Cross Cultural Group Presentation - Germany
Yash Karnik (483), Tanvi Swami (498), Ritesh Saurab (499), Ritanshu Mai (533), Vijaya Laxmi Manne (477) Group 7
What is important about Germany?
Germany is an industry leader in areas such as automobiles and healthcare, to name a few. With globalization and reducing trade boundaries Germany has in fact become a trade partner for many Indian firms. Thus understanding business etiquettes, culture and protocol will supplement international businessmen and enhance cross cultural negotiation. The Rational German:
Based on research findings, Germany’s geographical location and history have had a substantial effect on its culture and thus on the way that Germans negotiate. Some historical events helps us understand more about Germany, its people and the effects on negotiations: Pre-Unification Era:
Before Charles V formed Prussia, Germany was largely comprised of small princely states (similar to India) in conflict with each other over resources. This brought upon the Germans a constant state of uncertainty and continuous battle. This however also made the Germans tough and seasoned negotiators. Unification & Prussia:
This era was also responsible to developing many traits of the German culture which are insightful for deriving value out of a negotiation. With the formation of Prussia came – economic stability, growth and social structure. Germans preferred the certainty of an economically stable state and developed a keen sense of hierarchy. As the German state began to develop – so did the socio-political structure. Germans thus over the years formed very bureaucratic agencies of governance through methodical planning and reason. World Wars:
Both the world wars left Germany crippled. However, Hitler’s action made certain that Germany would have to heavily rely on diplomatic relations before considering the use military force. It also made Germans develop a sense of fairness when dealing with people from other cultural backgrounds. Points to Ponder:
Now that we understand where German people come from, we think it’s essential to shed some light on the salient features of the culture and how they impact a negotiation: Business Relationship:
Germans traditionally believe in building trust over a period of time. This is usually an outcome of dependability, analytical thinking and intellect. Germans, unlike Indians, enter negotiations with a sense of trust. This is important from an Indian point of view as ability to generate and maximize value from a negotiation takes place over a long period of time. Interestingly enough trying to establish rapport in a hurried manner may arouse suspicion from a German counterpart. Trust one built, goes a long way in a business relationship, as Germans tend to be wary of uncertainty. Hence it is important to think strategically in long term and develop a mutually beneficial relationship from the start. One of the easiest ways to establish credibility with a German during a negotiation is to rely on a third party who has already established a level of trust and dependence on the German side. Displaying authority on the subject matter at hand, by professional qualifications will let the negotiating party earn respect in the eyes of their German counterparts, thus providing an upper hand will negotiating. Even though Germans are reserved and formal in nature, it’s possible to build long lasting relationships with them. A sure indicator of a relationship in the making is when a German decides to tell you embarrassing stories about himself. However it’s best not to repeat the stories to others as Germans tend to very proud people and can get hurt very easily. They also might expect you to be equally candid once the relationship has been built. During negotiations Germans tend to give more air time to the person who they think is technically sound in that matter. Hence it’s often a great idea to have your degrees printed...
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