Project Management in Germany

Essay by Amanda PalesUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2009

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Leading Across Cultures: GermanyQ1. Discuss the significant elements of German culture and how they relate to management styles.

The significant elements of German culture are: high levels of uncertainty avoidance, assertiveness, individualism, and low levels of humane orientation and power distance. German leaders are typically straight forward and willing to engage in constructive confrontation. They are more task focused than relationship focused and are more interested in getting the job done than getting along with others or being liked. Communication tends to be clear and direct. Leaders are open to upward feedback. Leaders don't lead from a position of power as much as they lead from the position of authority on the subject matter. Leaders lead from the perspective of technical knowledge and business experience. The idea is that you're a leader because you know what you know, not because you are in a powerful position. This came about because of the negative authoritarian experiences of Hitler and Bismarck.

Q2. Discuss the leadership framework in GermanyThe leadership framework in Germany is built subject knowledge. Leaders in Germany tend to be hands on, figuring out and implementing business solutions themselves. Germans tend to be pragmatic, formal, disciplined and value action over reflection. They are less likely to value the development of self-knowledge for effective leadership. Understanding cultural differences now has relevance for German leaders. Not only do German leaders encounter varying cultures in Germany, but many are leading across borders and they have come to value cultural acumen as important for their success.

Although German leaders are known for their flair for organization and management, they are less skilled as innovators. Their leaders view strategic planning more as a control mechanism than as a way to define long-term company goals. Their focus on operational effectiveness and execution helped Germany develop into...