Mediation as a Tool for Overcoming Cultural Barriers in Negotiations. A Comparison between Germany, Brazil, France and Sweden

Diploma Thesis, 2004

90 Pages, Grade: 1,7




A. Introduction
I. Choice of Subject
II. Aim and Course of This Work

B. Negotiations in a Cross-Cultural Context
I. Influence of Culture on Business Life
1. Culture as a Barrier to Negotiations – Some Introductory Examples
2. Definitions
II. Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions
1. Power Distance
2. Individualism versus Collectivism
3. Masculinity versus Femininity
4. Uncertainty Avoidance
5. Long Term Orientation
III. Other Researchers
1. Hall: Different Time Notions and Communication Styles
a) Monochronic and Polychronic Notions of Time
b) Low and High Context Communication – Direct versus Indirect
2. Trompenaars’s Study on Management Styles
a) Universalism versus Particularism
b) Specific versus Diffuse Cultures
IV. Culture’s Influence on Business Organizations
1. General
2. Organizational Culture in Germany
3. Organizational Culture in Brazil
4. Organizational Culture in France
5. Organizational Culture in Sweden
V. Comparison of Negotiation Styles
1. Preparing for Negotiations Efficiently
2. Negotiations in Germany – Marked by Structure and Logic
3. Negotiations in Brazil – Involvement of Family in Business
4. Negotiations in France – Disturbed by French Thrive for Genius
5. Negotiations in Sweden – Consensus as Highest Value
6. Finishing Negotiations: The Meaning of Contract in Different Cultures
VI. A Critical Examination of the Harvard Concept
1. Separate the People from the Problem
2. Focus on Interests, not Positions
3. Invent Options for Mutual Gain
4. Use Objective Criteria
VII. Summary

C. Overcoming Cultural Barriers Through Mediation
I. General
II. Choice of Mediator
1. Personal requirements
a) High Degree of Trust and Acceptance
b) Communication Skills and Pronounced Cross-Cultural Empathy
c) Knowledge about Cross-Cultural Conflict Patterns
2. Institutions
a) International Chamber of Commerce, Paris
b) Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, London
c) CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, New York
d) Dispute Resolution Board Foundation, Seattle
III. Critical Aspects in Cross-Cultural Mediation
1. Structuring the Mediation Process
2. Neutrality of the mediator
3. Choice of language
IV. Potential Advantages of Mediation in Cross-Cultural Negotiations
1. Problem and Relationship Orientation of Mediation
2. Advantage of Structured Negotiation
3. Assisted Search for Interests Behind Positions
4. The Mediator – a Communication Expert and Reality Agent
V. Three Moments of Involvement of Mediation
1. Deal Making
2. Deal Managing
3. Deal Mending
VI. Mediator’s Roles
1. The Interpreter
2. The Buffer
3. The Coordinator
VII. Limitations of Mediation
VIII. Summary

D. Cultural Training as a Human Resources Development Tool
I. Aim of Cross-Cultural Training
II. Training Methods
1. Intercultural Assessment Center
2. Culture Assimilator
3. Intercultural Coaching
III. Evaluation

E. Conclusion
I. Negotiation Advices
1. For Encounters with German Negotiators
2. For Negotiations between Germans and Brazilians
3. For Negotiations between Germans and French
4. For Negotiations between Germans and Swedes
II. Checklist of Negotiation Variables
III. Conclusion




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A. Introduction

I. Choice of Subject

Negotiations are common parts of business life. They concern the working place, resources, conditions or other issues. More and more they take place as cross-cultural encounters with suppliers or customers from other nations. They can as well take place within one company when employees from different nations and cultures work together resulting from a business investment in a foreign country, but also in companies which are geographically located such that people from different countries come to work there. An example of this are companies in Luxemburg which is such a small country that people come from Germany, France, Belgium and Luxemburg to their working place. The preoccupation with cultural differences that reflect on working behaviour and especially on negotiation behaviour is therefore a topic that should be taken seriously.

There is a large selection of advisory literature laying down cultural traps regarding business negotiations between Americans and Asians, Arabs etc. There is also literature to be found regarding American-European encounters. Much of this has been written from an American point of view. Limited information exists regarding inter-European encounters as well, which is scarce and, in addition, mostly written in a very academic language which makes one wonder if a manager would ever venture to read it. This indicates there is either less interest in dealing with the topic of cross-cultural negotiations in a European context or less awareness that this could be a rewarding investment.

Nevertheless, there are several reasons for looking at this subject, especially from a German perspective. First of all Germany is a country that depends largely on foreign trade. In the year 2002 it is the country with the second highest number of exports after the USA, the exports amounting to a value of 610,113 million US-Dollars.[1] Regarding imports Germany also comes in second place; imports amounting to a value of 491,306 million US-Dollars.[2] For German companies cross-cultural negotiations is therefore a topic that directly affects them.

Secondly, it has to be stressed that Germany’s most important trade partner is France, i.e. an European country. It is the country where most of Germany’s exports go to and the one that most of Germany’s imports come from.[3] The Chamber of Commerce of Trier (Germany) stresses, however, that time and time again German-French enterprises fail due to cultural misunderstandings.[4]

Thirdly, it seems to be more challenging to investigate countries that unlike USA-China or Germany-China, do not seem to be culturally much apart at first sight. To many business people it is quite obvious nowadays that one has to prepare for the cultural differences existing between Germany and Asian or Arab countries. The question that will be investigated in this work is whether the same is valid for encounters between Germans and French, Swedish and Brazilian business people. All these countries are considered countries that are culturally quite close.

Sweden has been chosen as a target for investigation since it represents a European country that promises to give insights into a culture that differs both from German and French culture although these countries are all European ones.

Brazil has been included since it represents a large market and a culture that has also been influenced by Europe, mainly Portugal. Moreover, the author of this paper speaks Portuguese and was particularly interested in using this ability when investigating Brazil.

Besides examining culture’s influence on negotiations the applicability of mediation as a tool for overcoming the barrier that culture can pose is at the centre of this study. Mediation has been a popular topic for research for some years now and still is one. It this context it can be viewed to be new.

II. Aim and Course of This Work

The aim of this work is to investigate the role of culture in a cross-cultural business encounter and to investigate the potential of mediation for these specific situations. The results should help to reach an understanding and improvement of communication in these situations - knowing that communication is one of the most vital manager’s tasks that takes up between 50 and 90 % of a manager’s time.[5] Therefore communication that is not disturbed by cultural misunderstandings is essential for the success of any cross-cultural enterprise.

The first main part examines if there are any differences in the way that these nations approach business - especially negotiations – and if so, the disclosed differences will be laid down and explained with an outlook on the cultural roots of these specific issues of behaviour. The main focus rests on Germany as a starting point with which the other cultures will be compared. Different approaches regarding research findings in the cultural field will be presented and applied to the particularities found in the named nations.

