Cultural differences are investigated a great deal in cross cultural marketing in order to tailor strategies to adapt to diverse cultural environments. Existing research views cultural diversity and national identities of different localities as obstacles for business. The author of this paper believes that diverse cultures should be viewed as opportunities for business, as resource, capital and ‘set of tools’. They can be used as unique source of competitive advantage by companies in today’s globalised world. Thus diverse cultures can serve as source of value and differentiation for business community.
In order to use national culture as business tool, it is necessary to explore, understand and measure it and split in applicable components. In this paper existing theories about culture, national identity are reviewed and possible measures of Latvian cultural and national identity are proposed. Cultural distance index developed by Kogut and Singh (1998) based on deviation from Hofstede (1980, 2001) cultural dimensions between Latvia and neighbouring countries is calculated. National identity measure, NATID developed by Keillor and Hult (1999) is applied to Latvia and compared with countries from Keillor and Hult study. Possibility to use the above mentioned measures in order to develop theory about culture as ‘set of tools’ for a business organisation is discussed. In the global marketplace products are losing their identity because of their similarity in the function; designing local features into a product appear to be more and more important and can create competitive advantage through differentiation. Tool for business people to put in use in this process will be of great value.
|Keywords:||Cultural Diversity, Cultural Distance, National Identity|
Programme Director, Programme "European Business Studies", Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration, Riga, Latvia
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