International managers need to understand cultures of a wide range of societies in order to function effectively. Cultural knowledge can help with dealing with customers, suppliers, employees, and regulators.
First, every business operates in a regulatory environment and needs to understand how to negotiate local government bureaucracies both via formal procedures and informal networks. Often cultures differ in acceptable business practices, and what might be a standard procedure in one country would be inappropriate or even illegal in others.
Next, without understanding local culture, one might not be able to market effectively. For example, a food chain that sold pork products in a Muslim country would offend local religious beliefs and would be unlikely to do well. The better one understands local culture, the better one can tailor products and marketing to local tastes.
Supply chains are increasingly global. To have an effective supply chain, one needs to be on the same page as one's...
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