The Challanges of Cross Cultural Negotiation for Expatriate Managers

The Challanges of Cross Cultural Negotiation for Expatriate Managers

The assignment has to include two managers interview which are related to the case.. The interview questions can be the same for both of the managers and not has to be

more than 15 questions.

In a modern world, intercultural communication plays an important role for everyday’s work of such fields as science, economic, politics, health, education, business,

management and development. International media, ability to travel fast, usage of Internet have made it easier for people to communicate with others all over the

world.
As Ting – Toomey (1999) said, “Intercultural communication takes place when individuals influenced by different cultural communities negotiate shared meanings

in interaction”. The meaning of intercultural communication partly depends on what one consider a culture. Some people believe that “intercultural communication” is

only related to communication between individuals from different nationalities, others, in contrary, expand the notion of intercultural communication to comprise

inter-ethnic, inter-religious, and inter-regional communication, as well as communication between individuals of different sexual orientations. The communication is

highly intercultural when people’s identities are most outstanding in determining the values, language, nonverbal behavior, prejudices. When individuals with different

cultural backgrounds become more intimate, their interactions usually more from intercultural to interpersonal, however, intercultural elements are always important.

However, Lauring (2011) discusses in his studies that while acknowledging the importance of the general national cultural differences in the intercultural

communication, few weaknesses can be mentioned:
?    When culture is conceived as a determining force that affects communicative behavior , there is a tendency to ignore the fact that culture itself is created in

communication – actions are coordinated through interaction;
?    When culture is perceived to be the disturbing force that distorts the dispatched messages, there is a danger of forgetting that neither sender nor receiver

may be particularly motivated to establish the communicative act;
?    Since communication implies not only the transfer of information but also relationship building and social organization, it cannot be conceived as a neutral

act separated from power relations.
For business communication, sensitivity to intercultural factors is the key to success.
According to Lauring (2011), the rise of the internationalized business environment and the intensification of global competition have led to an increasing

number of people traveling across cultural and linguistic boundaries. Due to such a development, the understanding of intercultural communication has gained importance

in using advantages relevant in doing business internationally. As a fact, in future, successful international managers may be the ones to manage communication in

culturally diverse contexts.
The continuing globalization of the 21st century economy has led work organizations to rely mostly on managerial international assignments and expatriate

managers to better compete in the global marketplace (Chen, 2010). In the literature on international business and management, the success of multinational

corporations is frequently linked to the work of expatriates sent by headquarters to ensure the communication to subsidiaries. The ideal interaction would be if the

both parties learnt from each other, therefore, expatriates have often been an effective way to bridge communication and maintain knowledge sharing between the

different parties in the multinational corporations. However, the differences in communication styles and culture are important interference for expatriate

communication management (Lauring, 2011).
Cain (2009) in his article identified advantages and disadvantages of using expatriates:
Advantages:
As he said, “Multinational companies benefit by having a culturally educated workforce. When managers take on expatriate assignments, their exposure to other cultures

and other ways of doing business result in the fact that organization gain a form of a better rounded experience. Expatriates also are able to facilitate communication

and organizational coordination between the home office and distant regional facilities. The whole idea of providing managers with the opportunity to manage abroad

helps to facilitate global learning and create a corporate global mindset. This global mindset and increased knowledge becomes an asset to multinational corporations

as they look to expand and optimize their global operations.” (Cain, 2009)
Disadvantages:
In the same article of year 2009, Cain mentioned “First disadvantage is lack of familiarity with the culture and language of the target market. Expatriates

sent abroad are often not ready for the experience. They are poorly indoctrinated in the ways of their receiving country and sometimes cannot meet the challenge

created by the culture gap. This inability to adapt to the local culture sometimes results in failure of the expatriate manager or in cultural conflicts or bad

