An Entrepreneurship-Based Four-Helix Model to Overcome Language and Cultural Barriers

An Entrepreneurship-Based Four-Helix Model to Overcome Language and Cultural Barriers

Jose Manuel Saiz-Alvarez (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6980-0.ch001
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Cultural and language barriers are being primarily conceived to protect firms and regions for external competitors. But this protection is novice for the business in the long term, as organizations lose competitivity and efficiency in internationalized markets. The purpose of this chapter is to propose a theoretical four-helix model focused on CSR with the final goal of reducing poverty and economic imbalances to transform societies and give their populations a greater quality of life. Transformation process accelerated with the use of ICTs in a global market.
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Cultural and linguistic barriers determine, especially for SMEs, the volume of business carried out in highly globalized international markets. In many countries around the world, cultural and linguistic barriers act as a barrier to entry, so firms in these regions tend to be local only. This situation happens in isolated areas or where the number of inhabitants in relatively low. This problem is especially significant when companies want to internationalize following the same practices as followed in the internal market, leading to inevitable business failure. One of the keys to success in the internationalization process is the adaptation to the social and economic environment towards which you want to export and, where appropriate, be implemented. This adaptation procedure defines a necessary tropicalization process employed by all companies, including multinationals.

Currently, this tropicalization process is accompanied by, according to Ballesteros and Saldaña (2016, p. 183), ethical principles to be pursued by a marketing manager. These six ethical-based tenets are:

  • 1.

    Citizenship: To serve clients through the fulfillment of the economic, legal, philanthropic and societal responsibilities.

  • 2.

    Fairness: To balance buyers and sellers.

  • 3.

    Honesty: To be honest in dealings with customers and stakeholders.

  • 4.

    Respect: To acknowledge the basic human dignity of stakeholders.

  • 5.

    Responsibility: To accept the consequences of our marketing decisions, policies, and strategies.

  • 6.

    Transparency: To create a spirit of openness in marketing operations.

When policies and business strategies are carried out having in mind all the stakeholders, firms can grow with sustainability taking into account the impact on both environment and clients. Moreover, better business results achieved allows the company to enter new countries or expand the market niches in existing ones. As a result, Lee and Carter (2009) identify five trends in international global marketing:

  • 1.

    The swift changes in technology, communication, distribution, and relationships among stakeholders;

  • 2.

    The rapid development of comprehensive services that has created significant competitive pressure among all human marketing resources;

  • 3.

    The evolution of the knowledge economy, which has required a different approach to product and service marketing;

  • 4.

    The importance of managing relationships with stakeholders in international markets; and

  • 5.

    The required transparency, based on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), societies are demanding.

When the company sets ethical policies in motion when it relates to its stakeholders, it attracts new clients, improves its image and corporate brand, increases goodwill and increases the excellent work environment in the organization. All these advantages are focused on meeting the needs of customers as the ultimate goal of the company, as well as the care of stakeholders and the generation of profit.

In this highly “glocalized” (think locally, act globally) business world, the elimination of cultural barriers plays a fundamental role in achieving survival in the medium and long-term. The objective of this chapter is to analyze how these linguistic and cultural barriers can diminish by applying a Quadruple helix model, where the human capital is at the center of the model. We will examine it in the next section.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Offshoring: Process of productive and commercial expansion of an organization towards a territory outside the country of origin.

Tropicalization: Process of how to be adapted to a local context, a system, strategy or business solution to maximize income and profit.

Labor Expatriates: They are foreigners working abroad for the need of money, professional prestige or other reasons.

Nearshoring: Internationalization process is done in a neighboring country.

Cultural Sensitivity: Set of skills focused on avoiding barriers in the workplace and society by accepting cultural differences between people.

Cultural and Language Barriers: Obstacle to which an organization or an individual is located to carry out efficiently their business projects to achieve the established objectives.

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