The Value of an International Degree in Business Management

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” – This quote by Milton Berle, one of the most prominent faces in the celebrity world who stunned the Golden age of television, holds an in-depth significance when it comes to building a successful career in the present-day corporate world.The modern-day trading bodies hold structures that are growing wide and expansive with time, embracing new ideas, concepts, and strategies. The increasingly changing business trends are the greatest evidence of the fact. Organizations nowadays aim to operate on a comprehensive platform by reaching out to international businesses, exchanging necessary know-how’s, and implementing them in their own ventures. It is hence crucial to understand that just earning an undergraduate degree in business management is not at all going to help you to make your mark in the professional arena.

Today, anyone aspiring for a career in the management domain needs to have a global mindset to get a career break in the current business industry, which comes through zestful learning, exploration, industry exposure, and training. ‘International’ is an earnest tag in today’s business world that is highly valued by the corporates and recruiters. An international degree helps you create a robust bridge between you and your future career, through which you can achieve a greater exposure to attain the opportunities in the first place. If you see, in the current times, getting the chance to attend an interview is a more significant challenge than cracking one. This is mainly because of the increasing percentage of business management students graduating every year, imposing tough competition to each other. Demonstrated below are some of the rationalizations that will help you understand the value of an international bachelor’s degree in management and how it is one of the best decisions you can take for a robust management career ahead.

Interacting, connecting, and learning directly from top international executives

Learning under the mentorship of international executives and professionals possessing rich global experience can significantly increase your worth in the industry. When you step towards attaining an international degree in business management, you not only get to gain from the expert vision of international experts who are the real examples of successful business figures. Moreover, an international degree provides you with the opportunity to tap into the crucial standards, tactics, and maneuvers that the current business industry follows.

Zealously expanding industrial knowledge and network

The contemporary business platform is far from being confined to academic knowledge and rote proficiencies. It uprightly demands professionals who are inventive, have out-of-the-box thinking ability and are skilled enough to add value to business above everything. This is where the sheer need for an international business degree gains prominence. It will help you experience the taste of diverse cultures, languages, attitudes, and altered approaches to learning across business disciplines. Besides, you get to connect with a lot of like-minded individuals and peers expanding your professional network which will be vital for you in your long-term career.

The priceless advantages of the contemporary learning environment

Candidates attaining an international degree in management get to be a part of the modern-day and dynamic learning environment. The teaching pedagogy, training aids, and the overall methodology used abroad are different from how they are in India. Furthermore, international professors have a different style of mentoring students and emphasize more on the practical aspects. Along with that, they also clasp the concept of the open-classroom environment to help students to maintain their interest and learn in a more motivating and advanced manner.

Serves as a launch pad for your career abroad

One of the most significant advantages of gaining an international degree in business management is that it opens huge prospects for you to launch your career abroad. A foreign degree program makes you familiar with the global business standards, customs, etiquettes, and business tactics that automatically boosts your marketability on an international level. Besides, you, as an international management degree holder, will be able to perform with comparatively more conviction on a global platform than a non-international degree holder.

As you can see above, these are some of the key pluses of attaining an international degree in management. An international degree bestows you with incomparable benefits that help you achieve personal excellence apart from robust professional know-how. The skills, proficiencies, and knowledge you gain will only unleash gradually when you begin your journey. We, at IILM Undergraduate Business School, with our BBA Program, can provide you with a strong international platform to give your aims and aspirations a whole new recognition. The internationally-benchmarked curriculum, strong market research and connections, contemporary teaching pedagogy, and international faculty are some of the robust pillars that have helped us produce the finest professionals for years. As one of the foremost institutes to begin the International Degree system in India, we, at IILM UBS, recognized among the best BBA colleges in Delhi NCR, offer ambitious management aspirants the opportunity to learn and view the nitty-gritty of the business world from a global perspective.

Cross-Cultural Challenges In the International Business Management

The company where I was working was taken over by a British multinational company in the mid 1990s. The newly appointed Managing Director from UK, during one of his visits to the plant, inquired how Gujarati people eat food at home. Having heard the response, he decided to sit down on the floor and have Gujarati food, along with all the senior colleagues of the plant.

What was the Managing Director trying to do? He was trying to appreciate the cultural norms of the new place and show his willingness to embrace. Such a behavior by the Managing Director obviously helped the local management open up more during subsequent discussions.

In the last 2 decades, cross-cultural challenges in the international business management have become prominent as the companies have started expanding across the territorial boundaries. Even leading management schools in India have started incorporating cross-cultural challenges as part of the curriculum of the international business management.

“Culture” being one of my interest areas, I recently had accepted an invitation to educate the students of a Diploma program on the International Business Management, on the topic of cross-cultural challenges. For my preparations, I browsed through many books on the subject. My knowledge-base got enriched substantially as the treasure of information contained in these books, was invaluable and highly relevant.

This article is an effort to present, some of the relevant issues related to the cross-cultural challenges in the International Business Management.

