Cultural Traits of Greece and International Business

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Why is it essential to know the cultural traits before entering a foreign market?

How cultural traits of Greece affect International Business?

How these cultural traits affect management practices and negotiation procedures?

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  • hey Christopher, do you have this same info. in a published printed source anywhere?
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Cultural Traits of Greece and International Business

  1. 1. Cultural Traits of Greece and International Business<br />By Christopher Pappas<br />Master of Business Administration 6100<br />Dr. James M. McFillen<br />International Business and Management<br />Monday, July 27, 2009<br />
  2. 2. Objectives<br /><ul><li>Why is it essential to know the cultural traits before entering a foreign market?
  3. 3. How cultural traits of Greece affect International Business?
  4. 4. How these cultural traits affect management practices and negotiation procedures?</li></li></ul><li>Why is it essential to know the cultural traits before entering a foreign market?<br /><ul><li>World economy is shifting to a world where trade and investment barriers decline. Globalization gives the chance to businesses to expand their revenues and reduce their costs.
  5. 5. It is of great importance for an international business to investigate how the society’s culture affects the values found in the workplace.
  6. 6. While doing business internationally, it is essential to consider a number of national culture elements which have an impact on consumers, employees, managers, and partners.
  7. 7. A company in order to benefit from globalization needs to deeply understand and integrate the culture of the local market. Management processes, procedures, and supply chain policies should vary based on culturally determined work-related values.
  8. 8. Knowing the cultural dimensions, managers can adjust their negotiation behavior and effectively achieve their goals.</li></li></ul><li>Geographic Information: Location<br />Location: Southern Europe<br />Capital: Athens<br />Borders: <br />West: Ionian Sea (Italy)<br />South: Mediterranean Sea <br />East: Turkey <br />North: Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria<br />
  9. 9. General Information<br /><ul><li>Population 11,216,708
  10. 10. GPD per capital $33,434
  11. 11. Member of the United Nation since 1945
  12. 12. Member of Europe Union since 1981
  13. 13. Member of the Economic and Monetary Union of EU since 2001</li></li></ul><li>Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions and the Greek Culture<br />Power Distance: Greece’s power distance index is 60 with a world average of 55.<br /><ul><li>In Greece the relationships among top managers, middle level managers, low level managers, and employees are not very close or personal.
  14. 14. Subordinates expect guidance from upper level managers and they are not given important work.
  15. 15. Greeks expect and accept that managers are right and their skills and abilities should not be questioned.
  16. 16. Employees do not participate in decision making and there is more centralized pyramidal power structure.
  17. 17. There is not motivation for subordinates to discuss problems of the producing process or suggest more effective ways of producing.
  18. 18. There is a gap between wealthy and poor citizens.
  19. 19. Exact opposite of Switzerland, the country with the lowest power distance index score.</li></li></ul><li>Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions and the Greek Culture<br />Individualism versus Collectivism: Greece’s index in individualism is 35.<br /><ul><li>Greece is a collectivism society.
  20. 20. People are loyal and protective to each other, they tend to protect each other from what we call face lost.
  21. 21. Greeks value group unity and harmony more than individual success.
  22. 22. They retain tight family relationships with the extended family.
  23. 23. In working environment personal relationships, bonds, and moral values are stronger than contacts.
  24. 24. Group achievement are more important than personal goals.
  25. 25. Regarding cooperation, people are highly collaborative and not competitive with each other.
  26. 26. Exact opposite of USA where people are more self-centered and emphasize on their individual goals.</li></li></ul><li>Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions and the Greek Culture<br />Masculinity versus Femininity: Greece’s index is 57 with a world average of 50.<br /><ul><li>In Greece there is gender differentiation of roles.
  27. 27. Sex roles are differentiated, money and material goods are highly valued and an acquisition of wealth is of high priority.
  28. 28. Family structure is traditional and fathers “govern” the family.
  29. 29. In working environment the male dominates a significant portion of the society and power structure.
  30. 30. There are only few women in upper and middle level management positions and there is a large gender wage gap.
  31. 31. Exact opposite of Netherlands where females are treated almost equally to males in every aspect of social life.</li></li></ul><li>Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions and the Greek Culture<br />Uncertainty Avoidance: Greece’s index is 112, which is the highest of all countries.<br /><ul><li>People in Greece follow career paths that provide job security and retirement benefits.
  32. 32. They expect clear instructions, rules, and regulations.
  33. 33. Very common to start and end their carrier in the same organization.
  34. 34. They hardly ever change job or career paths.
  35. 35. People in Greece and in other countries that score high in uncertainty avoidance, such as Austria, Belgium, France and Germany are conservative, xenophobic and the gender roles are traditional.
  36. 36. People want to maintain long term relationships with partners they know and trust.
  37. 37. They do not feel comfortable in creating relationships with foreign partners; hence, they face difficulties in surviving in the complex and international business environment.
  38. 38. Exact opposite of USA, where people are comfortable with changes, flexible and stimulate innovative ideas.</li></li></ul><li>Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions and the Greek Culture<br />Long-Term versus Short-Term Orientation: no data for Greece. However, being a Greek and being aware of Greek history and mentality, I can estimate that Greek society is short term oriented.<br /><ul><li>Greek society values steadiness and stability.
  39. 39. People respect tradition, hesitate to implement new technologies, evolve, and change strategies.
  40. 40. These characteristics can be a barrier in fast moving markets and keep countries from being innovative and competitive.
  41. 41. Steadiness and stability are not adequate in fast growing markets.</li></li></ul><li>Cultural Dimensions of Greece Compared to Cultural Dimensions of the USA<br />PDI: Power Distance Index<br />IDV: Individualism<br />MAS: Masculinity<br />UAI: Uncertainty Avoidance Index<br />LTO: Long-Term Orientation<br />
  42. 42. Negotiating with Greeks<br /><ul><li>Greeks prefer trading with friends, so it is very important to build friendships and relationships. Networking and becoming an insider is necessary for a successful trade.
  43. 43. Gatherings and hospitality are highly valued in business relationships. Such occasions include gift-giving, drinking, and toasting.
  44. 44. During the negotiations, hand-shakes and introductions are key elements. It is important not to rush into the actual negotiation, since Greeks like to get to know the opposite party, their background and body language.
  45. 45. It is essential for the foreign partners to “read non-verbal messages”
  46. 46. Greeks tend to take time to respond to a proposal, delay their response, and need to check with the headquarters often. They appreciate business partners that are persistent and do not give up easily.
  47. 47. Prior to the negotiations it is important to know the hierarchy in the company and who is the decision-maker. In addition, establishing third party connections and common friends, as well as having a local consultant is extremely helpful.</li></li></ul><li>Connected to Greece<br />

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