Doing Business in South Africa

Topics: South Africa, Coloured, Afrikaner Pages: 4 (1246 words) Published: June 14, 2008
Doing Business in South Africa
Introduction
The South African culture compromise of: black Afrikaans , white Afrikaans, mixed-race Afrikaans, Asian-Indian, White Chinese-Taiwanese (Koopman & van Muijen 1994). The black Afrikaans are the majority race in South Africa. The Zulu nation makes up the majority in the black Afrikaans, The white Afrikaans are the minority race and have the majority of the power. The white Afrikaans are predominately from the English origin. The mixed-race Afrikaans are closer to the white Afrikaans but they are discriminated against just like the black Afrikaans.The Asian culture is predominantly of the Indian origin. The Asian culture keep the heritage of their home land. The Chinese culture is mainly immigrates from Taiwan. Because of Apartheid, the Chinese are classified as white instead of Asian (Koopman & van Muijen 1994). When doing business in South Africa, an individual, company or corporation have to understand the culture of the country. This paper will examine how an United States (US) executive will negotiate with South African executives. The paper will look at the power distance index, individualism, masculinity, uncertainity avoidance and long vs. short term orientation cultural dimensions and see how they factor into the negotiating styles of the US and South African executives. Power Distance Index

According to Koopman & van Muijen (1994) power distance (PD) measures how the less powerful members of organizations and institutions acknowledge and assume power is disproportionately distributed. Countries with a high PD raking tend to have a greater separation between high level executives and subordinates (Cook & Finlayson 2005). Countries with low PD have more social mobility between high level executives and subordinates (Cook & Finlayson 2005). When a US business executive is negotiating with South African executives; they need to factor in how the different cultures respond to power distance. When a...
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