Theglobal expansion of business has resulted in the change of roles ofinternational communication professionals. One of the factors that haveincreased its growth is the diversification of media and rise in participatorycultures. Due to this, subdivisions of corporate communications, advertising,promotions and public relations in combination with other forms of persuasivecommunications has grown over time. International business communication,therefore, needs communication professionals with the ability to translatecorporate communication trends on a strategic worldwide communication level. Toachieve this, these experts have to analyze corporate communication policies,monitor, and global forecast issues, economic and cultural trends by examiningmarket and communication developments on American and Asian markets. One suchexample is the business communication between US and India. The culturaldifferences between these two countries have resulted in various setbacks whennegotiating business transactions. To make calculated investments, the US hasto be informed on the real India by setting aback their perceptions of India’sculture.
This paper focuses mainly on cross-culture business transactions, thatis, the business culture, communication, and stereotypes related to Indiachallenges faced and what the US should know when doing business transactionswith India. Indiais a country that has faced numerous challenges economically and politicallyover the past years. Many international investors have tended to avoid doingbusiness in India for they consider it as a nation with low infrastructuralinvestments and high in religious superstitions. In recent years, however,countries across the world have started viewing India as a productivedestination for business ventures. The main reason behind this is because Indiais determined to become one of the world’s largest economies as economicliberalization kicks in after decades of stagnation in its political system.
For the US to successfully do business in India, it has to not ignore thecultural aspects of India by understanding the cultural drivers and theexpectations of the people they’ll aspire to work. To understand the businessculture of India, US investors need to look at the business backgrounds, managementstyles, how they conduct their meetings, how they view teamwork, communicationstyles.India’sbusiness culture description is archaic in its corporate structures. Often theyincorporate their socio-religious hierarchical organizations in their workplacesin addition to having proprietorial attitudes towards their superiors (Sebastian, Yahya, & Paramenshwaran, 2006). Mostly, companiesin India had a lower degree of delegations compared to firms in the US withtheir management being hierarchical and centered towards individual’spersonalities. Another culture in India’s business is that the employees areoften unwilling to accept responsibilities and cannot cope in times ofuncertainties. The reason as to why this is so is because the less privilegedindividuals associated with being powerless in India’s society have acceptedand expected the distribution of power unequally. This perception is to meanthat these companies’ structures are hierarchical with their managers beinggenerous despots.
Managers in the lower levels of firms avoid making decisionsand taking responsibilities about the companies for which they work. Indianemployees have transferred their socio-religious hierarchical structures intheir professions. This action places their managers in tight spots as theycannot make decisions befitting their firms due to their inabilities to mergetheir roles in a formally organized system with their commitments totraditional caste-based social structures (Sebastian, Yahya, & Paramenshwaran, 2006). Managers in these organizations relishin their conventional operations in all their aspects of life as they do notfeel comfortable with managerial cultures of the global business world such asimmediate feedback, high performance, and empowerment of employees.Furthermore, companies that are owned by families are reluctant to adoptpractices termed as professional in areas of their management.
Communicationin Indian business revolves around their negotiation, organizations andleadership styles. When delving into negotiation styles, issues that areperceived to be of little significance are usually emotionally charged becauseindividuals tend to express their feelings to others. It is because someIndians point out that relationships are sometimes more important than gettingcontracts or good business. The negotiation style used by Indians is a Win-losewith them being flexible negotiators (Ville-Pekka & Sakkinen).
Their hierarchicalstructures enable them to use their dominant party’s resources to obtain theoutcomes they need. In all this, however, they are more relationship centeredin this hierarchy structure hence are more flexible and superior whennegotiating in business deals. Furthermore, the negotiation styles stem fromfatalism, a notion of Karma that everything happens for a reason. They use thisto define their decision-making processes in addition to influencing time inIndia. This action results in more extended negotiation periods as they cannotrush negotiations. Theircommunication styles involve the use of high verbal and non-verbal techniqueswhen expressing their emotions.
