Choose a company and product bring it to one of the Europe country/ city choose.
a. The rational for your country of choice.
b. A detailed culture analysis of the host country Showcase and explain some unique culture components of yourchoosen host country.
c. The bussiness of the host country and how it differs from that of your own.
d. Using Hofsted's culture dimensions, explain what foreign companies need to consider in order to operate effectively in the chosen host country.
Rationale for the Country of Choice
Different aspects of the social and cultural life of a specific market can be clearly analyzed with the help of market cultural analysis. The companies can easily understand the behavior of the consumers and their buying practices and patterns through the analysis of the market culture.
This market cultural analysis report has been prepared for BreadTalk Group Limited. BreadTalk Group Limited is a multinational food and beverage corporation from Singapore headquartered in Paya Lebar, Singapore. Floss Bun is a product of BreadTalk which will be introduced in France which is a European country. This report focuses on the rationale behind selecting France as the host country, cultural analysis of France, its business culture along with the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. The report further provides the differences between the business culture of Singapore and France.
France has been selected as the host country as it appears to be advantageous for the business of BreadTalk. This is due to the fact that the people living in France have a good purchasing power. Also, France has a population of 6.71 crores and a GDP of US $ 2.583 trillion as per the records of the year 2017 (The World Bank, 2018). It provides that France has a strong economy and sizeable market. Moreover, productive and highly qualified workforce is available in France who can work up to 35 hours per week and are known for their high productivity. This highly qualified workforce is the result of good education system of France. Also, France has a good infrastructure system in place with high speed rail networks that connects France with other cities in Europe. The strategic location of France allows the businesses in the country to further extend their operations to European Union (EU) counterparts.
The cultural analysis of France i.e. the host country highlights a number of cultural components which can severely impact the business establishment in France. The culture of every society is unique which is often reflected in the in different elements of such society. The term culture can be elaborated as the set of shared goals, practices, attitudes and values which plays an important role in the characterization of an institution or organization (Stahl and Tung, 2015). Following are some of the cultural components of France:
Language- French is the official language of France which is also the first language of 88% of the population. Some people in France also speak Flemish, German, Italian and Basque (Zivkovic, Bozic- Miljkovic and Mihic, 2017).
Religion- Catholicism is the France’s predominant religion. Approximately 64 % of the population of France has identified itself as Roman Catholic. Moreover, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism are the other religions which are followed in France. However, there are some people (comprising 23 % to 28% of the population) who have not subscribed to any of the religion.
Values- The French people easily gets offended when they come across any negative comments regarding their country. Their attitude towards the foreigners is often interpreted as rude.
Political and Economic Background- Different political behaviors have been witnessed in past by France. Now firmness is claimed by France in real administration, government, education and legal structures. The principle of equality, liberty and fraternity were developed and blown out in the world at the time of French revolution (Ehrmann, 2015).
Cultural Analysis of France
Industrial Revolution- France adopts an indecisive approach towards authority through which power is challenged by the employees. The centralization of rules brings an ease in the teamwork performed in the organizations in France. Industry also has the strength in the form of the trade unions.
Communication- The use of some basic French phrases are made by the French people during their conversations. However, they praise the efforts of a person and switch back to English language if they find out that someone is struggling with French.
There is a difference in the business culture of each and every country. The business culture of France has been described below with the help of the following points and the same has been compared with the business culture of Singapore.
Business Negotiation- Formality and aloofness is considered to be the key components of the business negotiation in France. The initial posture of French towards new products and new ideas is also condescending. Moreover, French people do not regard their counterparts as equal. This means that they are considered either better or worse than them. Decision making process undertaken by the French businesses is very time consuming. Verbal agreements do not have binding value in their culture.
On the other hand, Singaporeans conduct their business meetings by way of mastering indirect communication and patience. They are tough negotiators when it comes to deadlines and money. The counterparts are also encouraged for asking questions and responding positively and decisions are made accordingly.
Business Mentality- The business mentality of French people provides that appointments must be taken by the visitors at least two weeks in advance. The appointments are usually scheduled by the businesses between 11.00 to 15.30 and avoid scheduling the meetings at the time of August as it is their common vacation period. In France, a handshake is used as a way of greeting others. First names are used by the colleagues in the organization who are of the same age and are working at the same level. Monday to Friday comprise the working days of the employees in France and the working hours are generally from 8:30- 9:30 to 17:30- 19:00. The French people tend to focus on establishing the long term business relationships.
On the other hand, Singapore usually follows the business hours from 8:30 to 17:30 pm from Monday to Friday. A formal request is usually sent in Singapore for the purpose of organizing business meetings such that it is appropriate for the business partner as well. Furthermore, a list is prepared of all the members who will attend the meeting along with highlighting the area of their expertise.
Body Language- Body language plays an important role in the business culture. Eye to eye contact is maintained while talking to other people. Furthermore, patting and touching is regarded as normal in the business etiquettes of France. Approval is signified by the raising of thumb by the French people while a circle made by the first finger or thumb is a negative impression.
