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France just like other countries has strong cultural dimensions that are depicted in the manner in which people relate with each other. France social structure can be explained using social characteristics, which are portrayed in the outward expression and society beliefs. Geert Hofstede carried out an intensive study in the manner in which, workplace values are controlled by culture. His objective was to raise awareness of the disparity in cultures, especially when people engage in international business. France social structure can be analyzed using what Hofstede had expostulated.
Masculinity vs Femininity
Masculinity is the level at which the society does not reinforce or reinforces the masculine work role model comprising of male achievement, power and control. If a country has a high ranking of masculinity it indicates that it experiences a level of gender differentiation which is high. In such environments or cultures, men dominate bigger portion of power structure and power structure. In the same environment female are given the lowest ranks and are largely dominated by men.A ranking of masculinity that is low indicate that show that the country possess low levels discrimination and differentiation between genders. In such culture there is equal opportunity for male and female. France is ranked as having a high femininity. It was ranked 29 out of 39, it has low masculinity. Expectedly equity and equality are highly regarded in France and there are low cases of discrimination against women Women are treated with the same respect as men. Positions of government and governing bodies are equally shared out between genders with no discrimination with regard to gender. Women are not discriminated against and in some cases they are treated better than men. France is a feminine country and has more welfare systems. Societies that are feminine have sympathy for underdogs. Dialogue is encouraged as a means of solving disputes at the workplace. Competition at the workplace is not encouraged
Using Hofstede culture global analysis, it would be noted that France has a high Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) of 86. Uncertainty avoidance is concerned with the tolerance of society to ambiguity and uncertainty; it refers to search of truth by man. In this case, it explains the degree at which, culture programs members to feel either comfortable or uncomfortable in situations that are unstructured. Situations that are unstructured are unknown, novel and different from the norm or surprising.Cultures which uncertainty are avoiding, such as France, try as much as possible to reduce the possibility of similar situations, through the use of strict rules and laws, security and safety measures, and on the religious and philosophical level by having a belief in an absolute truth. They embrace existence, one truth, which they believe, that they have. Frenchmen or countrymen are not keen on uncertainty; through planning diligently, they try as much as possible to avoid uncertainty. The society in France relies on laws, rules, and regulations. The culture in the country is to minimize risk to a great extent, and implement changes gradually without upsetting the normal course of events.
French people will have aformal way of conducting business, which will comprise of many policies and rules. In dealing with French citizens, one needs to be concise and clear concerning his parameters and expectations. The French will expect or expect a well defined structure in their dealings.People of French origin will also exhibit a sense of nervousness characterized by high levels of expression and emotion. When dealing with people from France, it is good to prepare or plan in advance, and communicate early enough by providing detailed plans. The tactical aspect of the job should be emphasized.The Frenchmen will avoid confrontations or differences. It is important to be plain straight forward, when dealing with the French people.
France also has a high individualism score of 71. Individualism refers to the degree of connection that people have with each other in the society. If country scores highly in individualism, it indicates that it has connection that is loose among people. There is little responsibility sharing and interpersonal connection beyond friends and family circles. A low score shows that there is strong cohesion among groups. In France, where the score is high, there is a high degree of valuation of an individual, and his need for freedom. People prefer to acknowledge personal accomplishment and achievement, as opposed to communal or group achievements. People of France have a high sense of privacy, and they acknowledge that ones privacy should be respected. People are rewarded for their hard work. When dealing with French people, it is not wise to dig for more detailed personal information. It is good to enhance or encourage debate to create an atmosphere, where one will share personal ideas freely. In France, there is strong respect for structures and rules to avoid high level of uncertainty. On the other hand, individualism is also encouraged. Accumulation of wealth encourages a high sense of individualism among different individuals, as is the case in France
The Power Distance Index shows the extent of inequality or equality in the society of a country. A ranking, which is high of power distance, indicates that there is the existence of wealth and power, which have been allowed to grow in the society. The score of France on power distance is at 68, which show that mobility among the citizens is not at its best due to inhibitions that are created following disparities in wealth and power.The well defined structures also contribute to the level or degree of interaction of individuals, within the society. Acknowledging personal achievement is highly appreciated in France, and people want to live their own individual life without their privacy life getting any disturbance. To relate well with a person with French origin, is essential that the plan at hand should be explained fully to eliminate any amount of doubt or uncertainty in it. There is high homogeneity in Japan, and this may not be the same in France due to high power distance.
It is important to understand the cultural setting of a place, before one thinks of setting up an investment. Just like it has been said that Japan is a masculine country, France has high uncertainty avoidance index, and high score of individualism. These rankings carry very significant meaning in the understanding of the culture of the French people. The power distance is also high hence, depicting some certain level of inequality in the French society. It is prudent for one to remain formal and avoid ambiguities, when dealing with French partners.