In the previous chapters, we have discussed how the introduction of new business strategies necessitates changing the corporate culture to accommodate them. When it is a case of predicting internal strategies – for instance, when an eastern US firm needs to adapt its culture to benefit from new initiatives or exigencies from California – or how Sicilian enterprises have to restyle themselves to satisfy demands of modernization or packaging from Milan – then nationals from different regions will ultimately be able to cope.

When, however, a new business strategy becomes imperative in order to deal with foreign and overseas customers and partners – belonging to different cultural categories – the task of remodelling the corporate culture becomes infinitely more intricate.

This chapter itemizes the areas in which adaptation and concessions must be made. Basically, what follows is a list of golden rules to help linear-active cultures such as Britain, Germany and the USA deal with and make themselves more acceptable to members of reactive cultures (China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, etc.) and multi-active ones (Latin, Arab, African, etc.).

Whither the West

It has been mentioned in earlier chapters how the centre of gravity of world commerce is moving inexorably east. We say “east” not only on account of the stunning rate of growth of China in the first decade of the 21st century, but also recognizing the maturity of Japan's economy – No. 2 in the world until recently ...

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