Week Five

To start off, you might enjoy the clip below- please note it contains the “F word” so the easily offended may choose to skip this:


Part 1:- Business Culture in France (15-30 mins)

Worldbusinessculture.com is a website which publishes information on the differing cultural approaches in the global business environment. It is published by Global Business Media Ltd which is a UK-based e-publishing company.

Exercise 1: Doing Business in France

Please visit the page on doing Business in France. http://www.worldbusinessculture.com/Business-in-France.html Please read this and visit the links on the right hand side of the page.
Do you think that this information is accurate and relevant? Are there issues and areas that are not covered?

Exercise 2: How “French” are you?

The website offers an online test which considers various business issues and contexts

1. Social position
2. Group Orientation
3. People Relationship:
4. Business Focus
5. Communication Style
6. Time Management
7. Business Planning

Please visit the site and take the test http://www.worldbusinessculture.com/compatibility/test/

 Select Europe as your area
 Select Europe as your country
 Select France as your comparison country

 Enter the rest of the details as necessary.

I was quite “French”, except that the test tells me that I tend to work much more collectively than the average, individualistic, French person

Part 2: (30 mins- 1 hour)

Earlier in the course we considered business culture. Please visit the Open Learn website where there is a good module on business culture which includes consideration of the place of national culture.

Today we will focus on the national culture part of this module (but feel free to work through the whole module in your own time.

Please visit the two pages that cover national culture (see the links below) and complete the 2 activities


Exercise 3 (Activity 1): consider each item in the following list. In your country's culture, is this behaviour considered to be acceptable or not?
• Paying an agent for an introduction to a business opportunity.
• Paying a government agent for bureaucratic procedures to be bypassed or speeded up.
• Making a copy of a product that you have seen at an international trade fair.
• Paying people to find loopholes in tax laws.
• Giving gifts to the purchasing manager in a large business organisation.
• Charging high interest rates for unsecured loans to individuals.


Exercise 4 (Activity 2): can you think of any examples where a business you have worked for, or heard about, has tried to operate in a slightly different way from what you would expect? List any examples you can think of and make some notes on how it looked or felt different, and why.

Part 3: More on Hofstede’s Dimensions (30 mins -1 hour)

You can watch and listen to Geert Hofstede on Youtube discussing 2 of the dimensions he has identified.

Power Distance

Collectivism & Individualism

You can find a fuller listing of the ratings of different countries at the links below:


Map/ Table

Do you find Hofstede’s dimensions accurate, interesting or useful a

Exercise 5: Please write and then email me 2 mini-essays to cover:

 Guidance, hints and tips for doing business in France.
 Guidance, hints and tips for doing business in another country (you choose the country)

Additional Resource

Earlier in the course, I introduced the idea of a community of practice. The podcast at the link below covers how to establish effective Communities of Practice (CoP)


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