Project Globe and Women of France
It may seem strange that some big corporations would do business in different countries where their laws, local customs, or business practices are not known, but it does happen. Multinational corporations have played a key role in globalization to date. Countries and some sub national regions must compete against one another for the establishment of multinational corporation facilities, employment, and economic activities. When it comes to multinational corporations, their culture and business nature play an important part of its success.
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This paper will examine the comparisons and contrasts of the business cultures and climates in Nigeria, France, Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia. Of those four countries, the project Globe theory will be used to justify why France would be more in demand to conduct business by women, based solely on their cultural background. Nigeria Nigeria is one of the most populated countries in Africa, as well as, being one of the most oil rich places in the world. The country is also abundant in many other natural resources, and has a wonderful array of port facilities.
Many would often wonder why multinational corporations are not kicking down doors to do business there. This could be due to the many years of unstable governmental leadership, regional conflict, and large amounts of corruption; which has caused the county to be overly populated with poverty and poor organization. Native Nigerian companies will display massive hierarchical behavior; the country thrives on its rich tribal traditions and culture. The management team is expected to stand up and lead very strongly.
Top level management is likely to make decisions with or without consulting employees under them, and they expect their decisions to be carried out specifically as told. Communication with Nigerians is very diverse. It has about 300 ethnic groups with their own dialects (www. worldbusinessculture. com). Surprisingly, English is a language that brings different ethnic groups together. Women in Nigeria cause heated discussions in the business world there. Today, many local and governmental officials try to put a hold on the number of women in government.
Most top level managers will be men, as women are often not taken seriously. While in Nigeria, it is best to dress well, as they way you dress will let others know your level of importance. If entertaining, which most companies do with visitors, make sure you use a good restaurant. Your level of hospitality will dictate the seriousness of your desire to do business there. France Government and education play a key role in the business culture of France. Their country also has a high level of hierarchy, in which their president director or PDG greatly influences.
Most of the senior management team tends to have a more directive attitude, rather than a joint attitude, and come highly educated from “grandes ecoles” or elite schools of France. With this highly educated management team feeling so superior, most of the ideas and thinking will come from the lower level management. Meetings in France are mostly for sharing information of decisions that are already in place; rather than any debate or discussion. The meetings are normally precise and straight by the agenda that is determined by their president director.
Team work is something that is rarely seen, as the education system fosters a sense of rivalry and competition at an early age. At times, communicating may be a little difficult, as the French have a great respect and elegance for the speaking of their language. As for women in their business culture, they are gaining more prominent positions. Women have quite a strong representation in retail and design services. Same rules apply for women as men; they must be highly educated to succeed. While dressing in France, keep in mind that the higher your position, the more formal you will need to dress or appear.
Food is a first “love” when entertaining there; with lunch being the most common method for business use. Hong Kong Hong Kong is characterized mostly by the areas of its cultural past and religion. Because of Hong Kong’s more diverse culture, it is good to know which character based company you dealing with. Chinese cultural traits will mainly dictate every aspect of the business life, along with strong family ties. Many multinational corporations, in this vast country, will have a more managed approach run by Chinese managers.
They also will try to bring their own style of environment to the offices located there. Change in the environment will be most noticeable with the smaller and medium sized companies. Those particular companies are always founded by Chinese families and then remain under their control; even if the company fails. Decisions are made primarily by the heads of the family, so it may become very difficult to move up in any type of way. On a larger scale, meetings are likely to follow a fairly standard style with agendas and minutes taken. With smaller companies, meetings are less formal and more relaxed.
Be sure to recognize the key players with smaller companies by standing as they enter a room, or offering the seat of honor around the table. Gift giving is an important gesture toward building business relationships in Hong Kong. The gift does not need to be expensive and will be refused two or more times before being accepted. Team players are a big part of their business culture, mainly because of their family ties; loyalty is generally not expected if not part of the family. Team members expect for managers to give specific instructions and to maintain a close involvement in the progress of the events.
Even though Hong Kong has a British colonial presence, it is not safe to assume that English is widely spoken with large companies; with an even less chance in smaller companies. Women in Hong Kong play a bigger role in the business life due to Western influences. There is still a small sense of stereotype with men being paid more attention than women. Dress codes are different depending on the size of the company. It is best to wear standard business attire and designer labels; which seem to stand out more.