“foreign” image. Another down side to employing expatriate managers is cost. Relocation costs, cost of living allowances, provisions for maintaining duel households,

and additional family expenses all contribute to the high cost of the expatriate managers’ compensation package.”
As it is later mentioned in Cain’s article (2009), “one big issue, which perhaps goes without saying, is that individuals chosen for expatriate assignments

must be highly skilled in their jobs. This is a minimum requirement. Multinational corporations faced with the numerous challenges of staffing operations abroad cannot

afford to select candidates who are not fully qualified and proficient. In addition to job proficiency, many multinational corporations are screening expatriate

candidates more thoroughly by administering personality and psychological tests.”
As Chen (2010) described in his studies about expatriate effectiveness, there are two indicators of expatriate effectiveness: expatriate work adjustment and

job performance. These two indicators represent distinct facets of expatriate effectiveness. The work adjustments capture the extent to which expatriates subjectively

feel comfortable handling assignment duties (facilitating work meetings, negotiating with vendors). By contrast, expatriates’ job performance captures the extent to

which expatriates actually carry out their work assignments and duties in an effective manner. From the perspectives of both expatriate and organization, overall job

performance is the most important and direct measure of expatriate effectiveness.
“In order to get a full picture of expatriates’ effectiveness, it is also crucial to analyse their motivational techniques used for reaching international aims

and opportunities. During the analysis of the challenges for expatriate managers, we selected to focus on the field of motivation and motivational techniques.

International leaders of a certain company could face with difficulties while working in a foreign country due to the differences of their culture, and the local

community’s patterns and behaviors. “When it goes to work moral, they have to adapt to the local form of motivation in order to be successful; however, by trying

unusual methods comparing to traditional techniques they also could be efficient” (Roe, R., Zinovieva, I., 2000). Employees all around the world have the similar needs

but these requirements are indicating different levels of need satisfaction of their jobs. Therefore, the role of culture in the terms of job motivation is also

diverse. The reward system of various nations adapts to this theory.
While making the interviews with expatriate managers we designed questions which are connected to their motivational techniques. According to the answers, some

conclusion can be made based on the similarities. All businesses need enthusiastic and committed staff in order to reach organizational objectives. As our managers are

working with Hungarian workers, they have to develop techniques especially tailored for them.
On one hand, managers have to empower the workforce by giving employees more responsibility in their jobs, although in Hungary you must be careful due to the general

need of the superior. As Ting-Toomey (1999) claimed, enhancing creativity and innovation could be another main place from improvement; in our country, it is not usual

to share your own ideas at school and these habitudes are huge barriers for presenting new ideas at the workplace. It is unfortunate because when employees’ ideas are

accepted, they become more motivated to work even harder and to remain relevant and competitive. Establishing trainings and educational programs are also could be

motivation boosters and be encouraged by the staff as well.
In order to accurately evaluate what motivates workers in a multicultural work environment and how they have to choose their leadership style, managers must understand

the dissimilarities in values and the resultant behavior patterns of individuals from their home cultures. According to the interviews, social relationships are

extremely important in the case of Hungarian employees just as the continuous supervision of their work. The opportunity for belongingness also derives from the fact

that the social dimension of work is generally more important for Hungarians than for other nations. Giving regular, direct and supportive feedback is an effective

tool of motivating in that case which is clearly reflected by the answers to the interview questions.

Evaluation
To support our research, and analyze how Hungarian culture is differentiated from other countries, we have interviewed 5 non-Hungarian managers. They all come from

different countries: Switzerland, Russia, USA, Slovakia and Croatia. From their interviews we can see that they consider Hungary as loyal country for developing new

business, however, the tax and labor costs are pretty high. Hungarian people are easy to cooperate with in terms of doing business, they try to build good personal

relations and plan everything work-related with clear structure. However, Hungarians are more careful in trusting others in doing business, more skeptics in

cooperation and not customer oriented.
It was easy to adapt in Hungary for every interviewee, and as they say, Hungarians are efficient in developing personal relations and are supportive to new in their

culture people. However, Hungarian way of thinking may be different from any other country that is why some conflicts were caused.
In order to get the general mindset about motivational techniques of the interviewees, we have to compare the given answers. They all claimed that it is crucial to

follow a common aim when working together and also to develop a good and friendly relationship between the members. In other words each member has to work for some

goal and if the job would be done successively than the member will get one step closer to his own aim or maybe he would achieve it immediately. Regarding difficulties

they did not refer to any especially Hungarian features however they mentioned the problem of dismissing deadlines and dishonesty. Some of them answered that Hungarian

employees are nearly unable to accept criticism, and having issues with deadlines were mentioned again. Bonuses and raising salary is always a good tool in this

country – it can be easily derived from the answers.
In this question number 13, we asked each manager to tell us one time when they had to lead a team and have failed to do their task which resulted in penalty from

their bosses. Furthermore, we also asked them what they gave done in order to raise spirit among team members. As it was expected, failure has occurred to all the

managers, since everyone starts from the bottom and none of the people are perfect. Fortunately, they all learnt from their mistakes and try to pay more attention to

details and to the quality of work which they also expect from their employees, because making mistakes in their positions can result in loss of great amount of money

or a „once in a lifetime opportunity”.