In the second main part mediation will be scrutinized as a possible tool to facilitate cross-cultural negotiations. It will be questioned whether mediation may be helpful in a cross-cultural context, which aspects of mediation can help to overcome the special barrier culture in negotiations, working methods and which factors may have to be considered with special care in such a situation. This will be done with a focus on the cultural dimensions presented in the first part. In a next step, cultural training will be briefly presented as a human resources tool that may help to prepare for a temporary stay abroad and for cooperation with members of other cultures. For this different training methods will be explained.

In a conclusion the findings of this paper will be summarised, specific advice for negotiations with the cultures under scrutiny will be given and a general checklist for cross-cultural negotiations will be presented.

It must be stressed that this paper will not be an empirical work, but concentrate on the analysis of the existing literature and partly resort to interviews carried out by the author. In total this work should be an inducement for further research on the influence of culture on negotiations within Europe and the advantages that mediation can offer for cross-cultural encounters.

B. Negotiations in a Cross-Cultural Context

In today’s world where globalisation seems to have made the business world getting closer and more similar, many believe that business is conducted nearly the same way all over the world and, thus, that a long preparation for cultural differences in negotiation styles is not needed. This is especially believed to be true in countries that are geographically close. This section examines if this is really the case or if it is advisable to prepare for cultural aspects in negotiations.

The focus in this research project is on cross-cultural contexts assuming that the subject of negotiation in general has already been comprehensively examined.

I. Influence of Culture on Business Life

1. Culture as a Barrier to Negotiations – Some Introductory Examples

Societies are influenced in their behaviour by culture in many aspects – one of them negotiations. Different cultures have different approaches to time, to communication, to concepts like honour or face etc. Time for example is a concept that is not universally handled the same way. When Americans are about to make a deal their guideline is “Time is money”. Therefore they intend to come directly to the point in order to conclude the deal without delay. Yet for Asians the first intention when meeting potential business partners is to get to know the other in order to be able to decide if a partnership is desirable.[6] Thus they spend much time with ceremonies and rituals like having tea together, playing golf and talking about other than mere professional issues or the questions at stake. For cultures that directly want to approach the core dealing questions this seems like a big waste of time. For the other cultures, yet, this does not mean that factual problems are ignored. These facts are merely been seen in a broader and more long-term oriented context that is connected to persons as well.[7]

There are also well-known stereotypical generalisations like the belief that Germans are always punctual, French or Brazilian always unpunctual. This may turn out to be right or wrong. The point however is that there are different attitudes to time behind this which should be known in order to understand why the French or Brazilian negotiation party is always late and in order to see that this does not have to mean that they do not take the negotiations or the other parties themselves seriously enough. The reasons for this type of behaviour will become clear in the course of this work.

Also there are differences as to the typical pattern of verbal interaction. In cultures like the German it is considered very rude behaviour to interrupt someone who has not yet finished speaking. In Latin countries like Brazil interruption is not regarded much of a problem since it is a sign of interest when someone actively participates in a conversation.[8] Oriental cultures however have an opposite attitude to interruptions; these are real offences. One is not to interrupt others and in addition, people take more time to think about their answers before articulating them. This is even difficult to handle for cultures like the German one, since Germans are not used to long moments of silence in conversation which they then interpret as a failure of conversation that must be filled[9].

These are only some examples of the impact that culture can have on negotiations. In the following chapters the impact of culture on negotiations will be thoroughly examined and explained. It will be shown that ethnocentrism, i.e. judging others according to one’s own standards which are supposed to be the only reasonable ones[10] can prove harmful in cross-cultural encounters since it prevents people from understanding that the known standards are not the only correct ones – an assumption that often prevents people from accepting different behaviours. However, before this can be done it is necessary to explain some central terms.

2. Definitions

For the purpose of this thesis it is important to define some central terms. The most important term is obviously the term culture. Culture can be defined as

“the system of meaning and value shared by a community, informing its way of life and enabling it to make sense of the world. Members of a group acquire their signification system through a complex process of learning, or acculturation, permitting intelligible communication and interaction – linguistic, nonverbal, ritualistic and symbolic – between them.”[11]

Culture consists of many different levels: national, regional, professional, religious etc. For the purpose of this project culture will be looked at on national level since even if it is not possible to say that all German, Brazilian, French or Swedish act without exception and always in a clearly defined way - since the way someone acts is influenced by many factors - still it can be acknowledged that the national influence of a country on behaviour can be detected in a general way. In order to be able to understand other cultures it is important to have an understanding of one’s own culture.[12] This is essential to see that assumptions about what is good, normal, acceptable or not acceptable are influenced by one’s culture and therefore not universally valid.

It is furthermore important to distinguish between intra-cultural contexts and inter-cultural or cross-cultural contexts. In an intra-cultural context the action that is referred to takes place between groups or individuals that relate to the same cultural frame. When talking about inter-cultural or cross-cultural contexts the interaction takes place between groups or individuals that belong to different cultural backgrounds.

With these definitions in mind the question of culture’s influence on negotiations will be examined. First some theories on work-relevant cultural dimensions will be presented.

II. Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions

Geert Hofstede, a Dutch researcher has written one of the most well-known books in the field of culture related influence on work motivation. He collected approx. 117,000 questionnaires from 66 countries of whom for the stability of the data only 40 countries were eventually taken into consideration.[13] From the data collected Hofstede identified four, later five dimensions of culture which he uses to explain the influence of culture on work-related values. The dimensions are power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/ femininity and long term orientation. In the following section the five dimensions will be explained.[14]

1. Power Distance

Power distance relates to the emphasis that a culture places on hierarchical differences and how acceptable these inequalities are in a society.

In business life power distance materializes in the boss-subordinate relationship that can vary considerably from culture to culture. While in one culture boss and subordinate may call each other by first names, openly discuss diverging opinions and go for lunch together, in other cultures subordinates may bow for their bosses, call them respectfully by their titles and never dare to even think about having lunch together.

In the questionnaire that Hofstede used the main question to measure power distance was the following: “How frequently, in your experience, does the following problem occur: employees being afraid to express disagreement with their managers?”[15] Other questions referred to preferred leadership-styles of the questioned and to the perceived leadership-styles of their superiors.

