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Adapting To The French Culture

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Adapting To The French Culture

Executive Summary

Intercultural experience is important. However, due to the significant differences between cultures, it can be very difficult and sometimes even almost impossible in adapting completely to other cultures. Intercultural experiences help to avoid misunderstanding and conflicts which may have further negative consequences that can be detrimental. Therefore, one needs to have the awareness of the cultural backgrounds and differences of other cultures. There is some sort of differences in the way some people from different cultures view, interpret and apprehend the world around them. Using Edward Hall’s theories and Geert Hofstede’s dimensions of culture, the paper will assess the intercultural and cross-cultural challenges between France and Finland. There are some cultural differences or between France and Finland. Appropriate strategies are required to manage the cultural differences in place. These strategies include; learning the culture of the other country, promoting appreciation of cultural differences and foster strong relationships between the French and Finnish. By applying these strategies, the intercultural issues between France and Finland can be managed and be able to adapt to one another’s culture. 

Introduction

In contemporary globalization, cultural knowledge, as well as cultural adaptation, are fundamental in managerial and business actions in various countries. Intercultural experience is important. However, due to the significant differences between cultures, it can be very difficult and sometimes even almost impossible in adapting completely to other cultures. With the rapid globalization today, it is essential to raise awareness of intercultural understanding to be more able to work in international environments and interact easily with different nationalities with different cultures (Isosävi, 2020, p.180). Essentially, intercultural experiences help to avoid misunderstanding and conflicts which may have further negative consequences that can be detrimental. Therefore, when they move to another new culture, problems might arise before adapting to the new culture. Therefore, one needs to have the awareness of the cultural backgrounds and differences of other cultures. This report will present a brief background on managerial cultural differences between France and Finland. Using Edward Hall’s theories and Geert Hofstede’s dimensions of culture, the paper will assess the intercultural and cross-cultural challenges between France and Finland. Eventually, the report will present relevant strategies that can assist in effectively managing the cultural differences identified. 

Background on Managerial Cultural Differences Between France and Finland

Some managerial cultural differences are existing between France and Finland. In France, in its managerial culture, teamwork is not used so much. Managers in France tend to focus on individual employee performance rather than collective performance through teamwork. In France, it is believed that teamwork tends to promote laziness as others will cover up for the lazy ones. This form of assistance in the teamwork declines the desired results (“Adapting to the French Culture – CS EN,” 2016). On the other hand, Finland’s managerial culture encourages teamwork. Organizational performance is perceived to be significantly attributed to teamwork. Collective effort is embraced in Finland. In France, scheduling is highly considered. In organizations, all work practices and tasks are scheduled. The schedule includes the task that needs to be done, the time it needs to take and also the specific persons to do the tasks. All operations are under a schedule. No work or actions are done irregularly. Any changes need to be informed in advance. In Finland, they are not strict about sticking to schedules. Their operations are flexible and accept any changes that interrupt their programs set earlier (Tuuva, 2016, p.14). In Finland, women are treated equally to men. In terms of job positions, women are granted job positions equal to that of men. Top managerial positions are also granted to women just as men do. While in France, women are not treated equally to men. Women are given fewer job positions as compared to men. Moreover, top managerial job positions are mainly given to men than women. 

Intercultural Challenges between France and Finland

Geert Hofstede, Dimensions of Culture

Geert Hofstede has performed research on culture and dimension of culture in which culture might be grouped and easily understandable. These five dimensions are used to and analysis culture dissimilarity between Finish culture and French culture (Storey, 2018, p.56). The five culture dimensions are:

Masculinity

Finland’s nation possesses a woman like culture according to Hofstede’s principle. These feminine roles such as children, tenderness, people and home are part of the finished culture. Finnish individuals are caretaking and the same. Women and men take care of their children and household work in Finland. Feminity can be noticed in Finland in some of the ways such as equality among women and men in private and working life (Tuuva, 2016, p.19). The president of Finland is a lady and this proves that finish men respect the woman as their leader. According to the theory of Hofstede, masculinity is represented by France as it can be seen from daily life. French people tend to be proud and aggressive creating macho-culture. Their own culture and language are highlighted commonly to other Europeans and foreigners.

Individualism

Both French and Finnish are much individualistic. French tend to believe that they are in control of their lives and bringing themselves out as individuals. According to their belief, each individual should perform her work and honestly expressing their own opinions. Individualism for finish culture is also essential but in a slight contrasting way (“Adapting to the French Culture – CS EN,” 2016). The importance of individual opinions is strong and gender roles follow the model of individualistic. Females can hold power easily as males especially in town areas.

Uncertainty avoidance

Finland is categorized as an uncertainty charitable nation due to better tones to everything new and curiosity to everything different. There are no problems that arise from Finish culture when ambiguity situation is present. Some of the words such as flexible, experiment and creative are stimulated by the culture and it’s common to follow a set of rules by law in Finland. Individuals are not bothered hence they take each day as it moves forward having no negative feelings or stress (Isosävi, 2020, p.178). Feelings and aggression are not openly shown and it is the norm to hide feelings from others. Cultures and nations that are tolerant of uncertainty were described by Hofstede that they are not easygoing, do not possess social taboo and informal. French has mistrust in what they perform according to Hofstede. They also try to like an idea of safeguarding their ways of performing tasks in the same way and avoid being close to the unfamiliar. French tend towards being strong in their speaking, emotionally and opinions to their opponents.

