Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 2 Pre-work

In this week of pre-work we focused on the cultural, economic, and political environments of Hungary.  We also read up on what the European Union is and why it is so important for Europe.

Our main focus on the cultural environment was based around the business culture of Hungary.  With this information we can better prepare ourselves and prevent doing something that Hungarians would find offensive.  This is what we found out for the cultural environment for Hungary:

  • generally elegant, clean, and tidy
  • dark clothes in the winter, and lighter clothes in the summer
  • business dress is formal and conservative
Communication preferences
  • socialization is seen as essential in relationship building
  • expect many invitations to dinner or cultural events
  • eye contact in face-to-face conversations is key
Role of verbal vs nonverbal communication
  • stand arms length distance when communicating
  • maintain eye contact
  • shaking hands is normal, and a kiss on the woman's hand may happen if the occasion is formal enough
  • punctuality and meeting deadlines are highly important
Negotiation practices
  • details and facts are very important
  • keep presentations simple without any additional visuals
  • contracts are lengthy due to focus on details
Corporate social responsibility
  • not common yet, but awareness of the concept is growing
  • influence is occurring mainly though multinational corporations  that use CSR in other countries
  • companies are beginning to use this for the image of their social responsibility
Gift giving
  • giving gifts is uncommon
  • bring Western liquor (avoid wine), flowers, or chocolates
Business meals
  • do not speak of business during the meal
  • use the meal as time to get to know one another
  • horses, food, or wine are safe topics for the dinner table

Next, we researched the foundations of Hungary's political and economic structure and culture:
  • government structure is broken down into Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary
  • Presidents serve 5 year terms (2 term maximum)
  • Prime Ministers are suggested by the president and then voted in by the National Assembly
  • Parliament serves 4 year terms
  • 4 main political parties: Fidesz (Conservatives), MSZP (Social Democratics), Jobbik (Nationalists), and the LMP (Ecologists)

Last, but definitely not least, we researched what the European Union was and why it was so important for Europe.  Here are some interesting things that our group found during our research:
  • the European Union has kept peace and unity through Europe since its creation after World War II
  • the European Union is a huge player in global imports and exports accounting for 16% of imports and 15% of exports of the world
  • not every country recognizes the euro as their national currency
  • the euro which is the currency created by the European Union is the 2nd most economically powerful currency (US dollar is #1)
  • Winston Churchill, one of the founders of the European Union, said that Europe needed something similar to the United States

Dylan Kay

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