Cross-Cultural Differences Between Doing Business in France and China

2109 Words Apr 27th, 2006 9 Pages
As we revel in the wake of Globalization, models of organizations and styles of management are becoming increasingly similar. However, this conversion has a limit. Some cross-cultural differences will not disappear so easily and managers will have to understand and appreciate these cultural ‘oddities' if they wish to run a successful business.

Let us take China and France as examples of two very different countries that may have cross-cultural problems while doing business. First we will give a general overview of the two countries and then discuss some management practices that may vary between these eastern and western cultures.

General Overview:
France
 Geographical location: Western Europe
 Population:
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China
Contrarily to the French style of negotiation, the Chinese are far more evasive and indirect in their form of communication. When negotiating with the Chinese it should be remembered that they are, in general, more accepting of change. This means that a meeting can take several directions and does not necessarily have to follow a rigid structure. Furthermore, the Chinese are willing to take risks and will thus be more accepting of proposals that other cultures would not even consider i.e. high risk = high return.

2) Analyze the underlying cultural reasons why the practices differ.

France
- Rule-oriented
France is predominantly a Catholic country and according to the Hofstede analysis, that makes French people intolerant of ambiguity. Societies like this tend to create numerous laws, rules and controls to greatly reduce the level of uncertainty within the population.
- Unequal power and wealth
The French government allows the growth of unequal power and wealth, making it difficult for people to move upward within the society. A clear disparity between the rich and the poor is evident.
- High individualism
Individualism and individual rights are fully preserved in France. This is reflected in the high number of ‘looser' relationships.
- Low discrimination between genders
Males and females are treated equally in all aspects of

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