An Analysis of the Cultural Differences Between the Uk and Germany

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Cross Cultural Management

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Present an analysis of the key cultural differences between England and Germany and how are these likely to affect management.

Identify and evaluate strategies that you could you use to help manage in an organisation in Germany.

Executive Summary

Many frameworks have been developed to define cultural dimensions and their importance when working in a culture different to our own. I have analysed a combination of dimensions drawing from Hofstede, Trompenaars, Hall and Hall (1990), Walker, Walker and Schmitz (2003) and Browaeys and Price (2008), in order to analyse the differences between England and Germany.

The analysis carried out showing similarities and differences between England and Germany for my Group Presentation is summarised in the graph below:

Recognising cultural differences is essential and all dimensions must be taken into account when managing a cross cultural company. To help an English manager adapt to a new working culture in Germany, I identified a number of strategies that would help overcome issues in respect to the main variables, for which there is substantial difference in culture. These include helping overcome uneasiness and ensuring more time is spent on planning and analysis due to differences in the view of uncertainness. Respect to hierarchical and departmentalised flows of communication due to Germany’s culture of hierarchy and the avoidance of covert and implicit messages with reference to communication. Report

Many frameworks have been developed to define cultural dimensions and their importance when working in a culture different to our own. In order for global and cross cultural trade to work effectively we must be able to acknowledge that our working styles, beliefs and norms can be seen as offensive, wrong or unclear in many other cultures. In order for successful business to take place we must be aware of this and adapt business practices accordingly.

Frameworks that have been formulated to help us understand these different cultural dimensions include Hofstede (2001) whose dimensional approach to cross cultural comparisons produced five dimensions for issues in management and business that measured social inequality, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation. Trompenaars (1995) identified seven dimensions based on relational orientation and the way human beings deal with each other which were universalism, analysing, individualism, inner direction, achievement, time and equality. His cultural dimensions were established on the basis of 10 years of research, spread over twenty eight countries.

In order to complete a key analysis on the cultural differences between England and Germany I have analysed a combination of dimensions drawing from Hofstede, Trompenaars, Hall and Hall (1990), Walker, Walker and Schmitz (2003) and Browaeys and Price (2008), which itself draws from other scholar’s work. This broad framework looks at issues in management and business as well as human relations and its analysis can help improve communication skills and understanding across cultures when understood properly.

The 10 dimensions in this broad framework are:

Time Focus (Molochronic V Polychronic)
Structure (Order v Flexibility)
Competition (Competitive V Co-Operative)
Action (Doing V Being)
Individualism (Individualism V Collectivism)
Environment (Control V Harmony V Constraint)
Communication (High Context V Low Context)
Time orientation (Past, Present, Future)
Power (Hierarchy V equality)
Space (Public V Private)

A comparison between the UK and Germany is shown below using Hofstede’s 5 Cultural Dimensions

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When analysing the difference in culture between England and Germany, the graphs demonstrate high levels of similarity as might be expected from two Western European cultures. They both perceive time as monochromic: the organisation of time is...
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