Major Cultural Differences from the United States
From the Hofstede cultural scores, the United States and Poland have close similarities in terms of long-term orientation and masculinity. However, they differ in Power Distance, Individualism, and Uncertainty Avoidance.
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Poland is more of a hierarchical society compared to the U.S. This implies that lower-level employees in Poland expect to be told what to do by their bosses, unlike in the United States where a participatory approach and information sharing is encouraged between managers and subordinates. With regard to individualism, both the U.S. and Poland are individualistic societies. However, the U.S. is more individualist compared to Poland. The extent to which issues related to hiring and promotions are based on merit is much stronger in the U.S. than in Poland. In terms of uncertainty avoidance, Poland scores highly at 93 compared to the U.S. at 46. In the United States people are willing to accept risks in terms of trying new technologies, business ideas, and innovative products; in Poland, people prefer to avoid risks or uncertainty. For example, employees prefer to have job security. Similarly, the citizens prefer to maintain rigid behavior, beliefs, and ideas. Unlike in the U.S., in Poland, the need for values and rules is highly valued, even when the rules do not seem to work (“Hofstede Geert” par. 1). This explains why Poland was not affected by the financial crisis whereas the U.S. was extremely affected.
Major Ethical Differences in Business Practices from the United States
Unlike in the United States, in Poland, personal relationships are very important in making business decisions. They are considered to be of importance than economic outcomes. Foreign companies intending to invest in Poland must therefore dedicate sufficient time to understand their local business partners. Oral communication is regarded highly as opposed to written inquiries. In Poland, written communications are ignored. Similarly, in the United States, gifts are not accepted in business transactions and are considered to be bribes (“CIA: Poland” par. 3). However, in Poland, gifts are accepted at the beginning of a contractual relationship and at the end of any business collaboration. In addition, unlike in the U.S. where a typical work week ends on Friday, in Poland a typical work week includes Saturday morning.
Major Differences in Political Economy from the United States
In terms of the political system, Poland and the U.S. are not so much different given their individualism scores- 60 and 90 respectively. Individual welfare is more important. Poland just like the United States is a democratic state under a democratically elected government. In terms of economic systems, the country pursues a free market economy just like the United States. GDP growth rate for Poland from 1999 to 2009 was greater than that of the United States (4.0% and 2.1% respectively). However, Poland GDP is significantly smaller compared to that of the U.S. ($430 billion and $14,119 billion respectively in 2009). In terms of legal systems, Poland has a well-developed legal system. The laws are codified, and they include laws that regulate commerce and business. The laws cover a broad range of issues, including payment of corporate tax, property rights, dispute resolution, and competition law (Canfield 4).
How Managers Deal With These Differences
Managers deal with these differences through learning and acquiring new insights about the target country. Managers have to learn about the different regulations, laws, culture, political economy, purchasing habits, and marketing habits that work in a foreign country (“Tradestart: Bio Partnering North” par. 5).
Types of Training a Marketing Manager needs to be effective in Exporting to Brazil
Marketing in the Brazilian market requires sufficient training on the local market. This includes training on implicit and explicit costs of doing business in Brazil. These costs are commonly referred to as Custo Brasil; the costs include environmental laws, distribution, a complicated tax structure, employee benefits, and government procedures. Similarly, U.S. marketing managers must be trained on the complex legal and customs system in Brazil. Finally, successful marketing in Brazil largely depends on interpersonal relationships. As such, marketing managers must be trained on how to develop business relationships in the country (“Export: Doing Business in Brazil” par. 4).
Canfield, Miller 2011, Doing business in Poland. PDF file. Web.
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CIA: Poland 2013. Web.
Export: Doing Business in Brazil 2011. Web.
Hofstede Geert: Poland – Geert Hofstede 2013. Web.
Tradestart: Bio Partnering North America – Korea Workshop. 2013. Web.