American Style Of Doing Business

Hyderabad, 16th March 2022: Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Hyderabad hosted the sixth session of the second edition of the Global Immersion Program (GIP) on 16th March 2022. The speaker for the session was Mr. David Moyer, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Hyderabad. He talked about the ‘American style of doing Business.’ Prof. (Dr.) Manoj Das, Assistant Professor and Area Chairperson- Marketing, IMT Hyderabad, officially welcomed the speaker and the participants, followed by a brief introduction of the speaker by Soumya Dixit, a first-year PGDM student.

The speaker started the presentation by highlighting the popular series, The Office, and its insight into doing business in the U.S. He spoke on the less formal workplace culture where everyone addresses each other on a first-name basis. He mentioned that the American work culture is focused on establishing equality among colleagues and bosses alike. Having worked with the U.S. Government for 19 years, he said different bosses have different expectations, and it is always better to be more formal until one gets familiar with the boss. Mr. Moyer elaborated that the hierarchical nature varies from state to state in the U.S. itself, and the financial capital, New York City, is much more formal than Silicon Valley, where the work culture is primarily casual.

Mr. Moyer narrated his experience of working in Japan and Mexico, where handshakes were not the standard way of greeting. He informed that a slight bow at the waist is the norm of greeting in Japan, whereas a kiss on the cheek in Mexico is acceptable. He highlighted the cultural differences at the two places and compared it to the American style of greeting, where a firm handshake is considered a sign of confidence. He explained that the non-contact culture is quite prominent in the U.S., and physical contact has been minimalized greatly with the pandemic.

The speaker explained the importance of work-life balance. He talked about the significance of proper separation between work time and personal time. He mentioned that a 40-hour week is a general norm in the U.S, and it is considered impolite to engage in work talks on holidays. However, he highlighted that working overtime is not that uncommon, and there are strict labor laws in the U.S. that ensure employees are compensated for their extra time. He mentioned that the concept of TGIF (Thank Goodness it’s Friday) had been made famous for taking a break and relaxing on the weekend.

Mr. Moyer also talked about the value of time in the U.S. work culture. He informed that employees are expected to be direct and precise in their conversations. He also mentioned that the work culture in America does not encourage discussion on topics like politics, age, salary, religion as people are sensitive to such issues. He elaborated on the process of conducting meetings and dressing style in U.S. Corporates.

The session was followed by an interactive question and answer session where students cleared their doubts and queries. The students expressed their sincerest gratitude and thanked the speaker for an insightful session.

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