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Values in international business

Working in global locations

For businesses managing global locations or multi-cultural workforces, understanding and respecting peoples attitudes, values and beliefs is crucial.

Research shows that these differences are the key cause of global project inefficiencies (Mahalingham et Al, 2005). Some significant differces globally are:

  1. Rules are approached differently, some will follow them to the letter, others will exercise professional judgement to progress the works.

  2. Contracts do not always take account of cultural and regulatory differences. Friction arises from inflexible clauses that can be ambiguous and that do not recognise the partnership nature of the relationship as they were designed for single culture projects.

  3. Health and safety can differ widely across countries, especially in the mentality of workers to safety issues.

Businesses today, not only need to understand the values of their workforce, supply chain and stakeholders, but also the relevant laws and policies of the country in which they operate. For example, how women are treated in Islamic culture differs widely from western culture. Such instances can sometimes lead to ethical dilemmas.

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This article is from the free online course:

Construction Ethics and Compliance

Chartered Institute of Building Academy