Read the case study entitled ‘After the break-up: The troubled alliance between Volkswagen and Suzuki’, and provide a response to the following questions:
- Based on the information provided in the case, what type of international strategy is being pursued by Volkswagen and Suzuki?
- What are the main advantages and disadvantages of this form of internationalisation for Volkswagen and Suzuki?
- The authors of the case suggest that a ‘cultural mismatch’ was one of the main reasons for the failure of the organisations to work together effectively. Drawing on the work of Geert Hofstede, explain the main similarities and differences in national culture between Germany and Japan. Provide examples from the case to illustrate how differences in national culture contributed to the problems in the relationship between Suzuki and Volkswagen.
- Hofstede’s model of national cultural differences has attracted much criticism (for a comprehensive critique of these criticisms, see McSweeny, B. 2002. Hofstede’s model of national cultural differences and their consequences: A triumph of faith, a failure of analysis. Human Relations, 55: 89.) Provide a brief summary of the criticisms of Hofestede’s model (no more than 500 words). Given these criticisms, how confident are you that Hofstede’s model can be used to analyse the cultural problems in this case?
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