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Doing business with Germans

Teacher: Mrs Kuenzer 23/06/2010

Agenda

Introduction.......................................................................................................3

1. Germany and the «go to the point» culture..................................................3

A) Objective and task oriented................................................................3

B) Low context communication...............................................................4

C) Rule oriented......................................................................................5

D) Time planning.....................................................................................5

2. Separation of life and individualism.............................................................6

A) Separation of personality and living spheres......................................6

B) An individualist society........................................................................7

3. How to act in meetings.................................................................................7

A) Meeting...............................................................................................7

B) Negotiation.........................................................................................8

Conclusion........................................................................................................8

Sources............................................................................................................9

Introduction

«Culture is a model for assigning meaning. It is within this framework that humans interpret their experiences and steer their actions» (Clifford Geertz).

Doing business with an other country is always difficult. It is important to be aware of the codes, the etiquettes, the habits of this culture. In this paper i had try to explain how is the German culture in the first part we will see that «go to the point» is a expression which can summarised a part of the German culture at work. Then we would see how the German manage the private and the professional life. And finally we would see some advice for meeting and negotiate.

1. Germany and the «go to the point» culture

A) Objective and task oriented

In France we think that for the German «being objective is more important that the feelings one has for something» . For the Spanish the Germans are consider has «cold thinking, logic has a higher priority than emotional and mercy» We can see that the opinion of the French and the Spanish are not so far, but more accentuate by the Spanish.

According to Cultural Dimensions of Fons Trompenaars, German are Neutral, in opposition with emotional. This dimension show if the feelings are suppressed or tolerated? In North America and north-western Europe, business conditions have a typically instrumental character and are goal-oriented above all else. The intellect controls feelings that are perceived as disturbing. Individuals use machines and live according to the pace set by them in order to function more effectively. However, in southern Europe and in many other cultures, businesses are human affairs worthy of the whole scale of human feelings. Laughing loudly, hitting the table with one’s fist or leaving a conference room in a rage during a meeting – all of these characteristics are normal aspects of doing business.

The German are also consider as a objectivism society: it mean that the central point are usually the task, the projects, the role, and the professional competencies. They «get to the point» and «stick to the point». Basically they are goal oriented that is why they are usually wee prepared for the meeting and value written world.. Being friendly, speak about not business point can be consider as a lost of time for reach the goal.

They are task oriented when on management: task oriented. For example, the relationship between the boss and the employees are limited to business themes. The communication style is fact oriented, it mean that they are very direct and go as soon as possible in the heart of the subject. The objectivism permit to be clear, direct, achieve goal quickly but Sometimes so that the human level is forget, there is almost no relation built during the business.

According to Trompenaars Germany is a Specific society in opposition to diffuse society. When an individual is fully involved in a business relationship, real and personal contact emerges, in contrast to a specific relationship which is based on a contractual agreement. In many countries a diffuse and multifaceted relationship is not only preferred but is a prerequisite for doing business.

B) Low context communication

Germany has a low context style of communication which is in opposition with high context. For Hall, context refers to information surrounding a particular event. This dimension describes the extent to which communication gains meaning from the context, the relationships and the manner in which it takes place.

With high context communication, communication is heavily implicit, indirect and coded; this means there is a lot of reading between the lines, and what is expressed verbally only represents a small part of the total message. Criticism or rejection is not openly expressed.

With low context communication, information is primarily conveyed explicitly and verbally. The context is more strongly decoded and is expressed in a linear manner (no means no, yes means yes). In low context cultures, there is also greater differentiation between work and private life, and between personal and objective aspects.

In Germany the communication is direct, there is no double meanings. Speaking directly come very usually to German, as they are goal oriented,

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