Globalization is the result of dramatic shifts that have taken place in economics, politics, and technology. However, the day-to-day reality of global business involves interactions and relationships with people who are culturally different.
In business today, we travel overseas among people from other cultures, we speak with them on international telephone calls, and we correspond with them by e-mail. Even in our home cities, we notice that more and more of our colleagues,our clients, and even the people we pass in the street are observably from cultures different from our own.
The range of different cultural backgrounds is huge; your colleagues, business associates, and contacts probably represent countries or ethnic groups from all over the world. This globalization of people creates a new and major challenge for everyone who works in business.
Although we increasingly cross boundaries and surmount barriers to trade, migration, travel, and the exchange of information, cultural boundaries are not so easily bridged. Unlike legal, political, or economic aspects of the business environment, which are observable, culture is largely invisible. Therefore, it is the aspect of global business that is most often overlooked.