International Business Culture Essay Topics

Business essay topics in today’s world are of increasing diversity. This collection is designed to include a vast range of different business essay topics, including accounting, business culture, business ethics, economics, finance, globalization, human resource management, international trade, investments, management and leadership, and marketing essay topics.

Accounting Essay Topics

Accounting Harmonization
Accounting Information Systems
Accounting Software
Auditing Standards
Corporate Accounting
Corporate Income Tax
Cost Accounting
Financial Reporting
Forensic Accounting

Business Culture Essay Topics

Communication Styles
Culture-Specific Values
Global Digital Divide
Local Adaptation
Multicultural Work Groups and Teams
Women in Business

Business Ethics Essay Topics

Black Market
Corporate Social Responsibility
Industrial Espionage
Intellectual Property Theft
Money Laundering
Reverse Engineering
Sustainable Development
Trademark Infringement

Economics Essay Topics

Acquisitions, Takeovers, and Mergers
Asian Financial Crisis
Economic Development
Economic Indicators
Economic Statistics
Economies of Scale
Economies of Scope
Emerging Economies
Trade Balance

Finance Essay Topics

Account Settlement
Blocked Funds
Capital Budgeting
Capital Flight
Financial Hedge
Financial Market Regulation
Financial Markets
Securities Financing
Venture Capital
Wholesale Capital Markets

Globalization and Business Essay Topics

Antiglobalization Movement
Democratic Globalization
Diffusion of Innovation
Gini Index
Global Capital Market
Transition Economies

Human Resource Management Essay Topics

Culture Shock
Employer–Employee Relations
External Labor Market
Internal Labor Market
Job Enrichment

International Trade Essay Topics

Barriers to Entry
Electronic Commerce
Fair Trade
Free Trade
Terms of Trade
Trade Barriers
Trade Sanctions
Trade War

Investment Essay Topics

Diversifying Investment
Foreign Direct Investment
Foreign Portfolio Investment
Locational Advantages
Market-Seeking Investment
Multinational Competitive Disadvantages
Resource-Seeking Investment
Tax Holiday

Management and Leadership Essay Topics

Decision Making
Management Education
Managerial Accounting

Marketing Essay Topics

Consumer Behavior
Emerging Markets
Market Research
Retail Sector
Wholesale Sector

Undertaking commerce even by an individual can mean working globally through a welter of new media with opportunities of all sorts rapidly appearing. The boundaries, scope, content, structures, and processes of a business activity can morph into completely different ones in the course of a project. Contemporary businesses and certainly future businesses find it incumbent upon them to fit with the requirements of environmental and economic sustainability of the others who inhabit our world. Of course the practices, technologies, and tools of business are currently utilized by professional managers in government, education, arts organizations, not-for-profit organizations, political organizations, social service organizations, etc. That is, rather than having an opera company run by a former singer who charms its patrons, what is expected is a former singer who is a professional manager who is adept at grappling with the issues, requirements, and expectations associated with responsible business.

In the past century most business topics were free-standing and mostly of interest to narrow specialists in related departments and organizations. However, the 21st century is one of cross-boundary actions. For example, Amazon incorporates the knowledge of prosumers’ book and other product reviews as part of its service to customers. Wal-Mart has suppliers who are alerted by data fed to them by the scanning of RFID tags when the product levels of a particular shelf in a particular Wal-Mart store or in Wal-Mart stores of a particular region or country indicate that it is time to initiate the production packaging and shipping of their products to Wal-Mart. These vendors actually might better understand parts of Wal-Mart’s inventory sales, promotions, and requirements better than Wal-Mart managers.

Such new types of partnering create new terms and topics that those wishing to successfully engage and utilize must understand. Increasingly used structural approaches such as outsourcing and offshoring transcend the still important and now classic conceptualization of international business through an understanding of intercultural issues, the political and economic environment of key countries around the world, home country and host country issues, joint ventures, multinational corporations, international negotiations.

Globalization is a by-word of the current business epoch. Today it is normal for a business in a developed country to employ clerks, technicians, salespeople, customer relations agents, and increasingly professionals such as managers, engineers, and researchers in emerging market nations such as India, China, and Vietnam. Increasingly, corporate teams work virtually with team members distributed around the world. New technologies provide interfaces that are coming to replicate and in some ways even improve on the kind of exchanges that traditionally were only available in face-to-face situations.

