What is culture? We can say that culture is everything that surrounds us and the easiest way to define it is to notice what we perceive at a first glance. On the one hand culture is how we dress, what gestures we use, the way we prepare our food and how we enjoy it, how we furnish our homes, how we choose our professions, how we rest, how we go to a job interview, how we talk to our employers and our colleagues and most importantly how we design our lives. However, culture is also the result of a long and steady process of experience in any aspect of many past generations. The cultural heritage, therefore, is a legacy from the past. This influence forms our way of thinking in many categories like beliefs, history, philosophy, religion, patriotism of the nation, communicative style, decision making and problem solving, the importance of friendly ties, the role of social status, the principles of raising and educating children, the attitude towards genders and many more. Culture in business In business the cultural knowledge is vital for the company’s strategy in order to achieve success worldwide. Organisations are unique, just like every person is is, and each of them has its own values, specific types of communications, procedures, vision, mission, and ways of setting goals, which are strongly influenced by its culture. By its nature, organizational culture is stable, but of course exceptions exist in crisis periods or merger with another company. Unfortunately, sometimes culture is not being taken as serious as it should be. Many times it is treated as the “easy” part of the business but it should be considered the fact culture is all about mindset and behaviour, which sometimes can be unclear depending on the country.However, it should be noted that there is no such thing as “best” culture for all companies. Culture is determined by the objectives of the organization, the specificity of the industry, the nature of competition and other environmental factors.
Business etiquette is very important in achieving fortunate communication
In every country there are certain norms and rules
that determine the way of doing business. First impressions are always
important since we show our
Businesses in different countries
How culture can affect businesses? Business merges failures
The failed partnership between those two companies is
a really thoughtfull example that we should always consider the culture that we
are doing business in.
Daimler AG, founded 1883 is a German global automotive corporation and
producer of luxury vehicles It
is among the world’s top leading carmakers. Produces world known brands like Maybach,
Mercedes-Benz, Setra, Smart, Sterling and more.
Chrysler is American car manufacturer founded in
1925. The corporation
manufactures and sells cars around the world under the brands Chrysler, Dodge,
Jeep, Ram, and also manufactures Fiat cars in North America. Other major
Chrysler divisions include Mopar (automotive parts and accessories) and SRT
(sports car production and production). In 2011, the Chrysler Group is the 12th
largest automaker in the world and the 7th with Fiat.
The two corporations
This example shows how Western countries and Asian
countries may not work together well
Danone is the 4-th biggest food producer in Europe
with headquatters in France, founded in
1919. It is the leading group in the production of dairy products, mineral water, bisquits and
baby food. Their brand collection includes local and international products: Danone,
Badoit, Activia, Volvic, Evian, Aqua, Nutrica
Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co. Limited is the biggest
beverage producer in China. Originally found in 1987 as a sale department in the
Hangzhou School (Shangcheng District School).
Its products include dairy drinks, soft drinks, fruit juices, bottled tea.
In the beginning (1996) their partnership seemed to
work well. With Danone’s huge resourses (capital and development), Wahaha did
not have problems growing and becoming a leader in the beverage market. The
foreign partners had 51% of the shares and Wahaha group had 49% shares. The drama
began when Danone’s managers exposed Hangzhou Wahaha Group in creating parallel
networks of branded products which are out of their deal.
The problem came from Danone’s side since they owned the majority of the shares so they could make descisions,
which led to the CEO of Wahaha Zong Qinghou
with ”no air to breathe”. Looking from a cultural point of view this partnership
was between low context and high context and mainly provoking conflict because
of the difference in the working style. Since Asian countries follow really
strict traditional hierarchy it was really difficult for Wahaha to work in a team-orientated
partners from Danone, which didn’t feel great either since they felt like Zong Qinghou
was forcing his opinion over them. It was not easy times for Danone since they
had to sell the 51% shares back to Wahaha and
to end their partnership.