As a result the Philippines scores an average power distance index of 94, thus being the country with the highest power distance scores and Austria shows a power distance index of 11 which is the lowest power distance result in total.[16]

The countries considered here for the purpose of this paper show very diverging results. Among the four countries in question Brazil is the one with the highest power distance index. With a score of 69 it shows a comparatively high power distance. France comes very close to this with a power distance index of 68. At the time when the research was conducted Germany was still a divided country and therefore only former Western Germany was taken into account. Germany features a power distance index of 35, thus a relatively low result. The country that shows the lowest emphasis on power distance among the four countries in question is Sweden. Sweden features a power distance index of only 31, being in a cluster with the other Scandinavian countries which all scored low in the power distance dimension. Also, of the Scandinavian cluster, Sweden is the country with the lowest scores.

What should be noted is that while Germany shows also a relatively low power distance result, it is in the same league as Great Britain - the country where class differences are the strongest, i.e. power distance is strongly emphasized between different educational and occupational levels.[17]

Power distance influences negotiations insofar as it leads to decisions being made at a company’s top level and negotiators may need to seek approval by their superiors which can slower the negotiation process with members from high power distance cultures considerably.[18]

2. Individualism versus Collectivism

Individualism versus collectivism represents a dimension which shows one of the most striking differences of values between societies. Individualistic cultures place a stronger emphasis on the individual, its needs, abilities and its personal freedom. Collectivistic cultures assume that what is best for the society as a whole is the best for the individuals as well. In these cultures more emphasis is put on the needs of the society, thus, on common goals, or, what the majority wants.

Questions that examined the individualism index related to the importance attributed to high earnings, cooperation in the work place, recognition, freedom for personal approaches to the job or the security of a life-long employment with the same company etc.[19] On the individualism index the USA scored highest with a value of 91 points and Venezuela lowest with 12 points. Of the four countries considered here Sweden and France scored highest on individualism with a result of 71 points for both. Germany also scores relatively high on individualism with 67 points. Only Brazil scores low, i.e. is to be considered a collectivistic oriented culture, showing a value of 38 points.[20]

In collective cultures the concept of face is paramount.[21] Face is closely connected with society since it is important not to disappoint the group(s) that one belongs to, i.e. family, neighbourhood, company. The concept of personality that is so valuable to western societies is not known in other societies, like the Chinese. There is a word for “man” in Chinese, but it describes a person in a broader way taking his environment into account.[22] Thus the need to see a person as an individual, independent from other people is not known in a society like in China whereas it is a basic outlook on life for Westerners.

3. Masculinity versus Femininity

This dimension refers to the question whether a society emphasizes rather masculine values like achievement, material wealth or competition or if more feminine values like nurturing, taking care of others etc. prevail. In general “male behaviour is associated with autonomy, aggression, exhibition, and dominance; female behaviour with nurturance, affiliation, helpfulness, and humility”.[23]

The questions posed relate to the experience of stress, decision making style, preferred company size etc. Based on these questions it was deduced whether more masculine attitudes like taking decisions on its own without consulting others or rather feminine attitudes like group consultations were preferred. Another deduction was that if someone, for example, preferred smaller companies, that this person exalted a tendency towards more feminine values rather than to masculine ones, since men in average prefer lager companies.[24]

Of the forty countries examined by Hofstede Japan scored highest on the masculinity index with 95 points. The country that scored lowest is Sweden with only 5 points. A relative high result is shown concerning Germany where 66 points on the masculinity index were attained. Brazil turned out to be a country with even tendencies to both values with a result of 49 points, but which in comparison to Germany shows a stronger tendency to feminine values. France is also more oriented to femininity with a score of 43 points.[25] It should be noted that in France, Germany and Sweden women in high-profile positions scored at least as high in masculinity as their male colleagues. In Brazil however this is not the case, here they lean even more to femininity than their clerk colleagues do in comparison to their male colleagues.[26]

In general it can be said that societies with low masculinity index are more people oriented than societies with high masculinity index,[27] thus when working together with partners from low masculinity index societies it will be important to pay attention to personal relationship. By contrast, for employees that come from societies scoring high on masculinity it will be important to consider the employee’s need for challenge, recognition and career possibilities.

Negotiations will be influenced by this dimension since whereas negotiators from societies with high masculinity index tend to be more competitive, negotiators from “feminine” societies tend to show more empathy in negotiations and tend to be more prepared to seek for compromises.[28]

4. Uncertainty Avoidance

The dimension uncertainty avoidance relates to the question how strong the need for security is in a society. This need is reflected e.g. on the reliance on experts, on the amount of regulations in a country or the intolerance of ambiguity which expresses itself for instance in the low acceptance of different opinions.

In Hofstede’s research various questions were used to measure the national degree of uncertainty avoidance. One question was related to the importance of rules for a culture. The question was: “Company rules should not be broken – even if the employee thinks it is in the company’s best interest.”[29] Whereas a person disagreeing with this statement demonstrates finding it bearable to take risks and consequently facing uncertainty, someone who would agree to this statement shows a higher tendency to uncertainty avoidance, taking no risk. Other questions referred to the time that people planned to stay in the same company, stress at work etc.[30]

As a result Greece scored highest (112 points) on the uncertainty avoidance index. The lowest result shows Singapore with 8 points. France shows a rather high tendency to uncertainty avoidance (86 points). Brazil, too, shows a relatively strong uncertainty avoidance tendency with 76 points. (Western) Germany scored 65, is thus somewhere in the middle and Sweden scored comparatively low in their need for security with a result of 29 points on the uncertainty avoidance index.[31]

Societies with a high uncertainty avoidance index seek for security for their future through three tools: technology, rules and rituals.[32] New ideas, however, are not necessarily welcome since they represent a danger to the known and approved. There is special trust on experts who are considered to be the ones that are most capable. Societies with a low uncertainty avoidance index tend to be more flexible and tolerant with regard to opposing ideas and change in general. There is less belief in expert consulting and, consequently, everyone can feel more welcome to express ideas and suggestions.

In negotiations high uncertainty avoidance is generally reflected by a lower flexibility and the need for structure and rules.[33]

5. Long Term Orientation

Using a survey conducted in cooperation with the Chinese University of Hong Kong Hofstede examined a fifth dimension that he called long term versus short-term orientation or confucianism.[34] For this dimension samples were taken in 23 countries.

Long term orientation signifies that the most valued virtues in the society are oriented towards future rewards. Due to this, virtues like perseverance and thrift are highly valued. Furthermore it is also considered important having a sense of shame which results in the sense of obligation to support others and to keep one’s commitments. Short term orientation on the other hand stands for values that tend towards the past and the present, especially tradition and a sense of obligation.[35]

The country that scored highest in long term orientation is China with a score of 118, followed by Hong Kong (score 96), Taiwan (score 87) and Japan (score 80). The country with the lowest long term orientation is Pakistan which scored 0, followed by Nigeria (score 16), Philippines (score 19) and Canada (score 23).[36]

Brazil can be found on a relatively high long term orientation level with a score of 65. Germany shows a relatively low long term orientation with a score of 31. The same is valid for Sweden with a score of 33.[37] France has not been included in the research.

