1.what are some of the Main Cultural Differences between the United States and France?
2.In what way has Trompenaars’s research helped explain cultural differences between the United States and France?
3.In managing its Euro Disneyland Operations, what are three mistakes that the Company made?
4.Based on its Experience, what are three lessons the Company should have alarmed about how to deal with Diversity?
1.The Geert Hofstede has designed a cultural dimensions theory to address the cross-cultural communication (Hofstede 2011). The framework covers four cultural dimensions including power distance index, uncertainty avoidance index, individualism vs. masculinity index, and long-term orientation and short-term orientation as explained by De Mooij and Hofstede (2011). Based on the case study, France and the United States have few differences in terms of values.
This dimension shows that the less powerful members of the society within an organization or a country agree that power is unequally distributed. In the United States, a low power distance index combines with individualist culture (Schiffman & Kanuk 2007). This is founded on the America promise of justice and liberty for all. On the other hand, the power distance scores for France show that the country enjoys a high power distance (Crotts 2004). In France, children are taught and remain prepared to remain emotionally be dependent. This remains the responsibility of their parents. The dependency is transferable to teachers and supervisors. Therefore, in the French nation, the society fairly accepts inequality because they believe power is centralized geographically in government and companies.
Individualism vs. Collectivism
This dimension focuses on the aspects of degree of interdependence expected in a society. The fundamental issue here is defining the people’s self-image using ‘I’ and ‘We’ (Shi & Wang 2011). The societies value individualism by looking after themselves and families. On the other hand, a collectivist society values the groups without unquestioning loyalty. On individualism, the U.S society scores high because this is a capitalist society. The Americans think of their families. France is also an individualist society. For instance, parents have whipped the emotions of their children to be independent relative to the groups. This implies that the French people care for one’s families and oneself.
Masculinity vs. Feminine
The masculine dimension shows the society embraces competition, success, and achievements. In such a society, success is based on the winner mentality. This is evident in the high score of masculinity (Shi & Wang 2011). The low score of masculinity implies that the society is feminine thus implying the dominant values are considered. In a famine society, people care for the quality of life and others. Indeed, in a famine society, the societal success depends on the quality of life (Hofstede 2011). In fact, standing out from a societal or group perspective is not admirable. In the US society, masculinity index is high as evident in the American behavioural patterns (Manrai & Manrai 2011). Among the Americans, masculinity score is high, as it remains a distinctive American behavioural pattern. The Americans combine a highly individualistic and masculinity drives in the world. Nevertheless, Americans have justified their masculine drive individually.
For the French, feminine culture is inevitable as evident in its welfare system. In fact, the French society embraces the quality of life as justified by the five weeks of its holidays and the 35 working hours per week. The French culture also offers another unique characteristic such that the upper class indices for feminine. The working class index leans towards the masculine.
This dimension focuses on how the society handles the facts regarding the unknown or the future. For instance, people try to understand whether they can control the future or not (Hofstede 2011). With this ambiguity, anxiety is inevitable, but various cultures have understood how to handle the anxiety. In the United States, the uncertainty scores among the public is below the average. This is because, the perceived context have influenced their behaviours (Manrai & Manrai 2011). On the other hand, the French culture scores high on the dimension. This is because; the French never believes in surprises. They only value planning and structure as part of their activities.
This Hofstede dimension helps in describing the past and the present of the people because people have found it difficult to explain the happenings in the surrounding. In a society where people have the desire to explain, their surroundings have a normative orientation (Shi & Wang 2011). However, a society that experiences pragmatic orientation has the limited desire to explain anything. This is because; they believe nobody can understand life complexity. To the pragmatic oriented society, living a virtuous life is more important than knowing the truth (Shi & Wang 2011). The American society prefers analysing new information to justify the facts. This culture rarely makes them pragmatic and should never be construed as being practical but reflects the mentality of the American people. Conversely, the French population is a pragmatic society because they believe in the truth based on the context, time, and situation. The French have the ability to adapt to the societal dynamics. They also have a propensity to save and invest. They believe that perseverance is the secret of success.
2.The research enhanced the explanation relating to the existing cultural conflicts between the U.S and France. Based on the Cultural Dimensions offered by Trompenaars, the existing cultural conflicts between the two nations were due to different factors (Balan & Vreja 2013). For instance, the ascription versus achievement that involves proving oneself to receiving or granted status. This is evident in the National Culture Differences Model offered by Trompenaars. The aspects of specifics versus diffuse that focuses on how individuals separate private and work life. Within the Universalism and particularism, there have emerged differences (Balan & Vreja 2013). For example, universalistic culture focuses on the rules while particularism values relationships. The other differences involve universalistic culture views situation in a similar way and the particularism culture treats every cases distinctly based on merits thus establish a private understandings. Finally, particularism culture encompasses several perspectives related to reality or facts, while the universalistic values a single reality or truth.