We also wanted to find out the ideal work environment or culture in which our chosen managers feel to be productive and happy. According to the answers, most of the

managers said that friendly work environment is necessary in order to be productive. Same suggested that it is important to trust your colleagues, and this can be done

easier if you have friends among your colleagues. We also consider that each employee should be aware of what their actual task is and pay full attention to that

particular area of work. These factors are important in order to reach a friendly, open and productive team in which it’s a passion to work.

Conclusion

Considering everything, by analyzing each interview that we made with 5 non-Hungarian managers, we have gained a big amount of information on both foreigners’ point-of

views and opinions as well on the Hungarian culture itself. As some academic sources have shown, intercultural communication is necessary in order to have a successful

and international business with knowledge on how different cultures are like. As Hungary was the chosen location, we have received different, but barely the same

feedback on Hungarian work environment as well as motivation techniques from managers, all with different backgrounds.
As they have stated he conclusion that we came to is that Hungary is considered to be an easy place to make business in, which could be explained by the openness and

friendliness of Hungarian people. Motivation, which was basically the main thesis of the essay, can also be solved by different ways, but most commonly by receiving

higher salaries and giving out bonuses. Also important to mention the fact that friendly work environment is a key success factor of an organization for being

productive in way that satisfies both employee and leadership needs.

References:
Lauring, J. (2011), Intercultural Organizational Communication: The Social Organizing of Interaction in International Encounters, Journal of Business Communication.

Available at: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=40497f1f-8fa7-4747-9a3c-f0bac1aba1d6%40sessionmgr112&vid=1&hid=128 (Accessed:09.12.2012)
Chen, G. (2010), When Does Cross-Cultural Motivation Exchange Expatriate Effectiveness? A Multilevel Investigation of the Moderating Roles of Subsidiary Support and

Cultural Distance, Academy of Management Journal. Available at: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=0b34e502-a114-4b98-abff-

b8be30e1b3c1%40sessionmgr111&vid=1&hid=128 (Accessed:09.12.2012)
Ting-Toomey, S. (1999), Communication across Cultures, New York: The Guilford Press.
Cain, P. (2009), What Real MNEs are Doing in Managing Expatriate Assignments: Trends and Strategies, Troy State University. Available at:

http://www.oocities.org/philcain/papers/expatmgmt.htm (Accessed:09.12.2012)
Diplomacy.edu. (2012), Intercultural Communication | DiploFoundation. Available at: http://www.diplomacy.edu/language/intercultural-communication (Accessed:09.12.2012)
Motivation and rewarding system. 2012. Motivation and rewarding system. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ukdissertations.com/dissertations/employment/motivation-and-

rewarding-system.php. [Accessed 09 December 2012].
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organizational-motivation-techniques.html. [Accessed 09 December 2012].
Roe, R., Zinovieva, I. (2000), A Comparison of Work Motivation in Bulgaria, Hungary, and the Netherlands: Test of Model, International Association for Applied

Psychology. [ONLINE]  Available at: http://arno.unimaas.nl/show.cgi?fid=14689 (Accessed:09.12.2012)

Ukdissertations.com. (2005), Motivation and Rewarding System. Available at: http://www.ukdissertations.com/dissertations/employment/motivation-and-rewarding-system.php

(Accessed:09.12.2012)

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techniques.html (Accessed:09.12.2012)

Appendix: Interviews
1. What is your actual job?
I am a director of the Hotel Central Basilica.

2. What are the main differences between doing business in your country and in Hungary?
Hungary is more loyal than Russia for developing new business. It’s easier to get permissions. Never the less the tax and labor are much lower in Russia

3. Was it easy to adapt to the foreign environment?
I came to Hungary when I was 1 year old, so basically I can say that it is my second home country.

