Culturally compliant setup & management of foreign subsidiaries

More than just physical distance

The drive for new markets involves cultural risks that complicate the coordination of foreign subsidiaries – or even derail the process.

Culturally compliant management of foreign subsidiaries

During setup and management of foreign subsidiaries and organisations it is important to pay attention to the cultural conventions of the host country. Prejudices and lack of understanding often characterise intercultural collaboration. What is right in one culture can often be the exact opposite in another. That concepts of right and wrong should be seen through the eyes of the beholders is often neglected. Resulting in situations that are only viewed and judged from one’s own cultural perspective. Misunderstandings arise, grow stronger, jeopardise the productive collaboration, and also affect new employees.

The effect is amplified if the planning and creation of the foreign subsidiary or organisation is carried out with a complete lack of cultural understanding. If the fundamental structures are already unsuitable for the host country the collaboration with the foreign subsidiary or organisation will be more difficult. Systems and structures that bring competitive advantages in the home country should not be released to the host country thoughtlessly without evaluation of cultural aspects.

Companies and organisations are open systems that are influenced by the cultural factors of the surroundings. Especially in the coordination of foreign subsidiaries and organisations, cultural differences need to be taken in consideration. Otherwise, conflicts will arise that will compromise the effectiveness of corporate management or even cause the failure of the whole project.

The cultural conditions of the host country must be considered as should their impact on corporate culture, organisational structures, staffing decisions, social roles, systems of incentives and sanctions, as well as the coordination of the collaboration (i.e. the degree of self-determination, internal organisational markets and level of standardisation and directives). Cultural values and fundamental ideas about the employees of the host country cannot be changed; therefore, there are always cultural discrepancies that have to be respected during the collaboration.

Minimising cultural risks

Enabling and encouraging collaboration

Increasing the success of foreign ventures

We consult you with the development and control of foreign subsidiaries or organisations and help you in solving existing cultural problems. We give you the basis and consult you regarding the cultural characteristics of the host country. We help you with the analysis and evaluation of the current state by independent interviews with employees and detailed examination of the foreign subsidiary or organisation. This enables us to give you firm advice and recommendations for follow-up activities.

Our experts verify the cultural compatibility of your guidelines for the foreign subsidiary or organisation, as well as defining the intercultural collaboration between individual employees and teams. We help you to respect dangerous issues, to identify discrepancies on time, and to implement urgent adaptions. This makes the collaboration easier, prevents misunderstandings and poor decision-making and therefore increases the success of your foreign venture.


Sub-areas and individual issues

Approaches of solutions for individual issues

Cultural screening of your choice of location

We consult you on your choice of location on the basis of cultural factors. In the process we indicate to you relevant cultural differences and provide you with approaches to appropriately respect them during the setup and the later regulation of the foreign subsidiary or organisation. Or, we can help you to find a suitable place of location. Our range of services includes the provision of the necessary foundations, the analysis of cultural groups, the evaluation of your venture, as well as the implementation and later assessment of the guidelines for managing the company or organisation.

Evaluation of takeovers

We help you with the evaluation of companies regarding possible cultural risks during and after the takeover. We analyse for you the relevant cultural differences to the host country as well as the present corporate culture, structures, and systems of the company; plus previous mechanisms and procedures for the coordination of the business activity. As a result you wil receive an evaluation of risks affecting your decisions regarding the takeover.

Cultural training for employees

Employees that are aware of cultural differences to colleagues from other countries or foreign subsidiaries are able to react more appropriately to possible misunderstandings, or can even avoid them entirely. In cultural and intercultural training programmes we give your employees a fundamental understanding of the issues and we offer them proper insights into the ways and conditions of the host country. This greatly improves interaction within international teams and prepares employees for their secondment abroad.

Problem driven dialogue

If the success of your foreign venture – despite good products and services – does not fulfil expectations, or the collaboration seems to stagnate, it might be the result of cultural reasons. Cultural misunderstanding can grow so strong that they have a direct impact on the success of the company. Even personnel changes will not bring significant improvement. We investigate to determine if negative effects are based on cultural issues and provide you with suggestions and concepts for a sustainable improvement in the collaboration. We moderate as a neutral party between the different stakeholders and can enable a restart of the internal dialogue.

Optimisation of the collaboration

An optimisation of the collaboration may increase the success of your foreign venture or organisation even further. Therefore, a cultural verification of your company or organisation makes sense. We analyse the culture of the host country regarding different relevant factors for your venture. We examine your company or organisation in relation to corporate culture, structures, and systems as well as exploring mechanisms and procedures for the coordination of business activity. The aim is to detect relevant gaps and to give you an evaluation of strengths and weaknesses in the collaboration and if there are applicable suggestions for direct improvement.

Our offer is aimed at companies that

  • Have problems with the control of a foreign subsidiary or organisation
  • Have problems with collaboration in international teams
  • Want to be active abroad with their own structures

  • Want to optimize their results
  • Are considering a takeover in a foreign country
  • Want to prepare employees for a secondment to another country

How can we support you?

We help you to identify pitfalls and obstacles