Business Studies Research Paper sample on Australia

Australia

 The business climate in various countries vary across continents depending on how the various governments, people and structures are laid out. This is quite depicted in the Asian and American markets, with differences in language, norms, cultures, economic situations and perceptions being noted in these countries. While the American market remains to be more competitive, stable, strong, diverse with a variety of jobs, there are also other markets that are more promising, with the business climate surpassing or being equal to that of the United States of America. An example of such is Australia, where there are a number of job opportunities for expatriates and other skilled people.

Australia, being one of the nations with a smaller population, is the sixth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, China, United States and Brazil. It is one of the countries with a developed market economy that has also on the other hand achieved high economic growth rates with the most significant and vibrant sectors being in agriculture and mining. These two sectors account for over 50% of Australia’s GDP (“Australia Facts” n.d), with the country being a major source exports to foreign markets in many agricultural products such as wheat and wool, as well contributing immensely in terms of mineral exports such as Iron-ore, gold and natural gas.

While agriculture contributes immensely to the GDP of the country, the service industry is also very stable with large investments in the banking industry, education, transport and health contributing over 60% to the GDP of the country, with its per capita being bigger than that of the United States, Netherlands and New Zealand. This speaks volumes about the potential of the country in its ability to support the ever growing employment needs.

            In its ability to grow its own economy, Australia has sustained considerable growth over the past 25 years, making it one of the vibrant economies of the world, with a lot of potential for expatriates across various sectors, with itself being an open destination for skilled immigrant workers, unskilled and expatriates for the international job market. While it has only seen one financial crisis in the past 25 years, the Australian government has opened its market for skilled workforce with quite a number of job opportunities being readily available in the financial services section.

            While Australia remains to be competitive enough to offer new jobs compared to the United States, the United States also has fairly stable market given its economic momentum in the creation of jobs and businesses, with this having been made possible by the free and fair trade agreements. Its economic momentum has also been attributed to efficiencies made possible within the agricultural industry, with the U.S department of agriculture estimating that agricultural revenues earned the country a whopping $350 billion in 2014.

Compared to Australia, which has a well-developed service industry, the United States surprisingly is an exporter in the services industry due to the over well-developed state of the sector, with it exporting seven fold in insurance and financial services.   

            In business-wise, Australia seems to be conducive for most expatriates, with a handful of job opportunities for expatriates. This makes it attractive for expats in need of high end jobs, where also their families can reside. While it offers a rich culture that supports diversity,

There are many expatriates living in Australia with most preferring Melbourne, the home of many expatriates. Australia also as a country has good immigration practices that influence expatriate ship with a large number of immigrants living there due to a conducive business climate and multicultural practices which encourage immigration from various countries including the United States.

            Reports from the Human Development Index indicate that Australia is fairly popular with people, expatriates and immigrants from overseas with it presenting much high standards of life that would be appropriate for the expatriate community, especially those coming from well-developed countries like the United States. In as much as the business climate, economic conditions and cultural elements attract expatriates, there are quite a number of other influencers that are critical to expats arriving from other destinations. This is because they influence their ability to make decisions without considering the elements from home.

In a country like Australia, these influencers are completely different from other nations like the United States, which have seemingly different attributes. In things to do with the normal interaction and communication processes, expatriates need to be aware of the differences and similarities of these attributes, such as cross-cultural practices and leadership styles common in Australia to enable them integrate fully and compete fairly in the business and work environment.

This therefore calls for an in-depth overview of the various concepts relating to culture, leadership styles and business practices which would ease the lives of expatriates. Hence, to help make such an analysis, it is imperative for expatriates to understand the differences and similarities in the leadership styles, culture and business practices in order to help them integrate well in the work environment.

Comparing the cultural aspects in the United States and Australia, there are various differences and similarities, with both being noted in various instances in the business world and day to day interactions.

Cross cultural attributes common in Australia

            Australia is known to be made of a multi-cultural society that saw a steady influx of professionals and immigrants from Europe. This has completely changed the country’s etiquette and customs in various perspectives including in business meetings and the normal interaction processes. Generally, most Australians happen to establish relationships with people before fully venturing into serious business, with the element of seriousness being brought on board in instances where a stable relationship has been nurtured.

            In most instances, they have very strong business etiquette hence making them to succeed in their business affairs mainly due to how they structure and carry out their issues. In arranging for general meetings, they value communication and most of the time are not very strict when it comes to scheduling appointments rather would have an easier way of passing the information if need be.

            In business environments, most Australian are strict when it comes to punctuality, since they value business meetings and would most of the time be in business arenas earlier before time, and punctual as much so as not to keep a person in waiting. In their meetings, they like a relaxed environment and always would present facts rather than perceptions and notions. In other business instances, most Australians take business issues more seriously in that they get to work much quickly and most of the time would reduce their involvement in unfavorable talks.    