In societies with elevated long-term orientation business results are, correspondingly, also looked at in a long-term perspective. In societies with a rather short-time orientation business results are judged on a short-time perspective, putting more pressure on quarterly or yearly figures.[38] In negotiations a long-term perspective will result in taking past and future contacts into consideration which in turn will result in a lower urgency to maximize gain at the present deal.[39]

III. Other Researchers

1. Hall: Different Time Notions and Communication Styles

Edward T. Hall investigated several aspects of culture such as space, significance and handling of different concepts of time, communication styles, etc. Two aspects merit special attention since they are particularly useful when investigating the reasons for diverging attitudes in different cultures. The two aspects relate to the different notions of time, i.e. monochronic and polychronic concepts and two different ways of communication, i.e. high and low context communication styles.

a) Monochronic and Polychronic Notions of Time

Attitudes to issues like punctuality and acceptable delays vary from one culture to another. Making a visitor wait for a specific time is perceived differently in France or Germany. What may be considered an insult in Germany, can still be considered a normal delay in France.[40] These different attitudes to time are widely known. Less consciousness exists about different underlying concepts concerning the use and perception of time.

In monochronic cultures time is perceived and consequently used in a sequential way; i.e. it is something that starts in the past and leads to the future.[41] This means that every section of time is used for merely one action and other tasks are dealt with only after the preceding ones have been concluded. Germany is an example of a country that is strongly monochronic, others are the USA or countries in Northern Europe.[42] Monochronic time is oriented to tasks, schedules and procedures. These are considered important and must not be neglected.[43]

The opposite is a polychronic attitude to time. This concept of time is less linear and allows several actions taking place simultaneously.[44] Punctuality is regarded less important than personal relationships and therefore agendas are not respected the same way they are in monochronic cultures. A strong example of a polychronic culture is France. More polychronic cultures are found in Southern Europe and Latin America.[45] Polychronic cultures stress a unique involvement of people. Activities in connection with people are not easily interrupted - rather, schedules are changed. This is frequently the case, appointments and also plans not being taken as seriously and therefore can be changed at short notice.[46]

b) Low and High Context Communication – Direct versus Indirect

Monochronic and polychronic approaches to time are closely related to different communication styles.

Low context communication stands for a communication that uses little reference to context. That means that communication must be explicit, outlining every detail one requires to understand a problem. Germany is an example for this sort of communication culture.[47] The need for explicit, thus detailed information risks leading to an overload of information which then has to be organized. Its advantage is that it is a very direct communication style that is easy to understand. This direct communication style can however be difficult to accept for cultures that prefer indirect and careful statements.

France belongs to the cultures that use strong reference to context, i.e. a high-context culture.[48] In high-context cultures communication functions in a more indirect way. Statements are not only interpreted according to their literal meaning, but other cues such as the circumstances of the situation are taken into account when interpreting them.

Permanent personal contacts provide abundant and fast information where explicit details are just completing the picture. Thus a less detailed and less explicit communication is sufficient for understanding the message. For low-context cultures this sort of communication is difficult to understand as members of low-context cultures risk to feel that they are missing information or they do not understand hints, because they are used to direct and detailed communication.

While privacy and autonomy are the core values of low-context cultures, interdependence and inclusion are the core values of mostly collectivistic, high-context cultures.[49] This seems logical since much of the required information is provided by other members of the team. Furthermore a high-context, indirect communication style is important for societies which depend on the collective and for which the risk of provoking a loss of face to someone of the collective or to oneself is a real misfortune. Indirect statements that have to be decoded do not risk a loss of face as easily as direct statements that are immediately understood.

2. Trompenaars’s Study on Management Styles

Trompenaars, a Dutch researcher and practitioner in inter-cultural trainings formulated seven key dimensions of business behaviour and how they are influenced by culture. The seven dimensions are: universalism/particularism, individualism/communitarianism, neutral/emotional, specific/diffuse, achievements/ascription, attitudes to time and attitudes to environment.[50] In the following the dimensions universalism/particularism as well as specific/diffuse culture will be briefly explained in order to be able to refer to them when business behaviour in general and especially when negotiating is to be examined. The other dimensions will not be investigated since they do not introduce new aspects in addition to Hofstede’s or Hall’s researches.

a) Universalism versus Particularism

For the universalist all rules apply for everyone and exceptions are very rare. It is regarded as important to adhere to rules since this prevents chaos and unfairness. The particularist is more inclined to change rules for specific situations and especially for actions involving individuals. For him relationship is paramount and this is more important than abstract rules. When in a business matter it comes to having to decide between friendship and loyalty to one’s company 67 % of Swedish respondents opted for their company[51] and can therefore be considered a universalist culture. In France 53 % opted for their company,[52] thus they represent a more particularist culture. In a question that asked for a decision between lying for a friend and telling the truth to the police 91 % of the Swedish decided that they would tell the truth, 85 % of the Germans, 75 % of the Brazilians and 73 % of the French.[53] This shows that among these countries Sweden is the most universalist one, believing that rules must be followed by everyone the same way. Germans seem to think the same way most of the times. In contrast to this French and Brazilians are more in favour of taking personal relationships into consideration.

b) Specific versus Diffuse Cultures

A further important difference in approaching business is based on the distinction between specific and diffuse cultures. Specific cultures separate the task-relationship from other relationships.[54] The consequence is that a superior in a specific culture does not regard himself as superior in all areas of life. In case he meets a subordinate outside their working-area, say in questions that deal with education or cars, etc. he does not expect to be treated like a superior in this other area as well. He also does not expect to be called by his title by his subordinates outside their working-relationship or by people from his private environment like sales-persons, the butcher etc.

While the USA, Scandinavia and Northern Europe are cultures where a specific attitude – in different grades – prevails, in Asia, South America, Southern Europe and Arab countries a more diffuse attitude can be identified.[55] For diffuse cultures the treatment of managers in specific cultures may be viewed as being shockingly disrespectful when observed in their private life may, since diffuse cultures expect the same treatment they get inside their task-relations also in other areas of their life. When someone is a doctor or a director he does expect to be a doctor respectively a director for everybody and in every situation, yet especially with regard to his subordinates.[56]

When working or negotiating with diffuse cultures one has to consider that they don not strictly separate facts from personal emotions and what is considered a purely factual criticism concerning professional issues can easily be taken as a personal affront. In addition, a negotiation with a diffuse culture will take more time since relationship is closely connected to business, which means that before concluding a deal time is invested to get to know the other party. It should be noted that specific cultures are mostly cultures which apply a low-context communication and diffuse cultures use to apply a high-context communication.[57]

IV. Culture’s Influence on Business Organizations

1. General

As has been explained all human actions, perceptions, attitudes are influenced by culture. This in turn influences the way that processes are structured, decisions are taken and actions are planned. This section examines in which particular way culture influences business enterprises and the attitudes and actions of managers in the chosen countries. These findings will help to understand the behaviour in negotiation and cooperation situations.

