A country’s socio-cultural characteristics are essential in a business in a particular domestic or global environment. The differences in culture, traditions, and social norms directly determine the orientations of the state’s population, influencing the customers’ needs. In addition to the domestic environment, it is vital to consider the features of the cluster since the business’s compliance with the expectations of several similar countries affects the effectiveness of the entire region. Thus, the proper consideration of different locations’ diverse social and cultural aspects is essential in the work of global companies such as United Airlines.
The United States and Japan exemplify domestic and global environments of different cultural clusters. The United States, in this aspect, belongs to the Anglo-country cluster, and Japan to the Latin American countries (Ajami & Goddard, 2013). The U.S. represents a state with typical cultural characteristics for the Anglo cluster. Japan belongs to the Far Eastern cluster as it has several social and cultural peculiarities typical of the Asian region (Ajami & Goddard, 2013). Despite having economic and cultural relations with the countries of most clusters, the overall socio-cultural environment of this country has significant differences in the social structure. These countries and the clusters in which they are included have significant social, cultural, linguistic, and religious differences.
The functioning of United Airlines in environments located in different cultural clusters depends on various factors that determine the population’s orientation in other aspects. Regarding social orientation, the United States is distinguished by a high level of individualism, while Eastern countries tend to be more collectivist (Schermerhorn & Bachrach, 2017). This characteristic can be crucial in setting customer policies in United Airlines’ business context. Japan has many socio-cultural features based on its strong power-respect orientation, while the United States is a power-tolerant culture (Ajami & Goddard, 2013). The goal orientation in both countries is aggressive, which reduces the variation in United Airlines’ performance in these environments. These countries also differ significantly in uncertainty orientation since the U.S. population tends to be more accepting of change than Eastern cultures (Ajami & Goddard, 2013). In addition, the Japanese are typically long-time oriented, which makes it crucial for the company to demonstrate stability in operation and development. These factors can cause new policies or technologies challenging to apply in Japan. In general, the socio-cultural aspects of these countries are noticeably different, affecting United Airlines’ functioning in terms of service and the possibility of implementing new changes.
The United States and Japan have some distinct differences and some similarities in culture and social norms. The main cultural differences between these countries are conservatism and standards of subordination, which are more prominent in Japan (Takei & Alston, 2018). This factor affects the policies of global companies since it determines the nature of service and policies toward customers. The similarities between these countries are mainly due to the process of globalization. They lie in the likeness of modern culture, which reduces the socio-cultural gap between these environments to some extent. In general, there are significant differences in social behavior and attitudes between the U.S. and Japanese populations, making it necessary for United Airlines to adjust policy depending on the needs of potential customers.
The socio-cultural characteristics of the Anglo and Far Eastern clusters present several features that affect regional business. Differences in population orientations affect customer policy and business operations because they reflect the population’s needs for service. At the same time, cultural similarities between the U.S. and Japan make it unnecessary to introduce radically different business practices in these environments. Moreover, having a similar goal orientation also reduces the number of necessary changes in business policies in these countries. However, differences in social norms make it desirable to adopt various customer policies.
Ajami R., & Goddard, J. G. (2013). International business theory and practice. Routledge.
Schermerhorn, J. R., & Bachrach, D. G. (2017). Exploring management. Wiley.
Takei, I, & Alston, J. P. (2018). Japanese business culture and practices: A guide to twenty-first century Japanese business protocols. iUniverse.