Case Study: Wal-Mart Read Attach File Wal-Mart - NAFTA

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Wal-Mart

Read attach file Wal-Mart - NAFTA. Then: 1. give a 1.5-page opinion prove analyze topic. 2. Post TWO news sources (articles) a response Main Topic explain briefly (sentence) news stories bear topic

Identification & analysis of the organization's problems

Wal-Mart must tread carefully in its venture into Switzerland, particularly in the field of personnel management. It must learn from its past mistakes. In 2005, Wal-Mart was forced to withdraw all operations from Germany, mainly because of the cultural difficulties it faced in assimilating into a nation with a profoundly different business culture that could not accept standard American corporate regulations upon employee behavior. Wal-Mart's stress upon cheerfulness was met with stony silence from German workers who were unaccustomed to being told how to behave every day at work (Wal-Mart: Struggling in Germany, 2005, Business Week). First and foremost, Wal-Mart must acknowledge the importance of personal privacy in Switzerland. Instructing workers about their need to smile and have a continually upbeat attitude at all times would not be received well, given reserved Swiss attitudes. Despite the fact that Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer, it has also often been called the world's most parochial retailer in the manner in which it imposes its norms upon foreign companies and cultures and it must change this egocentric attitude in adapting to Switzerland.

Switzerland as a nation encompasses both Italian, German, and French provinces and it at the center of Europe. Famously neutral as a nation and also famously tight-knit as a society, because of its location it is intensely international in its outlook view (20th century, 2011, Swiss World.org). But there are some advantages for an American company in dealing with Swiss employees, in terms of the cultural dimensions expressed in Swiss businesses vs. other cultures. For example, like American culture the Swiss place great emphasis on punctuality, upon private rather than open meetings, and logic over emotions is prized (Adler 2001: 23). These attitudes would likely foster some synergy between Americans and Swiss employees -- there are no expectations for holding long, rambling lunches, in Switzerland, unlike France and Italy. There is also a strong respect for rules and ethical behavior in Switzerland. Unlike American managers in the developing world (such as Latin America, Africa, and the Far and Near East), bribery and official corruption is not tolerated in Switzerland. Also like Americans, the Swiss prefer to have formal beginnings and endings for meetings, rather than a loose and free-wheeling style of facilitation. Meetings must have a purpose, in the Swiss point-of-view (20th century, 2011, Swiss World.org).

When communicating with Swiss workers, this need for structure and direction should be respected when giving orders. In fact, even more so than Americans, the Swiss like to keep a very closely-drawn line between private and public matters. Although the Swiss enjoy entertaining and good food, frequent workplace outings such as softball and golfing outings are not common in Switzerland (Doing business in Switzerland, 2011, World Business Culture: Swiss Business Structure)

However, American companies tend to be far more willing to take risks and to break with tradition, in contrast to the cautious nature of Swiss culture. Wal-Mart catapulted to… [END OF PREVIEW]

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