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Old 04-04-2011, 08:38 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
25,947 posts, read 24,777,059 times
Reputation: 9728

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I used to work for an American company. Among the things I hated:

- The artificial team crap. To most Europeans work is not life, we have a different attitude towards it, a much more detached one. I don't want to be part of that whole team nonsense. To me work is like shopping, I go there, get something for what I give, and then I leave again.

- We don't like hierarchy over here, thus we don't like job titles and all that "answer to" crap. Sometimes I think that Americans have allowed the military to gradually infest their economy and culture.

- The odd mixing of private and work. The superficial closeness (e.g. first names) when in reality people are less friends with each other than in Europe.

- Hire and fire mentality.

- Obsession with efficiency and productivity, and ultimately profits.

- The attempted brainwashing as to how employees have to think and act. All those ridiculous trainings and meetings, where people chatter endlessly about the most trivial things.

When I quite I told them directly that I totally dislike their entire American style.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
14,485 posts, read 11,302,782 times
Reputation: 9002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
I used to work for an American company. Among the things I hated:

- The artificial team crap. To most Europeans work is not life, we have a different attitude towards it, a much more detached one. I don't want to be part of that whole team nonsense. To me work is like shopping, I go there, get something for what I give, and then I leave again.

- We don't like hierarchy over here, thus we don't like job titles and all that "answer to" crap. Sometimes I think that Americans have allowed the military to gradually infest their economy and culture.

- The odd mixing of private and work. The superficial closeness (e.g. first names) when in reality people are less friends with each other than in Europe.

- Hire and fire mentality.

- Obsession with efficiency and productivity, and ultimately profits.

- The attempted brainwashing as to how employees have to think and act. All those ridiculous trainings and meetings, where people chatter endlessly about the most trivial things.

When I quite I told them directly that I totally dislike their entire American style.
No one likes that. That's why we have movies that make fun of it.

By the way Neuling, We need to talk about your TPS reports. Did you get the memo?
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:02 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
25,947 posts, read 24,777,059 times
Reputation: 9728
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Joshua View Post
No one likes that. That's why we have movies that make fun of it.

By the way Neuling, We need to talk about your TPS reports. Did you get the memo?
Oh yes, I forgot to mention reports...

If nobody likes those things, why put up with them? Scared of quitting or being fired?
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:17 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
9,384 posts, read 14,338,778 times
Reputation: 10123
You people are reading too deeply into this, it is not necessary. Look at the big picture, or get lost in the details and understand nothing.

What good is it if I invent/discover planting seeds or an acqueduct or an internal combustion engine or electric lighting or a personal computer, to name a few major examples over the past 10,000 years and even 20-25 years, and I leave it in the field or the river or barn or the garage?

Management in this context simply means the ability, the collective ability, to bring the benefits of an invention by an individual that improves the material standard of living to millions of people over generations, nothing more and nothing less.

And is that really little? US society has a significant history of doing just that over the last century and especially in the past two decades, including all of the heavy baggage that regrettably comes with the details.

US-UK-French style democracy, republicanism and even global corporate fascism light version (pretty much what we have today) has certainly been a better road to industrialization than corporate fascism heavy version, nazism, communism, general militarism, and other forms of dictatorship.

For as little worth that I think US popular culture has, I think its technological and management culture, as defined simply above and with all its negative side, has much worth.

To be sure, there are some fundamental sectors where the US style of delivery of mass benefits is horrid, e.g. medical care (but not medical technology) and mass transport, in which European style management is superior.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
5,586 posts, read 10,669,425 times
Reputation: 3111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Joshua View Post
So what is European business management style?

BTW mentioning Billy Graham reflects poorly on your answer. It shows your bias against America. I, as an American, am almost completely unfamiliar with the man, but somehow you see him in any enthusiastic American.
Why get so touchy about Billy Graham? When I saw this loon raving on about integrity, teamwork, productivity etc and throwing his arms in the air it reminded me exactly of those crazy American evangelists (at least we certainly think they're crazy), and he's the only one I can name.

As Neuling has already said, all this stuff about teamwork, management-speak jargon, fake enthusiasm is just annoying to me, and more importantly unnecessary time-wasting. Why do I need a seminar in how to look people in the eye when I'm talking to them - how do they think I've coped in everyday life all these years? I much prefer plain speaking and knowing where I stand.