            In as much as Australians are quite casual, there are differences in the real work environment in terms of how they conduct their activities, and meetings at the work place. They are a bit serious when it comes to business and work, very conservative and most of the times take work seriously.

            In most of their gatherings, and meetings, they seem to be very punctual particularly business-wise and late comers are usually seen to be against the spirit of teamwork. In instances that one could be late for a business meeting, they prefer that the person contacts others to inform them of his or her late coming. This is also reflected in their arrival times, with most preferring the usual official arrival hours with their standard times being from the usual 8:30am or 9:30 to 4:30 or 5:30 depending on the organization.

            In most instances, most Australians are professional in nature, from how they handle their colleagues at work, undertake their activities and meet other business people. They are laid-back people, treat others with respect, and in business meetings they are very open to ideas, mindful of their talks and most of the times prefer handling business issues with much seriousness that it deserves to an extent where there has to be an appointment with the person on is meeting regardless of their status at the work place.

            In interaction processes, most Australians prefer greeting people before starting off any business or meeting, and most of them consider it rude to assume or avoid shaking a person’s hand, and mostly when he/she will be involved in any business matter within the organization (“Business etiquette, clothing, meetings and greetings ”, n.d).

In addition to how they observe and carry out their normal business activities, most Australians carry out their bargain and negotiation meetings in very unique ways as compared to their American counterparts. They are most of the times very hard on the agendas, and in many cases would tell others of their thoughts irrespective on how it would affect their relationships with their colleagues or other business people. In official meetings or gatherings, most Australians prefer that their partners involved need to keep a distance as they prefer a lot of privacy, and at the same time prefer people not to bit about the bush while addressing issues rather speaking with boldness under every circumstance.

            However, while most Australians would take issues with a lot of seriousness, the exchange of business cards is quite uncommon in the business world. They prefer handing over business cards before the start of meetings however may not be important compared to how it occurs in other parts of the world. In their normal business gatherings and meetings, they would prefer not to give out business cards, which also seem very normal to them.

            In the quest to maintain integrity, and proper business culture, most Australians are very strict in their business culture. As they would interact with customers or other business people outside their offices, they tend to be sensitive on integrity issues and most of the times would not accept bribes and gifts that are not in line with the business. This is especially very common with them during business negotiations, especially when it is done out of office. They are usually focused on achieving their goals, without diverting their attention to non-business issues.           

But apart from that, they are sensitive to human issues and would most of the time like it when everyone is comfortable during the negotiation processes or meetings, and would dispel any form of fear or tension through slight humor during the talk (“20 things about Australia working culture that  can surprise foreigners, 2015”).To add on this, the business meetings are usually taken with a lot of seriousness, with most Australians preferring to engage in any casual talks or meetings after their engagements.

            As the work environment is quite competitive, Australia is known as one of the countries with the longest working hours including weeks with many Australians already used to such arrangements. Even though this might be difficult for immigrants and expatriates, most Australians are used to this culture of working for longer hours in which they may become uncomfortable.

            Their business culture is also quite different in terms of what other countries would allow in the office environment. For instance, in most Australian offices, they allow office romance, which seem to be healthy for them, which may be disgusting for many Americans who may be pissed off with such relationships in the office environment however, they do not encourage their colleagues or workmates to kiss other colleagues especially those of opposite sex in the office environment.

Other than that, most Australians would not prefer being kissed on the cheek especially during meetings or business gathering, however, most are used to being pat slightly on the back. While they accept a slight pat on the back, they readily agree on a handshake as a more formal way of seeing off business partners especially after a formal meeting.

While most of Australia’s business culture is more official, there are certain practices that are attached to their ways of handling business issues. In their business meetings, most would prefer speaking in English, while the listener expected to be an active listener, and at the same time prefer an open approach, value opinions and in most instances would also clarify issues that are not clear to the other party in order to encourage a level playing ground as much as possible.

In addition to these, Australians do not like being associated with people who hype about themselves or their companies, rather they portray a humble image throughout formal gatherings or meetings. As much as they are very official in business meetings, they portray a lot of respect, directness and honesty in their discussions, with a strong humor just to avoid confrontations and strong emotions which would bring on board inappropriateness that may spoil their mood.

Their business culture is not only practiced in standard business and official environments, it is also practiced in official dining environments and meetings. In such an environment, most Australians prefer a continental style in table manners where meals given are served family style. In this arrangement, morning and afternoon tea is very common with morning tea being served at 10 am while afternoon tea served at 4, 6 or 8 pm depending on the length of the meeting.

            While Australia’s business culture seems to be different compared to that of the United States, there are similarities between the two, especially on how meetings are conducted and the etiquette therein. However, America’s culture varies across the different segments with top notch ones being associated with very strict cultures.

In acknowledging the organizational structure for instance, Australia’s organizational structure is more of a flat structure whereby they encourage equality across the board, compared with the United States one where low level employees are expected and should acknowledge their bosses.

