The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast cultural peculiarities of China and Germany on the basis of GLOBE study. The findings will be presented in paragraphs each representing one of GLOBE dimensions.
In terms of assertiveness, Germany is one of the world leaders. Due to the tendency of Germans to be open and direct, this can sometimes be misperceived as rudeness. However, the actual thing is that Germans being punctual and efficient always try to save time and energy by coming directly to the point and excluding any deviation from the topic (Heidtmann, 2011). China being a collectivistic nation, on the contrary, tends to be very group-oriented, thereby trying to avoid assertiveness, any sorts of conflicts or aggression. Thus, the people of China long for achieving “interpersonal harmony” (Morschett et al., 2009).
Speaking about performance orientation, it is considered to be one of the characteristics of German nature. Its focus on competitiveness, productivity, and constant strive for better quality explains its accomplishments in the economic field (Heidtmann, 2011). Despite its collectivism, China also appears to be very performance-oriented. Yet in this case a focus will most likely be placed on the performance of a group rather than of an individual (Morschett et al., 2009).
Germany has a tendency of minimizing uncertainty in any form by introducing strict laws and regulations applying to the particular sphere. One of the most notable examples of this is the competition law adopted in the country. In terms of advertising, every word said to describe a product has to be proven by facts (Heidtmann, 2011). A similar situation occurs in China, where order is one of the features of traditionalism stemming from history. Thus, people in China are looking for safe options that have not been changed for years. The same rule applies to business which is usually run in the same fashion as many years ago (Morschett et al., 2009).
The low level of humane orientation in Germany is in conformity with its high assertiveness. Hence, relations in a German company are usually rather strict, direct and result-oriented whilst lacking kindness or friendliness (Chhokar et al., 2007). As it was already mentioned China has a strong presence of collectivism and idea of “interpersonal harmony”. That is why China has strong humane orientation and employs various indirect approaches to communication (Morschett et al., 2009).
Germany and China have quite different positions on gender egalitarianism. Germany emphasizes equality of men and women both of whom have opportunities to hold a managerial post or obtain education. In contrast, China has always had strong presence of male superiority over women, the latter often being treated as a servant. Access to education and work opportunities is also quite limited (Morschett et al., 2009).
Germany was ranked in the middle in terms of future orientation. Therefore, the country is ready to modify its traditions and customs according to a situation but in the meantime focuses more on the improvement of quality rather than efficiency. China, on the contrary. China is a very future-oriented country with a lot of effort being put into optimizing and modernizing technology and ways of production to manufacture things more efficiently.
Germany has a low rank of power distance thanks to decentralization, good communication and participation of workers in decision making and obligatory presence of unions (Heidtmann, 2011). China is among the highest ranked countries in this category, therefore having significant inequality in the distribution of power and decentralization . This may as well be connected with the Communist ideology of the country (Heidtmann, 2011).
As for the institutional collectivism, the results are pretty obvious. Germany has a low level as people do not usually have strong bonds with an organization meaning that they are largely independent (Heidtmann, 2011). China is evidently one of the most collectivist nations where people are closely connected with bureaucracy and are dependent on the organization and vice versa (Ren et al., 2015).
Finally, in terms of in-group collectivism, Germany again showed low score proving that it is predominantly individualistic with more focus put on separate workers than on an organization as a whole. People are mostly proud of their own accomplishments rather than of those of an organization. Such low scores are typical for advanced industrialized countries (Chhokar et al., 2007). In China, on the contrary, this index was one of the highest, since any organization there is more interested in the result without paying much attention to workers’ needs and the process that they are engaged in (Morschett et al., 2009).
Overall, although the two countries share some similarities in their cultural patterns, they are too remote from each other in most aspects due to differences in governing, history, political systems, etc.
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