Culture and Further Reading

Jeannie Bail


An important part of doing business in another country is researching and learning its unique business and cultural customs as there is no one universal way to communicate even among countries where there is no language difference. For example, the word “trainer” in Canada and the United States can have a tech industry-related meaning (one who provides training on software, systems, etc.). However, in the U.K. a “trainer” refers to a sneaker.


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A good place to start is a resource produced by The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) titled Spotlight on Intercultural Business. This resource lists the below as key business protocols to learn before entering into a cross-cultural exchange:

Key Business Protocols

  • Language usage
  • Exchange of business cards
  • Introductions
  • Appropriate socializing
  • Gift giving
  • Meeting protocols
  • Ethical standards

Creating a list of business dos and don’ts for countries or markets you hope to enter is a good way to ensure that communication is kept respectful and polite, which will help facilitate and guide positive business dealings and boost your intercultural competence.

Below are a few sources you can use to discover more information on cultural norms and business practices for countries around the world.

Cultural Resources


Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) > Country and sector information for international business: Contains Doing Business In guides for countries worldwide, along with contact information for local Consulate General offices.

United States

International Trade Association (ITA) > Country Commercial Guides: Features a Business Travel section for each profiled country. This section contains information on business customs, language and in-country travel safety/security.


Human Rights Watch: Independent organization that tracks and reports on human rights abuses around the world. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) entails being a good corporate citizen and protecting the human rights of those directly and indirectly affected by business practices and activities. Thus, part of doing due diligence on a country is being aware of how human rights are respected. You can search by topic, country or region for news and reports on topics like economic justice and rights, LGBTQ+ rights and technology and rights.

Cultural Atlas: A collaborative project between the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), International Education Services (IES), and Multicultural NSW that features cross-cultural profiles on the biggest migrant populations within the country with the goal of cross-cultural awareness and understanding. Each profile contains sections on Business Culture, Communication, Greetings, Do’s and Don’ts and lots more.

Country and Culture Guides (Commisceo Global Consulting): Basic introductions that feature overviews on social etiquette and customs and business culture and etiquette.

Hoftede Insights: Country Comparison Tool: This tool provides values for countries around the world for 6 dimensions, including: Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance, Long Term Orientation and Indulgence.

Books Available Via UNB Libraries


The more you learn about how to conduct business in a foreign country, the more confident you will be when communicating cross-culturally.

Further Reading

The library has many additional resources in its collection that will complement and expand your knowledge of international business. Below are just a few stand-out resources.

Journals (useful for staying up-to-date with current international developments)

  • Foreign Affairs: Published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) since 1922, Foreign Affairs is a leading source of discussion and well-informed views on American foreign policy and global affairs.
  • Euromoney: Provides in-depth coverage of the global financial sector with a focus on international cross-border capital markets.
  • The Economist: Independent publication with an international audience that, since 1843, covers topics such as geopolitics, technology, finance and economics.
  • Financial Times: A leading global business and economics daily newspaper based in London.


Related UNB Libraries’ Research Guides

International Business
Law, Business

Note: The Library has many international business dictionaries for languages such as French, Spanish, German and Japanese.

Self Check


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Business Information Skills Certificate (BISC): Research Guide Copyright © 2023 by Jeannie Bail is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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