Understanding the role of culture: Fons Trompenaars's concept

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GRIN Verlag, Jun 7, 2006 - Business & Economics - 28 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance, grade: 1,7, Pforzheim University (Pforzheim Graduate School - Master in Business Administration & Engineering), course: International Management 1, 8 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Different people on our earth have already had all kinds of contacts with each other at the beginning of our history. As early as the antique the Greeks for instance already traded with the other nations or the Spanish exploited the original inhabitants of Middle and South America in the 15th/16th century because of their gold. Now it doesn’t matter if it was because of armed conflicts or prosperous trade; there was ever an interest on the other party respectively the other culture. People ever tried to get information which they could use for their own advantages. An example for this is a plate of ethnology in the Austrian museum for ethnology in Vienna created at the beginning of the 18th century which should give people an impression of foreign cultures. There are different people (nations) showed in the plate: Spanish, French, Italians, Germans, English, Swedes, Poles, Hungarians, Russians, Turks and Greeks. The very negative description on the Turks probably because that the Austrian had bad experiences during the siege of Vienna in 1683. These „literary treasures“ are more influenced by prejudices and stereotypes than by scientific knowledge and today they just makes people laugh about. Today people try for instance to realize the advantages for their business relations by trying to understand the foreign cultures of their business partners. From this point of view the German proverb “other countries, other customs” (in German: “andere Länder, andere Sitten”) is quite true and it’s very important to know to which things the other party attaches great importance and in which way they act in negotiations. For instance Italians are known as smart negotiating partners who have a tendency to improvisation; Brits are known as fair negotiating partners who keep exact to their schedules while French interpret their schedules more generous, but they are seldom unpunctual. About this subject Fons Trompenaars wrote finally a book with the title: “Riding the waves of Culture”. In this book he shows how cultural differences affect the business life and the management. The report is also based on this book but doesn’t contain the study of the corporate cultures.

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