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Overseas expansion is critical to a company’s portfolio diversification. Therefore, the prevalent business culture of the destination country is critical in the determination of the viability of the destination as an optimal business investment. This is characterized by various factors, which include political and legal systems, business culture, values and norms of the destined country. Thus, this paper aims at determining the viability of Canada as an overseas business destination of a UK company. This will be established through an observation of the existing Canadian political and legal systems, while analyzing the Canadian values, practices, and norms. The objective of this paper is to determine whether Canada is an optimal destination for an overseas investment.
Canadian business practices are significantly characterized by professional and personal business etiquette. Hence, Canadian business culture integrates value, responsibility, and respect in business practices. For instance, it is critical that the pronunciation of titles and ranks should be keenly observed; therefore, ensuring superiors are shown respect in a subtle manner (Communicaid 2006). Business decision making processes illustrate varying approach across the Canadian companies; however, taking into consideration the Canadian population diversity, businesses have a rather exaggerated cooperative integration across various power levels; while placing a higher emphasis on transparency and mutual responsibility in decision making. These aspects of Canadian business culture create a unique business environment, which should be integrated in business practices.
On the other hand, Canadian business culture observes a defined code of business conduct when it comes to meetings. Punctuality in business appointments and meetings is critically valued; therefore, in the event of delays, the Canadian business colleagues should be informed in time. Hence, it is essential to make business appointments a few days in advance as well as to ensure that the meeting is confirmed (Communicaid 2006). This Canadian business culture is aimed at preventing unexpected inconveniences as well as avoiding time wastage. According to the Canadian business culture, regular business hours from 9 am to 5 pm every Monday to Friday should be observed. However, in spite of the precise schedules, it is common for businesses to keep longer hours.
The associations between co-workers in any business are critical in establishing the work environment relationships. Therefore, in Canada, it is common for co-workers of the same rank or status to call each other by the first names, while senior colleagues, like the company’s chairmen, directors or chief executive officers, are addressed by their last names or their professional titles (Communicaid 2006). In light of these, credible working relationship is created through the provision of equality and respect for each other. Hence, it is critical that these relationships are established before any business interactions commence.
Political and Legal Systems
Canada appreciates foreign investments, which bring foreign income and create job opportunities to its citizens. This leads to stable social, economic, and political atmosphere in the country. However, any foreign investments into Canada are governed under the investment Canada Act, which is the foreign investment law applicable under the federal jurisdiction (Tetrault 2011). This is adjudicated by the industry and heritage ministers. For instance, in the event of the acquisition of control over a Canadian company by a foreign company, the minister appoints a director who must ascertain whether the investing company exceeds the established thresholds or not. In the event that these are exceeded, the minister subjects the investing company to an investigation.
In light of this, investments into Canada are reviewed by the respective minister to establish the benefits that would be accrued to Canada from the respective foreign investment. However, in case in the minister’s review will be found that the non Canadian investment shall accrue no benefits to Canada, the foreign investors are given an opportunity to present their case arguing for the investment to the minister (Tetrault 2011). Therefore, critical aspects of the business must align to Canadian business expectations in terms of accruing benefits to the Canadian people.
While determining the extent of Canadian participation in the investment and the industry it belongs, the investment will be considered based on its nature and level of economic input into the Canadian economy. Therefore, the investment’s effect on industrial efficiency, productivity, product innovation, and technological advances should be realizable in terms of the Canadian variety (Tetrault 2011). A foreign investment creates competition in local businesses; therefore, it is critical to determine the extent to which the investment will compete with local businesses. While it is critical to welcome foreign investments, Canada expects that these investments will observe compatibility with cultural, economic, and national policies. This aims at enabling Canada to compete adequately in world markets.
Values and Norms
Canadians value respect for one another significantly; hence, they are presented as polite and mindful of others. This aspect is also manifested in business practices, where colleagues respect one another. Thus, references are made according to professional titles, whereas business colleagues should be addressed by the last names. It is a common practice for people to exchange business cards or contacts (Communicaid 2006). Since Canada comprises of English and French speaking cultures, it is critical to ensure that the cards have English and French translations. The inclusion of degree or academic title in print is important as well. In essence, Canadian business meetings are very time efficient and strictly defined as Canadians highly value punctuality; whereas courtesy and respect are essential in democratic meetings, where cohesive and inclusive dialogue is encouraged and all parties are welcomed to make contributions to the subject under discussion.
Equality is critical in maintaining the sense of freedom in Canada. Therefore, Canadians should be given equal opportunities to illustrate their abilities in their professional capacities (Roberts & Taylor 2006). Hence, they value their freedom to exercise rights in accordance to the law. In light of this, it is crucial to maintain formality when conducting business and to demonstrate irreproachable manners as well as reserved demeanor while observing the critical rules of etiquette. Personal life and personal affairs should not be discussed during business meetings (Communicaid 2006). This aspect is construed as distinct business principle of Canadian culture; therefore, it is the norm to abandon all discussions concerning one’s personal life in a professional or business forum. These aspects of Canadian values and norms should be observed critically. A breach of these in any business forum in Canada is construed as ill business practices, and it may negatively impact on an individual as well as an organization represented by the offending individual.
Cultural Dimensions – Hofstede
Canadians illustrate high tendencies of privacy, where a clear distinction is established between public and personal life; therefore, they tend to have a more open approach to business discussions, while keeping their personal lives at a considerable distance (Roberts & Taylor 2012). Hence, Canadians have individualistic tendencies, where personal achievements are used to quantify one’s individual success. Regional differences are also significant as demonstrated by Canada’s varied population, which incorporates Ukrainians, Italians, Asians and indigenous communities across the country (Communicaid 2006). Most locals have a distinct sense of identity, culture and religious background. Hence, it is important to take into consideration the respective ethnic background of the target region since this is usually reflected in business culture, which may illustrate significant differences. On the other hand, high degrees of equity are demonstrated between societal hierarchical structures, where maintenance of harmony and cooperation is encouraged; hence, there should be a semblance of balanced power levels in business contexts.
Business investment decisions are crucial in the realization of organizational goals. Therefore, when making selection decisions of overseas countries to invest in, an organization should critically observe inherent aspects of the country that may impact on the business establishment and performance. Canada business environment offers an opportune environment for the establishment of foreign investments. Canadian legal systems provide for the foreign business legal aspects, which dictate the extent of the foreign investor’s mandate while protecting its own. The business culture, values, and norms have been established as critical contributors to the company’s goals and objectives. In light of this, Canadians ascribe to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions through their social and cultural practices.
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