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Cultural And Regional Differences Essay

1778 words - 7 pages

A well-known multinational enterprise is Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (or in English, Bavarian Motor Works or BMW) headquartered in Germany. BMW operates manufacturing facilities in several countries, sources raw materials and components globally, and sells automobiles and motorcycles in much of the developed world. BMW's experience provides excellent source material for analyzing the realities of globalization, including the human resource management challenges associated with international operations.BMW's first foreign location was its Rosslyn plant, near Pretoria, South Africa (BMW-Rosslyn, 2007). "The BMW Group was one of the pioneers during the politically instable years of the slow break-up of apartheid. It took specific measures against racial segregation, job discrimination, and unjust compensation" (BMW-Rosslyn, 2007). "In September 2003, the BMW Group expanded its international production network with a plant in [Shenyang, Lianoning in] Northeast China. The plant, a joint venture between the BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., produces vehicles solely for the local market and contributes to developing and penetrating the Chinese market" (BMW-Shenyang, 2007). This paper examines the cultural and regional differences impacting global HRM within BMW. In addition, an outline suggesting a global strategic HRM plan is also provided.Home country: GermanyGerman business culture focuses on masculinity, Hofstede. Hofstede is used to explain the differences between 'masculine' countries that were focused on size, wealth, and success (, 2005). Unlike the rest of Europe, Germany is considered a 'masculine' country, thus power is important and it is necessary to know who has power and who does not. Germans tend to judge people by clothing, house, car and wealth possessed. Thus the person who speaks softly and sparsely is the person with power in Germany.On the contrary, Germany is an egalitarian society. In this perspective, an employee arguing agitatedly with a superior is tolerated unlike many hierarchic countries such as China. German business culture has its roots in the guild system. The guild system was a hierarchic system, but its hierarchy was not based on mere power but on craftsmanship. So, if German business is hierarchic, the hierarchy is not based on someone's position in the company hierarchy, but on someone's craft and knowledge. Generally, managers are people who are promoted because of technical skills. This also explains why German managers are often much more knowledgeable of the technical details of the production process than managers from other countries.German communication is quite up-front and may be offensive to cultures which tend to base business upon relationships. German managers will interpret silence as a sign that everyone understood what he said and agrees with it. In other cultures, silence often means exactly the opposite. Germans are generally not very interested in the private life of...

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