Oriane Letouze


Critique of the Web’s leading resource for International Business Etiquette,

Manners, & Culture


The website entitled “The Web’s leading resource for International Business Etiquette, Manners, & Culture,” found at www.cyborlink.com, was written by the Global MBA graduates of the University of Texas. The website’s goal is to compare cultures according to specific criteria such as religion, behavior, and communication. Another interesting criterion is based on the Geert Hofstede analysis, which comes from the book Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind: Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival written by Hofstede Geert, in 1996. The MBA graduates dedicated an entire part of their website to this study where they summarized it and applied it to different countries. The study tries to understand how different cultures can interfere in work life by identifying the primary dimensions to differentiate cultures: Power Distance Index, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance Index, and Long-Term Orientation. This website is particularly relevant and useful for the audience, which is internationally-oriented students or managers, because it helps them to understand the behaviors of other cultures. Moreover, the website is clear and provides essential information. However, some changes in structure and design could have been made.

Concerning organization, some parts could have been improved. For example, the authors began their website with a homepage containing a description of how it works. Hence, the first page contains the different criteria which will be used to compare countries and cultures, and one of the criteria is Geert’s study. To help people to understand the study, the graduates wrote an article about it. Nevertheless, this article has a structure which could have been enhanced. In fact, it starts with an introduction, which presents Geert’s study and the way it was conducted, but directly after, the authors showed the study’s limitations. This part normally comes after the study’s results and analysis, so it can be confusing for readers. In addition, the biggest issue with this article is the absence of a conclusion. It ends with the results and particularly with the latest dimension that Hofstede found. This is frustrating for readers because they expect a last paragraph to conclude and summarize.

Furthermore, another improvement which should have been made is the design. If the website’s design had been more meticulously arranged, it would be taken more seriously. Undeniably, the website’s design was not the authors’ biggest preoccupation: the pictures are childish and poor-quality, and the background is drab. For instance, the homepage’s picture should have been eye-catching and attractive because it provides the website’s first impression, instead it is small and pixilated.  This lack of professionalism from the MBA graduates leaves a negative impression because the website does not look trustworthy even if its content is very serious and impressive.

Indeed, the content of the website is very pertinent and clear. Each country has is own page which describes its own culture. The texts are easy to read and the level of detail provided is adequate. Moreover, each explanation is accompanied by some credible examples or numbers. Sometimes, some tables or graphics are also provided, which also facilitate the reading’s comprehensibility.

In conclusion, the website is remarkable on the level of information, details, and explanations but some parts could have been more structured and the design might have been improved.



UTD Global MBA Graduates (n.d). The web’s leading resource for international business etiquette, manners, & culture. Retrieved February, 21st, 2012, from http://www.cyborlink.com

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