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GB512 Business Communications Unit 2 Discussion

Topic: Cultural Differences and Audience Profile

You read about some of the cultural differences between countries when communicating. You also practiced with some of these cultural differences in the learning activity. Based on what you learned, research and respond to the following scenario:

  • You are a CEO of a tech company in California and you will be presenting to a group of technology professionals in a country of your choice; prepare a short audience profile of your audience and their needs. Conduct research to learn about your country and expectations of your audience in that country. Cite your sources following your audience profile. Your sources must be no older than 5 years.

As CEO, I have decided to introduce our new product to the people of France. France is very important when it comes to worldly affairs and culture (International Business Center, 1998-2019, France). The French speak French, but most businesspeople speak English. As an American that knows very little French, it is common courtesy for me to be up front and ask for forgiveness for my ignorance of the language even though most that I may speak to may know English. The French are highly educated. While there is no official religion, the French tend to be mostly Catholic, but it doesn’t tend to play a part in the business world.

When it comes to Americans, the French have some preconceptions that I will have to overcome (International Business Center, 1998-2019). I will have to change some of my behaviors as well as my appearance due to these preconceptions, the way the French prefer to do things, and the Hofstede’s dimensions analysis. When it comes to appearance, being conservative and in fashionable clothing is a must. Although they like fashionable clothing, there should be no bright colors or flashy jewelry. This is unlike the US where flashy jewelry is seen as a status symbol and no one truly cares how bright your clothes are. Two preconceptions that the French have are that Americans are loud and they tend to preach rather than having a conversation like you would with a friend.  I tend to be loud when I speak so I will have to learn to speak in a softer voice but I do disagree with the fact that we preach rather than converse so I will have to prove them wrong on this notion. There is one similarity between Americans and the French that I find interesting; we both like to interrupt and argue but the French do it for entertainment (International business Center, 1998-2019, France section and United States section).

The International Business Center (1998-2019, Hofstede section) states that the Hofstede’s dimensions analysis consists of five dimensions of differentiating cultures: (a) Power Distance Index (PDI), (b) Individualism (IDV), (c) Masculinity (MAS), (d) Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI), and (e) Long-Term Orientation. The Power Distance Index is the degree of equality or inequality in the culture. When it comes to PDI scores, the US scores low with a 40, meaning there’s equality for all, while France scores high with a 68 (Al-Shantaf et al., 2017), meaning there’s inequality in society. Taking that into consideration, I will have to be The Individualism focuses on whether the country reinforces individual or collective relationships (International Business Center, 1998-2019, Hofstede). When it comes to IDV, the US and France score high meaning individuality takes preference over collectivism. Masculinity focuses on whether it’s a more masculine driven environment or whether men and women are equals (International Business Center, 1998-2019, Hofstede). The US scores higher than France when it comes to Masculinity, meaning there’s differentiation when it comes to genders in both countries and that men tend to hold more power over women but in France, it is seen more of as a competition (Al-Shantaf et al, 2017). Uncertainty Avoidance Index focuses on how well they tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty (International Business Center, 1998-2019, Hofstede). France has a higher score than the US when it comes to the UAV, meaning France is more rule oriented and surprises should be avoided (Al-Shantaf et al, 2017) whereas the US has a higher tolerance for different opinions. This means that when I decide to approach them with our product, I need to have a concrete plan and I need to know exactly how to implement our product with their societ. Long-Term Orientation focuses on how well the country embraces planning ahead in the long-term (International Business Center, 1998-2019, Hofstede). Both the US and France score low when it comes to LTO meaning they both adapt to change well. So even though France’s UAV is high, they may be willing to accept and implement our new product.

References

Al-Shantaf, S., Nguyen, M., Mathai, G., & Steinberg, H. (2017). Healthcare Management & Cultural Differences in France, Germany, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, & the Usa. Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings of the Academy of Strategic Management (ASM)16(1), 1–5.

International Business Center (1998-2019) France Business Etiquette, Cultural, and Manners International Business Etiquette http://www.international-business-etiquette.com/besite/france.htm

International Business Center (1998-2019) Geert Hofstede Analysis International Business Etiquette http://www.international-business-etiquette.com/besite/hofstede.htm

International Business Center (1998-2019) United States of America Business Etiquette, Cultural, and Manners International Business Etiquette http://www.international-business-etiquette.com/besite/us.htm

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