Role of Culture and the Firm
Understanding another country’s culture is crucial to the success
of any global marketing initiative. One important cultural classification
scheme that firms can use is Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions concept,
which sheds more light on the underlying values. Hofstede believes cultures
differ on five dimensions: power distance, uncertainty avoidance,
individualism, masculinity, and time orientation.
is the primary language used in Australia. Yet their colourful vocabulary,
accent, phonetics system and slang can take a lot of getting used to. In 1788,
there were about 250 separate Aboriginal languages spoken in Australia, plus
dialects. Today, only two thirds of these languages survive and only 20 of them
(eight per cent of the original 250) are still strong enough to have chance of
surviving well into the next century. In addition to these there are also the
languages of immigrants from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Australian Society & Culture
§ Australians are very down to earth and
always mindful of not giving the impression that they think they are better
§ They value originality and sincerity.
§ Australians prefer people who are
modest, humble with a sense of humor.
§ They do not draw attention to their
academic or other achievements and do not trust people who do.
§ They downplay their own success, which
may make them appear not to be achievement-oriented is a peculiarity.
§ Australians place a high value on relations.
§ With a relatively small population, it
is important to get along with everyone, since you never know when your paths
may cross again.
§ This leads to a win-win negotiating
style, since having everyone come away with positive feelings helps facilitate
future business dealings.
A Multi-Cultural and Open Society
§ The initial population of Australia
was made up of Aborigines and people of British descent.
§ After World War II there was heavy
migration from Europe, especially from Greece, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands,
Yugoslavia, Lebanon, and Turkey.
§ This was in response to the Australian
policy of proactively trying to attract immigrants to boost the population and
§ In the last thirty years, Australia
has liberalized its immigration policy and opened its borders to South East
§ This has caused a real shift in
self-perception as Aussies begin to re-define themselves as a multi-cultural
and multi-faith society rather than the old homogenous, white, Anglo- Saxon,
Australian Etiquette & Customs
§ Australians are not very formal so
greetings are casual and relaxed..
§ Aussies prefer to use first names,
even at the initial meeting
Business Etiquette and Customs in Australia
Relationships & Communication
§ Australians are very matter of fact
when it comes to business so do not need long- standing personal relationships
before they do business with people.
§ Australians are very direct in the way
§ There is often an element of humour,
often self-deprecating, in their speech.
§ Aussies often use colourful language
that would be unthinkable in other countries.
Business Meeting Etiquette
§ Appointments are necessary and
relatively easy to schedule.
§ They should be made with as much lead
time as possible.
§ Punctuality is important in business
situations. It is better to arrive a few minutes early than to keep someone
§ Meetings are generally relaxed;
however, they are serious events.
§ If an Australian takes exception to
something that you say, they will tell you so.
§ If you make a presentation, avoid
hype, making exaggerated claims, or bells and whistles.
§ Present your business case with facts
and figures. Emotions and feelings are not important in the Australian business
Negotiating and Decision Making
§ Australians get down to business
quickly with a minimum amount of small talk.
§ They are quite direct and expect the
same in return. They appreciate brevity and are not impressed by too much
§ Negotiations proceed quickly.
Bargaining is not customary. They will expect your initial proposal to have
only a small margin for negotiation.
§ They do not like high-pressure
§ Decision-making is concentrated at the
top of the company, although decisions are made after consultation with
subordinates, which can make decision making slow and protracted. (Commisceo-global, n.d.)
in Australian Cultural Setting
BHP recognize the traditional rights of Indigenous peoples
and acknowledge their right to maintain their cultures, identities, traditions
and customs. Indigenous peoples often represent some of the most marginalized
populations around the world and may still experience discrimination and
political and social disadvantage. BHP encourage cultural sensitivity and recognize
and respect sites, places, structures and objects that are culturally or
traditionally significant. (BHP , n.d.)
The views and concerns of people within the communities are
incorporated into the decision-making and BHP strive for mutually beneficial results.
All of the operations are required to establish culturally fit platforms for
dialogue that enable us to work with the agencies to develop ideas that
consider their concerns and aspirations.
The approach to engaging and supporting Indigenous peoples is
designed in the BHP Indigenous Peoples Policy Statement, in which BHP
commit to the Indigenous Peoples and Mining Position Statement (ICMM) Indigenous Peoples and Mining Position Statement.
The BHP Indigenous Peoples Strategy guides
implementation of the Policy Statement across the business. Through successful
implementation of this strategy BHP aim to be regarded as a partner of choice
for Indigenous peoples through which BHP will seek to ensure the relationships
contribute to their economic empowerment, social development needs and cultural
BHP acknowledge the activities have the potential to have an
impact on human rights. BHP seek to respect the rights of the employees,
individual contractors and members of the host communities and support fundamental
human rights consistent with the articles set out in the United Nations (UN)
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Principles 1 and 2 of the UN Global
Compact. The Requirements are also aligned to the UN Guiding Principles on
Business and Human Rights, which outline specific responsibilities for
businesses in relation to respecting human rights.