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The Ugly American - Doing Business Abroad

Using the attached journal article, please discuss experiences you have had witnessing "ugly Americans" abroad, or "ugly foreign people" within the United States. Please discuss behavior that displayed gross insensitivity toward a sub-culture within the U.S.

What steps can we take to help prevent us from inadvertently behaving like the people we are describing? Thanks for your assistance.

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What steps can we take to help prevent us from inadvertently behaving like the people we are describing?

Culture is all-encompassing - cultural values drive everything within a culture including business practices. Everyone in a culture is affected by the values of that culture. The values within one culture can be derived from different sources such as family traditions as well as popular culture (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2003, Ch. 2, P.18). American culture affects the way that American businesses conduct their transactions, but not all Americans are from the core culture. For example all the American companies I have worked for expect promptness, while time is a more flexible concept in cultures like Iran, where I grew up, and Mexico. I have often met with Mexican and U.S. born Hispanic clients and vendors who do not consider being a few minutes late to be an issue. I found this attitude much easier to accept because my own native culture adopts it, but my American born colleagues often have a difficult time coming to terms with it and have sometimes reacted very negatively. In one very bad instance one of my American colleagues was overheard making a highly insensitive comment about Mexicans ...

Solution Summary

This is a discussion of personal experiences witnessing "ugly Americans" abroad, and "ugly foreign people" within the United States, as well as behaviors that displayed gross insensitivity toward a sub-culture within the U.S.

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