In the post-Enron, post-Bhopal, post–Three Mile Island, post–Exxon Valdez, and post-9/11 environment, business and society issues and topics refract off each other with new meanings. For example, what in the past might have just been a climate of corruption, bribery, ineptness, and lack of accountability, now in this or that far-flung place today might have global implications.

Management information systems are a new universe of technologies, and the terms and topics that encompass them, from just 15 years ago. New applications and functions have proliferated, including e-commerce, the blogosphere, social networking (including Facebook and LinkedIn), digital dashboards, e-learning, executive support systems, internet, intranets, extranets, identity theft, moblogs, privacy, spam, transaction processing systems, virtualization, virtual companies, VoIP, business process reengineering, data warehouses, and customer relationship management (CRM).

Operations management is a field of business that is undergoing many structural and technological changes. The quality management revolution starting in Japan and developing in the mid-80s in the United States and Europe has been overtaken by new issues of global supply chain procurement and distribution. New approaches to designing services take on more import in a service economy. Service blueprinting, front office and back office activities, and servicescapes are among the new by-words. Location analysis, hybrid layout design, and process product and fixed position layouts are increasingly structured in their deployment. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is increasingly sophisticated with new connectivity and integration issues.

Management strategy has been redefined in the United States by agency theory, the resource-based view of the firm, and such important accounting legislation as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. New types of financial instruments and their deployment through a wider than traditional spectrum of organizational types resulted from deregulation. The looseness and oversight of this new environment resulted in a looseness in financial dealings. Financial institutions worldwide have been shaken by the great mortgage crisis of 2008. This followed the bailing out of Bear, Stearns, & Co. Inc., a leading global investment banking and securities trading firm, by the American federal government. The world economy is increasingly integrated. The European Union (EU) and NAFTA are just two of many such international structures that foster freer trade. The high price of oil in 2008 reflects the ongoing power of OPEC.

Marketing is no longer just a department in a company; rather it entails the collaboration of many departments, vendors, and even customers working together to market products and services. Today we find companies such as Dunkin’ Donuts focusing on the quick provision of inexpensive cups of coffee to go and at the same time other companies such as Starbucks going beyond that to market an entire experience, lifestyle, variety of flavors, and even music to their target market.

We see lateral and vertical marketing, yet the classic mix of the 4Ps of product, price, place, and promotion still frame marketing decisions. Pricing decisions can spring from such varied strategies and focuses as penetration, competition’s price, bundling, differential product line pricing across different price-points, psychological selection of price amounts, and premium pricing to exclusive target markets. Advertising nowadays at times includes subliminal or covert messages. Internet advertising is arising in many new varieties. Marketing has gone from international marketing to global marketing, where marketing decisions are made to apply across multiple countries.

This list of business topics is current and packed with essential information on the state of business in our world. Not only does it reflect where business is, but also conveys the trajectory of business further into the 21st century. The current status of English as the new Esperanto is having a big impact on business around the world. Many business schools in all parts of the world are now offering courses and programs in English. This is creating a need for a reference that will explain English language topics and terms, in university, business, and public libraries. Coverage of the global has not been at the expense of the local. This list of business topics provides insight into the development and current business situation in a wide spectrum of nations through essays on many individual countries. We hope that this section will provide clear overviews of the important business topics of our time.

As companies continue to expand across borders and the global marketplace becomes increasingly more accessible for small and large businesses alike, 2017 brings ever more opportunities to work internationally.

Multinational and cross-cultural teams are likewise becoming ever more common, meaning businesses can benefit from an increasingly diverse knowledge base and new, insightful approaches to business problems. However, along with the benefits of insight and expertise, global organizations also face potential stumbling blocks when it comes to culture and international business.

While there are a number of ways to define culture, put simply it is a set of common and accepted norms shared by a society. But in an international business context, what is common and accepted for a professional from one country, could be very different for a colleague from overseas. Recognizing and understanding how culture affects international business in three core areas: communication, etiquette, and organizational hierarchy can help you to avoid misunderstandings with colleagues and clients from abroad and excel in a globalized business environment.

