I think that it is helpful to understand the culture of the people you are dealing with when doing business, but only to a certain extent. You cannot rely too much on studying about a culture first, because you risk getting stonewalled by stereotypes. You need to know the people as well, not just their culture.
Research should be free of personal bias. This is easier to say than to do, since we all have our opinions on just about everything, and it is hard to distance ourselves from these opinions. In business research you are often trying to determine what sort of products or services would be popular and profitable. To do this effectively you have to define research that accurately reflects the needs and desires of consumers in general, rather than yourself.