Essay on Culture Difference: Germany versus the United States

Published: 2021-07-26
868 words
4 pages
8 min to read
Vanderbilt University
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Marketers globally refer to the values using the acronym CSV which represents a standard way of denoting to the desirable ways of existing or living within a given society. The Geert Hofstede identifies and rates Germanys cultural dimensions in consideration of the diverse culture and awards different scores. For instance, uncertainty avoidance is 65; power distance is 35, individualism is 67, masculinity is 66, long-term orientation is 83 and indulgence stands at 40 (Hofstede).

The first cultural shock I expect to note upon moving to Germany is the discrepancy between the US and Germanys communication style. Hofstede identifies Germany to be an individualistic nation just like the US (Hofstede). Therefore, I expect to easily integrate with the locals without my cultural shock because their communication style is participative, direct and informal. A reflection Hofstede analysis of the cultural dimension of Germany especially on indulgence which can impact on my lifestyle moving to Germany from the United States. My observation is that Germany is not that much different from the United States, for instance, the society is very individualistic. Germanys societal organization in small families with self-actualization being their primary focus just as many Americans do, my family and I included. In long-term orientation, Germany has a high score which is not much of a difference from my lifestyle because all my efforts are to prepare me for a better future. However, the long-term orientation score is as low as 26. Masculinity in both countries is still high, and it is evident that the need to be successful is the motivating factor for most people in Germany while status measured by achievements drives most individuals in the United States. I too value my success according to the accomplishments that I have made and how much competent I remain over time.

Indulgence score in the United States is high with a lower uncertainty avoidance score. Germany displays the opposite. However this will not make my acculturation process difficult because I have a resemblance to the Germans in uncertainty avoidance aspect. From these observations, it is to my surprise that Germanys culture is not that much different from the United States, a country aligned with my lifestyle and personal values. Such a discrepancy, according to me, makes my acculturation easy, it is like moving from home to a different environment with the same culture, beliefs, and norms. In Devinneys research on consumer behavior in Germany sourcing my data from various studies done in the past and statistical analysis by multiple economic and financial institutions in Germany, it is clear that most of the results have the basis of peoples mindsets (6). Any marketer targeting the German consumer should consider the views of the people on various products depending on the amount of money they are willing to spend and the information they have about the product and the familiarity to the product.

The first finding from my online research was that Germans utilized their money adequately because of their restrained culture (Hofstede). They are very good at managing their money with a preference for saving and investing. They have a mindset of saving before spending which is a different case in the US. Devinney notes that the use of debit cards is increasing among the young generation in Germany (6). However, the number of people using credit cards is still lower. Electronic payments, for example, mobile payments are unsuccessful because of trust concerns. It is a clear indication that Germans would still prefer to use cash, direct debits or invoice on delivery give a choice, planning and practicality is also an essential aspect to the Germans. They observe a systematic approach when purchasing. Before purchasing anything, they compare the prices of similar products from different sellers because they have to be well informed about the various products first. Germans like honesty and tend to shy away from exaggeration or any assurance that may sound too decent to be true (Hofstede). It thus evident that Germans are quick to be frustrated if the seller does not meet their promise or if anything goes wrong. A recent study by Devinney shows that Germans have the highest standards in the world. Their primary goal is to achieve optimal satisfaction (6). They expect easy and quick transactions, advice from experts, a fast way to solve problems if any and of course low or affordable prices. Research also shows that Germans have a habit of being very particular about their private or personal details. In their laws, they have those that govern the collection, sharing, and usage of personal information (7). They value privacy so much that even with the current introduction of online business it is still observed that most of them do not take part in it. Instead, most of them view the internet as a source of information and serve merely for communication. Since privacy limits online business, their desire for affordable price and convenience has made online retailing grow. According to Devinney, Germans now value mobile or internet retailing, with 71% of the population participating (7).


Works Cited

Devinney, Timothy. "What Matters to Germans: Social, Economic and Political Values." Anatomy of Civil Societies Research (2016): 2(4): 6-7. Print .

Hofstede, Geert. What about Germany? 2017. Web. 7 October 2017. <>.



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