What is “Culture”?

Culture is the “acquired knowledge that people use to anticipate events and interpret experiences for generating acceptable social & professional behaviors. This knowledge forms values, creates attitudes and influences behaviors”. Culture is learned through experiences and shared by a large number of people in the society. Further, culture is transferred from one generation to another.

What are the core components of “Culture”?

  • Power distribution – Whether the members of the society follow the hierarchical approach or the egalitarian ideology?
  • Social relationships – Are people more individualistic or they believe in collectivism?
  • Environmental relationships – Do people exploit the environment for their socioeconomic purposes or do they strive to live in harmony with the surroundings?
  • Work patterns – Do people perform one task at a time or they take up multiple tasks at a time?
  • Uncertainty & social control – Whether the members of the society like to avoid uncertainty and be rule-bound or whether the members of the society are more relationship-based and like to deal with the uncertainties as & when they arise?

What are the critical issues that generally surface in cross-cultural teams?

  • Inadequate trust – For example, on one hand a Chinese manager wonders why his Indian teammates speak in Hindi in the office and on the other hand, his teammates argue that when the manager is not around, why they can’t speak in English?
  • Perception – For instance, people from advanced countries consider people from less-developed countries inferior or vice-versa.
  • Inaccurate biases – For example, “Japanese people make decisions in the group” or “Indians do not deliver on time”, are too generalized versions of cultural prejudices.
  • False communication – For example, during discussions, Japanese people nod their heads more as a sign of politeness and not necessarily as an agreement to what is being talked about.

What are the communication styles that are influenced by the culture of the nation?

  • ‘Direct’ or ‘Indirect’ – The messages are explicit and straight in the ‘Direct’ style. However, in the ‘Indirect’ style, the messages are more implicit & contextual.
  • ‘Elaborate’ or ‘Exact’ or ‘Succinct’ – In the ‘Elaborate’ style, the speaker talks a lot & repeats many times. In the ‘Exact’ style, the speaker is precise with minimum repetitions and in the ‘Succinct’ style; the speaker uses fewer words with moderate repetitions & uses nonverbal cues.
  • ‘Contextual’ or ‘Personal’ – In the ‘Contextual’ style, the focus is on the speaker’s title or designation & hierarchical relationships. However, in the ‘Personal’ style, the focus is on the speaker’s individual achievements & there is minimum reference to the hierarchical relationships.
  • ‘Affective’ or ‘Instrumental’ – In the ‘Affective’ style, the communication is more relationship-oriented and listeners need to understand meanings based on nonverbal clues. Whereas in the ‘Instrumental’ style, the speaker is more goal-oriented and uses direct language with minimum nonverbal cues.

What are the important nonverbal cues related to the communication among cross-cultural teams?

  • Body contact – This refers to the hand gestures (intended / unintended), embracing, hugging, kissing, thumping on the shoulder, firmness of handshakes, etc.
  • Interpersonal distance – This is about the physical distance between two or more individuals. 18″ is considered an intimate distance, 18″ to 4′ is treated as personal distance, 4′ to 8′ is the acceptable social distance, and 8′ is considered as the public distance.
  • Artifacts – This refers to the use of tie pins, jewelry, and so on.
  • Para-language – This is about the speech rate, pitch, and loudness.
  • Cosmetics – This is about the use powder, fragrance, deodorants, etc.
  • Time symbolism – This is about the appropriateness of time. For example, when is the proper time to call, when to start, when to finish, etc. because different countries are in different time zones.

Epilogue

“Cross-cultural challenges in international business management”, has become a keenly followed topic in last two decades. There are enough examples of business failures or stagnation or failure of joint ventures, on account of the management’s inability to recognize cross-cultural challenges and tackle them appropriately. There are also examples of companies having compulsory training on culture management or acculturation programs for employees being sent abroad as or hired from other countries, to ensure that cross-challenges are tackled effectively.

The world is becoming smaller day-by-day and therefore, managers involved in the international businesses will have to become more sensitive to the challenges emanating from the cultural and ethnic landscape of the countries they work in.

Ignoring cultural challenges while managing internal businesses is a risky proposition because the stakes are high. It is cognate to the “Hygiene” factor of the “Dual-factor Motivation” theory developed by psychologist Frederick Herzberg in the mid 1960s. In management of the international business, embracing the cultural diversity of the country may or may not bring success, but not doing so will surely increase the chances of stagnation or failure.

Reference:

  • “Cross-cultural Management – Text and Cases” by Bhattacharya Dipak Kumar
  • “International Management: Culture, Strategy and Behavior” by Hodgetts Richard M, Luthans & DOH)
  • “Management Across Cultures: Challenges and Strategies” by Richard Steer, Scnchez-Runde Carlos J, Nardon Luciara)
  • “Bridging The Culture Gap: A Practical Guide to International Business Communication” by Carte Penny and Chris Fox

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