Business is global, and so should be our thinking about how to do business.  Cultural differences don’t go away in a business meeting.  In fact, awareness of different cultural practices and the business etiquette followed abroad can make all the difference in forming a new business partnership or making a sale.  Video conferencing is frequently used to reach business partners and clients abroad.  Knowing how to behave during these meetings – how and what to say – will produce the best outcome for your company.

We’ve curated a list of some of the best resources for learning about business etiquette and cultural customs on every continent (well, except Antarctica – we can’t help you if you’re doing business with sea lions).  Consult these sources whether you’re meeting in-person, or more likely, talking on a videoconference with clients, investors, or partners in another country.



Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands (The Bestselling Guide to Doing Business in More than 60 Countries) by Terri Morrison and Wayna A. Conaway (2006)

The classic text on gaining acceptable social and business skills across the globe, this book is written by Terri Morrison, who runs an internationally recognized training program for global businesses.  Discover how to properly greet, have dinner with, and do business with people from all walks of life.  Country profiles include background and culture, business values, protocol for dress and gifting, business practices and key phrases in local languages.  This is a must-have for anyone doing international business.


Global Business Etiquette: A Guide to International Communication and Customs by Jeanette S. Martin (2012)

Another great book to take when traveling for international  business, this guide is a starter course on how to act when other cultures play into your business dealings.  It’s not easy navigating the waters of another culture, especially when so much is on the line.  The advice in this book will help you avoid any embarrassing missteps when meeting, speaking, and dining with others.  Don’t leave for your flight without it!


Bridging the Culture Gap: A Practical Guide to International Business Communication by Penny Carte and Chris Fox (2008)

What’s great about Bridging the Culture Gap is the wealth of real-life tips it provides.  Not only will you get a primer on the customs and values of other cultures, but you’ll read up on case studies that give concrete examples and be able to test your own knowledge and cultural awareness in different scenarios.  The updated second addition gives new insights based on more further experiences and knowledge gathered after the original publishing.  This book will help you overcome barriers to communication and cultural thinking, whether you’re giving a presentation via web conference or negotiating a business deal in-person.




Cyborlink (

Billing itself as “the Web’s leading resource for international business etiquette, manners, and culture,” Cyborlink has a detailed list of topics for each country it covers.  The site is used not only by executives and businesses but is also recommended by college professors who teach business school courses.  For each country that the site discusses, its writers give information about the country’s population, heritage, religion, dress, behaviors, and communication styles.  It also talks about what’s called the Geert Hofstede Analysis, a model that differentiates cultures using four different scoring categories.


Executive Planet (

A wiki organized for executives by executives, Executive Planet contains a wealth of knowledge about doing business in other countries.  Their business culture guides are tailored to learning the ropes of etiquette and in a wide variety of countries, from Brazil to Iran.  This is a one-stop shop for those who frequently travel or otherwise do business with people in other countries.


InterNations (

InterNations is an online community for expats around the world.  The site regularly posts articles on topics like international business etiquette and adjusting to working in a foreign country.  Whether you’re abroad for a short business trip or being relocated to an office in another country, InterNations has tons of information crowdsourced from its users.

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Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Brand & Communication Director at ClickMeeting.

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