Read the case study, Culture at Wal-Mart. Western companies often impose western culture on the country in which the business is launched. Locate an article about a Western company (not Wal-mart) and the influence of a national culture on the success or failure of the organization. Summarize the findings of the article. What is your analysis of the situation? How could this have been prevented? The written assignment is to be 3-5 pages. Use one to two sources in addition to your text. CULTURE AT WAL-MART Wal-mart is the largest corporation in the world. The company, now located in 15 countries, has not been an unqualified success abroad. In 2006 Wal-Mart pulled out of Germany, due in part to it’s failure to adjust to the national culture. German shoppers, accustomed to no -nonsense, impersonal service, found Wal-Mart employees’ smiling, outgoing style off-putting. The company’s “ten-foot attitude” –a salesperson who comes within 10 feet of a customer must look the person in the eye, greet the person, and ask if he or she needs help–simply did not play well there. Food shoppers, used to bagging their own groceries, were turned off by Wal-Mart’s practice of allowing clerks to handle their purchases. Furthermore, German employees, who had grown up in a culture that accepts workplace romances, found the company’s prohibition against on-the-job relationships bizarre. Unfortunately, executives did not react quickly enough to the cultural clash. Despite their need for cultural know-how, they passed up the opportunity to install German-speaking managers in key positions. While the company struggled to adjust to unfamiliar cultural standards, fierce competition from German retailers cut into its profits. After an eight-year effor that cost the company one billion dollars, Wal-Mart’s executives conceded defear. Now they are learning not to make the same mistake in China and India.
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