Why do people act or think the way they do. German Corporate Culture, how do German Companies handle their employees and what is the working atmosphere like. German Leadership behavior, how to German managers lead their teams or co-workers, what is expected from them and how do companies value good leadership. These will be the three topics in the following. German Tradition and Culture To begin with, there is nothing like “the one German Culture”. Obviously there are existing similarities but on the other hand a whole lot of variety and diversity.
Every part of Germany has its own character, its own traditions and therefore TTS own culture as well as attitude towards different aspects of history and everyday life. Just to picture an example of how different Germany can be it is enough to take three regions and look at them side by side. In the north you can find the coast where people’s traditions come from fishery in the rural areas on the opposite to inhabitants of bigger cities which became rich by trade and commerce.
Trade and commerce in the big way as the world knows it nowadays was basically invented in Northern Germany when merchants from various cities allied to form the Humanistic League in the 12th and 13th century. Those roots still influence the culture in those cities today by the way people are taking pride in their cities historic background. Next there is the Our Valley in the west. Even though there have always been big cities like Cologne in the region the Rhine-Our metropolitan area experienced a great boom during the industrial revolution because of the regions rich hard coal deposit.
Therefore, people’s tradition and pride is coal mining. Even other Germans from somewhere else are not aware how much pride there is for what the Our Valley did and how important mining still is for people with their roots there. It’s not uncommon that families work in mining in the 3rd or 4th generation even though labor is really hard and not well enough paid anymore it’s the attractive to many people. If you go further to the south of Germany the picture totally changes again. They are traditionally hard working people what comes from their roots as farmers.
Another interesting aspect of Southern Germany is the fact that there has always been a broad variety of intellectuals, inventors and entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the South has always been very wealthy and still is. David Fјџre, Midterm Examination Fall Semester 2011 Chinese Traditional Culture and Leadership Behavior Another aspect that shows the variety of German culture is seen in German cuisine. You can find a lot of hop fields driving across Bavaria in the south and along Main, Rhine and Moses you will find huge wine fields and wineries.
You can find regions with beer breweries in every other village and km further there is a wine region where every village has their own winery. However it is not only about wine and beer, there is also food! Differences in food are even more severe. Every region has their own specialties. There is a lot of different sis specialties up in the north, there is “Carryout” and “Breakfronts” in the West, “Theјringer Bratјrest” or “B¶Heimlich An¶del” in the East, “Spittle”, “Superintendent” and “Unlatches” in the Southwest, “Scuffles”, “Kill¶џe” and “Hoax’s” in the Southeast.
So many varieties of food that probably describes the diversity in German Culture the best. Corporate Culture Traditional German companies started as a small family business and developed into midsized businesses over the years. This coined the corporate landscape over decades and still does today. Most of the multimillion dollar impasses started as a small family workshop in the backyard and grew with time. There are not a lot of companies that are just pulled up in no time just to make money. Most companies are built on a solid foundation, through hard work with lots of effort and sweat.
This background history still is a core part for most of the businesses in Germany, not only for the traditional mid-sized businesses but also for big international companies. It’s honest and hard work that brings success to the company. The background of family businesses is also present in employer-employee relationships where it is a more familiar atmosphere Han in some other countries, but here is a differentiation necessary because as in culture itself there is also a broad variety of companies. There are different fields of work which can totally differ from each other in terms of workplace atmosphere or relationships.
Furthermore the size of a company has an impact on these and various more aspects in corporate culture. To take a closer look at corporate culture in Germany it is useful to limit the observation on big companies because they tend to have similar workflow and processes which make more sense to compare. What big companies bring back more and more re open-plan offices. In the last decades companies tried to go away from them to reward the employees with their own office and to foster concentrated work in a quiet atmosphere.
Meanwhile a lot of companies go back to the put people together in open-plan offices to facilitate group work and exchange to get their employees to be more creative, which is major issue in a lot of Research and Development Departments or also in Communications. Most of the companies probably made here a virtue out of necessity when they had to cut down costs during and after the financial crisis. This was when a lot of companies implemented the openly offices again which was not welcomed to hearty by most of the employees.
