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International Business Country Research Project

Remember, it is important to answer each question thoroughly with specific examples! Give
examples specifically relating to the country you are researching! The student should provide
in their answer a reference to the vocabulary as well as tying in that vocabulary with the
country.
In the first few questions, the vocabulary has been identified with bold, italics. The country for
worksheet one is China. Thus you would tie in China’s Aesthetics, Values/Attitudes, Diffusion
to the actual vocabulary.
Remember, these questions need to be researched. Students are not to state what they feel
“values and attitudes” are…These are all vocabulary terms needing definition and application to
the country in question.
CULTURE
1. What is meant by a culture’s aesthetics? Give several examples of this country’s
aesthetics.
Aesthetics refer to what is greatly appreciated in the world of the arts like music,
literature, painting, and architecture, to name a few. In poetry and the performing arts, the
“rasa” or emotional flavors of a piece’s makeup should serve as a “balanced emotional
meal” to the viewer or reader by the end of it. There are eight rasa courses. Also, music is
another core aesthetic in India, with as many genres as you can think of, most still having
that “Bollywood” ringing in the background. The most popular genre is pop music, which
is any music that may be used in a movie. Its total sales make up 72% of all music sales
in India.
2. Compare and contrast the words “values” and “attitudes”. Describe this country’s
attitudes toward time, work, and cultural change?
Values are ideas, beliefs, and customs that people are emotionally attached to, where the
attitudes are feelings, evaluations, or tendencies that individuals harbor. Indian attitudes
toward work rely greatly on cooperation. This comes deeply rooted from the past when
groups of families had to learn to survive together. They also work to provide the basics
for their family, not for the accumulation of goods. Time is just another commodity –
there is plenty of it and no need to rush. Patience and ability to wait is considered to be a
good quality among Indians. They do not see much need for cultural change in their
family life, behaviors, or attitudes, but technology is one exception for them.
3. Describe the process of culture diffusion and how it takes shape in this country. Why
should international businesses be sensitive to charges of cultural imperialism in relation
to this country?
A perfect example of cultural diffusion in India is the acceptance of American and
European cinema, also known as Bollywood, and the wide viewing of American soap
operas like Days of Our Lives. There have also been controversial ads of a little Indian
boy eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger with a line below is saying how much he wishes
he could have more cheeseburgers! In our textbook, the example they used was when the
Miss World Pageant was held in India, there were conservative groups that were
criticizing Western sponsors for spreading ideas about consumerism and portraying
women as sex objects.
4. Summarize this country’s culture. How does ethnocentricity by an America distort
one’s view of this country’s culture?
India is the birthplace of Buddhism, but Hinduism is the main religion there, with over
80% of its population following. Family continues to be the number one priority, and
being able to raise your child properly is crucial. There are still many arranged marriages
as well. The Indian cuisine is known to use many spices and herbs, with curry as the most
known food when thinking of India. A sari is the most known clothing worn by women, a
piece that covers up most of their body and head. Dancing and music in general play a
huge role in families and festivals held across their country. It’s known to tie in many
different sub-cultures of India. I think some of the things that Americans may think about
Indians is that they all smell of curry, everyone wears a jewel above their forehead, they
all have arranged marriages, and that women have no place to speak in society. It’s not
that some of these things aren’t true to a certain extent, but it’s just that these are
generalized ideas about the Indian society. It definitely makes you wonder what it’s really
like there, but how could one really know unless they’ve been there or spoke directly
with someone who spent their life there.
5. What is cultural literacy? Why should business people be literate of this country’s
culture?
Cultural literacy is the knowledge and the ability to understand or appreciate major
concepts of a culture. A business should know and understand a country’s culture
because it should not want to accidentally offend them by any ads or marketing, for fear
of losing that customer base completely. Knowing that moderation, patience, slow
speech, and family values are ever so present in this culture is how a business is going to
connect with new customers, and hopefully maintain them in the long run if done right.
6. How do nations-states and subcultures influence a nation’s culture image? What is this
country’s culture image?
Well, after reading a very interesting blog called “Gauravonomics”, numerous Indians
wrote in about how people who watch Bollywood movies or soap operas, are Hindus,
speak Hindu, watch cricket, and lives in the past and believes in family are not always the
norm. These could be considered subcultures, but the majority votes that this is their
mainstream culture. The main author of this post actually made it own list of subcultures,
consisting of “Khadi-clad intellectuals”, US returned desis,” IT yuppies”, and “Wannabe
Punjabis”. This puts into people’s mind that Indians are either super smart, have tons of
money and might flaunt it, are very tech-savvy, or that they went to the US and returned
back to their homeland for undisclosed reasons.
7. What religion is followed in this country? Describe in detail the dominant belief system
is in this country.
Hinduism is the main religion in India, considered to be the “oldest religion” with over
80% of its population as followers. Some core beliefs of Hinduism is that there is a three-
in-one god called “Brahman”, that karmic consequences exist, that reincarnation is
reality, and that nirvana is the main goal of the Hindu. Also, they believe in a Caste
System, which is a system of social class based on heredity and ritual purity and
describes each of its members.
8. In what ways could this country’s main religion affect international business activities?
Hinduism is quick to slow growth in India because it rejects advancement and dampens
ambition because of the caste system. People can’t move up because of what they were
born into, nor will they work harder than they should because they know they won’t get
rewarded for their good efforts. This system greatly hinders business activities. The caste
system also promotes specialization because a certain doctrine within the caste that tells
them what they are best at and should stick to for the rest of their lives. There also can be
a lack of unity among workers who are part of different caste systems.
9. Describe the communication in this country. (language, non verbal, verbal, language
customs.) How and why is knowledge of a culture’s spoken language important for
international business?
Since English is one of the fifteen official spoken languages of India, it’s very rare to find
a businessman that does not speak great English. Many Indians never officially say “no”
to something, but that doesn’t mean they agree to it. Many business conversations start
out talking about family and eventually move into business topics. Non verbal
communication includes not shaking hands only with members of the same sex, greeting
someone with “Namaste”, or praying hands with a head bow, standing within at least an
arms length away from someone, using only your right hands to touch someone or
something (left is unclean), and never pointing fingers at someone, only using the full
hand. These are obvious important factors when communicating because they will
determine the overall success of any business meeting you may have. Any wrongdoing
can immediately jeopardize accomplishments overseas.
10. Are there any endangered languages that exist in this country? What is being done to
help them survive?
There are at least 196 languages that are on the verge of distinction in India, mostly
coming from the Tibetan region and the Andaman & Nicobar Island region. The Living
Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages is making a digital archive of many
languages in India and Southeast Asia for preservation. This organization is dedicated to
the documentation, revitalization, and the maintenance of endangered languages, and sees
India as one of its biggest challenges.

