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

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6 Global Management: A dance with icebergs

cans who are irritated by the German preference for high technol-
ogy, when they know the domestic automotive industry requires
comfort, convenient can holders and a good price

at

the dealers. A

guidebook does not provide long-term support for international
cooperation because it focuses on the visible part of the iceberg,
and therefore does not provide insights on activities below the
surface. It may well provide information about some Asian peo-
ple’s desire for harmony or the concept of management in the
U.S.A., however, what is written on these subjects often remains
somewhat abstract, and as the plane taxis down the runway, most
of the tips and tricks for survival have already been forgotten.

“The Chinese are just not there yet”

Simply knowing the right etiquette is not enough to survive in the
international market place. The centers of power in the global
economy are slowly changing. Consequently, the way in which
international business can be successfully conducted is also
changing. Not everyone has yet understood this fact. For example,
I held a workshop for the employees of a large automotive supplier
that was working in China. We had amassed all sorts of problems
– broken promises, misunderstandings, delays, and so forth – and
continued to do so until one of the workshop participants sighed
with resignation and said,

“The Chinese are just not there yet.”

Where are they going?” I asked.

Yes, well…not so complicated…” was his response.

“They should say what they mean,” says a second participant of
the workshop.

Efficiency”, demands another. When I asked why the Chinese
people should change their way of doing things, the workshop

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