A Russian person may not have encountered an African-American before; a Saudi may have only been exposed to Jewish people in pro-Palestinian literature.
Beyond the personal, different ethical standards also exist in different regions of the world. Bribery of government officials is considered the norm in some areas, such as the Middle East or India, to enable things to get done to circumvent red tape (Kestenbaum 2010). Even the definition of what constitutes a win-win situation for both participants can vary greatly, as in some nations losing face in terms of public perception, or not honoring family members who are part of the organization, can factor into organizational decision-making. In the United States, family considerations regarding an enterprise may take a back seat to profit-making, but in Japan, maintaining continuity of family leadership may be equally important (Beer 2007).
The relationship between entities and employees may also impact negotiations. Some nations, such as Japan, may have a more paternalistic attitude between employees and employers than in the United States.
Employers may be reluctant to downsize or cut benefits for employees, because it is not part of the culture of their nation — or they may have to deal with powerful trade unions, as in the case in Western Europe. Conversely, other nations may give a very low priority to human rights and safety considerations vs. The United States. Unexpected aspects of employee and legal relationships may be on the table and up for negotiation, which would not be the case in the U.S.
Beer, Jennifer. (2007). Polite fictions. Culture at work. Retrieved October 5, 2010 at http://www.culture-at-work.com/politefiction.html
Kestenbaum, David. (2010, April 13). Bribery in India: A good thing? NPR
Retrieved October 5, 2010 at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126199094
Women in business in Saudi Arabia. (2010). World Business Culture. Retrieved October 5, 2010