GERMANY
BUSINESS ETHICS



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WORK & LEISURE
In Germany work is very important.  However, it does not always come before leisure as it does in some other countries.  Money is sometimes an end unto itself as Germany is a masculine and somewhat materialistic society.
DIRECTION & DELEGATION
There is clear direction by a hierarchical structure in Germany.  However, decisions and strategies are formulated by a consensus.  German people look for order through the hierarchical structure rather than a large power distance.
LOYALTY
Loyalty in German organizations is quite common.  Managers work hard for the common good of the whole organization.  They believe that through this hard work the company will also be loyal to them.
STAFFING
In Germany, nepotism is frowned upon and discouraged.  Career advancement is still very much based on seniority rather than performance.  However, "performance related incentive schemes become more and more important in Germany, especially in more dynamic business environments."
COMPETITION
While Germany is a more individualistic society, German workers do very well working as members of a group.
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
German workers look for "well defined job descriptions and specialization" in the work place.  These clear cut responsibilities lead to the more secure and stable environment that most German workers look for in a job.
TIME
In Germany workers believe in conserving time in the workplace.  They are very direct and to the point so as not to waste time.

 

Dr. Schroeder answered the question of whether seniority or performance were more important in the German workplace by stating the following:

“German labor laws are different (stricter) than those of the U.S.  Inefficient employees are not fired easily; while many Germans are skeptical about working for U.S. companies (particularly those smaller ones).  Doubts persist among workers about how long the firms will exist. Unlike American workers, younger Germans are keenly interested in pension plans and the history of the firm.  A three-month probationary employment period (six months, for management) is common for both sides to ‘feel each other out’.”
 
 

Sources
Deresky, Helen. International Management: Managing Across Borders.Third Edition.Prentice Hall.2000. p114.
Interview with Dr. Kirsten Daniel of Loyola University, New Orleans
Interview with Dr. Ronald Schroeder of the Loyola University Small Business Development Center
Scarborough, Jack. The Origins of Cultural Differences and Their Impact on Management.Quorum Books 2001. p215-216.