In addition to this, their culture hasinstilled in them a mentality of doing everything themselves. This notion hasmade them be experimenters and high-level risk takers. For Indians, negotiation is a game ofproblem-solving with the belief that there is a solution for which they arewilling to go to any extent to discover. They believe that solutions to anyproblem are transactions in which at the end, all parties will benefit. When itcomes to making deals and contracts, Indians think of them regardingrelationships and fairness. This way of thinking is not so with US investors whoview contracts as obligations. For Indians, an ideal solution to a deal be onethat will benefit all parties involved (Ville-Pekka & Sakkinen). On organizationaland leadership styles, Indians hierarchical culture influences their corporatestructure to be centrally coordinated.
All the decision making is left to thetop management of the firm, in that team decision making is not at all favored.Everyone in Indian businesses has their positions in the hierarchies whichdetermine their duties and privileges. In the case of US, the amount ofresponsibility an employee has will mean that they are to be more accountablewhereas in India, a worker’s accountability towards his or her work, is relatedto their hierarchical status (Rebecca, 2011).
Theircommunications are often in an indirect manner.India’snation has been stereotyped in different ways. Outside multinational UScorporations looking to invest in India often associate the country to have lowinfrastructure although this is not as bad as they think. The reason is thatthe costs of labor are small, while project management skills and technologicalsophistication are high. This aspect makes India a good market for outsourcing.Another element that foreign investors stress on is that they view the Indiangovernment as frustrating because of their highly regulated natures.Furthermore, the labor market in India is perceived to be of lower cost andhighly skilled, thus has encouraged multinational corporations to set upbranches in India.
Hofstedecultural analysis of IndiaPower distanceHofstede cultural studyof India indicates a large power distance society. It is ranked 77 incomparison with the world’s average of 56.6. The reason for this is becausepeople in India have accepted inequality as the everyday norm of life. Althougha majority of Indians approve this, it has an adverse outcome in that, wealthand power is distributed unequally within their society and furthermoreencourages the formation of hierarchies. Uncertainty of avoidanceAnother aspect of thisanalysis is the uncertainty of evasion. On the scale of one to a hundred,Indians average at forty compared to the worldwide average of sixty-five.
Theexplanation for this is that Indians have accepted uncertainty and unstructuredsystems. They do not avoid situations meaning that Indians have set up fewrules and standards to control future conditions although this could improveimprovisation skills (Country Comparison).IndividualismWhen it comes toindividualism, India’s society ranks 49 compared to global average of 43. Thereason is that the nation of India is wholly individualist in that bothindividuals and teams are essential to them. MasculinityThe masculinity of Indiessociety is at 56 compared to world average of 51.
This is because men are givenmore privileges than women when it comes to employment and professions. Mentend to act more masculine while women act feminine (Country Comparison).Long-term versusshort-term orientationThissocietal aspect of India is ranked 61 while the global average is at 48. Thishigh ranking for India means that they value situations that benefit them for amore extended period as compared to those benefits that run only for shortertimes. When negotiating in business transactions, they focus mainly on buildingrelationships that will benefit them for years to come, in that connections tothem is more important than winning contracts (Country Comparisson). Whencompared to the US, Hofstede’s model indicates a nation centered on hierarchy.US companies make their decisions by involving all employees. No one has topass through a chain of commands to talk to the top management.
This action isthe opposite of the organizational structure of India. Governance in Indiadoesn’t empower their employees while in the US employee empowerment is numberone priority in improving their businesses (Rebecca, 2011). As a result of thisdifferences in the way Indians and US carry out their activities, USentrepreneurs looking to do successful companies in India should adjust to fitwith the culture of India in the following ways;Whenmaking business deals with Indian businessmen, they should not rush thebusiness transactions but instead take it slowly. The reason behind this isbecause negotiations by Indians are often thoroughly considered and thoughtbefore they make their final decisions. Additionally, US investors looking todo successful business in India should consider the religions, region, andbackground of their counterparts. This action is because India is highlydiversified when it comes to this aspects hence behave differently. Due tothis, US must customize their approach for them to succeed.
Lastly, USinvestors should strive not to miss the social nuances associated with India.It’s a rule in India to not say no hence they should consider this when tryingto bring out their points to avoid instances of misreading one’s response. In conclusion,International business communication between India and US has for the pastperiods been expanding at a rate that couldn’t have been achievable withoutmaking sacrifices and compromising each other’s cultural differences. India’spopulation is the most abundant consumers of US goods and services whereas theUS is the number one consumer of their raw materials. For this reasons, theyshould strive to maintain good relations by going beyond their culturaldifferences for the greater good of both their businesses and developments