Sam Walton's View on Cross-Cultural Issues in Germany
1.What would Sam Walton have thought about the cross-cultural communication problems caused by the implementation of the Wal-Mart culture in Germany?
Wal-Mart’s expansion in the market of Germany had various kinds of cross cultural and communication issues for implementing their own culture in Germany. Such issues were though by Sam Walton as well about the international expansion in Germany. He was of the view that Germany will display a well-established marketing and economic difficulties for Wal-Mart over time and the Wal-Mart way of working would not be easily accepted by the Germans. Walton did believe that the way of working of Wal-Mart is doing to be carried till next decade, however, the business culture in global countries will be very different and that will reflect the egoistic thinking Wal-Mart has about their own way of working. This was the major cross-cultural issue of Wal-Mart in Germany where they failed to consider the cultural preferences of customers and employees. Moreover, Walton himself thoughts that the Union culture of Germany would be a threat for Wal-Mart and increase their costs (Christopherson, 2007). Thus, Wal-Mart failed to consider the co-determination rules of the Union and faced cross cultural issues in Germany.
2.How could Wal-Mart have maintained corporate identity, in particular outstanding customer service, without offending German customers?
Wal-Mart, and other retailers considering globalization, must develop strategies for incorporating their corporate culture and identity into an international culture.
Wal-Mart’s leadership made a commitment to keep the customer-focused corporate culture, among these ideals are the three basic beliefs: respect the individual, service to our customers, and strive for excellence (Wal-Mart stores).
Wal-Mart and other companies should implement a plan for cultural communication analysis to avoid similar scenarios, the main idea is to prevent problems rather than just responding.
A six-step strategy, he extent of culturally based, communications problems between the parent organization and an overseas local unit. And changing something in the rules of employment and service, so as to provide a satisfying experience to the Germans without offending them by visiting their stores taking into account their culture and customs
3.Assuming that a company follows the six steps, how would the organization determine if the differences were too substantial to attempt alignment of corporate values and national culture? What, if any, are examples of insurmountable differences?
Corporates following the six step strategy to analyze the differences between corporate values and the national culture will be able to determine whether the differences of their own values and that of the national culture is too substantial to align. This is because conducting a location and constituent analysis would help the organization to know the possible values and preferences of the local, deep rooted traditions, legal requirements, and others in international culture (Christopherson, 2007). These factors would help the organization realize whether their own values of handling customers, employees and building relationships are very different from the international culture needs. Huge differences between the believes of the organization and that of all possible groups such as consumers, suppliers, employees, unions, and others in the international country would make alignment difficult. This is because the corporate would fail to develop relationships with these important business groups. One example of insurmountable differences is the culture of including Unions in decision making of working condition would be present in the international culture and not on corporate values.
4.What methods can an organization use to develop positive constituent relationships prior to opening for business overseas?
Every organization should implement various methods to develop a positive relationship between them and the business groups before opening overseas business. One of the methods to develop positive constituent relationship is meeting with the leaders of the labor or Union leader to know their needs and in turn develop an expectation between the executives of the organization and the union members. Second method is to communicate with the employees of the overseas region and understand their needs and expectations to develop new policies. This will help in forming healthy relationship with the employees in the overseas branch. Third method is to survey the potential customers in the overseas market where the company wants to enter (Jiang et al., 2011). The survey would help in knowing the preferences, likes and dislikes of the customers according to their cultural needs and design a store accordingly. This is yet another way to develop positive constituent relationships. Open communication and research are an important way to develop relationship with the constituents and beneficial for business overseas
5.What lessons from the Wal-Mart experience and the six step strategy can be applied to improving communication during domestic expansion?
Wal-Mart admits that Germany taught the company tough but valuable lessons about the corporate globalization strategy, with a greater focus on strategic communication concerning constituents and the retail culture in Germany.
it's very important to do a research including the culture, habits, costumer, the other places than offer the same products, the advertising, the merchandising, service, stakeholders, and other thinks that is very important if we want to enter in other places, we have to know that the thinks that work fine here in another place can’t work. And if we want to have success, have to do a several research and follow the correct steps to have a good result thinking in the attributes of the company and all of the characteristics of the market niche.
And with this six steps, we can find all the things that we need to have success if we want to improving communication during domestic expansion, we have to do in order and with several responsibility, finally we have a good results it’s a lesson that Wal-Mart give to all.