Doing business in Germany and UK
Business background in Germany
Germany is the largest national economy in Europe and the fourth-largest by nominal GDP in the world. In Germany much greater attention has been paid to academic technical education and its value to business in general. Therefore, companies tend to be run by technical experts rather than lawyers and accountants and that is why German engineers are highly respected people. Diligence and competence are characteristics which are considered key indicators of performance. Appraisal systems based on the softer competencies as favoured by many U.K. and U.S. firms are still not common in traditional German companies.
Most of the power in German companies is vested in the hands of a few senior managers. Larger companies have a Supervisory Board (Aufsichtsrat) which appoints the Management Board (Vorstand). The management board is the final decision-maker on policy matters which affect management. Members of the Management board have shared responsibility for the overall management of the company and this means that the chairman of the company has considerably less personal power than in certain other countries. Below the Management board level companies observe strict hierarchy within which each individual's specific roles and responsibilities are tightly defined and specified. Thus, every employee has clearly identified goals to achieve and knows what exactly is expected from him/her. On the other hand, because of the strict hierarchy, German business people are inflexible and slowly adaptive to new situations. German Management Style
Managers in Germany are expected to be technically capable in their respective areas and to show strong, clear leadership. Managers usually delegate responsibility to the member of the team with the greatest technical competence to carry out the particular task. This member has to be given clear and precise instructions, concerning the...
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