Building Global ‘Trust Bridges’

Michael Czinkota
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways
  • Establishing honorable practices in the workplace and across borders remains a powerful concept in the international marketing community.

  • "If two parties are exposed to common conditions and values, a discovery that they share these experiences will help them establish connectivity, warmth and trust more rapidly than if they had dissimilar backgrounds." ​

  • Building trust, demonstrating corporate social responsibility and demonstrating integrity and reliability are the top three most critical characteristics in today's version of an "honorable merchant."

A powerful concept in the international marketing community today deals with how to establish honorable practices in the workplace and, most importantly, across borders. This focus on “honorable practices” is of cutting-edge importance, at this time mainly in Europe, and brings new life to old thoughts. 

The AMA’s global marketing special interest group dedicated its annual meeting in Cancun to the task of “The Honorable Merchant in International Marketing,” with three days of papers, presentations, discussion groups and workshops addressing the topic. 

Honorable practices are the rules that were established to prepare merchants for conducting international business, and an honorable merchant is one who adheres to rules that go back as far as Proverbs (11:1) where merchants are specifically addressed: “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.” The New Testament, Matthew 19:23-24, cites Jesus as saying that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. Later on, the Quran makes specific reference to the charging of interest, which is seen as inappropriate and even sinful (Quran 3:130-131). In Chinese society, the role of a merchant was seen as a necessary evil, far below the exalted societal role played by, say, imperial officials. ​

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Author Bio:
Michael Czinkota
Michael Czinkota researches international marketing issues at Georgetown University. He served in trade policy positions in the George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan administrations. His International Marketing text (with I. Ronkainen) is now in its 10th edition.

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