States culture is also characterized by a huge preference for personal privacy by a large number of the population. Most citizens prefer to live their lives and also conduct their businesses in a private manner. They do not like public intrusion and they deeply value personal space. This aspect brings forth another aspect of the United States culture and this is independence. Many citizens in the United States are very independent including women, which is not the case in other societies where women are often dependent on men. It is not uncommon to see a single and independent woman living in a posh apartment in New York City without depending on anyone.
Members of the United States are also huge risk takers. When it comes to money making venture, they are very willing to invest even all of their resources in the hope of gaining profit. They are not afraid to take risks because they understand one can never succeed or make it in life without taking risks. This is a cultural characteristic that favors many businesses indeed. In other countries, a new business venture would probably be treated with a lot of suspicion and apprehensiveness, but in the United States, the reception is more welcoming because the citizens understand the benefits of risk taking (Grosse and Trevino, 2009).
The United States business culture is indeed very favorable. It is one where everyone gets an equal chance to succeed. Great value is placed in time and in fact one of the common phrases in this business culture is “time is money” and must therefore be controlled effectively to suit the human needs (Harvard Business School, 2002). Another aspect of the United States culture that favors businesses is the emphasis on the present. In many other countries, people tend to think too much about the future, but in the United States, it is all about the present. Members of this culture are more concerned about what will happen in the present or the present benefits, rather than the future (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 2000). Finally, the United States business culture is one where change is widely accepted and embraced. Members of this culture believe that change is inevitable and when it is therefore proposed, they embrace it with both hands with the understanding that it will only be beneficial to them (Harvard Business School, 2002).
As seen above, the United States culture indeed has very distinct characteristics. This culture differs from many other cultures in the world. The main difference emanates from the “free willed nature” of its citizens. Unlike other conservative countries, the culture here is very flexible and accommodative and this is in fact one of the reasons why it favors a lot of businesses. Many businesses have found success in this favorable culture.
Marx, E. (1999). Breaking through culture shock: What you need to succeed in international business. London: Nicholas Brealey.
Trompenaars, A., & Hampden-Turner, C. (2000). Riding the waves culture: Understanding cultural diversity in business. London: Nicholas Brealey Pub.
Harvard Business School. (2002). Harvard business review on culture and change. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School.
Grosse, R., & Trevino, L. J. (2009). Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Analysis by Country of Origin. Journal of International Business Studies, 23(2), 25-34.
United States - Cultural Etiquette - e Diplomat. (2014). Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_us.htm