4. Have you had any experience in working in foreign environment before coming to Hungary?
No, the first working experience started here and only after Hungary it has spread further to Europe.

5. What was the biggest challenge u faced while in Hungary?
I would say that the biggest challenge was to finish university. I was working more and more and there was less time for studies and exams, so I had to combine a lot

of work and it should be successfully finished.

6. Did you know something about Hungarian culture before you started working here? If yes, did it help you to adapt yourself to the environment? If no, how did you get

used to the new environment and were there any difficulties or barriers?
Yes, I knew culture and I still know it, but if you are asking about adaptation then you have to know the mentality. It is very important to understand how this people

are thinking, what aim, what they are focusing on, is there and the priorities. All difficulties and barriers depend on what kind of person you are. I haven’t got any

of them because I can adopt in any environment, I respect the culture, people, history and language.

7. Why did you choose Hungary as a “place to be”?
Well, as I mentioned before I came to this country when I was 1 year old so it barley was my choice. The reason of my family moved here was most probably the

connections and my father had a lot of partners already doing business here and Hungary becomes our choice as well.

8. Describe a work related goal that you have set for yourself.
I have a favorite quotation by Lord Chesterfield which sounds like: “Take care of the minutes and hours will take care of themselves.” (c) This quotation describes my

goal as each minute of my life I would like to learn so I before facing a new task I would be prepared.

9. Describe one experience when you had to lead a team.
I was 16 years old and my father has decided that I need to face with responsibility. He gave me a job. I was a manager on Furniture Company and I was obliged to

manage and control 15 workers. That was a big step forward because I knew if somebody would be late or do not proper work we would ran out of schedule and all of us

would be kicked out. Since that time I understood that knowledge and spirit would make people to listen to you even if you are 16 years old.

10. How do you keep each member of the team involved and motivated, while keeping morale high? What steps do you need to take to achieve this?
Important thing from the very beginning is to make everybody understand that you are following common aim and if all of you together would achieve it than each of the

team member would get what he want. In other words each member has to work for some goal and if the job would be done successively than the member will get one step

closer to his own aim or maybe he would achieve it immediately.

11. Have you ever tried to do a job for which you were unqualified for? How did you react at that time? Were you able to accomplish your task?
Yes I was in such situations many times. I react normally, because there are no things or tasks that a person can not do. It depends from a person if he really would

like to complete the task and does not know how than he would find it out through books, internet, colleges, friends. It depends only on person.

12. What goal you achieved which at some points seems hopeless? Why did you keep going on?
I would say some small increase in salary would be a hopeless goal for me. I keep going forward because I believe and I know my main goal which is for instance a

position of a CEO. A person always passes small unnecessary goals to get closer in what he believes he would like to get.

13. Tell me about a time when you and your whole team were demoralized for some reason. What do you do to raise spirits?
I had few of this kind of situations, but the whole team need to understand from the very beginning that everything what was achieved is a result. The result itself

means that you got your point and if you succeed this time then you always would work like this or if you failed then never repeat this mistake.

14. Are there any recent changes in the company that might have affected your motivation?
Of course if somebody from the team is leaving it is always affects the whole team structure and efficiency, but the new comers might be better and they would bring

new ideas.

15. Describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy.
The best environment is when your colleges are your friends. You trust them more or you can punish them harder but the most important that you know each of your team

member from the inside.

16. Describe a work situation in which you can demonstrate that you encouraged the motivation of another person.
It’s always possible to see according to the result. When all work is done in time and all customers or investors are happy. Team is a mechanism like a clock. In case

even small tiny part does not work properly that the clock would start to be late and in the end would simply broke down. The same with team if one member would work

not properly he would bring the whole team down.

1. What is your actual job?
I’m the General Manager of Mom Wellness Fitness Center.

2. What are the main differences between doing business in your country and in Hungary? ?
As I experienced over the years, Hungarian people are easy to connect with in terms of cooperation. If you start a business, things will continue flowing the way they

should, there aren’t any outstanding issues that I had to face.

3. Was it easy to adapt to the foreign environment? ?
I’ve been living in Hungary for decades, so I really got used to the environment by now: Basically, I can consider myself as a Hungarian.

