Cross-cultural issues also arise at the organizational level, because companies in different countries organize their daily business differently. Some of the most noticeable differences include the:
• Relative hierarchy of departments. The relative power of the various departments within a corporation is often a function of the country where the corporation has its headquarters. For example, the manufacturing departments of German-based companies have influence over their marketing and sales counterparts that many Canadian and American manufacturing departments can only dream of. German manufacturing departments are often able to limit the number of products offered to a few options, thereby optimizing production and improving the quality of the products offered. By contrast, Canadian and American manufacturing departments tend to follow the lead of marketing and sales departments, which tend to favor a larger number of product options since this increases the probability of attracting a broader group of customers.
These differences in the way products are manufactured and marketed create the need for different approaches to selling products and services. The same type of argument cannot be used to win customers in North America and Germany – whether through sales presentations or general marketing efforts. While North American customers look for flexibility and response speed in the products and services they purchase, German customers want durability, reliability, and quality.
• Way information is shared and distributed. The way information moves within a company varies significantly from country to country. For example, in Germany, the flow of information tends to be fairly compartmentalized. Information flows within departments along hierarchical lines, and does not flow easily within a given hierarchical level or from department to department. In addition, Germans tend to share information with only... [continues]
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