Friday, May 23, 2014

Week 2 Learnings!

     During week 2, we have learned about what the European Union is, and about the political & cultural environment in the Czech Republic.

The European Union is an economic and political partnership between twenty-eight countries in Europe, and was constructed after the Second World War in 1956. Europeans were determined to end the bloody and violent period during the late 1940s- early 1950s. Introduced by French politician Robert Schuman, the idea of the European Union was to create peace internationally. It was originally started as an economic partnership to open up trade between countries. But as time went on, the union continued to evolve and soon developed into a political partnership. The European Union has a main goal of promoting human rights, which makes it an admirable around the world.  

As for the political and cultural environment….

Political Environment: 

-Just last year in 2013, the Czech Republic held their first-ever preseidential election! President Milos Zeman was announced the winner.

- The main political parties include Czech Social Democratic Party, Civil Democratic Party, Czechoslovak People´s Party, Freedom Union, and The Communist Party. The Czech Social Democratic Party has the most seats in the Chamber of Deputies and the Freedom Party has the least with ten.

-Vienna has a federal republican system. It is governed in accordance with the rule of law and representative democracy.

-Some recent news that we should be aware of is that Petr Necas, the former prime minister of the Czech Republic, was charged with bribery because of a scandal. He was forced to resighn because Necas had been offering state posts to three old members of Parliament who were rebelling, in return for them leaving office.

-Every citizen, after age 18, has the right to vote.

-Currently there is an election and there are a lot of scandals and the people part of 'Red Vienna' are concerned about the turnout. Many people are saying that government is not credible anymore and the majority of voters are over age 50. 

-Power is divided into three different sectors; executive, judicial, and legislative. 

Cultural Environment: 

1. Negotiation and Corporate Social Responsibility

-The Czech Republic usually practices negotiation as a joint problem solving process. The buyer has the superior position, but it is up to both parties to reach an agreement. They focus equally on short and long term benefits.

-Business people there don't have a ton of experience so they are careful in collecting information and make planned approaches but not in a deceptive way. 

-The idea of corporate social responsibility was new to the Czech Republic until they began ethical business practices in 2007. Giving back to the community has now become part of Prague. The city even has a Corporate Responsibility Club and managers to evaluate methods of corporate social responsibility and their practice usage. 

2. Nonverbal V. Verbal Communication & Punctuality 

-Non-Verbal Communication is dependent on many factors. Such as level of education, familiarity, and many more. The actual distance that you would stand away fro someone from the Czech Republic in conversation depends on the context of the situation and the individual inclinations of persons involved. Distance is usually greater when speaking or dealing with not-yet-familiar people.

-Eye contact represents trustworthiness

-It is customary to shake hands with both men and women upon meeting them

-Pointing is very impolite

-When in a business, do not sit until asked to

-Verbal Communication in the Czech Republic is very business orientated. 

-The Czech Republic is a business community, and most who live there function with that mindset. 

-Czechs are not the type of people that will speak what's on their mind to anyone, or go out of their way to talk to strangers. 

-A suggestion is to not get too in depth in conversation with a Czech, they will begin to feel relatively uncomfortable.
-Most people do speak English, so if you do need to ask a question, majority will understand.
-Punctuality is very important in the Czech Republic.

-If you are not early, you are late in the Czech Republic

3. Attire and Communication Preferences 

-Formal attire is worn at almost all times. When attending a concert or an opera, there is an expectation of formal wear. 

-Even students who are going to an exam can be seen in formal attire. 

-When talking about business formal attire, this mean a suit, tie, dress pants, and dress shoes. For women, this could be a blouse or a formal dress. An evening dress is usually unnecessary, unless you are attending a ball. 

-Denim is also looked down upon in the Czech Republic.

-English is very common in business languages. This is also very prevalent among younger generations as well. 

-Czechs view themselves as non-confrontational and do not push the issue. 

-The official language is the Czech language, which is a slavic language, with about twelve million speakers. Most come from smaller cities within the country, but most businesses will be able to understand English.

4. Gift Giving and Business Meals

-When receiving a gift in Czech Republic you should refuse the gift until the giver insists, and you should open it right away.

-If you are invited to someone's home, take a gift and should range from $15-30. Flowers, food and alcohol are acceptable gifts. 

-Business gifts should be quality but not too expensive. Liquor like, Scotch or Bourbon are acceptable and office equipment like pens and calculators are acceptable. 

-For business meals, the host will always choose the restaurant, make the reservation and pay for the meal, including tip. Formal business attire is dress code for lunch or dinner. In Czech, you are not obligated to accept everything you are offered and doesn't matter if you finish your food or leave it on the plate. Drinking beer or wine is common.


Team Wanderlust


No comments:

Post a Comment