4. Have you had any experience in working in foreign environment before coming to Hungary? ?
I was working as an adviser for a security company and later when I finished my studies, I started working as a personal trainer for body builders in Slovakia.

5. What was the biggest challenge u faced while in Hungary?
As I mentioned earlier, there weren’t any special problems, therefore I can’t mention any. I was facing issues that could happen in any other cultures as well, for

example people are out of due date for completing work, not honest, trying to rip you off, etc.

6. Did you know something about Hungarian culture before you started working here? If yes, did it help you to adapt yourself to the environment? If no, how did you get

used to the new environment and were there any difficulties or barriers?
I had Hungarian friends ever since I was a small kid, so I had the chance to get to know the Hungarian “point-of-view” and experience their thinking. This could be

adapted later on, when I started working in Hungary, because I already knew what I could expect, so nothing really surprised me.

7. Why did you choose Hungary as a “place to be”?
I decided to move here, because I met my wife in Budapest. The other reason was that I wanted to work in the “gym industry” which started to grow very popular in

Hungary by that time, so I found it beneficial to start business in Budapest.
?
8. Describe a work related goal that you have set for yourself.?
Since I consider myself as an enthusiastic person, I really like what I do for living. My actual goal was to find a job what I’m interested in and can be done with

passion, so it’s basically my hobby.

9. Describe one experience when you had to lead a team.
I have been in the General Manager position for more than 10 years now, so ever since then; I have to lead teams of people. When we opened Mom Wellness and we needed

to hire new employees for different positions (reception, cleaning ladies, personal trainers, etc.). Leading a team can only be successful if you take it seriously and

spend more than enough time with each member to get to know them better. As all other managers, I’ve met with all kinds of personal and work problems, but these all

needed to be solved in order to keep the business going.

10. How do you keep each member of the team involved and motivated, while keeping morale high? What steps do you need to take to achieve this? ?
My personal opinion is to have a good and friendly relationship with all the employees, because this creates a certain working environment where everyone has a

positive attitude. Of course every people have bad days, but this can be managed easier by a more “open” relationship with employees. For motivation, I would say that

good work has to be rewarded in any ways that really depends on the leader. Bonuses, raising salary is always a good motivation for employees.

12. What goal you achieved which at some points seems hopeless? Why did you keep going on?
I used to be the General Manager of another fitness center few years ago, which really gave me a hard time. We opened that gym basically by ourselves, which meant that

I had to arrange everything up till the smallest part of a fitness machine. This was a very though time, because there was only a limited number of help, so I had to

deal with most of it by myself, including all the licenses required. I didn’t think about giving up, because I knew that I will benefit big time from it when it will

be fully finished and this is what actually has happened, the business was sold to an investor on a very profitable price.

13. Tell me about a time when you and your whole team were demoralized for some reason. What do you do to raise spirits? ?
There was one time when I was working for a security company in Slovakia in the 90’s. Our company made a contract with a factory, but when we started working together,

things didn’t work out the way they should have, which meant a big loss for our company, because we lost that business opportunity with the factory which resulted in a

great profit loss. As the leader of the team, I was really let down by my boss, which gave me a good lesson for the future. Since then, every time there is a task to

complete, no matter what it is, I gave a 100% focus on it, so no pity mistakes should occur.

14. Are there any recent changes in the company that might have affected your motivation?
I can’t tell anything that would change my attitude or my motivation. I keep being motivated and try to see things in a positive way. I think that makes life much

easier.

15. Describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy.?
I really like friendly work environment, where employees are “friends” for a certain level. This creates honesty between employees which makes it possible for fast

problem solving if it’s necessary. If anyone has any problems, I expect them to let me know if I see that it affects productivity negatively.

16. Describe a work situation in which you can demonstrate that you encouraged the motivation of another person.
As a personal trainer, I met with several people who were facing serious weight issues. Although many of them gave up training, there were some who made an incredible

change on their bodies by working extremely hard. Also when I trained one of my colleagues and he won an international weightlifting tournament that gave a boost to

both of our motivations.

