With the incorporation of different regional economic systems into a composite world economy, international production and procurement activities have increased manifold. It is becoming more and more important that an organization’s corporate leadership develops an optimum level of compassion and knowledge preconditioned to cross-cultural communication, understanding, and negotiation (Okoro, 2012). In sum, business etiquette should be defined more clearly and the managers must be trained in this field. The critical decision-making processes like reaching mutual agreement and putting up consensus have taken new dimensions because of differences that exist in business etiquette and ethics. These differences generally manifest during the international dealings (Maddux et al, 2012), but even in a local business, it is not possible today that all the staff members would belong from the same social, political, ethnic, and/or religious backgrounds.
Analysis of Business Etiquette
Business etiquette has sometimes emerged as an area of misunderstanding and even contention among different cultures through the different periods of history. Recently, Henry Hitchings has written a book Sorry! The English and Their Manners (2013). In the book, Hitchings has tried to explain the antiquity and importance of manners in the different contexts of historic periods and social strata. Pendle (2013) remarks that the book helps the readers to understand how manners, particularly the English manners evolved. Today, the English language has been widely accepted as the medium of global communication. So, it is both important and interesting to know how English manners and codes of conduct evolved in the due course of history. According to Pendle (2013), codifying proper and well-mannered conduct set the standards of the modern concept of etiquette. Of course, with the lapse of time, contradictions have emerged too. For example, in medieval England, if a man helped an aged lady to cross the street, he would be regarded as a well-mannered gentleman. But today, such behavior on the part of a man might be regarded as a sexist behavior. Yet, it is extremely important to note the concept of “small ethics” (Hitchings, 2013, p. 167). This concept was defined right during the reign of Queen Elizabeth of England, which determines the dynamics of general etiquette and its broader evolution. So today, when business etiquette is talked about, one should remember that the concept of etiquette emerged from the code of manners, and this code of manners culminated at small ethics. Consequently, Pendle (2013) helps us to diagnose a direct relationship between manners or etiquette and ethical conduct. The essence of ethical conduct is again an imperative in global business. Likewise, Maddux et al (2012) state that business etiquette can be correlated with business ethics and related fields. Maddux et al (2012) researched on business etiquette with special reference to the practice of apology as seen in different Western and Asian countries. The authors have pointed out that the ideal code of conduct widely varies from country to country and a deep understanding of such variations would help an executive to “make effective use of the apology as a tool for facilitating negotiations, resolving conflicts, and repairing trust.” Controversies Regarding Business Etiquette Maddux et al (2012) have studied cross-cultural variations regarding well-mannered behaviors and acceptable codes of conduct. The team has specifically focused on the term “Sorry” as interpreted in the USA and Japan. According to the research team, to apologize is an idea that has widely accepted and even appreciated in Japan. However, in America, managers must avoid using the words like “sorry”. Unlike Japan, apology is associated to culpability and even incompetence in the USA. Researches conducted by Maddux et al (201