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BUS 571 International Leadership: Definitions


  • Capitalism is an economic system in which private individuals or businesses own capital goods. The production of goods and services is based on supply and demand in the general market—known as a market economy. Here, private individuals are unrestrained. They may determine where to invest, what to produce or sell, and at which prices to exchange goods and services. The laissez-faire marketplace operates without checks or controls.
  • Nationalism is domestic emphasis placed on the country's economic, political, and strategic interests. Nationalism views international business as a zero-sum competition. Patriotism is pro-national behavior of consumers, producers, and other business stakeholders.

  • Protectionism refers to government actions and policies that restrict or restrain international trade for the benefit of a single domestic economy. Protectionist policies are usually implemented with the goal to improve economic activity within a domestic economy but can also be implemented for safety or quality concerns.

  • Social responsibility means that businesses, in addition to maximizing shareholder value, must act in a manner that benefits society. Social responsibility has become increasingly important to investors and consumers who seek investments that are not just profitable but also contribute to the welfare of society and the environment. 

Hofstede's Value Dimensions

  • Power Distance - The level of acceptance by a society of the unequal distribution of power in institutions.

  • Uncertainty Avoidance - The extent to which people in a society feel threatened by ambiguous situations.

  • Individualism - The tendency of people to look after themselves and their immediate families only and to neglect the
    needs of society.

  • Collectivism - The desire for tight social frameworks, emotional dependence on belonging to “the organization,” and a strong belief in group decisions.

  • Masculinity vs. Femininity - The distribution of roles between the genders to which a range of solutions are found. The IBM studies revealed that (a) women's values differ less among societies than men's values and (b) men's values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and maximally different from women's values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women's values on the other. The assertive pole has been called “masculine” and the modest, caring pole “feminine.” The women in feminine countries have the same modest, caring values as the men; in the masculine countries they are somewhat assertive and competitive, but not as much as the men, so that these countries show a gap between men's values and women's values.

  • Long tem orientation vs. Short term orientation - Values associated with long-term orientation are thrift and perseverance; values associated with short-term orientation are respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations, and protecting one's “face.” 

What is international management?

International management is the process of developing strategies, designing and operating systems, and working with people around the world to ensure sustained competitive advantage.

Terms related to Culture and Management

  • Convergence —  the phenomenon of the shifting of individual management styles to become similar to one another.

  • Self-Reference Criterion — the subconscious reference point of ones own cultural values. Many people in the world understand and relate to others only in terms of their own cultures.

  • Parochialism — occurs, for example, when a Frenchman expects those from or in another country to automatically fall into patterns of behavior common in France.

  • Ethnocentrism — describes the attitude of those who operate from the assumption that their ways of doing things are best—no matter where or under what conditions they are applied.

Nonverbal Communication

  • Kinesics behavior—communication through body movements.

  • Proxemics—the influence of proximity and space on communication—both personal space and office space or layout.

    • High-contact cultures: prefer to stand close and to experience a “close” sensory involvement.

    • Low-contact cultures: have a “distant” style of body language.

  • Paralanguage — how something is said rather than the content.