Germany

Topics: Culture, Business, The Culture Pages: 9 (2617 words) Published: October 18, 2013

Executive Summary

Business practices in different regions are always inevitably vulnerable to influence from their own social, political, and cultural practices. This is mainly because businesses operate within societies which involve dealing with people and their individual and collective cultures. The impact of people’s culture can be felt on a large scale as in the case of whole continents or as minimally as small towns in the smallest of countries. People’s practices and cultures ultimately influence the way in which they think and view issues and eventually the way in which they think about business and how they do it. Social-cultural environments influence business practices in a country in multiple ways. This includes the choice of business partners, the kinds of businesses done, the ways in which those businesses are done, the levels of loyalty and finesse in business etiquette involved, the speed of business practices, and the language in which it is done among other things. This paper analyses the effect of social-cultural practices on the business practices with specific reference to Germany. An introduction to the country, Germany is given and a presentation of some of its social and cultural practices made. The impact of these practices on business practices in the country is analysed.

Introduction

Culture and social practices have an overall influence in every part of a region’s existence. It exerts an influence on all the sectors of life including mainly its trading practices. This is where business and social-cultural practices begin to interact. Businesses operate within societies which involve people and their individual and collective cultures. The impact of people’s culture can be felt on a very large scale as in the case of entire continents, regions, and countries or in lesser scales such as certain families or even individuals. This is because a person’s culture informs the way in which they make decisions and the kinds of decisions they make. This paper analyses the effect of social-cultural practices on the business practices with specific reference to Germany. Germany lies in the very heart of Europe, surrounded by nine neighbours and it shares borders with more nations than any other country in Europe (Bernstein, 2004). Due to Germany having so many neighbouring countries, it has got me wondering whether Germany had its own culture and identity or whether its neighbouring countries have over influenced it. When it comes to business, Germans are well known for being black and white, direct and down the line. I was curious to know whether outside of Business, Germans have the same mentality in every day life.

German Assertiveness in Business

German culture is very assertive. As a result, it is a very direct culture. People will tend to say exactly what they think and are less apt to tip-toe around critical issues they want to communicate. This may make the culture quite abrasive in some instances. There is generally no shying away from confrontation (Morrison & Conaway 2006). Germans place truth and directness before diplomacy. They hold the value that the truth or objective facts on an issue should not be deterred by the need to be diplomatic. Certain cultures may often interpret this culture of directness as rudeness; this is true of polite cultures such as those of the Japanese and various African cultures. In Germany, however, this is a respectable and indeed fundamental value in doing business (Solomon & Schell 2009). There is a lack of self-depreciation in expression as is in Eastern and African cultures. This has led many to view German businessmen as rude and arrogant. However, many Germans see this direct self-expression as a way of giving factual rendition of truth devoid of sensitivity to any other external factors. The need to clearly and confidently express oneself is more apparent than the need to protect other...


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