Ladurée expanding to China

Kulturelle Herausforderungen zwischen Frankreich und China

Examination Thesis, 2010

17 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Table of content

1. Introduction

2. Differing cultures
2.1. French culture and Laduree's corporate culture
2.2. Chinese culture

3. Facing cultural problems

4. Adaptation and problem solving

5. Conclusion

List of references

1. Introduction

Since its foundation in Paris in 1862 Laduree offers sophisticated French desserts such as macaroons, pastries, cakes and chocolates. It is a company that stands for tradition and French values. By expanding the product range with adorned gift boxes and beauty products, the brand delivers more than just the products per se. The tea-rooms' spirit is always full of elegance and refined indulgence. They create an atmosphere, which makes the customer feel and experience the French culture. The concept is very successful throughout Europe and in Japan.

The organisation is currently thinking about further growth by internationalising even more (24 heures, 2010). A high potential market is China with its big and busy cities. Businessmen in Shanghai, Chinese and foreigners, would like the idea to have a short rest in a traditional tea-room during the day and experience French lifestyle.

However, internationalisation always involves risks for the company. For the management it is crucial to understand the cultural patterns (Trompenaars and Hamden-Turner, 1997), as a simple standardisation and a transfer of an idea from one country to another not always works out. The market need and the wants of the consumers might be different, and furthermore difficulties with managing the employees might arise.

This essay is going to analyse both, the French and the Chinese culture. It will reveal cultural differences and possible problems that could arise when setting up a new Laduree store in China. Applying theory of cross-cultural management the essay will give answers on how these problems can be solved and at what stage the company has to adapt standardised operations to the different cultural issues.

2. Differing cultures

2.1. French culture and Laduree's corporate culture

France is the country of haute couture and haute cuisine. The reputation of French food and style is very good and they know exactly, what they have achieved. They let the world know, in an extrovert and talkative way using a lot of body language, that they are proud of their nation (The Telegraph 2007). French reputation on food and style are part of Laduree's success.

The organisation is and was always family-driven, which has, concerning the corporate sphere of culture, a lot of influence on "the way of which attitudes are expressed within a specific organisation" (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 1997). Louis Ernest Laduree founded the bakery in 1862 in Paris. His son and niece were continuing the business when he retired (Laduree, 2005). In the 90s, David Holder, son of Holder Group CEO Francis Holder, integrated the business as a subsidiary of the Holder Group. This organisation is also totally in the hands of the Holder family. Therefore family values and flat hierarchy could be kept. Holder's employees participate in business decisions and are shown that they are part of a whole. Relationships between and among management and operations level are very close. For Schein (2009) this is one of the key factors of the corporate culture.

The nature of the authority plays also a major role. "David Holder is known for his ethical and principled approach to business and as a man who also allows his feelings and intuition to play their part" (Laduree, 2005). He is a visionary and ambitious man, focussing on the external. Internal processes run alone, because of high standardisation and empowered employees. Regarding universitalism (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 1997), French people behave correctly, orientating on general and known rules and avoid uncertainties obeying to these rules (Hofstede, 2009). Gesteland (2001) proposes that France is a deal-focused country, where tasks normally are written down and followed.

On corporate level, Holder keeps the processes dynamic and flexible (Laduree, 2005). In 2011 or 2012 a central factory will be opened in Switzerland for fast delivery into the new Laduree countries (24 heures, 2010). The factory ensures standardised operations and the same quality everywhere around the world. Although the company is expanding, the tradition and loyalty to Ernest Laduree's heritage, maintaining the unique character that distinguishes it, are key values in the corporate culture (Laduree, 2005). The following cultural web (Johnson, Scholes and Whittington, 2008) helps to create an amplified image of Laduree's corporate culture, summarising the issues mentioned above.

Laduree's cultural web

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: compiled by the author, based on Johnson, Scholes and Whittington, 2008

After having analysed the corporate culture of Laduree, one can argue that it fits to a rather adocratic type (Hauser and Dellana, 2000) of values and attitudes in the organisation. Regarding survey results, adhocracy and group types are the most likely cultures to perform best in following a quality strategy, as Laduree with its prestigious house tries to maintain.


Excerpt out of 17 pages


Ladurée expanding to China
Kulturelle Herausforderungen zwischen Frankreich und China
Anglia Ruskin University  (Ashcroft International Business School)
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Analyse und abgeleitete Handlungsempfehlungen möglicher kultureller Herausforderungen der französischen Großbäckerei und Feinkostkette Ladurée bei einer Expansion nach China
China, Frankreich, France, hofstede, trompenaars, hampden-turner, Kultur, culture, cultural clash, Unternehmenskultur, cultural web
Quote paper
Benjamin Buchwald (Author), 2010, Ladurée expanding to China, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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