1. Communication

Effective communication is essential to the success of any business venture, but it is particularly critical when there is a real risk of your message getting “lost in translation.” In many international companies, English is the de facto language of business. But more than just the language you speak, it’s how you convey your message that’s important. For instance, while the Finns may value directness and brevity, professionals from India can be more indirect and nuanced in their communication. Moreover, while fluent English might give you a professional boost globally, understanding the importance of subtle non-verbal communication between cultures can be equally crucial in international business.

What might be commonplace in your culture — be it a firm handshake, making direct eye contact, or kiss on the cheek — could be unusual or even offensive to a foreign colleague or client. Where possible, do your research in advance of professional interactions with individuals from a different culture. Remember to be perceptive to body language, and when in doubt, ask. While navigating cross-cultural communication can be a challenge, approaching cultural differences with sensitivity, openness, and curiosity can help to put everyone at ease.

“There is an atmosphere of understanding and support at Hult. Everyone has this respect and curiosity for all the cultural and personal differences between us. This environment encourages everyone to strive for excellence.”

Tatiana Ufimtceva
Hult MBA Class of 2014

At Hult, we’re fortunate to have a student body made up of over 130 different nationalities. With the opportunity to study alongside peers from all corners of the globe, building cross-cultural communication skills is at the core of our business programs.

Watch Hult Professor Jean Vanhoegaerden discussing why culture is important in international business:

2. Workplace etiquette

Different approaches to professional communication are just one of the innumerable differences in workplace norms from around the world. CT Business Travel has put together a useful infographic for a quick reference of cultural differences in business etiquette globally.

For instance, the formality of address is a big consideration when dealing with colleagues and business partners from different countries. Do they prefer titles and surnames or is being on the first-name basis acceptable? While it can vary across organizations, Asian countries such as South Korea, China, and Singapore tend to use formal “Mr./Ms. Surname,” while Americans and Canadians tend to use first names. When in doubt, erring on the side of formality is generally safest.

The concept of punctuality can also differ between cultures in an international business environment. Different ideas of what constitutes being “on time” can often lead to misunderstandings or negative cultural perceptions. For example, where an American may arrive at a meeting a few minutes early, an Italian or Mexican colleague may arrive several minutes — or more — after the scheduled start-time (and still be considered “on time”).

Along with differences in etiquette, come differences in attitude, particularly towards things like workplace confrontation, rules and regulations, and assumed working hours. While some may consider working long hours a sign of commitment and achievement, others may consider these extra hours a demonstration of a lack of efficiency or the deprioritization of essential family or personal time.

3. Organizational hierarchy

Organizational hierarchy and attitudes towards management roles can also vary widely between cultures. Whether or not those in junior or middle-management positions feel comfortable speaking up in meetings, questioning senior decisions, or expressing a differing opinion can be dictated by cultural norms. Often these attitudes can be a reflection of a country’s societal values or level of social equality. For instance, a country such as Japan, which traditionally values social hierarchy, relative status, and respect for seniority, brings this approach into the workplace. This hierarchy helps to define roles and responsibilities across the organization. This also means that those in senior management positions command respect and expect a certain level of formality and deference from junior team members.

However, Scandinavian countries, such as Norway, which emphasize societal equality, tend to have a comparatively flat organizational hierarchy. In turn, this can mean relatively informal communication and an emphasis on cooperation across the organization. When defining roles in multinational teams with diverse attitudes and expectations of organizational hierarchy, it can be easy to see why these cultural differences can present a challenge.

As part of our mission to become the world’s most relevant business school, Hult is dedicated to preparing our students for the challenges and opportunities of working across borders and cultures. A big part of this preparation is understanding the role culture plays in international business. In many ways, the Hult classroom mirrors today’s business environment, with students of 130 nationalities collaborating and studying together. And not only are our students multicultural, our faculty is too. Many have lived, worked, and taught across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and beyond.

Outside of the classroom, Hult students have the opportunity to experience life, culture, and commerce in today’s most dynamic business centers through our global campus rotation program. This international learning environment offers a truly global perspective and unique insight into culture and business practices from all over the world.


Discover how  Hult’s global programs are designed to hone your cross-cultural competency

Have you ever encountered cultural differences in your workplace that were surprising? Tell us in the comments below.

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