11. What functions does lingua franca play in this country? Describe lingua franca’s
implication for conducting international business in this country. (try wikipedia)
There is a huge controversy regarding the lingua franca in India. Hindi is the most
commonly spoken language in India, and is the official language of the country. On the
other hand, Urdu is considered to be the national language and the lingua franca of
Pakistan. This does not mean it encompasses the whole country. The problem is that
these languages are very similar, with little differences besides a few. Most are
suggesting now that the lingua franca becomes English to succumb to the business
society. The main reason why English is being highly suggested is that most businessman
in India speak precise English, which is only a positive since the US subcontracts a
significant amount of business in India.
12. Why is body language important for international business in this country? Give several
examples of how it is different in this country in comparison to America.
When China suggests that eye contact is disrespectful, India sees it as a sign of respect
and interest. If you don’t make eye contact, it is said that one sees no importance of the
other. Eye contact is about 50% of the overall communication. Smiling means you have
confidence, and pursing your lips means you may be holding back. The positioning of
your head is a huge indicator of whether or not you seem self-assured or not, where
tilting your head makes you seem friendly and open. Crossing hands over your chest may
be considered not as receptive to other’s thoughts and cold in demeanor. All of these are
examples of exactly how American business may be seen as.

13. What is this country’s educational level? Why is the educational level of a country’s
peoples important to international companies? How does it affect this country’s
participation in the global economy?
India’s educational levels are mainly provided by the public sector coming from three
levels: federal, state, and local. The Indian Constitution says that education is a
fundamental right, and most universities rely on the state government. Their literacy rate
has relied on two-thirds of their society, much higher than any other nation of their
stature. Having at least 1.1 billion people in their society and two-thirds of them
participating is quite an accomplishment. Though, more could be involved, most of them
only work when they have to provide for small needs for their families.
14. What is meant by the terms brain drain and reverse brain drain? How does this country
participate in either end of the “brain drain”.
As stated earlier, brain drain is a huge account, taking more than $2 billion a year for
those IT specialists and computer experts to the US. India currently faces a large outflow
of foreign exchange students, roughly $10 billion annually. The Indian government
believes this is not necessarily a bad idea for India, and that it will one day eventually
benefit them overall.
15. How is this country’s culture and physical environment related?
India currently uses their land as a place of refuge for the stillness of nature and the
calmness of the landscape. The Himalayan Mountains are a place people escape to to find
a sense of themselves and a sense of peace through the course of their journeys. Dance
groups travel to other destinations in India to seek acceptance from other peers and to
gain a sense of well-being too. The architecture in India is a very reputable place because
the people that attend events there end up being somebody of stature.
POLITICS, LAW, and ETHICS
16. What political system does this country use? Explain the relation between political
systems and culture in this country. Below are some guides to help your research:
The political system that India uses is currently a democracy. They have a president, an
executive branch, a legislative branch, and even a judicial branch. They are much like the
US; only, they have much more people to vote, with over 700 million electorate people.
These people of India believe they have a right to vote, yet they stay away from most
democratic liberal views such as sex before marriage, abortion, and gay marriage. It is
said that India has a much, much more corrupt governmental system than the US even! In
comparison, their political ideas ring true all around because they believe in arranged
marriages, no sex before marriages, and family values. There is an overall “wrong-doing”
if any of these ideas are broken. This is their culture, and this IS how it stands. All
members of the Gandhi family were assassinated because of their “outrageous” political
