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.
Geographical location: Western Europe
Population: 62.000.000 people
Language(s): French: 42,100,000 (92%)
Oc languages: 1,670,000 (3.65%)
German and German dialects: 1,440,000 (3.15%)
Oïl languages: 1,420,000 (3.10%)
Arabic: 1,170,000 (2.55%)
Economic status: France has a balanced and highly diversified market economy in which industry accounts for approximately 27 percent of gross domestic product or GDP (produit intérieur brut), services account for more than 68 percent, and construction, transportation and agriculture play an important role. France has ranked for the past 20 years as the West's fifth economic power.
Political system: French political system is characterized by the opposition of two political groups: one left-wing, centered around the French Socialist Party, and one right-wing, centered around the Rassemblement pour la République (RPR), then its successor the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP). The French government is republican in form.
Religion: 62% Roman Catholic, 6% Muslim, 2% Protestant, 1% Jewish, 2% "other religions", 26% "no religion" and 1% declined to answer
Status of women: An increasing number of French women hold management positions in retail, service, law, finance and human resources. Foreign women are generally accepted in business, though they may be flirted with on occasion. Women are better accepted in management positions in the major cities than the provinces.
Geographical location: Eastern Asia
Population: 1,306,313,812 (July 2005 est.)
Language(s): The national language is Putonghua (the common speech) or Mandarin. Most of the 55 minority nationalities have their own languages. As a written language, Chinese has been used for 6,000 years.
Economic status: Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, China in 2004 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US, although in per capita terms the country is still poor.
Political system: Traditionally Communist. The President and Vice-President of the People's Republic of China are elected by the National People's Congress. Their term of office is five years.
Religion: Officially atheist.
Status of women: The social...