1. Which European country gives free but compulsory language lessons to refugees and immigrants?
a. Sweden b. Denmark c. UK
2. In which country do employees often count sick days as holidays?
a. Germany b. Finland c. Japan
3. Which European workers work the shortest hours?
a. British b. German c. Italian
4. Which European country has the highest number of foreign-owned companies?
a. Portugal b. Ireland c. Finland
5. Which European country only gave the vote to women in 1971?
a. Switzerland b. Greece c. Spain
6. In what country will decisions made at formal meetings not necessarily be carried out?
a. USA b. Belgium c. Italy
7. In which country is it still common for a man to kiss a woman’s hand?
a. Austria b. Switzerland c. Italy
8. The smallest spread of earnings between the highest and the lowest-paid employees is in which EU country?
a. Ireland b. Germany c. Sweden
9. Which country has the largest proportion of people over 65 in the world?
a. Turkey b. Sweden c. Hungary
10. In which country is it most difficult to work your way from a junior position to a top one in a company?
a. Germany b. USA c. France
11. In which country does the working day start early and finish at lunchtime?
a. Spain b. Greece c. Russia
12. Which country has mostly open-plan offices (also for senior staff)?
a. Japan b. Portugal c. USA
13. In which country is it very important to start a presentation with a joke or humorous anecdote?
a. France b. Greece c. UK
14. Which of the following countries has the lowest proportion of unionised workers?
a. USA b. Germany c. France
15. In which country has unpunctuality been formalised so that it is almost impolite to be on time?
a. Spain b. UK c. Italy
16. Instructions should sound like polite requests in which country?
a. UK b. Netherlands c. Germany
17. In which country is written communication (reports, memos, etc.) an important aspect of business life?
a. Japan b. Spain c. France
18. In which European country do people have the most positive attitude to life?
a. Netherlands b. Ireland c. Greece
5. Case study 1.
A large US multinational, with subsidiaries all over the world, including many parts of Europe and Asia, has decided to run the same seminar for all its managers worldwide on the theme of “cultural diversity”. The intention is that all employees should respect differences of race, culture and gender in the workplace. The company has commissioned a US training consultancy to run all these seminars. They will all be run in English, with the same course content. The same US trainers will run the seminars using a lot of activities such as role-plays and simulations. How do you think this will work in practice when the course is run in different countries around the world? If you were going to attend the course in your country, what would you expect of it?
6. Case study 2.
Let’s assume that you are an American company ABC starting a joint venture with a Japanese firm. Mr Black, project manager at ABC, along with a five-person support team, will be stationed at the Panasonic offices to develop a new project. Mr Black is also managing a five-person Japanese team. He approaches the project carrying his American cultural values, enforced by those from ABC’s corporate culture. He is in Japan with his engineers working with his counterpart Japanese engineers. Similarly, the five-person team from Panasonic carries their Japanese values enhanced by Japanese company values.
1. Discuss different matters about the project trying to avoid cultural clashes.
2. Analyse where you made a mistake and where you were successful.
7. Case study 3.
1. Imagine that your classmates are going to your country to do business and you must train them before they go. To do this, you should prepare an oral presentation focusing on business practices in your country and on the cultural values behind these practices.
2. You should choose a country that interests you, research the country and prepare a presentation focusing on the business practices and cultural values of that country.
8. Case study 4.
Think about several companies (hotels, restaurants, etc.) you are familiar with. Then give a presentation comparing these organisations’ approaches to their employees, customers, etc.