I remember about 6-8 years ago reading about the British supermarket ASDA getting taken over by Wal-Mart, and how one store manager - no doubt somebody who'd been bullied at school so needed to take his revenge on the world as an adult - thought it would be a good idea to get his staff together at the start of the day to do a "Gimme an A! Gimme an S! Gimme a D....YEAH!! WHOOOOO!" type thing, and on the Monday evening he found his car had been keyed and a potato put in the exhaust; on the Tuesday morning half the workforce were either on the toilet at start time or "caught in traffic"
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Santiago, Chile
44 posts, read 221,533 times
Reputation: 48
Disadvantage: Obesity
Advantage: Freedom
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:59 AM
 
263 posts, read 568,646 times
Reputation: 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
I used to work for an American company. Among the things I hated:

- The artificial team crap. To most Europeans work is not life, we have a different attitude towards it, a much more detached one. I don't want to be part of that whole team nonsense. To me work is like shopping, I go there, get something for what I give, and then I leave again.

- We don't like hierarchy over here, thus we don't like job titles and all that "answer to" crap. Sometimes I think that Americans have allowed the military to gradually infest their economy and culture.

- The odd mixing of private and work. The superficial closeness (e.g. first names) when in reality people are less friends with each other than in Europe.

- Hire and fire mentality.

- Obsession with efficiency and productivity, and ultimately profits.

- The attempted brainwashing as to how employees have to think and act. All those ridiculous trainings and meetings, where people chatter endlessly about the most trivial things.

When I quite I told them directly that I totally dislike their entire American style.
As an American who has worked for quite a few American companies I partially agree with your assessment. However, the problem is that the companies with the attributes you mention only comprise a segment of employers. I also find these companies annoying, and thankfully, not all American companies foster this fake enthusiasm and friendship.

I have also worked for companies that have a laid back attitude; workers are judged by results and not hours worked, or style of work.

I agree with most of the negatives stated, but in a positive sense America has a culture of innovation and efficiency. I don't know how much of this has been passed on to the rest of the world.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
25,947 posts, read 24,777,059 times
Reputation: 9728
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peer79 View Post
As an American who has worked for quite a few American companies I partially agree with your assessment. However, the problem is that the companies with the attributes you mention only comprise a segment of employers. I also find these companies annoying, and thankfully, not all American companies foster this fake enthusiasm and friendship.

I have also worked for companies that have a laid back attitude; workers are judged by results and not hours worked, or style of work.

I agree with most of the negatives stated, but in a positive sense America has a culture of innovation and efficiency. I don't know how much of this has been passed on to the rest of the world.
Maybe it also has to do with the size of the company. Small and family-run companies tend to be much nicer places to work at than corporations.

I guess a lot depends on the goals of a company. Bigger companies often have those - almost socialist - business development plans, which specify very ambitious turnaround and profit targets. Some companies do anything to achieve those goals...
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:29 PM
 
4,040 posts, read 7,450,728 times
Reputation: 3899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
When I quit I told them directly that I totally dislike their entire American style.
Do indulge me and tell me what was their answer.

I would have probably enjoyed seeing the look on their faces. In my experience, every time you challenge anything fundamental to American culture - you get an "I-can't-believe-you-dare-critique-this!!" reaction.

On a completely unrelated topic - yet, still something fundamental to the current American culture - I was accused today that I deprive my children of a "normal childhood" because I refuse to expose them to daily TV shows and video games!!

I can completely relate to everything you wrote about the American work culture. Thank goodness I no longer work in an office, but do largely autonomous work.

Unfortunately, as multinationals take over everywhere, there is a lot of push towards this type of work culture in many parts of the world. Western Europe may be more resistant to it, but many parts of Eastern Europe have already been seriously infested with the mascarade above.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:32 PM
 
4,040 posts, read 7,450,728 times
Reputation: 3899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peer79 View Post
I agree with most of the negatives stated, but in a positive sense America has a culture of innovation and efficiency. I don't know how much of this has been passed on to the rest of the world.
I do appreciate the efficiency where efficiency is truly needed. Sometimes, that can be priceless, indeed.

As for innovation, I have seen more than my share of downright dumb, useless, even dangerous innovations to be very cautious about this cultural trait.
I am more of an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mind.
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