Expanding to new countries is nowadays an important stake for companies, considering the cost benefit they can get from this. Economies of scales, of scope permit them to drive their cost down and thus to be more and more competitive on the global market. But this world expansion in a context of general globalisation requires a precise knowledge about the host country, above all on its culture and habits. An objective knowledge of a country's culture is an essential point to assure success for our company in culturally different countries. For Geert Hofstede, who is the international reference in matter of Cross Cultural Management, culture is "the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another" (Hofstede, 2001, Page 9). The definition of Wikipedia confirms: Culture is "the way people live in accordance to beliefs, language, history, or the way they dress".
[...] Trompenaars' analysis and business culture The home country, France, and the studied host country, Poland, of JCDecaux thus have different values, due to their different cultures, which necessarily imply different ways of acting in the business world. They have different approaches for negotiating and communicating, and the objective of the company is to make them converge the more possible. Both France and Poland have the common point to be seen as particularist cultures by Trompenaars' analysis; situations are lived as personal, individual and unique there. [...]
[...] In these cultures, females are treated equally to males in all aspects of the society. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) focuses on the level of tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity within the society - i.e. unstructured situations. A High Uncertainty Avoidance ranking indicates the country has a low tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. This creates a rule-oriented society that institutes laws, rules, regulations, and controls in order to reduce the amount of uncertainty. A Low Uncertainty Avoidance ranking indicates the country has less concern about ambiguity and uncertainty and has more tolerance for a variety of opinions. [...]
[...] Both, France and Poland seem to be quite close countries concerning culture and so management, but the company will have to follow precisely the trans-cultural strategy: Poland is not France, and France is not Poland, that is why several developments have to be done to assure a successful business in this new market. Appendix 1 Power Distance Index (PDI) focuses on the degree of equality, or inequality, between people in the country's society. A High Power Distance ranking indicates that inequalities of power and wealth have been allowed to grow within the society. [...]
[...] Giving consideration for the social status of your business partner is important in Poland, as well as in France: showing respect to a more aged person, considering his social connections too. But France is a very stratified society according to Trompenaars' cultural dimension, so this proof of respect should come naturally. In France and Poland, salutation (when meeting or when leaving) is done by a handshake, except to the women for both. It is common, in France, to give two kisses for them. [...]
[...] This difference is big enough to indicate that women are more esteemed in France than in Poland, where they suffer a high degree of gender differentiation as the world's average is around 48. Anyway this factor is not the most important in Hofstede's work, but JCDecaux might have problems with their worker's acceptance to have women as superiors for example. With close scores of 86 and 78, France and Poland can be considered as traditional countries concerning Uncertainty Avoidance. As we saw, with 90% of the population who is catholic, Polish has a clear necessity of Uncertainty Avoidance through religion. [...]
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