A Survey of American Cross-Cultural Training Programs for Germany
UW-Eau Claire Research Day (April 2002) and National Conference on Undergraduate Research, UW-Whitewater (April 25-27, 2002)
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Every year, executives from the United States are sent overseas to conduct business in Germany. Yet far too often these executives or expatriates return home early. One reason why so many expatriates are unsuccessful overseas is the lack of sufficient cross-cultural training before departure. Consequently, the purpose of this research was to further understand the need for effective cross-cultural training and to evaluate existing cross-cultural training programs for Germany. In order to gather the data, a web-based survey questionnaire was administered to over 200 organizations in from the mid-west in the United States that conduct business with Germany. The survey included 11 questions exploring why the company sends executives to Germany and if the company prepares the executives with a cross-cultural training program before departure. If a pre-departure training program were offered, the survey also examined who conducted the training, the components included within the training, and the effectiveness of the training. Finally, the survey gathered information regarding German business practices and overall cultural differences considered most important by the organizations. According to the results, the majority of organizations (61.8%) did not provide cross-cultural training programs, 88.9% of organizations indicated that 0-25% of expatriates return early and most respondents cited "direct vs. indirect communication" as the number one business practice to understand before conducting business in Germany.
Conducting business in Germany
German business communication
German business practices
Pre-departure cross-cultural training