Germany is the strongest economy in Europe, and one of the largest worldwide. The business climate is good, people are highly skilled, and consumers have plenty of spending money in their pockets; for companies that are doing business internationally, Germany is a market that simply cannot be overlooked. However, many business relationships with Germans come to an end even before they begin; intercultural differences very often result in misunderstandings, frustration, and an unnecessary loss of time and money. Especially with Germans, even small things can be crucial when you are speaking to a (potential) business contact.
This book aims at helping students and professionals avoid the common pitfalls that international business people typically step into when dealing with Germans for the very first time. Unlike with the other business- or text-books focusing on culture, this book will do more than just arm you with some simple “Dos and Don’ts;” it will provide interesting and easy-to-understand descriptions and anecdotes that highlight the cultural standards and dimensions that are (typically) theoretically discussed in scientific texts. Essentially, while talking about what makes “the average” German tick, readers will be equipped with the relevant background knowledge. The focus of the book is to help readers understand how certain concepts and values influence the way Germans like to do business. It will guide them on how to successfully interact with Germans, whether at trade shows, during virtual and face-to-face meetings, or when they are negotiating their first contract.
An excellent and highly practical introduction to working with German business partners. I particularly like how she uses not only her own extensive knowledge but also the rich experiences of business people from all over the world. Highly recommended.
Robert Gibson, former Head of Intercultural Business Competence, Siemens AG
This book by Andra Riemhofer provides the reader with understanding of German Business practices. The practical advice are rationalized with insights into historical and cultural context, hence these several levels in the book allow more than one reading.
The author succeeds in not on only writing from a German’s point of view but adopting the foreigner’s perspective as well. The inspiring voice of the author hooks the reader to enjoy learning from her experience. I would recommend this book definitely for readers working in international business, and moreover for anyone seeking information and understanding of German culture and mindset, both in business and private.
Tuula Kukkonen, PhD, Principal Lecturer, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland
“Doing business in Germany” provides you with a great overview over the German culture, history and business etiquette. The book is full of useful links that enable the reader to investigate further in particular fields of interest, most of them with a focus on the German past and economy. Andra manages to give a thorough, but at the same time light-hearted overview of the German past that also includes up-to-date political developments.
When it comes to the question of “how Germans tick”, the author doesn’t take herself and Germans in general too serious. She slips in anecdotes and little incidents, often from her own experience, which point out the pitfalls which you may encounter when dealing with Germans. The book abounds with helpful dos and dont’s that will guide you from setting up a business relationship to the process of communicating with your potential business partner and onwards to the point of meeting them at trade fairs or conferences.
As I’m a German myself, I may not be the target audience for Andra’s book. Nevertheless, I definitely enjoyed reading it and truly recommend it to anybody who plans on doing business with Germans.
Stefanie Winkelmann, customer support professional and content writer
“Doing business in Germany” provides sharp insights into German history, culture, politics and economy subtly building up a solid understanding behind “Germany way”. It’s a must read not only for those who are coming to Germany first time or planning to do a business but also for those who are trying to adapt to German life. The book provides many real life examples interspersed with extract from popular German text helping to clear some of the prejudices and labyrinths. Andra with her rich experience of different culture has successfully touched upon many points which will make you appreciate the German culture even more.
Tarun Mago, Global Innovation Manager, INSEAD EMBA