World cultures are either relationship based or rule-based. For instance, in western cultures, there are reliance on the regulatory or legal system to enforce something that is perceived to be a worldwide view of fairness. On the other hands, the nonwestern cultures lean towards placing human relationship at the periphery of issues and things. Even though relationship marketing can be established in both cultures, it must be noted that consumer market to a large extent originates from the West and it is fundamentally a foreign practice when it comes to relationship cultures. Therefore, relationship marketing is carried out differently in these two cultures. The reason is that International relationship theories originate from the historical reality of the varying worlds. Hence, the fact that an international relations theory portrays the history of a particular region then that theory is spatially limiting. For instance, the western world theory is mostly limited to the contemporary western world. Hence, the none-western world which is consistently tied to a traditional order cannot be put in the framework of the western world theory. Therefore, it is imperative to deduce that imposing western world theory to a none-western region represents ethical challenges.
Marketing activities which come from the western nations tend to reach several cultures. However, the question of cross-cultural ethics is likely to arise when certain marketing practices which are accepted in a particular country become inappropriate in another nation. It should also be noted that there is a clear difference between the western world and other regions like the East and Asia. Most importantly, it is evident that geography, history, and culture tend to change how we perceive things. Our way of seeing things could have been shaped by how ancestors used to live. Most notable differences are the concept of collectivism and individualism. That is whether one considers that he or she is independent and self-contained, or interconnected with various people and value group relationship over the individual relationship. Such aspect is what portrays the difference between the western and the none-western world. That is, in western world people are individualistic and in the none-western regions like Asia, the cultures there tend to be collectivists. Hence, in the western world, the behaviors and attitudes of people are about valuing personal success over the achievement of the entire group (Mishra 2014).
In the none-western regions, there is no dwelling on objectivity because life is embedded in human relationships instead of the universal logic of the western world theory. Moreover, thinking is holistic, focused on a particular situation and relationships but not concentrate on separate elements or perceiving a situation to be fixed (Mishra 2014). Hence relationship marketing in none-western business cultures is embedded on loyalty to the boss, business associate or the firm. For such reason, a none-western culture will undoubtedly purchase or sell a product to somebody he or she has interacted with. The sudden about-turn of a western supplier of the purchaser can be deemed to be lack of respect. On the other hand, western business culture values adhering to the rules over personal loyalty. Hence, in western word theory, relations are blatantly irrelevant when it entails law (Hooker 2008).
The dangers of imposing western world theory on non western world regions
It must be noted that it is often natural that the western world theory often portrays the ethical concerns to the people of none-western countries. By following the western world theory, the west tends to concentrate on creating a stable security order, solving human security problems, and most importantly managing the worlds through its leadership style. On the contrary, the none-western world is motivated by different concerns. However, they tend to see the that the consistent approach of the western world to advance their ways of doing things as mere exploitation and unethical. Hence, it is from such perspective that it becomes noticeable that different worlds have only different eyes, values and prospects thus the ideas and philosophies of either of them are not applicable to either culture. For such reason, trying to employ western world theory in none-western areas will require research and more time to execute because every either western world theory or none-western world theory only correspond to normative activities and historical context of their respective regions (Acharya & Buzan 2009).
The risk of employing western world theory on nonwestern regions are often evident when organizations resort to standardizing their business work activities like product designs, marketing, management, recruiting and distribution and imposing them to none-western worlds. They do this without accommodation others. Thus they fail terribly. Such approach can be termed as not only stupid but also arrogant because they go against others’ ethics. They also forget that by imposing the same approach on other cultures, the business principle of personalization is broken thus killing the needed intimate relationship between clients and firms. Moreover, mass marketing is another risky technique which is associated with employing western world theory in a none-western region because mass marketing is likely to inject inappropriate promotions, prices, and products which will not only raise ethical questions but also fail the business (Hooker 2008).
By failing to research on the impact of western world theory, one is likely to employ mass marketing which is awkward to relationship-based cultures of the non-western regions. Hence, the result is likely to be two-fold: being perceived as unethical and creating a conflict. It is because people in nonwestern areas prefer seeking advice from their trusted fellows. Moreover, the conflict may arise when they misinterpret symbols employed by the western world theory. Hence, the best technique for accommodating cultural difference is by designing promotion and products which are compatible with the none-western markets (Hooker 2008).
Furthermore, if the western worlds continue to use the western world theory on other nations to define the world order, the persistent risk the approach will only amount to an attainable goal. It is because such approach brings with it the imbalance of power which then triggers disagreements which lead to confrontations (Kissinger 2014). Also, the risk of employing western theory on none-western areas is detrimental to the business development and the effectiveness of social responsibility approach. It must be noted that by avoiding to do research, an organization is likely to employ the western CSR which may then send conflicting messages. For example, in Africa, some of the West’s CSR initiatives will likely to be perceived by the locals as mere exploitation or demeaning the culture of the hosting country. Moreover, there is the risk of excluding the none-western countries from defining their needs and goals thus the policy imposed via the western world theory is likely to be ineffective or even worsen situations in search regions.
In conclusion, that imposing western world theory to a none- western region represents ethical challenges. Geography, history, and culture tend to change how we perceive things. That is western world people are individualistic, and in the none-western regions like Asia, the cultures there tend to be collectivists. Hence relationship marketing in none-western business cultures is embedded in loyalty. Western world theory, the West tends to manage the worlds by its leadership style. Therefore, trying to employ western world theory in none-western areas will require research and more time to execute. Also, mass marketing is a risky technique which is associated with employing western world theory in a none-western region. Finally, the risk is creating an imbalance of power which then triggers disagreements that can lead to confrontations
Acharya, A., & Buzan, B. (Eds.). (2009). Non-Western international relations theory: perspectives on and beyond Asia. Routledge.
Hooker, J. N. (2008). Cross-Cultural Consumer Marketing.
Kissinger, H. (2014). Henry Kissinger on the assembly of a New World Order. Wall Street Journal, 29.
Mishra, P. (2014). The western model is broken. The Guardian, 14.