2. Organizational Culture in Germany

Germany is a country whose business enterprises are characterized by their strong emphasis on product quality. This is closely related to its training and management culture. Most of the times German managers are qualified engineers with formal qualifications as opposed to lawyers in American companies or sales or financial experts in British companies.[58] From this technical qualification follows a management emphasis on design, quality and punctuality.[59]

In comparison to France the managerial hierarchy in average is shorter.[60] This is coherent with the results on the power distance index where France scored higher than Germany. Moreover the organizations are more decentralized which results in every unit being responsible for its results.[61] It is striking that the decentralized organization of the country reflects on the organization of most companies. This can equally be remarked with French organizations where the opposite is the case: companies are mostly organized in a centralized way, like the country is organized in a centralized way, too. The less hierarchical and decentralized way of organization includes a more participatory decision making process. Decisions are made in a consensus seeking process whose consequence is a longer period for taking a decision. Once agreed upon, however, decisions are quickly implemented.[62] Nevertheless, Germany is also influenced by high masculinity. Managers from masculine countries favour a resolute leading style.[63] Figures and facts dictate decisions strongly in contrast to group consensus in more feminine cultures.

From a French point of view it is striking that in contrast to France in Germany authority depends from practical knowledge and not from the mere educational background, i.e. the status of the education. “Il est clair qu’ici, la hiérarchie ne repose pas sur les diplômes, mais sur la capacité des hommes à travailler. “[64] It is the German expression “Fachkompetenz” that stands for this authority based on actual professional knowledge. Diplomas are important in Germany, but it is not like in France where the mere diploma from one of the “grandes écoles” is a must for a career in management and politics.

Although uncertainty avoidance and long term orientation are relatively scarce in Germany, in organizational issues a preference for long-term decisions can be discerned. This comparatively long-term orientation makes it more difficult for German organizations to adapt to a changing environment in a flexible and fast way, at least seen from a French point of view.[65]

High uncertainty avoidance also leads to a rather traditional leadership style.[66] Modern or newly developed concepts whether regarding financial strategies, working processes or human resources tools will probably be tried out later than in countries with low uncertainty avoidance.

In Germany most people strictly separate private life from business life. Germans do neither expect nor accept their employer to get involved in their private life.[67] They do not normally expect their employer to care for their housing and they do not ask their superiors for advice regarding their private lives. This shows a distinct attitude as opposed to a diffuse attitude that prevails in France and even more so in Brazil where the superior is regarded like a father who can get involved in nearly every aspect of one’s life.

A further special feature is that in Germany office doors are often closed. This is not always a sign that the person does not want to be disturbed; it is more of a symbol of order and private sphere.[68] Like a fence that tells the others where the personal space starts a door marks the territory that must not be easily crossed.

3. Organizational Culture in Brazil

Brazil has been a Portuguese colony for a long period and has therefore experienced a history of obedience to power and hierarchical organizations.

The “fazendas”, large sugar and tobacco plantations, were the prototype family enterprises where the father was the patriarch that everyone had to follow. These family enterprises strongly influenced Brazil’s present-day companies.

“A empresa no Brasil surge a partir da familia, não só pela forte caracterização de empresas familiares no contexto histórico empresarial brasileiro, mas também pela sua relação direta com a estrutura familiar patriarcal.”[69] This structure of strong centralisation of powers and urge of obedience is still present in Brazil’s companies of these days.[70] It is a structure where conflict is avoided[71] not by trying to accommodate other opinions, but by using and imposing one’s authority. When it comes to decision-making authority is used to reach a solution, that entails decisions where subordinates can participate are less frequent. Therefore Brazilians are likely to feel uncomfortable if invited to take part in decision making and can lose respect for this type of superior.[72] Companies are still viewed like families where superiors are seen as fathers and the subordinates are the sons who feel grateful and inferior towards their father and respect his authority.[73] In fact often several family members work in the same company and responsibility towards family members and friends is high.[74] Family matters are – and must be – given first priority, even in conflicts with business matters. This structure provides a protection for people since it is also based on personal relationships and trust. This is confirmed by Brazil’s ranking in Trompenaars’ findings where Brazilians prefer to lie for a friend rather than to tell the truth to the police.

Authority is attributed to the person - not like in Germany to the function - and this authority is transferable also to other aspects of life,[75] i.e. a diffuse attitude to authority in the sense of Trompenaars’ definition. This means that a person may be handed over authority and power not because it is the technically most skilled person for that job, but because the person appears to be the most suitable one due to his or her background, education and connections. This authority is connected to the person still outside this task-relationship, the superior deserving respect and being regarded an authority even in completely other questions.

“ . . . na cultura brasileira prevalence a confiança nas pessoas e nas relações que a mesma pessoa possa ter do que nas regras ou leis que tratam ... todos de maneira igual.”[76] Thus Brazil can be identified as a culture where personal relationships are paramount even in business life and, consequently, particularism is favoured as opposed to a universalist approach where rules would be applied for every one the same way and exceptions (due to personal relationships) would not be acceptable.

4. Organizational Culture in France

France’s early and practically complete Christianisation marked by the Catholic Church has had a strong influence on France’s development into a strongly centralized and hierarchic society providing the archetype of an organization that is directed towards one single centre (God), which can be reached through the intermediation of representatives only – that is the clergy as an important authority.[77]

Still today, companies in France are visibly marked by high power distance. Important traits are the tall organization pyramids and strongly centralized systems[78] where every decision may be checked by the highest superior.[79] In high power distance countries close supervision by superiors is accepted by the subordinates. When they are formally invited to join in decision-making the subordinates will often prefer a majority vote to a consensus-seeking process.[80] This may be due to two reasons mainly. Firstly, they are more often afraid to disagree with their superiors than their colleagues in low power distance countries and secondly they are less used to responsibility and may feel uncomfortable and not experienced enough in a role where their opinion can (suddenly) have weight. Delegation does exist, but it goes hand in hand with regular controls in form of back-checking with the superior.[81] As has been pointed out in this chapter under section IV. 2. this system of strong centralization is also found in the organization of the country itself, Paris being the centre of political, economic and cultural life. Further consequences of high power distance are the large proportion of supervisory personnel, large wage differentials, low qualification of lower strata and white-collar jobs being higher valued than blue collar jobs.[82]

This marked centralisation of power of decision-making will have strong influence on negotiation, since this structure makes it paramount to negotiate with people who actually have power to make decisions. The problem is that these are mostly managers of highest hierarchic level and these managers are normally not involved in daily, technical problems and are hence not able to discuss the technical questions that are so important to Germans.

