Critical intercultural incidents in companies. An analysis based on Hofstede and Hall


Term Paper, 2021

18 Pages, Grade: 1,5


Excerpt

Table of Content

1 INTRODUCTION

2. UHLMANN GMBH & CO. KG - BACKGROUND OF THE ORGANIZATION

3. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
3.1. GEERT HOFSTEDE
3.2. EDWARD TWITCHELL HALL

4. THE MARKET ENTRY OF UHLMANN GMBH & CO. KG IN INDIA

5. APPLICATION OF THE METHODS TO THE CASE
5.1. APPLICATION ACCORDING TO HOFSTEDE
5.2. APPLICATION ACCORDING TO HALL

6. CONCLUSION

7. LITERATURE REVIEW

8. APPENDIX

1. Introduction

In the course of globalization and networking of world markets, intercultural management has become an essential aspect in the management of nationally and internationally active companies.

Within a company's own workforce or in cross-national cooperation between parent companies and subsidiaries, there is an increasing amount of collaboration. Therefore, companies have to deal more and more with the specifics of different cultures. The consideration of cultural and intercultural aspects is becoming an important success factor in entrepreneurial activities.

This also applies to the company Uhlmann, which continues to expand its relations in the former emerging market India. India has undergone rapid economic development and is considered one of the largest and most promising growth markets of the present. For this reason, Uhlmann has opened a branch office in the country three years ago to gain a foothold in this country and maximize sales over there. Entering a country does not always happen without problems, as will be described in this paper on the basis of a critical incident that occurred to Uhlmann in India. Uhlmann, which will be presented in more detail later, is a manufacturer of machines for packaging pharmaceuticals in foil or aluminium packs, so-called blisters and medicine bottles.

This paper presents an analysis of a critical incident of a medium-sized German company. The intercultural Critical Incident took place about three years ago and was presented in an interview with an executive of the company in February 2021. The analysis of the incident is mainly based on the cultural dimensions established by the Dutch cultural scientist Geert Hofstede.

The purpose of this paper is therefore to analyze the critical cross-cultural business case in order to be able to provide a concluding recommendation for action as part of a conclusion.

2. Uhlmann GmbH & Co. KG - Background of the organization

Founded in 1948, the Uhlmann GmbH & Co. KG employs about 2,500 people and currently works in 13 different countries all over the world. The area in which the company operates is the mechanical engineering area. Uhlmann is a manufacturer of machines for packaging pharmaceuticals in foil or aluminium packs, so-called blisters and medicine bottles.

As the world's leading system supplier for the packaging of pharmaceuticals in blisters, bottles and cartons, Uhlmann offers flexible total solutions for international pharmaceutical groups, generic manufacturers and contract packagers.1

With the slogan: think globally, act locally: Uhlmann's headquarters are located in Laupheim, Swabia, but the company is present all over the world. Companies of the Uhlmann Group are active in the USA, Brazil, Great Britain, Sweden, Spain, Russia, Switzerland, France, Singapore, and China. Supplemented and supported by more than 40 agencies who give their best every day to optimize the pharmaceutical packaging processes. Although the market entry in the various countries was not always easy, in the end it was highly successful.

Since the market in India is increasingly on the upswing, the company has made it its goal to establish a branch office in India in 2018. The objective pursued with this is to increase sales through direct local contacts.2

Mr. B., a German Sales Manager, has made it his mission to support the set-up in India and to be a direct contact person on site to strengthen the relationship from the beginning. His task is to build up the branch office in order to maximize sales figures as quickly as possible.

3. Theoretical background

The following chapter provides the theoretical foundations needed to analyse the following case based on intercultural context.

3.1. Geert Hofstede

Geert Hofstede has developed a model that shows a way to scientifically assess culture without misunderstanding through five different cultural dimensions. He describes the cultural dimensions as:

- Power distance
- Uncertainty avoidance
- Individualism versus collectivism
- Masculinity versus femininity
- Long- or short-term orientation
- Indulgence vs. restraint

With the help of this framework, it has become possible to compare cultures with each other and to identify culture-specific characteristics.

Power distance

The degree of power distance expresses the willingness to accept an unequal distribution of power in a society.

Uncertainty avoidance

The uncertainty avoidance dimension can be defined as "the degree to which members of a culture feel threatened by uncertain or unknown situations."3

Individualism versus collectivism

This dimension describes the degree to which members of a culture see themselves more as an independent individual or as part of a group which demands unquestioning loyalty.

Masculinity versus femininity

The dual dimension of masculinity and femininity distinguishes between two opposite characteristics of cultures. Masculine and feminine role behaviour, respectively, is transferred to leadership styles and communication behaviour.

Long- or short-term orientation

This dimension, which is based on Confucian teachings, describes whether a society is prepared to commit to traditional future-oriented values in the long term.

Indulgence vs. Restraint

The cultural dimension describes how the free expression of one's own needs is dealt with within a society.4

[...]


1 Cf. Uhlmann auf einen Blick (2021), online

2 Cf. Uhlmann - weltweit (2021), online

3 Hofstede, G. P. 133

4 Cf. Hofstede, Geert (1993), p. 11

Excerpt out of 18 pages

Details

Title
Critical intercultural incidents in companies. An analysis based on Hofstede and Hall
College
University of Ulm
Grade
1,5
Author
Year
2021
Pages
18
Catalog Number
V1002927
ISBN (Book)
9783346561497
Language
English
Keywords
critical, hofstede, hall
Quote paper
Sina Bayer (Author), 2021, Critical intercultural incidents in companies. An analysis based on Hofstede and Hall, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1002927

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