Power Distance

French fall into power distant side than tolerance. The firm is with frontrunners and its members will trail them. Power division is centralized fairly and the majority of scientist or managers comes from best institutions of France that are is the privilege of being the best of the nation for a long period. In Finland, there is a difference in power distance compared to that of France. Some of the core values in Finland are responsibility and equality between individuals. This shows that Finland is a low power distant nation (“Adapting to the French Culture – CS EN,” 2016). There is an encouraging connotation for individual rights, criticism, and negotiation in Finland. Every challenge is required to be resolved through negotiation, application of people’s rights and criticizing personal opinions without a negative tone.

Long/Short Term Avoidance

France is short than long term when it comes to short and long term avoidance. They are said to be living and very passionate at the moment. French perform their long chit chats and long lunches before they start working as part of their culture. They have acquired a quick paste of life even though more time is taken to perform everything (“Adapting to the French Culture – CS EN,” 2016). French is easy going and puts their lives on pleasure from anything else. According to the Cultural Dimension by Hofstede’s, Finland is categorized as long term oriented nation. Hard work is more values and is part of life in Finnish culture. It is common to respect traditional and adapt to the modern context in Finland anything that relates to long-term benefits is highly valued.

Three cultural indicators by Edward T. Hall

Edward T.Hall noticed that these issues are varied according to culture and he categorized nations from this means. French approachment to space shows a discrepancy and it represents a culture where the family is believed to be having more than a core family of children and parents. It is also typical for children to be with their parents during their studies (Isosävi, 2020, p.188). French do not create meetings to reach resolutions but to share data and talk about issues influencing the case. France is categorized as a large context culture, decisions are controlled by feelings and emotions more than rationality. French is well known for their conversations, aggressive, intensive and passionate approach to show feelings in public.

According to Edward T Hall, research is different in time and space than for French. The space of an individual is valued and is conserved as an essential part of privacy. Between members of the family, space is large and respect for privacy is practiced (Isosävi, 2020, p.189). When individuals are talking, each statement being made will be primarily understood by some of the words used for the Finnish individuals. Time is well organized and the brand is more essential than the procedure. It is common to perform one task at a time and emphasize one action at each period in Finnish culture.

Relevant Strategies that can Solve the Cultural Differences

Learn the culture of the other country

To effectively manage the cultural difference between Finland and French, it is important to increase cultural awareness between the two cultures. The French and the Finnish must take time and research concerning another’s culture. This will enable the two cultures to appreciate and understand the culture of the other which will make them more comfortable (Croucher et al., 2015, p.81). Learning about another culture’s values and likes such as protocols and customs, their food, business practices and also their customs. To learn more about their cultures, both the French and Finnish can obtain a host of information that is available online. Through the internet, the two cultures can get to learn and understand more about their cultures. Through the internet, one can access and easily identify the basic tenets of the culture of the other country. Due to this effort to learn the culture of the other country with whom one interacts with will make them feel appreciated and will accept to freely interact.

Promoting appreciation of cultural differences

Appreciation of cultural differences can be achieved by setting aside special days and events which involve sharing cultural aspects between the French and the Finnish. This has to be made to look fun by showcasing their cultural practices (Isosävi, 2020, p.181). It may involve requesting the people to give a “Lunch and Learn” presentation that features the ceremonies, food items as well as other elements of that culture. This will promote, interaction and socialization as well as allowing every person to learn about and appreciate one another’s culture. This will significantly, help to address intercultural issues.

Foster strong relationships between the French and Finnish

A strong relationship can be established between the French and Finnish through encouraging team-building. Establishing meaningful relations between the two cultural groups is vital in keeping everyone engaged in appreciating and performing group tasks collectively. Team building can be achieved through in-person team building events which will enable the Finnish and the French to interact, and establish strong relations which is important in getting to understand one another efficiently (Croucher et al., 2015, p.81). This can be initiated by first setting up weekly face-to-face calls for both cultural groups to go through their progress in adapting to one another’s culture. Team building can also be done online through online innovative games such as Ozoneplay. This app will enable the two groups to compete for cash prizes. Essentially, video games have increasingly become so popular in team-building. Using such games will help in creating relations. 

Conclusion

To sum up, in the modern world, intercultural knowledge and experience are important. One can efficiently adapt to a different culture by appreciating, learning and understanding that culture. Intercultural experiences help to avoid misunderstanding and conflicts which may have further negative consequences that can be detrimental. Therefore, one needs to have the awareness of the cultural backgrounds and differences of other cultures. There are some cultural differences or between France and Finland. Appropriate strategies are required to manage the cultural differences in place. These strategies include; learning the culture of the other country, promoting appreciation of cultural differences and foster strong relationships between the French and Finnish. By applying these strategies, the intercultural issues between France and Finland can be managed and be able to adapt to one another’s culture. 

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