            In as much as Australians do value meetings, the business culture in the United States is different with that of Australia. In Australia for instance, meetings are common and usually address important issues compared to United States where they are part of the normal operations where they may not necessarily be used to address certain issues. In addition, like Australians would work for extra hours, Americans prefer working for the normal hours, especially within the corporate environment.

            On the other hand, despite the differences, there are similarities in business culture of the two countries. Americans generally work very hard and are governed by strong work ethics, a similar element that is observed in Australia. In addition also, depending on the nature of meetings and are, most Americans also seem to prefer the flat management structure where most address their bosses using the first name, a similar attribute that is depicted in Australia. They are also very direct in their conversations, and most of times prefer going straight to the point.     

While most Australians tend to adopt the authoritarian style of management, their leaders are expected not to see themselves superior in any way, especially in work environments, rather they prefer a consultative style of management that encourages other people’s opinions that indicate commitment to an idea being discussed.

Also, in order to understand the above subject, it is important to understand some leadership attributes with the leadership being defined as the ability to influence a group of people so as to achieve a common goal (Ricketts, 2011). In most cases, this attribute may vary depending on the nature of individuals being led, given prevailing circumstances. In light of this, it is established that most Australians practice transformational leadership, the kind of leadership that inspires others in achieving extraordinary results in their work (Barker et al, 2006).

Transformational leadership:

            In comparison with the American leadership style which is more strategic and inspirational, Australians prefer a democratic kind of leadership which gives a team the ability to contribute towards a given course. Australians are known to impact mentorship into their younger ones at the workplace where they coach, support and mentor others rather than being bosses that give directions in the workplace. This is quite different when compared to most American leaders who are known to be assertive, goal oriented and aggressive in their endeavors to building their employees. In the Australian setup, most Australians would also prefer expatriates with a transformational kind of leadership, as they tend to believe that it inspires, motivates and builds teamwork especially when non-citizens are involved. This would therefore meet the objectives of various stakeholders towards accomplishing given goals since Australians have a culture and perception of equality, in that all people are equal despite their ethnicity, racial and cultural affiliations. In light of this, they practice the fair go attribute which gives everyone an opportunity to exercise his or her own goals.

The transformational kind of leadership associated with most Australians therefore brings on-board the six traits of leadership common at the Australian workplace. These include being team oriented, participative, humane, protective and charismatic.  

Visionary leadership:

            A kind of leadership where the future image of an organization is conveyed and motivating followers towards realizing it (Day, 2014). It is another dimension of leadership common in Australia. In Australia, most leaders are goal oriented and perform their work with a lot of diligence, displaying charisma in various occasions (“Current Research, Theories and Skills of Effective Leadership”, n.d). They are also of high integrity, trustworthy and honest while maintaining their vision for the firm and at the same time encouraging a balance between equality and achievement in all their circumstances. 

            In first paced work environments and first world countries such as Australia, business culture plays an important role towards being able to sustain the competition especially if one is a leader. This calls for an in depth understanding and analysis of the similarities and differences of such attributes such as business etiquettes that are common in Australia to help an individual to fit in such environments.

            Australia being a first world country, has unique characteristics though different from United States, need to be understood if one, especially an expatriate is to succeed in the day to day endeavors. It is therefore important for such people to have an overview of the same to help them understand the business environment, how to handle people and to fit in such fast paced environments. It is therefore important for expatriates intending to work in Australia to be accustomed with different cultures regarding the work environment to enable them to fit appropriately in a country like Australia.

References

Barker, A. M., Sullivan, D. T., & Emery, M. J. (2006). Leadership competencies for clinical managers: The renaissance of transformational leadership. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.

Business etiquette, clothing, meetings and greetings. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2016, from https://www.justlanded.com/english/Australia/Australia-Guide/Business/Business-etiquette

In Day, D. V. (2014). The Oxford handbook of leadership and organizations.

R. C. (n.d.). Current Research, Theories and Skills of Effective Leadership. Retrieved March 18, 2016, from http://www.integral.org.au/effective-leadership

Ricketts, C. (2011). Leadership: Personal development and career success. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar.

S. K. (2015, March 23). 20 things about Australian working culture that can surprise foreigners.

Retrieved March 18, 2016, from http://www.businessinsider.com.au/20-things-about-australian- working-culture-that-can-surprise-foreigners-2015-3

Business etiquette, clothing, meetings and greetings. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2016, from

https://www.justlanded.com/english/Australia/Australia-Guide/Business/Business-etiquette

Business etiquette, clothing, meetings and greetings. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2016, from

https://www.justlanded.com/english/Australia/Australia-Guide/Business/Business-etiquette

Business etiquette, clothing, meetings and greetings. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2016, from

https://www.justlanded.com/english/Australia/Australia-Guide/Business/Business-etiquette