1. What is your actual job?
I’m originally an accountant, but I made investments in Hungary in the past years.

2. What are the main differences between doing business in your country and in Hungary? ?
Since I come from the United States, I had to face a totally new mentality and point-of-view of doing basically anything, not only business. In the US, trust is

considered to be the major root when making business; people kind of expect others that they can trust them. In Hungary, people are more careful, in terms of trusting

one another; they are more skeptics in a way that differs from my country’s way of cooperation.

3. Was it easy to adapt to the foreign environment? ?
I visit Hungary 2 or maximum 3 times a year for catching up at the company that I recently invested in. I never actually lived in Hungary; I usually stay for a week or

two when I travel here. In 2010, when I made my first investment in a chemical factory in Budapest, I had to meet the owner and different managers of the company to

negotiate and talk about the details. I was not easy for the first time to be honest, we had totally different point of views and opinions on certain things which

resulted in conflicts, but this has been fixed as we were getting along.

4. Have you had any experience in working in foreign environment before coming to Hungary? ?
I only worked in the United States before.

5. What was the biggest challenge u faced while in Hungary?
The biggest challenge was that we had a different understanding when we were at a meeting, discussing company data and business strategies. As I told you earlier, I

only stay for a week and spend most of my time at an office building, there aren’t any other difficulties I had to face.

7. Why did you choose Hungary as a “place to be”?
A friend of mine from Canada called me that there is an investment opportunity in Hungary. Since I never been to Hungary, I got curious and gave it a try.
?

8. Describe a work related goal that you have set for yourself.?
As an accountant I got used to being precise at work, little or no mistakes are allowed in my job, because it can cause a big mess if something is miscalculated, so I

do my best at whatever task I need to complete.

9. Describe one experience when you had to lead a team.
I was leading a team few years ago, when I was asked to be the head accountant in a company. I was the boss for several other accountants.

10. How do you keep each member of the team involved and motivated, while keeping morale high? What steps do you need to take to achieve this? ?
I expected that all employees who belonged to my department are involved in everything that happened and give 100% of their attentions to the task that needed to be

done. I required them to make reports in every two weeks, including any observations and improvements in certain tasks.

11. Have you ever tried to do a job for which you were unqualified for? How did you react at that time? Were you able to accomplish your task? ?
When I graduated college, I applied for a job at company that produced toys. I was put into the position of designer of certain toys, which was a miserable job, since

my imagination of designing new toys was very limited, so it wasn’t the perfect position for me at all.

14. Are there any recent changes in the company that might have affected your motivation?
My recent investment in Hungary was sort of a big challenge. As I said before, the lack of communication and different difficulties sometimes affected me negatively,

but after solving one problem after another, things started to turn positive again.

15. Describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy.?
I like the kind of work environment where everyone does what he/she is capable of doing. This is the major key of being productive and successful. I always like to be

updated by the latest news regarding the environment I’m working in and I don’t mean rumors. Having information is a very important thing for thinking forward and

making the right decisions.

1.    What is your actual job?

My name is Mira Attenhofer. I am from Switzerland. I am the General Manager of the company Autoonline and the regional director of the Hungarian market.

2. What are the main differences between doing business in your country and in Hungary?

There are differences which are advantageous and some which are more challenging to conquer compared to the Swiss business environment. Basically, the Hungarian

business environment is very dynamic and active, good personal relationships are essential and managers prefer working in a scheduled, planned way with a clear

structure. However, sometimes they are too formal, not really customer oriented and inefficient with time.

3. Was it easy to adapt to the foreign environment?

I really enjoy living and working in a foreign environment and as Hungary and Switzerland are both European cultures it was rather easy to adapt to the local culture.

Hungarians are really efficient in developing personal relationships and they were extremely supportive at the beginning of my expatriate career despite that I do not

speak Hungarian at all.

4. Have you had any experience in working in foreign environment before coming to Hungary?

I had the opportunity to spend several months abroad due to the global nature of my position. I mostly worked in Germany and Austria. I believe that there is a lot of

business potential in Hungary; it is getting into a new economic era and this is why I am here.