In the meantime it seems like most of the people enjoy working in groups especially if you have in mind that networking is getting more and more important in today’s globalizes world. David Fјџre, Midterm Examination Fall Semester 2011 Chinese Traditional Culture and Leadership Behavior Everything is running faster and there is no time for extra ways, so sitting in the same room often helps to cut down time which otherwise would be wasted walking from one office to the other, trying to reach someone by phone or tit for an email reply.
It makes life at work so much easier and it also benefits employee relationships with each other. Of course you need time to rest and some privacy but this is also a part where German companies do a really good job in generating spots where you can backtrack for a little while. Not only companies do a lot to keep their employees happy and motivated. There are also a lot of labor unions in Germany that try to maximize the employees’ welfare.
Sometimes they tend to over exaggerate but it might be good to have a counterpart to some companies that only try to maximize their profit. What is really getting more and more into picture of companies is the health of their employees. Some big companies already have gyms nearby where employees can work out and a lot of companies are planning to do so and build gyms in the near future. Leadership behavior To have the companies up and running you also need capable managers and leaders who are able to run the company with its employees. How can you describe German leadership?
Traditionally, as most of the stereotypes about Germany show, Germans are very strict, always on time and do not like to be contradicted. Those stereotypes were undoubtedly true couple decades ago. Nowadays the leadership behavior is extremely collegial compared to a lot of other countries. It is not uncommon at all that managers have great relationships with their subordinates. Most of them are looking to keep a good and enjoyable working climate in the workplace but are still very demanding and striving for excellence and success as a team.
Of course there is always individuals that try to profile themselves but that is not to be described as typical German, those individuals are found all over the world and that does not have to do with ultra. There is also room for discussion and leaders are trying to encourage discussion and putting topics in question to generate a more productive environment with everyone involved in a project. The collegiality is even more on the uprising with companies encouraging demodulating measures not only for teams and departments but also managers and executives.
The most important thing in today’s globalizes business world, as mentioned before, is networking and communicating. This is not a German thing in particular but it is also a core element to German companies doing business so that it defiantly has o be taken in account when you look at German Corporate Culture and also German leadership behavior, because leaders are the ones that draw a picture of corporate culture on how they vision the future which than has to be realized by leadership and guidance. Another aspect of leadership is the allocation of responsibility.
In Germany there is a movement away from organizational units towards so called “points of intersection”. That way responsibility is getting allocated more widely which relieves managers or other people in similar positions but on the other hand makes the above mentioned networking even ore important. David Fјџre, Midterm Examination Fall Semester 2011 Chinese Traditional Culture and Leadership Behavior This also shows the objective to spread the workload and decrease the pressure on individuals to have a healthy work ethic.
What is not so common yet but pushing into executive and managing levels is physical activities to balance work life. This became really important in recent years. More and more companies want their executives to engage themselves into training their body in order to have a more balanced lifestyle with the goal to get better results in the end f the day. It also shows that Germans do a lot to reach the top and to reach their goals. It is not just about coming to work, do the job and leave.
It is also about how you do your job, do your job right and put effort in it in order to get better at it and more effective. Which leads to another very important aspect of German leadership behavior and German working ethic in general. Effectiveness. As mentioned before, do not just come to work, work and get results. German leadership therefore also means to get your subordinates, your team, to work effectively and correct. These are more stereotypes Germany is known for and Germans are proud of it and do their part to keep it that way.
It really is about excelling in what you do. So some of the stereotypes the world has about Germans are correct and good this way but others like the mentioned strictness and bullheadedness definitely belong to the past and are not up to date. Also as a leader in a German company you should know really good about what you do and what you are working with because it is not about presenting some image, it is about knowing and be able to work with what you know and what you can. If you can excel as a leader companies will reward you in some kind of way.