Doing Business in Germany
September 12, 2015
Doing Business in Germany
Conducting business abroad in Germany introduces a different culture and different practices. Before committing to doing business in Germany it is important to consider factors such as differences in location, language, culture, meeting etiquette, negotiation styles and business protocol. If these considerations are addressed before hand a business endeavor in Germany will have a better chance of succeeding (Varner & Beamer, 2011).
Germany is a federal republic located in central Europe. Germany is the eighth largest country in Europe after Russia, Turkey, the Ukraine, France, Spain, Sweden, and Norway. It is ...view middle of the document...
When it comes to specific business, legal or technical terms outside of one’s realm expertise, it is common for misunderstandings to occur. In order to avoid miscommunication, elaboration is necessary. One should not simply rely on the other side’s understanding of specific terms. Most German business people possess a good command of the English language. However, German business people typically expect first contact to be in writing, preferably in German (Chisolm, 2011).
Religion holds an important place in German society. To an extent, the majority of the major religions are found throughout German society. Christianity is overwhelmingly the most popular of the religions in Germany. Because of this, all of the Christian holidays are observed by most Germans. This results in most businesses being closed on Sundays and religious holidays (Teije, 2015).
Germany is very eclectic when it comes to attitudes about race and ethnicity. A dwindling population of Germans is still xenophobic and would like to see the country rid of foreigners and immigrants. However, German society as a whole is not tolerant of this way of thinking and German authorities look to root out these individuals. In general, Germans welcome people from diverse cultures and assist in integrating these individuals into German society. Most business settings are secular establishments where equality is practiced and people of all backgrounds and ethnicities are welcomed (Chisolm, 2011).
Since the end of the 19th century, the economy of Germany has been molded by industrial production, international trade, and the emergence of a consumer based culture. In turn, the number of people involved in agricultural production has declined rapidly. Near the end of the 20th century, a meager 2.7 percent of the workforce in Germany was involved in agriculture, forestry, and fishery. However, forty eight percent of the total land area in Germany is still devoted to agriculture, and agricultural products which covers eight five percent of Germany’s domestic food needs (Samson, 2012).
In many respects, Germans business people may be thought of as masters of planning. Germany is a culture that rewards forward thinking and meticulous planning with attention to detail. Careful planning, in one's business and personal life, provides a sense of security. Expectations are set through rules and regulations that allow people to know what is required of them and plan their day accordingly. When the appropriate way to perform a specific task is outlined, there is not a need to consider of performing it any other way (Chisolm, 2011).
Germans maintain clear lines of demarcation between people, places, and things so that they can live out a structured and ordered existence. Business and personal lives are strictly segregated. Every activity has an exact time that it should occur. Germans are expected to leave the office when the business day is over. Additional work hours indicate improper or poor...