5. What was the biggest challenge you faced since you are in Hungary?

I was impressed by the technical skills of the Hungarians although my general opinion is that the managers here are nearly unable to accept criticism. If I am not in

my business environment, the locals are not good with foreigners and they have rather a negative attitude towards innovative things. I would also mention the lack of

ambition, bureaucracy and that deadlines are not taken seriously. It is surprising for me, but doing business in Hungary without extended meals and a personal

relationship is impossible

6. Did you know something about Hungarian culture before you started working here? If yes, did it help you to adapt yourself to the environment? If no, how did you get

used to the new environment and were there any difficulties or barriers?

I already had lot of Hungarian business partners before I actually started to work here, although my knowledge about the culture was really elementary. After

administrational issues, I explored the city of Budapest day by day and started to get used to the differences compared to Switzerland by being respectful and humble.

Language was the biggest barrier as Hungarian is not like any other; it has nothing to do with English or German. Also, Hungarians tend to create laws which are not

able to keep.

7. Why did you choose Hungary as a “place to be”?

As I mentioned earlier during the interview, I see huge possibilities within the Hungarian market. It takes time and patience but I am sure it will worth it.

8. Describe a work related goal that you have set for yourself.

Regarding work related goals, my personal aim is to improve the disorganization of the region as well as to motivate the creativity of the employees in problem solving

issues.

9. Describe one experience when you had to lead a team.

The standard feeling is since this country is different they can handle everything without outside help, until that is, things start to go wrong. This situation is

exactly what I experienced during teamwork; after giving clear instructions it seemed that we are on track until the deadline arrived when the whole project collapsed.

10. How do you keep each member of the team involved and motivated, while keeping morale high? What steps do you need to take to achieve this?

Hungarians are people-oriented and there is a stronger tendency to avoid risks. Earning a living here is more difficult than in Switzerland; a good salary is a great

motivational factor. It is also important for Hungarians to trust and respect their superior. Therefore, I look for positives in all situations to be motivated myself,

to be a role model. I always try to keep the working environment informal and point out all the milestones. Positive feedback is also an effective tool as well as

giving the team members smaller, achievable goals.

11. Have you ever tried to do a job for which you were unqualified for? How did you react at that time? Were you able to accomplish your task?

At this moment, I can’t think of any situation which could be a relevant answer to this question.

12. What goal you achieved which at some points seems hopeless? Why did you keep going on?

13. Tell me about a time when you and your whole team were demoralized for some reason. What do you do to raise spirits?

Brainstorming sessions are always offer solution if a situation like this occurs. I ask if they require any clarification about the project and listen to their

suggestions carefully. Eating together – especially in Hungary – is always effective.

15. Describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy.

For me an ideal workplace is rewarding participation and good, creative ideas. By this feature, all employees have the chance to suggest how they could improve their

part of the company. It is also crucial making sure that all employees understand their role in helping the workplace achieve its goals. In my case it was also

beneficial that Autoonline Hungary joined to the regional industry.

Cross-cultural Management
Semester 1, 2014-2015
Group assignment

Working in teams of 3 (or 2 in exceptional cases), you are expected to research the theme “Challenges for expatriate managers”. Note that this is a theme, not a title,

thus a specific focus (e.g. negotiating, motivation, teamwork, communication, etc.) must be defined.

Suggested work process:
1.    In groups, brainstorm areas where international managers may face challenges/difficulties when working in a host country, e.g. negotiation, motivation,

teamwork. Choose one that you are most interested in.
2.    In addition to revising the relevant chapter in the core text, do some background reading (at least 6 trade and academic sources) on research that has

investigated this area.
3.    Prepare a set of questions that will help you gather the experiences, opinions, feelings, etc. of managers in an effort to confirm (or disprove) the

theories/ideas/models proposed in the literature.
4.    Identify at least 2 managers that would make good targets for your interview, ideally face-to-face, rather than by email. Try to achieve some variety in

age/gender/nationality etc., or, on the contrary, interview subjects who are similar in some respect (e.g. all are young and inexperienced, all are women, etc.).
5.    Conduct the interviews. Take detailed notes.
6.    Analyse the interviews, trying to identify commonalities and differences between them. Compare your own findings with the literature.
7.    Write up your research. The paper should follow the structure of an academic paper, and be 1800 words (plus/minus 10%), plus references. The interview

questions should be enclosed as an appendix. Remember to print a cover sheet, including names of group members, module name, academic year and word count.

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