Business Culture of France
On the other hand, the people of Singapore are generally are of reserved nature. An important role is played by their body language in honoring a person. Honesty is maintained by the Singaporeans in their conversations along with professionalism and politeness.
Business meetings and meals- France prefer punctuality when it comes to business meetings. However, a delay of ten minutes from the assigned time is not regarded as late. France considers business lunches as the best practice of forging business relationships (Vagts, Koh, Dodge and Buxbaum, 2015). On the other hand, punctuality is given more preference in Singapore. The delay of 10- 15 minutes is also not allowed.
There is also a difference in the dressing standards of Singapore and France. In Singapore, men wear a full sleeves shirt with pants and tie and women wear a blouse and skirts. On the other hand, French dress up using dresses, coats and ties. Giving gifts are considered as the usual business practice in case of Singapore, while in France giving gifts is not regarded as appropriate.
The culture of France has been evaluated below with the help of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions:
Power Distance- Power Distance can be defined as the degree to which the organizations which are less powerful in the country accept and expect the unequal distribution of power. France scores 68 in this dimension which provides that there is certain degree of dependency among the individuals of France. The children are raised to be emotionally dependent and that dependence is later transferred on to the superiors in the workplace. Therefore, France is a society in which high degree of inequalities has been accepted. There is geographic distribution of power and is not only centralized to companies and government.
Individualism versus Collectivism- This dimension addresses the fundamental issue relating to the extent of interdependence maintained by the society among its members. The score of France in this dimension is 71 which make it an individualist society. In France, the workers and the associations formed by them do not know each other. The workers always maintain a difference between their personal life and work life. Furthermore, the workers feel pressurized when they are emotionally dependent on their leaders (Moore, 2016).
Masculinity versus Femininity- This dimension provides what motivates people i.e. whether they want to be the best (Masculine) or liking what they do (Feminine) (Beugelsdijk, Maseland and Van Hoorn, 2015). The score of France in this dimension is 43 which mean that the culture of France is somewhat feminine. This is indicated by the practices adopted by the businesses in France i.e. 35 hour working week, welfare system, five weeks of holidays every year and its main focus on the quality of life. Unique characteristics are maintained by the French culture. The working class in France is regarded as Masculine while the upper class is Feminine. This characteristic of France is different from those possessed by other countries.
Uncertainty Avoidance- This dimension defines the extent to which threat is felt by the members of the culture from unknown and ambiguous situations and therefore institutions and beliefs have been created for the purpose of avoiding these (Minkov and Hofstede, 2014). France scores high (86) in this dimension which provides that surprises are less preferred in the French society. Preference is given to structure and planning. French people like to receive all the necessary information before negotiations and meetings. In this way, the French people are good in the development of complex systems and technologies in a stable environment. There is a strong need for the development of rules, regulations and laws for structuring life in France (Burke, 2017).
Long Term Orientation versus Short Term Orientation- This dimension provides that some links are required to be maintained by every society with its own past along with handling the challenges of the future and present. Moreover, different priorities are given to these two goals by the societies (Bakir, Blodgett, Vitell and Rose, 2015). High score (63) has been obtained by France in this dimension which, in turn, makes it pragmatic. Societies which possess a pragmatic orientation, people believe that truth depends a lot on the situations, time and context. They further show an ability to easily adapt their traditions to changed conditions and situations. They also possess a string propensity to invest and save along with prudence and persistence in achieving results (Hofstede Insights, 2018).
Indulgence versus Restraint- This dimension defines the degree to which the impulses and desires are controlled by the people. France scores 48 in this dimension. This dimension along with the dimension of Uncertainty Avoidance implies that the people of France are less relaxed and do not take any steps for enjoying their lives. The score of France is also not high in the happiness indices.
Therefore, it can be concluded that BreadTalk should expand its business in France as it appears to be a favorable country due to its population, strong economy, highly qualified workforce and good infrastructure system. This report focused on the cultural analysis of France along with its business culture and compares it with the business culture of Singapore. This report further analyses France on the basis of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions.
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Beugelsdijk, S., Maseland, R. and Van Hoorn, A., 2015. Are Scores on H ofstede's Dimensions of National Culture Stable over Time? A Cohort Analysis. Global Strategy Journal, 5(3), pp.223-240.
Burke, P., 2017. Popular culture in early modern Europe. Routledge.
Ehrmann, H.W., 2015. Organized business in France (Vol. 2283). Princeton University Press.
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The World Bank. 2017. GDP (current US$), [Online]. Available at: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD [Accessed on: 4 December 2018].
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Zivkovic, D., Bozic- Miljkovic, I. and Mihic, S., 2017. Knowledge of French language and culture: A precondition for improving economic relations between Serbia and France. Ekonomika, 63(3), pp.43-53.
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