On Freedom and International Marketing, Part 5: Some Value Dimensions

This is one of the published series on the linkages between freedom and international marketing.

In a global setting, freedom can take on many dimensions. Privileges and obligations that are near and dear to some may well be cheap and easily disposed of by others. The views of one society may differ from views held in other regions of the world. Such differences then account for misunderstandings, surprises, and long-term conflicts.

There are two value dimensions at work here, both of them highly relevant to inter- national marketing. One may be circumscribed as the freedom and values of a market economy. To make them work governmental, managerial, and corporate virtue, vision, and veracity are required. Unless the world can believe in what institutions and their leaders say and do, it will be difficult to forge a global commitment between those doing the marketing and the ones being marketed to. It is therefore of vital interest to the proponents of freedom and international marketing to ensure that corruption, bribery, lack of transparency, and poor governance are exposed for their negative effects in any setting or society. The main remedy will be the collaboration of the global policy community in agreeing on what constitutes transgressions and swift punishment of the culprits involved, so that market forces can work free from distortion.

A second and even more crucial issue is the value system we use in making choices. Some years ago, the Mars Climate Orbiter mission failed spectacularly as a result of the use of different values by the mission navigation teams. One team was using metric units and the other used the English system of measurement. This mistake caused the orbiter to get too close to the atmosphere, where it was destroyed.

There are major differences among what people value around the world. Contrasts include togetherness next to individuality, co- operation next to competition, modesty next to assertiveness, and self-effacement next to self-actualization. Often, global differences in value systems keep us apart and result in spectacularly destructive differences. How we value a life, for example, can be crucial in terms of how we treat individuals. What value we place on family, work, leisure time, or progress has a substantial effect on how we see and evaluate each other.

Translating Values from Proverbs

Proverbs can be an important indicator of cultural values as they often reflect the underlying attitudes and beliefs translated into the culture’s members, such as attitudes towards business ventures and business relationships. Making sincere attempts to understand and appreciate our own as well as other cultures’ proverbs can help us improve in our cultural interaction. Consider the following:

  • The bigger the hat, the smaller the property. (Australian)
  • Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. (New Zealand – Maori)
  • Venture all; see what fate brings. (Vietnamese)
  • Where there are no tigers, a wildcat is very self-important. (Korean)
  • Call on God, but row away from the rocks. (Indian)
  • Don’t worry yourself about the fever before it arrives. (Thai)
  • Loyalty is more valuable than diamonds. (Filipino)
  • A crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind. (Chinese)
  • If you enter a goat stable, bleat. if you enter a water buffalo stable, bellow. (Indonesian)
  • After victory, tighten your helmet cord. (Japanese)

Do you know more proverbs that reflect cultural values in business? Share them with us in the comment section below.

Values and Freedom: Part 1

In a global setting, freedom, can take on many dimensions. Privileges and obligations that are near and dear to some may well be cheap and easily disposed of by others. The views of one society may differ from views held in other regions of the world. Such differences then account for misunderstandings, surprises, and long-term conflicts.

There are two value dimensions at work here, both them highly relevant to global marketing. One may be defined as the freedom and values of a market economy. To make them work, governmental, managerial, and corporate virtue, vision, and veracity are required. Unless the world can believe in the messages and behaviors of institutions and their leaders, it will be difficult to forge a global commitment between those doing the marketing and the ones being marketed too. It is therefor of vital interest to the proponents of freedom and international marketing to ensure that corruption, bribery, lack of transparency, and poor governance are exposed for their negative effects in any settings or society. The main remedy will be the collaboration of the global policy community to agree on what constitutes transgressions combined with swift punishment of the culprits involved.

 

This is an excerpt from Dr. Czinkota’s book Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead, co-authored by Dr. Ilkka Ronkainen.

Michael R Czinkota and Ilkka A Ronkainen, Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead (New York: Routledge, 2011), pg. 236-237.

Click HERE to acquire the full book.