Superiors are expected to apply an authoritarian style and are supposed to know everything.[83] Evidently this cannot mean that they are really supposed to know everything, the case may rather be, that superiors are expected to command the respect of their subordinates in every situation. For this an efficient superior is expected to possess among others enthusiasm, diplomatic skills, intuition, empathy, eloquence, charisma and authority.[84]

5. Organizational Culture in Sweden

Sweden is culturally marked by low power distance and very low sense of masculine preference. Consequences of low power distance are for example flatter organizational pyramids, smaller proportion of supervisory personnel, smaller wage differentials and high qualification of lower strata.[85] This can be confirmed if one looks at the actual situation in Swedish organizations.

Sweden’s low uncertainty avoidance results in higher flexibility and more innovation.[86] This is due to the fact that there is little fear of the unknown and therefore little hesitation to change present circumstances. Low uncertainty avoidance also accounts for the delegation of responsibilities to the subordinates which is expected and given.[87]

Decisions are decentralized[88] and Swedish organizations are known to be flat and non-hierarchical where equality, informal, cooperative relations between superiors and subordinates are found.[89] For a lot of nations it is surprising, if not shocking, to see that superiors let themselves be called by their first names by everyone without exception, also by blue-collar workers. In Sweden there is a strong tendency to let everybody feel equal which can also be seen in the wages that do not differ a lot between blue-collar and white-collar workers. This is however, also the reason why there actually is such a considerable “brain drain” in Sweden. Young, highly educated people seek careers outside Sweden, since they feel that they do not earn enough – money and recognition – in their home country.[90]

What is criticised on the one hand – trying to treat everyone equally – on the other hand turns into a demand. In Sweden a good leader is expected to be able to promote team integration, consensus building and co-operation. He must be able to delegate tasks to his subordinates and – by doing this - to empower them. Apart from this the leader is seen more as an equal than as a superior. He can even be questioned,[91] since in opposition to “diffuse” cultures, “distinct” cultures link authority to tasks and not to persons.

Swedish industry is comparatively little restricted by state regulations.[92] This can be explained by Sweden’s relatively low uncertainty avoidance which does not produce a need for foreseeing and controlling every eventuality.

There are no minimum wages fixed by law. These are fixed by trade unions in negotiations with employer’s organizations and little strikes.[93] This shows the influence of femininity as the cultural dimension in Sweden that leads to a enhancement of an consensus orientation. Although Sweden has a higher union trade membership (between 80 – 90 %) than France (between 8 – 10 %)[94] there are much more strikes in France than in Sweden. This consensus orientation is also found in politics.[95] Women in Sweden have more influence both in business and politics in comparison to most other countries. Although there is not a complete equality in pay and job opportunities much more women are found in influence positions than in other countries.[96]

V. Comparison of Negotiation Styles

Negotiations can be divided into various steps – a minimum of three - of which one is the pre-negotiation phase, the second is the main negotiation phase and the last one the phase of implementation of the agreement. This section examines the different use of the pre-negotiation phase, then investigates the specific negotiation styles in the four countries and finally lays down the meaning of the term contract for various cultures, since signing a common contract is often considered the final stage of a negotiation.

1. Preparing for Negotiations Efficiently

This phase is especially interesting since it shows that cultures apply strikingly different methods to prepare for a negotiation.

The pre-negotiation phase is the phase when the decision is made whether there is anything to negotiate about at all. Questions like who is going to negotiate with whom, when, where and about which issues are decided upon. These are essential questions, since all these questions make a difference. The question where negotiations are to take place put one party in a clear “pole-position”. This party does suffer less pressure due to time limits and expenditure. The party that has dislocated itself is submitted to a higher time pressure if it has return flight tickets with a fixed date and other projects awaiting it at home for example.

The difference in the main goals that individualistic and collectivistic cultures see in the preparation phase is noteworthy. In cross-cultural negotiations this phase should be carefully used to prepare for the cultural differences.[97] In general however, individualistic cultures on the one hand seek to collect facts and figures in order to have as much information as possible and as many rational arguments as possible. Collective cultures on the other hand seek to get to know their negotiation partners personally better and not just as representatives of a company.[98] They do not immediately want to start with the business facts, but want to know who they are going to deal with, what his interests and attitudes are etc. This is also a way to prevent loss of face in later stages, since they already have an idea of the opportunities and limits the business partner is able and bound to offer them.

In short, the pre-negotiation phase can be used in different ways in order to prepare efficiently for the negotiation to come. The actual negotiations styles are explained in the following.

2. Negotiations in Germany – Marked by Structure and Logic

Germans tend to approach their tasks in a very methodical way, checking possibilities, going through pre-defined project phases without skipping any of them and thoroughly preparing for the final solution or application.[99] This earns them a reputation of being well prepared for negotiations and going deep into details.[100] On the other hand JPB, a German-French consulting company has experienced that French do often complain that Germans react too slowly to crises and therefore find Germans inefficient in cases of sudden changes of conditions or plans.[101] This preference for very careful preparation and working method as well as for detailed contracts can be due to their monochronic approach which makes them deal only with one thing at the time, but which allows to spend a lot of attention on one subject. It may be also the reason why Germans are viewed as being risk-averse as well as marked by persistence with often little flexibility.[102]

The monochronic imprint additionally leads to Germans paying a lot of attention to time schedules and punctuality.[103] For the French it may seem like an obsession to adhere to pre-fixed agendas; for Germans the agenda represents a structure that helps them work efficiently without getting lost in time-consuming discussions about irrelevant aspects. This need for structure is an important trait in German negotiations that also has been noticed by American negotiators.[104]

Also communication in Germany is very clear. As told in section B. III. 1. b) Germany is a low-context culture, i.e. statements are very direct which can at times be very shocking for other cultures which are used to an indirect communication style. Keeping in mind that Germans do not use to show a lot of emotions in business Germans can make the impression of being aloof, unfriendly even aggressive. Germans criticise openly, do not fear conflicts and fight for their opinion assuming that this is the best for the tasks to be completed with best results[105]. They do not consider criticism to be a personal affront and are often not aware that other cultures – the ones with diffuse attitudes – do not separate as strictly between person and task.

