Hofstede – Turkey and Germany Essay
The article I chose was written by Roger Chambers, and I found it in what is called the Associated Content by Yahoo. It talks about Turkey and its acceptance into the European Union.
The article discusses how Angela Merkel’s visit to Turkey in March, 2010, certainly did nothing to speed up the process of Turkey being accepted in the European Union. The Prime Minister wanted to nurture the idea of giving Turkey what she called a “privileged partnership” with the European Union. Even though this so called partnership may have been beneficial to both parties, Turkey didn’t accept regardless of the advantages.
The article pretty much states that for Turkey to be accepted into the European Union, it needs to be accepted by Germany. Joining the European Union requires Turkey to meet European standards in legal, social, political, and economic issues. So far Turkey has only solved one out of 35 issues of concern to the European Union. The article furthermore talks about how Turkey’s rejection to the “privileged partnership” will only lead to a continuing negotiation process that has no guarantees of success.
Turkey has a big confusion dilemma between its eastern heritage conflicting with its western lifestyle. Even though over 90% of the population is Muslim, Turkey is still considered a secular nation. Germany is considered Turkey’s largest trading partner. Approximately three million Turkish workers live in Germany. Most of these families maintain their language and heritage, opposing to the German Lifestyle. You can easily find Turkish language schools in Germany. With all these details about Turkey and Germany, one would think they might have a good relationship.
Conflicts regarding social integration and discrimination towards Turkish immigrants have been going on all around Germany. This is where Hofstede’s Dimensions come in place. Mediterranean countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have the similar dimensions. These dimensions greatly conflict those Viking roots countries like Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria or Switzerland. The two graphs below show the dimension for Germany and Turkey. Germany : Turkey: The first bar is referred to as the Power Distance Index (PDI). This relates to whether organizations may or may not accept hierarchy.
Countries with a high PDI, Turkey in our case, acknowledge and expect that power is distributed unequally. A good and easy example to show this hierarchy could be when it comes to family. If for example you are the smallest brother in the family, whatever the father says has to be acknowledged without any doubt. And if the father wasn’t there for any reason, the judgment or final decision goes to the biggest brother and so on. This hierarchy works the same way, not only in families, but also in business. Turkey tends to differentiate ranges on society.
This is demonstrated by their show of respect for their elder population and those of authority while Germany gives more equality to society, as you can see German has a low PDI. The second bar refers to Individualism (IDV). The higher the bar, the more anticipated an individual is to look after him/her self, the more the individual focuses on his benefits disregarding the group he is in or family. Germany and United States are in the top five of the most individualist countries where each individual looks for their own benefit rather than working as a team and receiving a mutual help and cooperation.
On the other hand Turkey has a low IDV, meaning people from birth onwards are incorporated into strong, interconnected groups, often extended families like uncles, aunts and grandparents which continue protecting each other in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. Sacrificing one’s own interest for what is better for the group is typical for a country with a low IDV like Turkey. The third bar is Masculinity (MAS). Masculinity is regarded as the distribution of roles among the genders, which is a major issue for any society.
Men and woman in Turkey have different values and aren’t as equal as the men and woman in Germany. In turkey men have their roles and women have theirs. In German it’s pretty much the exact opposite. The biggest example would be Germany’s prime minister is a female. The fourth and last bar for Turkey is the Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) and it deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. A high UAI score means a country does not deal well with uncertain situations. As Turkey is considered a Muslim country, one would predict that they would have a high UAI.
This means in order to avoid uncertain situations strict rules are applied. When it comes to business, Turks would like to get know more and engage in a business relationship with whomever they’re doing business. It is not enough to know someone’s background, history and business accomplishments to do business with them. A relationship has to be formed in order to do business. Germany has a low UAI, meaning they are flexible with rules and have an open structure related to the workforce and economy. As explained in the paragraphs above, there is a big cultural difference between Turkey and Germany.
Turkey may have developed some part of the western culture or lifestyle, but this lifestyle is similar to the Mediterranean countries. And Mediterranean countries have a culture which is in constant conflict with Scandinavian or Germanic countries. This makes negotiations much more obscure and complex between Turkey and Germany. Germany has a very strict and serious way in doing business, while Turkey has a very relaxed and traditional way. As I said before Turks want to know who they are doing business with and want to form a relationship, while Germans want to do business and only business, excluding everything else. As the requirements for Turkey to join the EU are coming from Germany, they are no doubt going to be much more demanding than if they were coming from a Mediterranean country like Portugal or Spain.
Chambers, Roger. (2010, April 2). Turkey and the European Union: Full member vs. “Privileged Partnership. ” Retrieved February 15, 2011, from Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions. Turkey’s cultural Dimensions. – www. geert-hofstede. com Retrieved Febuary 15,2011, from
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