and religious beliefs, but were widely understood by most Westerners. This shows how
the values and their political systems tend to clash. Yes, the US has had assassinations,
and yes, India has had them too, but NO, ours have not been about such religious
demands. Like I said, highly corrupt.

17. Compare and contrast the different forms of political systems within this country’s
framework. Does this country have any issues related to a totalitarian government? How
might a totalitarian government affect business activities? Is this country a democracy?
What is democracy? Explain the difference between democracy and
totalitarianism. What five freedoms does a representative democracy strive to provide its
peoples? How might a democratic government affect business activities in this nation?
The political system within the Indian government is mainly a democracy, having all
three branches of government. Apparently, being the largest democracy in the world has
its downfalls. India has taken away the right to speak, regardless of the medium or the
duration of the censorship. Blogs have been banned, like Blogger, BlogSpot, TypePad,
and GeoCities because of this! This is something that has greatly affected business
activities, according to “Ergosum”, a blogger of WordPress. He says this is a “violation
of the fundamental human right to free speech,” and that it is a calamity that many sites
of been blocked or shut down because they are some people’s main source of income in
the foreign seas. This is just a small example of how it’s affecting business. A democracy
is considered to be the majority of the population, whereas the totalitarians are only a
small, small group of the overall population running against the majority views in order
to gain their personal likeness. Because India is united in diversity, no one leader will
ever be able to reign power over the 1.1 billion people in its population – this has been
highly evident throughout the history of their existence. The main fundamental rights of
India include the right to equality, the right to freedom, the right to exploitation, the right
to freedom of religion, the right to cultural and educational rights, as well as the right to
constitutional remedies. These rights may affect business because they often counter the
fundamental rights without safeguards for civil rights. People of other sexualities are
often imprisoned for up to ten years because of their vague descriptions on their
constitutions. This is just one example of how people receive information in different
ways and how it can greatly affect business principles.
18. What are some types of political risk in this country? How might each affect
international business activities within this country?
Some of the biggest political risks in India include a slow-down in government decisions
due to political instability, unpredictable changes in foreign investment, imports, and
taxes, labor unrest, corruption, and fluctuation in interest, inflation, and currency rates.
One of the main reasons why there are political risks in this country is due to the fact that
they are uncertain of how the global financial crisis is going to hit them and affect them
in the long run. They expected massive layoffs in many US born factories, as well as
stock prices plunging to their limits.

19. Identify safety issues while traveling to and in this country. List several steps managers
can take to stay safe while on an international assignment in this country?
There is always concern for anti-Westerner Islamic groups in India. These groups are
considered to be terrorists on everybody’s list, and should be of great concern. Any type
of “luxury” area (to a Westerner) should be considered a place of threat when traveling.
Terrorists like to make these places their main point of attack. Also, tropical storms on
the coasts are always an alarm. Surprisingly enough, religious areas are also of concern
because there can be mass stampedes at these locations due to all of the people present.
India is also on “high alert” during the major holiday times. They suggest monitoring
local news in the area to receive updates regarding your stay.
20. Distinguish between confiscation, expropriation, and nationalization.
These terms are used to describe some type of asset seizure by a government.
Confiscation is a forced transfer of assets from a company to a government and when
there is some type of compensation given it is called expropriation. These two are rarely
used because it could impact the economy having those companies leave the country. In
order to prevent this from happening, the government usually uses nationalization. This is
when the government actually takes over an entire industry