German business culture

German business culture

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Names in brackets are the dimensions’ (marked in italic) creator.

Key facts

  • Germany is associated with manufacturing
    • precision
    • safety
    • performance
    • effiency
    • reliability
  • Regionalism
    • Great regional differences
    • No single dominating metropolis
    • Excellent communication system
  • Industry and government in partnership
  • Power concentrated at the top
  • Unions quite strong (Collectivism)
  • Technical know-how best route to promotion
  • Few women in management (Masculine culture)
  • Make appointments
  • Punctuality expected

Communication style

  • Leans toward low context (Hall)
    • Facts more important than ”face”
    • Honesty more important that politeness
    • Confrontational
    • Direct eye contact
  • Leans towards neutrality (Trompenaars)
    • Self-control important

Management style

  • High and low power distance (Hofstede)
    • Respect for executives
    • Questioning decisions not encouraged
    • Need to know basis

Attitude to time

  • Sequential (Trompenaars)
    • Long-term focus important
    • Planning is extremely important

Ethics – right or wrong

  • Universal (Trompenaars)

Values – attitude to work

  • Masculine (Hofstede)

Impact of outer influence

  • Inner and outer directed (Trompenaars)

Social identity

  • Both collective and individualistic (Hofstede)

Status

  • Achievement– and ascription-based (Trompenaars)
    • Authority based on competence, not personality

Attitude to risk

  • High and low uncertainty avoidance (Hofstede)

Business orientation

  • Deal-focused (Gesteland)

Formality

  • Sort of formal (Gesteland)
    • Meetings formal
    • Culture built on respect
    • Important to use titles
    • Senior personnel dress formally

Attitude to personal space

  • Germans in general prefer to guard their personal space.  An arm’s length of space or more is normal when conversing.
  • Germans generally do not touch when speaking.  When speaking with those outside of the family or close circle of friends, touching can be seen as an invasion of privacy.
Erik Persson

Om mig:

Arbetar med MRM, webb-orienterade projekt så som SEO och webb-utveckling samt läser till en Bachelor i Business Administration på Handelshøyskolen BI i Oslo.

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