international business letter

about ¾ of a page to one full page business letter(formatting as researched culture may dictate) + several paragraphs of rationale

One of the great things about entering a field under the sphere of business is that you’ll get to encounter people from all over the world. Because of this plethora of diversity, it’s important to understand the nuances and intricacies that comprise different cultures and to be aware about how your own cultural makeup will interact with those of others, especially with regards to business etiquette.

Please ponder a country that you find intriguing and/or a country where you can foresee yourself conducting business. Please do some research on the culture and etiquette of this country, especially with regards to the customs related to the ways this country conducts business. Some questions to ponder:

how are gender relations handled?

Will a more direct or indirect approach be appropriate when making a business proposal?

Is the country high-context or low-context?

How are public-figures perceived by the general public—are they beloved?

Are they despised?

How personal should you get when doing business?

After considering these facets, the most important thing to ask yourself is, how do these characteristics of the culture’s business etiquette influence then way you communicate?

This assignment has two parts:

I. Once you’ve researched business etiquette in this country, write a business-letter to either a potential business partner in that country or the embassy proposing some sort of business idea. In the letter you must convey proper respect for the elements of business etiquette within that country by manifesting what you’ve learned.

In other words, incorporate the ideas you learned into the letter and write the letter as would be expected in that country. You want to sound as natural as possible when expressing that you’ve done some research on customs. For example: if a country is high context, how will that effect the way you write a business letter?

II. After you write this letter, please briefly explain why you wrote the way that you did. Essentially, explain to me what you discovered (or perhaps already knew) about the business customs of the country you want to work with.

Side-notes: I encourage you to use this assignment to explore the customs a new country that you may be interested in but aren’t necessarily familiar with. That is, if you were born in Sweden and identify as Swedish, I’d urge you to avoid writing about Sweden and opt for a country you don’t know much about.

While I encourage you to search far and wide for info on other countries, www.geert-hofstede.com is a fantastic resource.

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