The word ‘management’ originated in America and ever since assumptions have been made about the universal acceptability and success of their business practices. There are a number of international ventures which have failed miserably due to Americans not considering the cultural aspects when entering into business in a new country.
Euro Disney is a perfect example of the failure of American business processes in another country. The primary aim of this article is to explain how Euro Disney suffered the costs of cultural miscalculations. Geert Hofstede’s work on culture has served as the theoretical basis of this article. His dimensions of culture have been used to explain differences in American and French cultures & the problems that occurred at Euro Disney.
American businesses make assumptions about the transferability of their business, management, marketing, economic and structural models of organizing which frequently fail to take into consideration cultural differences. An example of the consequences of such an approach to intercultural business practice can be found in the Disney Corporation’s recent European venture, now called Disneyland, Paris. Lack of cultural sensitivity and the negative infiltration strategy used by the Disney Corporation resulted in a great loss of time, money and reputation for which the corporation has only recently begun to compensate.
It is the primary thesis of this article that the initial losses experienced by the Disney Corporation may have been prevented if only its representatives had known then what they know now: simply put, that organizations are not distinct, separate entities capable of functioning outside their physical, social and cultural environments. That insight, of course, calls for a different approach to international business, one which begins with the most basic aspect of human organizations, namely effective, meaningful, communicative interactions between people.
As international business is becoming critically important in this world of globalization, so is the need to understand cultures, cross cultural psychology and people across nations. There is a lot of focus on cultural studies and plenty of research is done in this area. Yet, there is a lot of scope for further studies due to the gaps in the research. Today there are several models which help understand how people from different nations are expected to act; the one by Geert Hofstede has become the most influential (Hong, Zhang & Stump 2007, p. 60) The cultural dimensions by Geert Hofstede have served as the specific theoretical framework for this study.
Although there are many criticisms to the Hofsted’s model and his dimensions yet there is no other study that compares so many other national cultures in so much detail. Simply this is the best there is. (Mead chapter 2: pg 51) With the advancements in communication and technology, the physical distance between countries is diminishing (Angur et al. , 1994; Jandt, 1995; Samovar and Potter, 1995).
This physical distance is not the only thing that needs to be bridged in order to when practicing international commerce. Hofstede’s dimensions reflect a nations’ value system. From further reading into this dissertation have tried to show how American business management tends to assume that they have the best business people that lead to them having the best business practices. While they may work very successfully in their or cultural setting, they do not work across borders.
Importance of the study: Scope of the study:
Why did u choose this topic?
There are many studies that have been conducted in the area of cross cultural psychology, but none that have tried to connect the problems faced at Euro-Disney to Hofstede’s dimensions. These dimensions have served as the specific theoretical framework for this study.
Purpose, what are we trying to do
These dimensions reflect a nations’ value system. Power distance and Uncertainty Avoidance affects how an organization is structured and how it functions. The two main problems that an organization can face are
How to distribute power, and
How to avoid uncertainty.
Through this research, have tried to show how these two factors were taken for granted at Euro Disney.
Furthermore, this research aims at studying the implications of the four dimensions on the working of MNC’s and
How will it help others and how can they use it for further research
My work is a sincere effort to contribute to cultural literature. I hope it proves to be beneficial for further research studies.
Overview of the study:
· Chapter 3 (Case of Euro Disney): This chapter describes all the stages of the research process in carrying out the present study. In particular this chapter gives a clear definition of the research method employed including sampling and data analysis.
· Chapter 2 (Literature review): This chapter will begin by outlining the existing literature on the concepts of brands, brand image, private brands and consumers’ perceptions toward private brands. Also in an attempt to meet the main research objective, the other areas (sub-objectives of this research study) such as consumers’ attitudes & preferences, brand loyalty, brand awareness toward private brands and positioning strategies of private brands have been rigorously discussed, which will provide full support to this research study.
· Chapter 4 (Discussion): This chapter discusses the results of the research, in particular, presenting statements made by informants with regards to themes that emerged from the transcripts. The chapter ends with a summary taking into account the exploratory nature of the research, and the importance of insight.
· Chapter 5 (Conclusion & Recommendations): This chapter deals the conclusion of the present research study. It will be presented in light of research findings from Chapter 4. By referring to existing literature the discussion will highlight major findings in conjunction to identity development. At the end of the chapter, recommendations for further research will be given.