Based on these rules, it is evident the policies, regulations, and riles are universal thus makes them possible to be applicable anywhere. People rarely need to modify them to fit their situation and expectations (Kitayama & Cohen 2007). In the French perspectives, the rules and regulations are distinct thus forms part of the culture. Unfortunately, Disney failed to understand the distinct culture that could have enhanced its success. To this effect, the company needed to understand that French culture is distinct and the company’s previous successes can never apply in this country.
Individualism and Communitarianism
In making a business decision, it is critical to consider the points as presented under communitarianism and individualism (Balan & Vreja 2013). For example, it is imperative to consider that people in a communitarian society are found in France while the majority of Americans embrace the individualistic cultures. In fact, the French would prefer to work in teams thus embrace social relations mutually compared to the Americans who seem to adore individualism (Glass & Rud 2012). In the American society, making ranks between employees and managers is indisputable. However, the situation is different in France where nobody would dare create ranks between managers and employees. This brief explains that the diverse ethics in various cultures.
Specific and Diffuse
This dimension also exposes distinction between France and America. In the United States, the explicit national culture is evident thus allowing them to make decisions based on low context compared to the French’s implicit national culture that revolves around the high context environment. The US people also pay attention to logical, clear, and persuasive negotiations (Glass & Rud 2012). On the other, the French people emphasizes on an indirect and inaccurate discussions.
Ascription and Achievement
The dimension focuses on being versus doing or ascription versus achievement in explaining the differences between the French and Americans (Balan & Vreja 2013). The US public values achievements and doing thus dividing them into individualities regarding to their jobs. Conversely, the French culture stresses ascription and being because they rarely pay attention to the highest esteem but ascribe to the individualism (Kitayama & Cohen 2007). Without a doubt, the United States emphasizes on the family bloodline and the status of the school individuals attended compared to the French who emphasises their history. The U.S measures the individual success based on the social status thus making it an achievement society such as Walt Disney.
3.Without a doubt, operational errors were evident as Disney was on the spotlight thus affecting their performance directly. For instance, in America, Fridays was a heavy day compared to Monday where it is a light day. Disney had assumed that the situation in the United States would be replicated in France thus allocating staff (Yue 2009). However, Disney experienced big problems as the inverse happened in France. Training and Staffing of cast members was a problem for Disney whop was compelled to hire and training the employees. Without training, Disney’s cast members would be like theatre troupe. Hiring the 12,000 cast members was easier than training them because the HR Managers have to consider the job specifications thus making the implementation of mentality and teaching for the European employees could pose a great challenge (Matusitz 2010). The Euro Disney experienced a staffing problem relating to dress code and Disney Look that appeared to be a rigid code and all Americans were expected to ascribe to. The Disney Look also focused on the earrings and fingernails and further prohibited dyed hair and facial hair. However, for the European employees, this was never the situation because they never bothered about the American look (Matusitz 2010).
Instead of Disney imposing own rules, it is critical to analyse the decision and verify the legality aspects thus avoid affecting the performance and satisfaction of employees. Disney could have avoided these challenges if the company avoided the decisions. The Cultural Operational Errors were evident in the Euro Disney thus affecting the attendance and performance (Yue 2009). For example, by avoiding serving alcohol, the French customers felt astonished because in France, having a bottle of wine for lunch is normal. There was a problem with the breakfast in the hotels as Disney assumed the downsizing of its restaurants. It emerged that Disney thought the European customers never valued breakfast, yet the truth stands that they eat breakfast. Therefore, Disney could have avoided using assumptions but make decisions based on research and facts thus understand the customer preferences. This could have made it possible to fix the mistakes thus increase customer satisfaction.
4.In business, companies should contemplate their actions before invading a new market. However, Disney never considered the basis parameters in entering the new market by forcing its entry into the theme park. This move presents various lessons that any company can learn to enhance success (Luthans & Doh 2009). The management of Disney could have considered the significance of market research and analysis as a vital step towards succeeding in a new market. This step will ensure the company understands the cultural aspects of each country. Indisputably, every city worldwide has a unique individualism culture that each company should appreciate. For instance, Disney never had enough information about the French customers and culture. Therefore, market research can help the business to understand customer preferences.
Similarly, the company must consider formulating and developing alternatives. The company appeared to have over sighted its success in Japan thus assuming the situation would be the same in Europe (Shen, Chanda, D’Netto, & Monga 2009). It completely turned its eyes on the previous experiences thus failing to make appropriate adjustments relevant to the European and French customers. Finally, companies need to consider their operational plans based on the gathered information relating to European and French customers. Companies like Disney should have collected data regarding the targeted markets to develop the best business plan that would meet the customer expectations. According to Hodgetts, Luthans, and Doh (2006), the operational plans addresses the critical issues that companies must address before entering a new market.
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