Entertaining is an important closer while doing business in Hong Kong. The person who extends the invitation will be expected to pay for the meal. Either lunch or dinner is appropriate, and with many courses being served, be prepared to try a little of everything. As a sign of respect, try not to finish eating first; this may imply that your host has not provided enough food. Saudi Arabia In Saudi Arabia, religion is an important aspect of life. God will govern all deals; whether they merge or not. All religious rituals and prayers will be done throughout the business day.
Businesses are normally developed around a family unit, with most of the management team being from the extend family. Favoritism is a way of life, and any ideas that positions are not given to family, is unheard of. In the family structure, businesses have a strong hierarchical leadership line, with the leaders being the older members of the family. Their management style is instructional and straight to the point. This style is mostly based on the belief that “leaders lead” and “followers follow”. Meetings can seem very unusual, as many processes and procedures are ignored.
When meeting for the first time, you will probably be in a room with other people that you have never met or do not know. Meetings sometime drag on for hours with little being achieved, and it is highly, likely that only one meeting can be scheduled per day. Several people proceed to talk at the same time, and showing signs of annoyance can be taken as disrespect. Gifts can be sometimes helpful in the relationship building. The gift will, more than likely, not be opened in front of the giver, and try to stir from any gifts that imply disrespect toward Muslin religion.
Teamwork occurs a lot in this particular culture, as long as they are members of the family. When communicating, “flattery will get you everywhere”, as this culture thrives on praises and comments. Try your hardest to compliment your host, their organization, and their country as much as possible. Women play little or no role in Saudi Arabia’s business culture world. Any delegate from another country may find it very difficult to be granted a visa, especially women. The dressing of women is expected to be very conservative, and men need to wear business attire, despite the heat.
Women should wear business suits, no pants, and skirts should be worn below the knee; preferably ankle length. Head scarves are advised for women, and if you are invited out for entertainment consider this a plus. This culture is unwilling to convey bad news, so their actions can sometimes be a polite way to let you down easy. Entertaining traditionally took place in the home, but now it is usually done in restaurants. There are normally two rooms; one for family and the other for men. When eating, it is respectable to pass food with your right hand, as your left is considered unclean.
With all four countries having such a unique culture and business nature, France would seem to fit women most. Their promotion processes are mostly based on ones education. The project Globe dimension, gender equalitarianism, is the degree to which a culture minimizes gender inequalities (Schermerhorn, J. R. 2010). Women would surely have a better chance of climbing economical and corporate ladders, as long as they are highly educated at an elite school. Management positions in France are occupied by forty-three percent of women between the ages of twenty-five and forty-nine (ezinearticles.
com). There is little, to none instances with sexual harassment, as there culture involves a lot of kissing and hugging. With the future orientation dimension advising people to look toward the future and make investments for long termed goals; women in France work eight to ten hour days to provide for their families. Institutional and group collectivism would be the only downfall for women of France, as their culture is considered very competitive. You would rarely have women bonding together or helping with any business projects. There would probably be a lot of back stabbing instead.
Assertiveness and performance orientation would surely fit this culture, as accomplishments and rewards are greatly desired. The humane orientation would speak for itself by including tendencies such as fairness, generosity, and caring as a people. The French are known to be a more caring people, and they seem to have a lot of pride in themselves. Conclusion In researching these different countries, there are a lot of differences, as well as similarities, but one thing that stands out most would be their business management style. Three of the four countries have a real since of family hierarchy, with France being the exception.
They consider family and being the eldest as a pivotal peak in the rise and fall of their business culture. With these types of cultures, it would seem, family members should never be jobless and outsiders may never have a chance to move up the corporate ladder.
References Schermehorn, J. R. (2010). Management 10th edition, New York: John Wiley & Sons. Welcome to the world factbook. Retrieved December 13, 2009, from http://www. cia. gov/cia/ publications/factbook. Wilen, T. Doing business with France: tips for women. Ezine @rticles. Retrieved December 15, 2009, from http://www. ezinearticles. com.