My title is facetious, but my question is serious:
- I'm being told by a client's business-analyst team that Germans WANT to read every detail on a website and WANT to read every word in a contract—more so than people from other cultures.
- Research done in North America shows that there people scan, skim, skip, and stop reading before they have all the information they need.
Is there any research to back up this idea that Germans aren't like other humans? I can't find any; I may not have the right search terms to find it. Help?
I used the links that everyone provided. By using the Hofstede data, I produced a radar graph in Excel. I then added callouts with information from the other sources, to supplement each of the six dimensions on the radar plot. I included some census data and added a pie charts to highlight some demographic differences, to support the point that Germany is not homogeneous. All in all, I produced a useful document with your input. I thank you.
I will be producing two more of these, for other countries/cultures, so feel free to keep adding answers. It will help.
Regarding your comments…. Yes, Hofstede's data may be somewhat out of date. For example, I suspect that German culture is now less restrained when it comes to self-indulgence and leisure. The main thrust of the marketing material produced for our project by a German agency for the German market tells a story of self-indulgence and leisure. On the other hand, Hofstede is not completely out of date. Among my colleagues, people from different cultures recognise the Hofstede attributes in the German people they know. Also, I want to repeat that I was seeking research and data. Therefore, I did not incorporate comments about anecdotal experience.
It's now been several months working with our colleagues in Germany, and I've found that the Hofstede attributes remain relatively accurate.