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Why do you think it is often difficult to do business across cultures? How can business people avoid cross-cultural mistakes? If a company offends a culture in which it is trying to do business, what should it do? Be certain to use all three major sociological theories— functionalism, conflict theory, and interactionism — in your analysis.

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It is often difficult to do business across cultures because every country has its own unique set of norms as well as differing perspectives on social etiquette. It can be quite a challenge to master every necessary rule for the purposes of covering every eventuality in a variety of business settings.

One of the best ways to avoid cross-cultural blunders is to increase one's cultural intelligence. Four things that contribute to cultural intelligence are strategies to include cross-cultural awareness in daily actions, ways to adapt to changing paradigms in business relationships, ways to develop the essential motivation to become culturally aware, and strategies on amassing knowledge about the role of culture in shaping belief structures. In sociology, the functionalist theory is the perspective that a society functions best when all interconnected parts within that society work in harmony. In order to promote this harmony, cross-cultural understanding must be fostered on a global scale.

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