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This note discusses the role of national cultural value differences for global business. The persistence of cultural value differences is particularly relevant for large global companies that are exposed to multiple national cultures in their daily operations. This is because it forces companies to adapt their practices and approaches to every culturally distinct context they operate in. While the concepts discussed in this note apply more broadly, the primary focus here is on global firms. The note first reviews frameworks of national cultural value differences and observable indicators of national culture and some of their documented implications for international business. Subsequently, it provides a broader discussion of how global companies can manage to adapt to cultural (and other) differences.
The note complements classes and modules on cross-cultural management, diversity management, international human resource management, global business, and global strategy.