Marketing in Germany: Three Ethical Issues to Contemplate When Entering the German Market

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Marketing in Germany: Three ethical issues to contemplate when entering the German market Introduction "Germany's 'social market' economy largely follows free-market principles, but with a considerable degree of government regulation and generous social welfare programs" (Doing business in Germany, 2013, Export.). When contemplating entering the German market, it is useful to learn from the example of other firms, including their mistakes. Germany, although superficially similar to the United States, Great Britain, and other European countries in many ways, has some critical cultural differences which will impact the ways in which a foreign company presents itself and interacts with local organizations. Labor issues One notable business failure of an American corporation in Germany was Wal-Mart, which was forced to entirely close down its operations despite its many international successes elsewhere. This was rooted in Wal-Mart's inability to understand German labor relations. German trade unions are very powerful, and worker protections are important. Initially, Wal-Mart resisted unionization and tried to keep wages low, but was unable to do so because of political pressure from German trade unions and employee refusal to tolerate such working conditions. "Germany service sector union Ver.di, the largest union in the world, filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart for not releasing year-end figures that could be used to negotiate wages. This ultimately led brought
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