1 Going global: How to succeed in International Business! (29 pages)

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4 Global Management: A dance with icebergs

tations, and the knowledge and experience that controls our
thoughts and actions, none of which is openly discussed. Hence
when these values, attitudes and expectations clash, it can be
both frustrating and unexpected. There is no real

global business

culture

, even if the meeting rooms in Moscow, Stockholm,

Shanghai and Istanbul are furnished the same and the managers
and executives meeting there have so much in common.

Due to these differences and hence misunderstandings, the

Welt AG

or

World Inc.

has failed. Former Daimler CEO Juergen

Schrempp once dreamed of such a global corporation and tried to
merge the Swabisch Group with the U.S. brand Chrysler and
Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation. In early 2001, as it became clear
what a financial fiasco this was, two

Spiegel

magazine journalists

travelled to Tokyo, Detroit and Sindelfingen. During an interview
with top managers, engineers, and marketing and sales people,
they encountered a somewhat diplomatic skepticism, linked with
the hope that the other cultures would gradually understand how
the development, production and sale of automobiles really work.
"The global corporation is in fact a three-world-corporation. It does
not reduce the barriers between the cultures, but rather reinforces
them

as clichés,” wrote Dietmar Hawranek and Dirk Kurbjuweit.

Further, they continued with,

Those who become global, often

become more national in outlook and frequently look for cultural
differences. When we face something new, or are confronted with
an unknown situation, our core identity becomes much more im-
portant to us

1

. Perhaps you remember your first business trip to

Mumbai or Madrid, Guangzhou or Genoa. Have you ever felt the
cultural bond to your homeland more intensely?

1

Dietmar Hawranek/Dirk Kurbjuwelt, “Die Drei-Welten-AG”; in: Der Spiegel Nr.

9/2001, p. 96ff., here p.108.

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