Bulgaria vs. Germany: Business Culture Contrasts Essay
Cross-cultural Communication Research Paper Bulgaria vs.. Germany: Business Culture Contrasts December 05, 2011 Each country and its inhabitants have their own specific way of communicating with one other. It involves greeting, laughing, smiling, and basically every kind of human behavior. This specific behavior we simply call – culture.
The culture reflects in every aspect of people’s everyday life, even at our workplace or business. It is not surprising, that business culture reflects many aspects of the culture itself. Indeed, national culture often serves as a model for companies’ culture.
Thinking of business and business culture no one can skip one of the leading economies in the world – Germany.
Comparing the Bulgarian and German culture and business relations is a very exciting topic. It is very interesting how both countries’ cultures are influenced from the history they had for the last 60 years, creating different and contrasting business environment. The typical inhabitants both have different context culture: “Otto Measurement” for Germany has a low-context and “ABA Gangs’ for Bulgaria has a high-context culture.
Having a look at all the economical and statistical charts, these wow countries always diverge as black and white from one another. But what are the basic geographical and demographic differences between Bulgaria and Germany? As a matter of fact Germany’s area is three times bigger than the Bulgarian’s one and it has eleven times more population (81.
7 million in 2010), which means really a lot of people to do business and to communicate with. The lowest salary in Germany is eight times higher than the one in Bulgaria and the rank “ease of doing business” for Germany is much better than the Bulgarian one.
The political disunion in Germany after the World War II influenced the people’s culture and way of behavior and created frugal, tenant and taciturn people. Those people of course work in the same strict and reserved business environment.
Because of the people’s nature the companies have autonomous departments and business units with very little and sometimes even walkout any communication Detente ten various companies’ compartments Germans corporations can be classified as bureaucratic organizations in which personal relations play a minor role because the focus is on the tasks at hand, everything depends on the personal skills.
In comparison to the Germans the Bulgarians were influenced in a very different way. All those limits and privations ring the age of communism created very open-minded, gregarious, good-humored, motivated and strong people, when this era finished. Since 1989, when the democracy age started, the citizens were finally allowed to have private business. This fairly new business environment is full with motivated and creative people inspired by the new opportunities they now have.
. In comparison to the Germans’ taciturn relationships the Bulgarian companies have better and easier communication between one another.
Despite those differences both countries are doing business together very well. According to the governments review from December 2009 Germany has ranked among the leaders in terms of direct investment in Bulgaria. More than 1200 companies are active and they are doing really well. Although this is much more because of the economic advantages, the companies based in Bulgaria still have to communicate with the companies within the country.
This means, despite all the differences in the culture and business culture style, both countries can rely on each other’s behavior and communicate with one another.
The typical Germans are very industrious, honest, thrifty and orderly. Their culture of communication is Low- Context. This means that they like to focus on individual details instead of seeing a larger picture. If they say that they like something, this is because they really like it, not Just because they do not want to offend someone. That is why they really appreciate punctuality, privacy, intelligence and personal skills.
In comparison to the Germans the Bulgarians are on the other side of the river, which means they have High-context communication culture.
If someone has to say something the expression is much more “colorful” compared to the Germans’ way of communicating. During a conversation, they like to use more words, body language and gestures than most of the Germans do. All those differences can be observed during a normal business meeting.
Let’s take as an example a business negotiation between one Bulgarian and one German businessman. The German one prefers to show his skills, of knowing how the business should be done, and to focus on the details, such as price and delivery in the next few months.
Compared to his colleague the Bulgarian businessman prefers to negotiate a longer term business relation and not to focus on the details as much as the Germans. The explanation about the manner of communication in such a situation is that the Germans are skills oriented and they like to show how good they are in what they are doing, and they are focusing more on that, than anything else. The Bulgarians businessmen pretend that they are skillful but this is not the center of the world for him during a negotiation.
They are much more interested in a long term business relations and prefer talking about this.
The different approach in every situation is only a matter of culture. Germans consider making a mistake as uncertainty, which is a good reason to try avoiding all type of stakes. People in Germany don’t like to make mistakes and if they do, they don’t like to admit having made a mistake. This sounds strange but it’s actually not.
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They really care so much about this, that they are capable of doing something so childish: not to admit having made a mistake. In comparison to the Germans the Bulgarians are much different and mature, in fact quite the opposite. The Bulgarians are not afraid of doing a stake and they are not afraid to admit having made a mistake and the most important is they actually learn from the mistakes. CONCLUSION Having experience with living in both of the countries I would like to add my personal vision, how the life and the culture in Germany and Bulgaria looks like.
Germany is a great business oriented country with an amazing infrastructure and enormous opportunities.
Everything is lined with the German punctuality and perfection, and everything is designed to be where it has to be. Everything Just perfect! Despite these facts it is quite boring living in a country obsessed of work and saving money. It looks like the Germans’ concept for life is to “exist” and then “live”, and the critical point between those two forms of life is the retirement.
After being retired every German is well prepared for living the way he was waiting his whole life – buying a nice car, traveling and many others. And this way of life cycle is even supported by the government with giving the people the high standard to make this happen easily.
Compared to the Germans the Bulgarians prefer live their life the other way around – first “live” and then “exist”. They usually have a funny and carefree childhood allowed by crazy studentship. The family and the career is a very important for the Bulgarians but having fun is as much important as the rest.