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Question 1

As companies continue to expand
over borders in the global marketplace, multinational teams become more common.
As they can bring diverse knowledge and insightful approach to problem solving,
it can also face some barriers when it comes to culture in international
business. What is a common practice for a professional from one country may be
completely unacceptable behavior for one from another country. Recognizing
differences in socially acceptable behaviors and understanding how culture may
influence international business, can help solve misunderstandings and improve
efficiency in the workplace. Effective communication can be as challenging when
dealing with different cultures since some things may easily be misinterpreted
or lost in translation. Differences in etiquette and differences in attitude
may influence one’s perception of punctuality, rules and regulations; and
assumed working hours. Organizational hierarchy and attitude towards management
roles also varies across cultures.

The differences between the
French, German and British managers in Galderama and their perception on each
other has shown how cultural differences create expectations on the behaviors
of the others around; and may create certain tensions in the rapports. To
better approach the controversy, Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory will be
used in the analysis.

Conclusively each of the
nationalities that have assessed their colleagues from other countries has
depicted the cultural divergence in Galderama. The insinuations of both, the French
and the British are that Germans are the ones that always have the work done in
a timely and precise manner, due to their attention to detail and being bound
to rules. Their rigidness though leads to inflexibility and uncertainty
avoidance which can be perceived as an unwanted quality in a company of a 21st
century that has to fight new challenges in order to survive the competitive environment.
On the other hand, British and French has been said to lack effectiveness and
devotion to responsibilities and tasks; and, not to be attentive to details,
respectively. Regarding the social component of co working, the British have
been assessed as hard to understand and work with due to their individualistic
culture, whilst French and German have been prone towards collectivism,
interdependent on other colleagues and reliance on team-work, which is highly
appreciated when working in a company with a clan culture. This
misinterpretation of British has been shown to be due to language barriers as
French are not prone to English language, but also British’s decodable way of
expressing themselves and irresistance to criticism. British have been also
appointed as non-reliable team members, being unable to make abiding decisions
and constantly changing mind. This is a sign of short-term orientation in
decision-making, which is the complete opposite for their German colleagues who
have shown to be always ‘ready for the worst’. Another disparity has been shown
to be the strong national self of British and French. Managers from both has
shown a great level of ethnocentrism, British through their belief that the
company would function better if British are on the top positions; and French
with the subtle imposition of the French culture over managers from other
nationalities. German managers have shown flexibility on this point, showing
tendency to integrate in the group. Even though Germans have shown readiness to
collaborate, they have also imposed an authoritarian behavior that been
mentioned by both other nationalities. Another cultural influence is the
British not complying with the culture of the company and its feministic
approach, since they have been rejecting to accept an order from female
superiors, masculinity, which can be also noticed in the non-cooperative work
spirit. As from an individualistic analysis the French and British have shown
high level of biased emotions at the workplace with having emotional outbursts
and being affected by straightforwardness. German, on the other side, managed
to separate their emotional side from themselves in a work-environment, which
is a proof of the already existing ‘robot-like’ stereotype.

Question 2

As said before creating a
functional multicultural team can be somewhat challenging. The culture is a
strong influence on the overall, personal and professional behavior, and
meeting the ends of two completely different, at the same time; justified
actions, may not always be successful. The confessions of the Galderama
managers have shown certain occurrences that may influence negatively the
course of efficient performance of the company. One focal point would be
communication on an organizational level inside the multinational teams. Since
the English language is not a native language for the three nationalities
involved, and some speak it and understand it more effectively than others,
some things may be misunderstood, which may lead to bad execution of the task
and mistakes that will impact company’s performance. Another communicational
issue is the way the German naturally converse, sounding like they are giving
orders or being angry when they are not, which may offend the British and
French which prefer tailored conversations.

Along with the communication
problems, differences in attitude may occur. The Germans inflexibility and
reluctance to risks may influence the execution of Galderama, as it happened
when they failed to forecast demand due to their rather skeptic expectations,
which led to lack in supply to meet customer’s requirements for the product.
This avoidance of uncertainty has also been noticed in the actions if British
managers, which never engaged in actions that could have had a rebound effect
on them. Such attitudes may result in poor performance of the company on the
market, since operating an international company in the 21st century
demands fighting competition with risk-taking. Another difference in attitude
is noticed in French and British’s lack of effectiveness in carrying out tasks
and responsibilities. Both nationalities have been presented as being creative
in business and being good in determining policies respectively, but having no
sufficient execution. In addition British have been identified as ‘lazy’,
refusing to work over hours, which may result in frustration in French since
they practice over time working. Organizational hierarchy and attitudes towards
management roles being different for each nationality has also led to problems
in the organization. This has been made obvious in the British’s tendency to be
disobedient of female managers on the same or higher level position than them,
which got other managers concerned. Another aspect is their greediness for
power and aspiration to have everything under control, whilst German and French
understood the social equality and relatively flat organizational structure.
The French although, have shown a concerning level of incapability to work in
teams, which is a strong disadvantage for intercultural companies with many
collaborating subsidiaries. This is thought to steam from the lack of
engagement in team plays ever since early age. Lastly, strong nationalism is
one of the cultural effects that have an immense impact if not socially
controlled. This has been seen in British in French attitudes in the workplace,
with a potential lead to unpleasant confrontations and inefficient
collaboration in the workplace. Ethnocentrism is socially judged in
intercultural environment, especially in company like Galderama with emphasized
geocentric approach.  

Question 3

What would you do to avoid and/ or solve these cultural
issues at GALDERAMA? Please include a short implementation plan.




Adler, Nancy. “Cultural synergy: The management
of crosscultural.” (McGill University) 1980.
Geert Hofstede.
Hult International
Business School. 2016. http://www.hult.edu/news/cultural-differences-impact-international-business/.