Doing Business in German with Siemens

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German culture is diverse and complex. One way to evalutate the culture is to use Geert Hofstede’s five dimensions which helps to illustrate values that are embedded into the German people and how behavior manifests itself in a work related context. The German culture can be described as having a low power distance as they strongly expect power to be distributed equally. This is evident by the solid co-determination rights held for employees. Germans also demonstrate a high degree of uncertainty avoidance. They are a very analytical and data driven culture and prefer deductive approaches when presenting or planning as they are more comfortable with structure rather than ambiguity or risky situations. The high uncertainty avoidance correlates to Germany’s long-term orientation which is also validated by the employment agreements which allows employees and generations of their family to remain employed at firms for decades. Germany would also be considered a masculine society where performance is highly valued and people gain self-esteem from their tasks. The German society is also a truly individualistic one and many portray themselves as individuals with individual goals and needs. Siemens is a German based company, headquartered in Munich. It is the largest Europe-based electronics and electrical engineering company functioning globally in almost two hundred countries. Siemens operates in the fields of industry, energy and healthcare. The company provides a vast array of services and goods. A few examples of Siemens products in the industry and energy divisions produce automation systems ranging from process control systems to industrial communication and they also provide power generation, transmission and distribution services. Additionally, Siemen’s healthcare and mobility departments produce hearing instruments and MRI and medical imaging solutions as well as rail and tolling systems. The finance and services arms of Siemens offers clients vendor financing, debt financing and asset management as well as home appliance services. Siemens is truly a diversified organization well equipped to work in the global marketplace. Siemens has become a global industry leader by demonstrating the company’s ability to capitalize on several advantages from global activities. The first benefit to operating globally is overall strategy. By strategically investing in diverse operations all over the globe Siemens has built solid global brand awareness as well as tapped into a deep well of global talent. Siemens has also been able to maximize their global reach by finding the right customers in new markets which ultimately has increased their profits and sales providing robust financial benefits. Finally, there are also production related benefits to joining the global marketplace. By diversifying, Siemens is able to cut costs by creating economies of scope, cross managing and using synergy to extend their market reach. Globalization has enabled Siemens to become the powerhouse that they are today. With over 360,000 employees in over 190 regions throughout Africa, North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia, Siemens is known as a global leader in a wide variety of markets. A thorough explanation of the company’s history, provided on the Siemens website (www.siemens.com), gives us insight into how Siemens has developed a successful global business. Collaboration, customer focus, and the company’s “systematic approach to championing diversity” are some of the key factors allowing the organization to successfully expand into new industries and geographical regions. The German based Siemens has had an international presence for most of its 160 year history, but their international efforts were undone by the first and then second world wars. Following World War II Siemens focused on rebuilding, and after participating in the Sociedad Electro-Metallurgica Argentina years earlier, constructed...
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