DEFINITION of 'Culture Shock'

A feeling of uncertainty, confusion or anxiety that people experience when visiting, doing business in or living in a society that is different from their own. Culture shock can arise from a person's unfamiliarity with local customs, language and acceptable behavior, since norms can vary significantly across cultures.

BREAKING DOWN 'Culture Shock'

The feeling of culture shock can dissipate over time. Visitors to a new country, for example, will at first be unfamiliar with the nuances of local culture, but will learn how to adapt as interactions with people continue. Culture shock can be daunting for those who do business abroad due to the added pressure of maintaining or developing a profitable business relationship. Many international companies provide cultural training to help reduce cultural gaffes by employees, which can affect business.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Reverse Culture Shock

    The shock suffered by some people when they return home after ...
  2. Corporate Culture

    The beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees ...
  3. Cross Culture

    The interaction of people from different backgrounds in the business ...
  4. Economic Shock

    An event that produces a significant change within an economy, ...
  5. Statement Shock

    The shock associated with opening an investment statement and ...
  6. Power-Distance Index - PDI

    An index developed by Dutch sociologist Geert Hofstede that measures ...
Related Articles
  1. Small Business

    Understanding Corporate Culture

    Corporate culture encompasses the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company and its employees interact and how they work with customers.
  2. Financial Advisor

    Expect FINRA to Ask These Culture Questions

    This month, FINRA kicks off its culture examinations for brokerage firms. Here's how to cram for the test.
  3. Small Business

    4 Ways to Find the Best Companies to Work For

    Discover four ways to find the best companies to work for and how to make sure those companies line up with your personal and professional goals.
  4. Retirement

    Retirement: U.S. Versus Abroad

    A growing number of Americans are retiring abroad rather than at home. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Robo-Advisors: Top Challenges for Tapping China

    Robo-advisors and advisors at large face cultural challenges as they seek to break into the Chinese market. But as trends shift, so should opportunities.
  6. Investing

    5 Smart Money Strategies From Around The World

    Around the globe, the way money is thought about, handled, saved and spent varies greatly from what might be the norm in the U.S.
  7. Financial Advisor

    The Bright Side Of The Credit Crisis

    Find out how this tough economic period can be a learning experience for all.
  8. Financial Advisor

    Top Tips for Buying a Financial Advisory Practice

    When acquiring a new financial advisory practice, make sure that your game plan avoids these acquisition missteps.
  9. Financial Advisor

    Where to Retire Abroad? Follow Your Fellow Expats

    Retiring abroad is exciting and can save you money. Here's a list of countries where you're likely to find the most bang for your buck.
  10. Small Business

    Finding The Best Buyer For Your Small Business

    Learn more about the process business owners go through to seal a merger or acquisition deal.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Is globalization purely an economic phenomenon?

    Take a look at the complex scope of the term "globalization", and learn why the term applies in many contexts beyond the ... Read Answer >>
  2. How long does the average demand shock affect pricing?

    Read about the nature of demand shocks in an economy, how they correlate with prices, and what determines the length and ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are some common examples of demand shock?

    Discover some common examples of demand shock. Demand shocks lead to rapid increases or decreases in demand that catch everyone ... Read Answer >>
  4. What are common examples of aggregate demand shocks?

    Learn about some common examples of demand shocks in the economy, how they occur and function, and what it means to aggregate ... Read Answer >>
  5. Why do supply shocks occur and who do they negatively affect the most?

    Take a deeper look at the nature of supply shocks, an economic phenomenon that dramatically changes the equilibrium level ... Read Answer >>
  6. How do interpersonal skills influence a business culture?

    Interpersonal skills are vital to business culture because they determine not only how a person interacts with others, but ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Cash Flow

    The net amount of cash and cash-equivalents moving into and out of a business. Positive cash flow indicates that a company's ...
  2. PLUS Loan

    A low-cost student loan offered to parents of students currently enrolled in post-secondary education. With a PLUS Loan, ...
  3. Graduate Record Examination - GRE

    A standardized exam used to measure one's aptitude for abstract thinking in the areas of analytical writing, mathematics ...
  4. Graduate Management Admission Test - GMAT

    A standardized test intended to measure a test taker's aptitude in mathematics and the English language. The GMAT is most ...
  5. Magna Cum Laude

    An academic level of distinction used by educational institutions to signify an academic degree which was received "with ...
  6. Cover Letter

    A written document submitted with a job application explaining the applicant's credentials and interest in the open position. ...
Trading Center