The definition of culture has long been a controversy and the term is used in a variety of ways. One commonly used definition is: «[Culture] is that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by [a human] as a member of society.»[i] E.B. Tylor «Primitive Culture»
For more than a decade, our world has become a global village. Means of transport and communications - supersonic aircraft, international telephone, computer networks and satellite channels of world news make conversation or meeting with a person from another continent as easy as for our ancestors of the last century meeting with a person from a neighbouring village. Distance and national borders, as the main obstacle to business ties, quickly disappear. The reality of the global village was the influence of multinational corporations and the growth of agreements between countries on regional cooperation.
Most of the companies listed in the Fortune-500 are multinational corporations - companies that conduct a large volume of transactions in two or more countries. National borders are also overcome by the creation of regional associations. The most illustrative in this sense is the European Union, which unites 15 countries of Western Europe, and NAFTA, which reduces barriers of trade between the USA, Mexico and Canada. Naturally, there are a lot of difficulties associated with different cultures, languages, laws and customs, as well as the enormous distances on which business transactions are realised.
[i] Sir Edward Burnett Tylor (1871) Primitive Culture. London: J Murray.
The era of globalization in the world economy obliges us to look much broader at the world, which today represents a vast web of international economic relations, overlapping interests and decisions. Sometimes we even have to take in pieces the information scattered all over the globe. Integration of interests in the global business community can not be carried out quickly and painlessly. We are burdened with excessive self-confidence and lack of necessary knowledge in the field of international communication, which allows us to make gross mistakes in building an international dialogue, and gives us an irresistible desire to adjust the entire process of cooperation exclusively for ourselves, not taking into account the specifics of the mentality of our partner. The process of creating an effective and harmonious dialogue for both sides is called cross-cultural communication, and the science that studies the features of this process — cross-cultural management. Its role in the organisation of business processes, without exaggeration, can be called one of the most important with a competent approach to the implementation of foreign economic activity. Tolerance demonstrates wisdom and can ensure the privileged position of the company and its employees in the future.