Czech Cultural Analysis

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Cultural Analysis – Czech Republic

Missouri University of Science and Technology
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table of contents

table of contentsii
1.0Czech vs u.s. Culture – hofstede’s model3
2.0Czech business culture – trompenaaris classificaion7
3.0U.S. Business culture change needed7
4.0bibliography9

1.0Czech vs u.s. Culture – hofstede’s model

The Czech Republic has its roots as a former communist state known as Czechoslovakia. The fall of communism and the transformation to a democratic government has seasoned this country’s history. From the “Velvet Revolution” in 1989 to the charismatic leadership of the poet Vaclav Havel, the Czech Republic has developed well in the European cultures (Katz 2008). The Czech Republic had an estimated GDP of $288.6 billion in 2011, which is ranked 45th against other world countries. Auto exports are the main economic driver with Germany being a large consumer of their export goods (The cia world, 2012).

Context

The classification of high-context or low-context gives us very useful cultural distinctions. A high-context culture relies heavily on unspoken cues in conversation. They tend to want to establish trust first in business negotiations, value a personal relations and goodwill, agree by general trust, and negotiate in a slow ritualistic manner. A low-context culture generally gets straight to the point and does not bother with ritualistic negotiations or getting to know one another personally before business deals. A low-context culture usually values expertise and performance, likes to make agreements with legalistic types of contracts, and negotiates as effective as possible (Kreitner, 2012).

People in the Czech Republic tend to use body language sparingly with little physical contact. However, when communicating with them, silence could mean a problem, especially if they lower their eyes. The Czech people value punctuality and are a schedule oriented people. They like to schedule meetings in advance and require notification if one is going to be late. The Czech do like to get down to business, but the pace of business could be slow at first until you build relationship. The Czechs also prefer written terms and conditions when making business transactions (Katz 2008). All of these characteristics describe a low-context culture. The U.S. is a low-context culture as well (Kreitner, 2012), so doing business with Czech people will not seem too foreign to our U.S. company.

Hofstede’s Model
The Hofstede’s Model can be used to help classify the national culture of the Czech Republic and can give us insight into how the U.S. compares. With this information, we can determine if our company culture is a good fit for doing business in the Czech Republic. The 5 cultural dimensions of Hofstede’s model will be used: power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term orientation and will be compared to our U.S. results.

Power distance is defined as a dimension that deals with the fact that not all individuals in society are equal. This dimension captures the attitude of a culture toward this reality. A low score would mean that the culture has an attitude that people should be equal in society, and a high score would represent an attitude of acceptance of these large inequalities in society. The U.S. scores low on this dimension (Hofstede & Hofstede, 2005). We subscribe to the mentality of “liberty and justice for all,” which can explain the low score. The Czech Republic has a slightly higher score than the U.S. which means that they have an attitude more acceptable of societal inequalities (Hofstede & Hofstede, 2005). This can probably be traced back to their roots as a communist country, where societal members had to get used to the one party government that was highly hierarchal.

The individualism dimension captures the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members (Kreitner, 2012). The...
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