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The Necessity of Cultural Sensitivity in International Business

Doing business with an individual from the USA differs significantly from an Asian customer. The varying nature of countries and regions propagates diverse cultural norms. Businesspeople should consider these aspects when conducting intercultural commerce. The world is getting increasingly connected with individuals exhibiting cultural differences. Our response to cultural variations may sometimes cause barriers to conducting business. Cultural sensitivity is important for business development, particularly with international clients. Developing a culturally sensitive workforce helps boost customer relations, promotes a brand, and limits the potential for lost business due to insensitivity. The following illustrations posit the necessity for cultural sensitivity when conducting business with internal clients.

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A company showcases better customer relations if it is culturally sensitive. Individuals are increasingly choosing business transactions with sensitive businesses that indicate cultural respect. Considering other peoples’ way of life posits flexibility and a capacity to accommodate varying people in the business’ provisions (Ohio University, 2021). Inflexibility would illustrate a business’s rigid framework, a detrimental issue in contemporary business as people work in diverse regions worldwide. Many individuals are working as expatriates, which clients would consider when dealing with the business. A culturally sensitive business would boost customer relations as they would discern the organization as inclusive and accommodating to everyone around the globe.

Furthermore, cultural gaffes may result in a company losing business opportunities. They can potentially derail negotiations as the client is put off by cultural insensitivity. International clients are professional and understand that it is improbable that everyone understands their culture. Nonetheless, business people cannot use this as an excuse to ignore any tenets involved in their communication fully. For instance, it is important to learn that pointing someone in India is disrespectful and would breed hostility with the client. It is prudent to educate oneself and the team on the clients’ cultural norms to eliminate the chance of offensive language or behavior and facilitate smooth business transactions (Ohio University, 2021). Learning about a client’s culture also illustrates a business’ commitment to their transaction, showing the importance ascribed to the customer.

It is also important to consider the adverse effects of cultural insensitivity, leading to brand damage. An organization could deeply offend international clients if it exhibited cultural disrespect. The general public also finds cultural insensitivity off-putting and may boycott a business’s products if it does not consider others’ culture (Ohio University, 2021). Individuals from the culture involved are particularly liable to resent the company if they face such discrimination, ruining its reputation and image. Such issues are detrimental to organizational growth as people would refrain from using their products as they appear detached from the public.

Organizations should discern the variations in business practices around the globe to promote positive outcomes. Individuals in locations such as China do not conduct business immediately after meeting with trading partners. In contrast, conducting business from the onset is common in the USA. International clients may perceive US culture as rash if the organization does not adhere to commonly established practices (Ohio University, 2021). Businesses in Asia are likely to conduct several rounds of negotiations before concluding. While it may appear slow in the US, it results in a positive outcome in the Eastern region. It is, therefore, important to note differences in conducting business to propagate established systems rather than impose one’s cultural norms on international clients.

In conclusion, cultural sensitivity is a virtue for organizations that wish to conduct business with international clients. Individuals should develop cultural competence and promote sensitivity at the workplace to boost brand image and ensure they do not lose business opportunities due to insensitive actions or comments. Developing cultural sensitivity allows a business to gain customers, boost its relationships and determine the appropriate behavior when dealing with varying cultures to propagate cultural respect.


Ohio University. (2021). Cultural differences in business and International Affairs. Ohio University. Web.

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