It must be pointed out that German business people put a lot of emphasis on logic which must be taken into account when preparing for presentations or negotiations in general.[106] Therefore exaggerations and emotions are not advisable in encounters with German negotiators while in France exaggeration as well as visionary emotions are deemed appropriate. In Germany “A negotiator who shows emotion loses respect.”[107] This is certainly not true for all emotions, but at least for very visible emotions like strong joy or anger. Germans will hide emotions and keep personal relationships separate from business life, assuming that personal involvement could negatively influence working results.[108] A popular German saying goes that one must divide professional from private life – an attitude that is opposite from Brazilian view on these things as will be shown in the following. Therefore arguments should be based on logical terms. Whereas this has a great chance to convince Germans, arguments based on friendship have consequently less influence than in other cultures.

Although German negotiators are comparatively formal, they are also open-minded, many managers having been trained in the USA or Great Britain.[109] Due to this conversing in English is often no problem for them. A further advantage is that Germans are very reliable since they know that plans depend on everyone following them and therefore taking over responsibility for their tasks.

3. Negotiations in Brazil – Involvement of Family in Business

Brazil is a country where relationships are paramount, which is typical for a particularist country.[110] This is also supported by Brazil’s medium rating on masculinity/femininity. It can be interpreted that material values like expensive clothes, cars or homes are equally important to Brazilians as immaterial values like friendship and family ties.[111] So in negotiations it is important to use both demonstrations of status and power, but also to show personal involvement and interest in a good relationship. This in turn means that relationship building before getting to business is important. A German negotiator will find that he or she will have to invest an unusual amount of time before eventually discussing business.[112] The time invested in relationship-building is not wasted though. Brazilians score high on long-term orientation,[113] i.e. what is invested in a given moment will bring fruits on a later stage. “Trust is the key to doing business in Brazil.”[114] As will later be seen the same is valid when conducting business in France. At least in Brazil the reason may be found in the less reliable legal system.[115] In this respect is must also be noted that Brazilians consider to be dealing with a specific person rather than with a specific company. It is therefore not advisable to exchange the negotiating person by a different one at later stages or for further contacts.[116] One exception certainly is when the relationship with the formerly negotiating person was bad.

With regard to time sensibility one may prepare oneself for a less strict observation of time schedules, Brazil being a polychronic culture.[117] Sao Paulo, however, is notably different in this aspect. For the commercial capital of Brazil orientates itself more towards their Northern American neighbours. A higher individualism is a distinct sign of this orientation.[118] Among other factors time schedules are more strictly respected and therefore business partners do not need to be prepared for unpunctuality the same way they can experience it in other parts of Brazil.[119] Nevertheless, it must be taken into account that a lot of time is spent with socializing and that frequent interruptions must be expected.

Status is an important asset in Brazil. For instance, it can be linked to one’s background. Career opportunities are highly dependant on family background and education, even more than on personal achievement.[120] Dressing is a sign of both respect and status[121] and should therefore be considered wisely when preparing for a meeting. Foreign negotiators must not underestimate the importance of displaying status by elegant dressing and good manners. Good manners in this case do not include not interrupting others – in Brazil this is not regarded as rude and therefore periods of silence are very rare.[122]

Furthermore, Brazilians use an indirect language, like many Asian cultures, but unlike Asians the Brazilian culture is a high-contact culture where people stand close to each other when talking.[123] Since much emphasis is laid on the personal relationship – which is supported by the careful indirect language - direct confrontation is disliked.[124] This can be due to Brazil’s relatively high scores on femininity, since it is a rather feminine attitude to seek for consensus. A further reason for this is that colleagues are often relatives or close friends and decisions that could interfere with their interests are bound to be avoided. This is different for France, where trust is also paramount, but where friendship is not easily offered and where people do not tend to work in the same company as their family or friends. Nevertheless or perhaps due to that, Brazilian negotiators are viewed as “tough negotiators” who are fast in giving direct rejections.[125] Here one could think about involving a mediator who could help find solutions that respect all interests. Brazilian negotiators may also irritate by their frequent use of “no”, using it in average 40 times in 30 minutes (for example in comparison to Americans who use it only 4.7 times in 30 minutes).[126]


[1] see Federal Statistical Office Germany: (29.03.04).

[2] see Federal Statistical Office Germany: (29.03.04).

[3] see Federal Statistical Office Germany: (29.03.04).

[4] cf. IHK Trier, Erfolgreich investieren in der Grande Nation, p. 22. Also available online under: (11.12.03).

[5] cf. Deresky, International Management, p. 98.

[6] cf. Salacuse, The Global Negotiator, p. 101.

[7] cf. Cohen, Negotiating across Cultures, p. 82.

[8] cf. Trompenaars/Hampden-Turner, Riding the Waves of Culture, p. 75.

[9] cf. ibid.

[10] cf. Brislin, Understanding Culture’s Influence on Behavior, p. 38.

[11] see Cohen, Cultural Aspects of International Mediation in: Bercovitch (ed.), Resolving International Conflicts, p. 107 (p. 109).

[12] cf. Deresky, International Management, p. 68.

[13] cf. Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, p. 39.

[14] see also Appendix 3.

[15] cf. Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, p. 73.

[16] cf. ibid, p. 77.

[17] cf. ibid, p. 79.

[18] cf. Lewicki/Litterer/Minton/Saunders, Negotiation, p. 418.

[19] cf. Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, Second edition, p. 155.

[20] cf. Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, Second edition, p. 158.

[21] cf. ibid, p. 151.

[22] cf. ibid, p. 150.

[23] see ibid, p. 178.

[24] cf. ibid, p. 195.

[25] see Culture’s Consequences, Second edition, p. 189.

[26] cf. ibid, pp. 194/195.

[27] cf. ibid, p. 205.

[28] cf. Lewicki/Litterer/Minton/Saunders, Negotiation, p. 419.

[29] see Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, p. 118.

[30] cf. ibid, pp. 119/120.

[31] see ibid, p. 122.

[32] cf. Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, p. 139.

[33] cf. Lewicki/Litterer/Minton/Saunders, Negotiation, p. 419.

[34] cf. Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, Second edition, pp. 69 + 351.

[35] cf. Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, Second edition, p. 359.

[36] see ibid, p. 356.

[37] see ibid.

[38] cf. ibid, p. 361.

[39] cf. Greenhalgh, Relationships in Negotiations in: Wiggins/Lowry (eds.), Negotiation and Settlement Advocacy, p. 122 (p. 127).

[40] cf. Hall/Hall, Guide du comportement dans les affaires internationales, p. 40.

[41] cf. ibid, p. 42.

[42] cf. ibid, p. 43.

[43] cf. Hall, The Dance of Life, p. 53.

[44] cf. Hall/Hall, Guide du comportement dans les affaires internationales, p. 43.

[45] cf. ibid, pp. 44/46.

[46] cf. Hall, The Dance of Life, p. 47.

[47] cf. Hall/Hall, Guide du comportement dans les affaires internationales, p. 57.

[48] cf. ibid, p. 51.

[49] cf. Augsburger, Conflict Mediation across Cultures, p. 92.

