Globalization can empower and mobilize people of a culture, providing them with a method of representing themselves and supporting a collective identity of the people that belong to the culture. However, globalization can disempower people through misrepresentation, providing a means of being colonized further; and boosting the loss of independence, personal and cultural identity.
Cultural literacy is being able to know and understand the most valuable customs, beliefs, ideas, and norms of a particular culture. By being culturally literate it means that managers are fluent in a culture and understand the basic norms of that culture. Culture is the determinant of almost everything in a business cutting across from management to the ability to solve problems. Cultural literacy is a way of protecting the business from the risk of failure. Many organizations that are diverse in international markets fail owing to the lack of cultural understanding of the host nation.
Organizations need to acquire cultural literacy for them to be able to attain its objectives successfully. With the world becoming a global village, people can forget how different cultures are but strong cultural differences still exist. Without cultural literacy, managers are likely to waste a very important business opportunity. Global business greatly differs from the local businesses because of the different cultures in international markets.
If managers fully understand the culture of a country they can be able to ascertain whether their products will be profitable if introduced in that culture. Cultural literacy enables managers to know the norms and values of the people and they can fully determine what kinds of lifestyle the cultural group practices. With this knowledge, managers can decide whether to introduce their products to the global market or produce products that fit the culture of the host nation.
Role of religion
Religion plays many roles in helping managers understand a culture. Religion catalyzes change and it can also conserve traditions and the society. The role of religion of conserving social ideals is based on its main purpose of reinforcing the norms of the group. This is obtained by describing if actions are good or evil like in western Christianity where idolatry and murder are considered evil.
Religion offers sanctions for moral actions and provides values and common objectives that help the proper functioning of the society. This is achieved by characterizing specific spirits and gods to events. Every spirit has a role of controlling some facet of the life of the group members. In Chinese traditional community, so long as tributes of remembrance are offered, ancestral spirits are seen as protecting the modern generation.