As far as the Hofstede model of cultural dimension is considered, it has been analysed that it provides the variation in culture of the two countries. It has been analysed that this helps in making the cultural comparison. The four factors that are to be considered here are:
- Power distance
- Uncertainty avoidance
Power Distance: power distance deals with the extent of acceptance of the unequal distribution of power by the less powerful people in the organisation.
US scores fairly low in this context which suggests that the power distribution is quite equal in US. The Americans believe in justice and liberty for all.
In contrast to this, France scores high on power distance. The French people teach their children to be dependent on the family and this dependency gets transferred to teachers and then the superiors. This makes the French people to accept the high power distance.
Individualism: this is the dimension that deals with interdependency of the people on each other in the society. In the societies that are individualistic in nature look for themselves while the people who believes in collectivism work in groups and also take care of each other.
US scores high in this dimension that means the society in US is very much individualistic and work for themselves or their direct family only.
France is also a society with high individualism. Parents in France make their children independent on the society they live in and teach them to work for themselves and look after their own family.
Masculinity: In this dimension, masculinity is refers to the nature of the society that believes in competition, achievement and success and the people who live in this society can compromise their personal life for work.
US scores high in this dimension which suggests that US is the place where people work and does not enjoy their life. They give more importance to their work.
France on the other side is feminine in nature. The society in France believes in quality of life and this is the sign of success for the people.
Uncertainty avoidance: it is the aspect that deals with the way society deals with the new ideas and uncertain future.
US fairly scores below average in this aspect and this suggests that the Americas welcome new ideas and accept innovation very easily.
On the other hand, France is the country where the people believes in structure and planning and thus scores high in this section.
Trompenaar’s research is used to identify the cultural conflicts between the cultures of the two countries. In this case the discussion is about US and France. Following four elements are considered in order to discuss the cultural conflicts:
- Universalism versus particularism
- Individual and communitarianism
- Specific versus diffuse
- Achievement versus ascription
As per the rules of these contexts, it has been analysed that countries with universalism nature believe in applying the rules and regulations on universal basis and it is believed by US. As far as France is considered, it is the country that believes in distinct rules and regulation. The success of Disney Park in other countries with universal rules and regulations motivates it to implement the same rules in France as well without considering that France is the society that believes in particularism. The next concept of individualism and particularism suggests that French people live in the society of communitarianism and USA is the society that believes in individualism. In terms of being specific and diffuse, USA is the society that pays attention to negotiation and discussion clearly while French people discusses very inappropriately. The last one is about achievement and ascription. US society believes in achievement and considers people who as per their achievement for example, Walt Disney while French people on history and ascription.
Three mistakes are:
- In US, Monday is light but Friday is considered as heavy day for guests and Disney has assumed same for France as well. However, the situation was opposite and thus results in operational issues.
- The dress code that was designed for the staff of Disney at France was influenced by American culture and thus France employees have resisted the same and this becomes the problem for the company. Disney should not try and impose their rules but should consider the French culture.
- Cultural operational errors were a major problem. For example, the alcohol was ban at the theme park and this is not the culture of France. France has the culture of taking wine with lunch
The three lessons that the company should learn are:
Research of the market: it is required to research about the market of the local country in order to implement the rules and regulation and framing the policies rather than assuming the things. Disney should have researched the market of France before imposing or framing the policies for business. It is required to have the full knowledge of the culture and the legal aspects of the country where the business needs to be implemented. Business plans made on the basis of assumptions cannot work.
Alternatives: Disney was so much confident because of their success in Japan and thus they have implemented the plans without making any modifications. It is required to make alternative plans for the business so that they can be implemented at the time of failure of the preceding plan.
Effective operational plan: after gathering the information about the culture of France and the beliefs of French and European customers, the company should make the plan as per the information and think of the plan that would be most suitable. Disney should have hired French people at managerial positions so that they can handle the staff and make them learn things in better way.
Hofstede, Geert. “Dimensionalizing cultures: The Hofstede model in context.” Online readings in psychology and culture2, no. 1 (2011): 8.
Trompenaars, Fons, and Charles Hampden-Turner. Riding the waves of culture: Understanding diversity in global business. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2011.
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