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Sociocultural Aspects of Business

In: Business and Management

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1. Perform research (minimum of 2 sources in APA format).
2. Identify the country cluster (as identified in the text) for both your Domestic and Global environments; choose different clusters.
3. Include sociocultural factors that may help and hinder the company and its operations in 2 different cluster countries.
4. Evaluate their successes and/or failures.
5. Minimum 4 complete paragraphs; a paragraph is a minimum of 100 words.

Clustering countries together based on their cultural values can bring an understanding of the similarities and differences across cultures. The Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) study took sixty-two societies and grouped them into ten clusters based on the overall similarities using nine value orientations (Thomas & Inkson, 2009). Each country cluster share factors such as common language, religion, economic system and political boundaries. The United States which is the domestic environment for Proctor & Gamble (P&G) is part of the Anglo cluster with countries such as Canada, England, and Ireland, and China is part of the Confucian Asia cluster with countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.

One of the sociocultural factors that could hinder P&G in their global environment is language. The packaging and labeling of their products or promotional materials need to be properly translated to avoid confusion. Proper translation of promotional material should be done carefully so that the meaning is not lost or distorted (“ExportHelp”, n.d.). In China there are many provinces with different dialects, making translation even more difficult.

According to “ExportHelp” (n.d.), “The material culture of a particular market will affect the nature and extent of demand for a product” (para 2). When P&G launched Pampers diapers in China, it initially failed. P&G thought that if they made the product cheap enough, the Chinese parents would by them, so they made lower quality versions of U.S. and European disposable diapers. Chinese families did not have a tradition for using disposable diapers but instead used what was called kaidangku, which is a colorful open-crotch pants that allowed children to squat and relieve themselves in open areas. After P&G started understanding the Chinese customer better, they added extra softness to the diaper, made it feel less plastic, and increased the absorption capacity. They also produced advertising campaigns promoting the benefits of the disposable diapers such as babies sleeping longer by wearing them (Riley, 2013). When companies make sure that they understand the other cultures that they will either be working in or making products for, they will realize success. The market for disposable diapers grew strong in China and P&G quickly took market leadership (Riley, 2013).

“ExportHelp”, (n.d.). The sociocultural environment. Retrieved from http://www.exporthelp.co.za/modules/1_considering_exporting/env_sociocultural.html

Riley, J. (2013). How did P&G reach the top in China? [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://beta.tutor2u.net/business/blog/how-did-pg-reach-the-top-in-china

Thomas, D., & Inkson, K. (2009) Cultural intelligence: Living and working globally. Williston, Vermont: Berrett-Koehler Publishers…...

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