[50] cf. Trompenaars/Hampden-Turner, Riding the Waves of Culture, pp. 8 – 10.

[51] see ibid, p. 39.

[52] Trompenaars/Hampden-Turner, Riding the Waves of Culture, p. 39.

[53] see ibid, p. 35.

[54] cf. ibid, p. 81.

[55] cf. ibid, p. 96 (see graph).

[56] cf. ibid, pp. 82/83.

[57] cf. Trompenaars/Hampden-Turner, Riding the Waves of Culture, p. 89.

[58] cf. Dyson, Cultural Issues and the Single European Market: Barriers to Trade and Shifting Attitudes in: Gessner/Hoeland/Varga, European Legal Cultures, p. 387, (p. 394).

[59] cf. ibid.

[60] cf. ibid.

[61] cf. Hall/Hall, Guide du Comportement dans les affaires internationales, p. 81.

[62] cf. Hall/Hall, Guide du Comportement dans les affaires internationales, p. 103.

[63] cf. Hofstede, Lokales Denken, globales Handeln, p. 133.

[64] cf. Pateau, Une étrange alchimie, p. 55.

[65] cf. Hall/Hall, Guide du Comportement dans les affaires internationales, p. 100.

[66] cf. Macharzina/Oesterle/Wolf, Europäische Managementstile – Eine kulturorientierte Analyse in: Berger/Sterger (eds.), Auf dem Weg zur Europäischen Unternehmensführung, p. 137 (p. 148).

[67] cf. Schroll-Machl, Deutschland, in: Thomas/Kammhuber/Schroll-Machl (eds.), Handbuch Interkulturelle Kommunikation und Kooperation, p. 72 (p. 80).

[68] cf. Hall, The Hidden Dimension, pp. 135/136.

[69] see Trevisan, Interculturalidade no ambiente empresarial, p. 65. (14.11.03)

[70] cf. ibid, p. 64.

[71] cf. ibid, p. 34.

[72] cf. Oliveira, Brazil: a guide for businesspeople, p. 5.

[73] cf. Trevisan, Trevisan, Interculturalidade no ambiente empresarial, p. 66.

[74] cf. Glüsing, Im Dienste ihres Clans, Der Spiegel 50/2003, p. 158 (pp. 158 – 160).

[75] cf. Trevisan, Interculturalidade no ambiente empresarial, p. 67.

[76] see Trevisan, Trevisan, Interculturalidade no ambiente empresarial, p. 35.

[77] cf. Demangeat/Molz, Frankreich, in: Thomas/Kammhuber/Schroll-Machl (eds.), Handbuch Interkulturelle Kommunikation und Kooperation, p. 24 (pp. 40/41).

[78] cf. Hall/Hall, Guide du Comportement dans les affaires internationales, p. 226.

[79] see Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, p. 107.

[80] cf. ibid, p. 92.

[81] cf. Barmeyer, Interkulturelle Personalführung in Frankreich und Deutschland, Personal 6/2003, p. 18, (p.20).

[82] cf Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, p. 107.

[83] cf. Gesteland, Cross-Cultural Business Behavior, p. 198

[84] cf. Barmeyer, Interkulturelle Personalführung in Frankreich und Deutschland, Personal 6/2003, p. 18, (p.20).

[85] cf. Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, p. 107.

[86] cf. ibid, p. 148.

[87] cf. Macharzina/Oesterle/Wolf, Europäische Managementstile – Eine kulturorientierte Analyse in: Berger/Sterger (eds.), Auf dem Weg zur Europäischen Unternehmensführung, p. 137 (p. 153).

[88] cf. ibid (p. 157).

[89] cf. (02.02.04).

[90] cf. interview with Mr. Domansky, student with working and study experiences in Sweden, on 14.01.04, subject: Swedish working and communication style. See Appendix 4.

[91] cf. Romani, Management style in Sweden: teamwork and empowerment, under (04.02.04).

[92] Price Waterhause, Doing business in Sweden, p. 16.

[93] cf. (02.02.04), see also Appendix 5.

[94] cf. Appendix 6.

[95] cf. Kurpjoweit, Gleichstellung in Schweden, p. 32.

[96] cf. (20.02.04).

[97] cf. Deresky, International Management, p. 184.

[98] cf. Kammhuber, Interkulturelle Verhandlungsführung, in: Thomas/Kinast/Schroll-Machl (eds.), Handbuch Interkulturelle Kommunikation und Kooperation, p. 287 (p. 293).

[99] cf. Pateau, Une étrange alchimie, pp. 61/62.

[100] cf. Gesteland, Cross-Cultural Business Behavior, p. 213.

[101] cf. Breuer/de Bartha, Deutsch-Französische Geschäftsbeziehungen erfolgreich managen, p. 94.

[102] cf. Smyser, How Germans negotiate, p. 141.

[103] cf. Hall/Hall, Guide du Comportement dans les affaires internationales, p. 70.

[104] cf. Smyser, How Germans negotiate, p. 188.

[105] cf. Schroll-Machl, Deutschland, in: Thomas/Kammhuber/Schroll-Machl (eds.), Handbuch Interkulturelle Kommunikation und Kooperation, p. 72 (p. 82).

[106] cf. Hall/Hall, Guide du Comportement dans les affaires internationales, p. 110.

[107] see Smyser, How Germans negotiate, p. 188.

[108] cf. Trevisan, Interculturalidade no ambiente empresarial, p. 49.

[109] cf. Smyser, How Germans negotiate, pp. 149/150.

[110] cf. Trompenaars/Hampden-Turner, Riding the Waves of Culture, p. 35.

[111] cf. Oliveira, Brazil: a guide for businesspeople, p. 8.

[112] cf. Gesteland, Cross-Cultural Business Behavior, p. 181.

[113] cf. Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences, p. 356.

[114] see Oliveira, Brazil: a guide for businesspeople, p. 45.

[115] cf. Corruption Index 2003 from Transparency International where Brazil only scores 4 from 10 points, 10 points indicating “no corruption” under: (16.02.04), p. 3.

[116] cf. Oliveira, Brazil: a guide for businesspeople, p. 25.

[117] cf. Hall/Hall, Guide du comportement dans les affaires internationales, p. 43.

[118] cf. (22.03.04).

[119] cf. Gesteland, Cross-Cultural Business Behavior, pp. 181/182.

[120] cf. Oliveira, Brazil: a guide for businesspeople, p. 21.

[121] cf. ibid, p. 75.

[122] cf. ibid, p. 38.

[123] cf. Gesteland, Cross-Cultural Business Behavior, p. 182.

[124] cf. ibid, p. 182.

[125] cf. ibid, p. 184.

[126] cf. Deresky, International Management, p. 187.

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