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Cultural Diversity in Business: A Comparison between Germany and Slovenia

Hausarbeit 2004 33 Seiten



1 Introduction

2 Slovenia in general

3 Germany in general

4 Business Cultures in Germany and Slovenia
4.1 Ethnocentrism versus Polycentrism
4.2 Power Distance
4.3 Uncertainty Avoidance
4.4 Individualism versus Communitarianism
4.5 Low-context versus High-context cultures
4.6 Long-term versus Short-term orientation
4.7 Universalism versus Particularism
4.8 Neutral versus Emotional
4.9 Specific versus Diffuse
4.10 Achieved status versus Ascribed status

5 Conclusion


I Slovenia’s History
II Definitions

1 Introduction

In times of globalisation the aspects of cultural diversity and cross cultural communication become more and more important. People have the possibility to travel across continents, meetings are organised all around the world. Therefore the knowledge of at least one foreign language is definitely an essential skill one should have.

But nevertheless just translating a word or a sentence from one language into another does not guarantee a successful course of negotiation. According to Mattock (2003) the actual talk is just the tip of the iceberg.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

(Mattock, 2003)

Instead the major and thus bottom layer is culture. (Mattock, 2003) Therefore international managers should be aware that transcultural competence can only be achieved by ‘being aware of cultural differences, respecting them and ultimately reconciling them’ (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 1997).

The first part of this essay will present general information about Slovenia and Germany. It will then highlight the major characteristics and differences between the business cultures of the two countries concentrating on the dimensions introduced by Trompenaars and Hofstede. (For definitions of culture and the dimensions see Appendix)

The conclusion will highlight the major differences between the two business cultures and offer recommendations for German and Slovenian managers doing business with each other.

2 Slovenia in general

The Republic of Slovenia is a small country of two million people situated in the heart of Central Europe. It borders to Austria, Croatia Italy and Hungary. Its capital is Ljubljana. (Lonely Planet, 2001)

The main languages spoken are Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, German, English and Italian. (Lonely Planet, 2001)

Slovenia is ethnically homogeneous with almost nine-tenths of the population being Slovenes (Bateman, 1997).

Slovenia was one of the republics, which emerged to become independent in 1991 out of the dissolution of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. It escaped without major conflicts, there was only a minor incursion into its territory by the remnants of the National Yugoslav Army.

Slovenia’s independence was recognised internationally in January 1992, and since then the country has been at peace. (Bateman, 1997).

For more details on history see Appendix.

3 Germany in general

The Federal Republic of Germany is situated in Western Europe and borders to Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium. It has about 82 million inhabitants and its capital is Berlin. (Bingham, 2001) The main languages spoken are German and English.

On October 3, 1990 the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany were reunited, a major event in German history. (Bingham, 2001)

4 Business Cultures in Germany and Slovenia

4.1 Ethnocentrism versus Polycentrism

Slovenian business people can be described as polycentric. On the one hand, they adapt to the foreign culture easily. For example they will use the foreign language even if their foreign counterpart understands the Slovenian language. Thus, many Slovenian managers are very successful in working for multinational companies in countries such as ex-Yugoslavia, Russia and Saudi-Arabia. (Damjan, 2004)

On the other hand, in private conversations, Slovenian business people may be very critical of other cultural practices. However, they will be very clever in using them. (Damjan, 2004)



ISBN (eBook)
569 KB
Institution / Hochschule
University of Brighton
2005 (Januar)
Cultural Diversity Business Comparison Germany Slovenia



Titel: Cultural Diversity in Business: A Comparison between Germany and Slovenia