Presentation on theme: "Cultural Variance as a Challenge to Global Public Relations"— Presentation transcript:
1 Cultural Variance as a Challenge to Global Public Relations A Case Study of the Coca-Cola Scare in EuropeHella HeiderichJuliane Arndt
2 Structure cultural variability uncertainty avoidance and power distance-> how this affects the reaction of the public to a crisisexample: Coca-Cola incident
3 Cultural variabilityGlobalization -> cross-national conflict shiftingOpportunities / challenges for PROpportunities can exist regarding the leading function during organizations times of transitions and challenges might occur in the communication during a crisis.When an international company is not able to understand cultural forces and the way these forces influence the way of communicating in these countries, small incidents can result in a big crisis.
4 Understand different reactions Uncertainty avoidancePower distance(Hofstede)High uncertainty avoidance nations need written rules to guide ethical decision making, whereas low uncertainty avoidance nations are much more willing to take risk.Power distance on the other side measures inequality. In countries with a high power distance powerless people do not tend to be forgiving when the powerful make mistakes. Since internatinol companies like Coca-Cola are perceived to be very powerful, they might have to face a lot of distrust in countries with high power distance.
5 Affection on communication Low certainty avoidance = no communicationHigh certainty avoidance = communicationHigh PDI = trust in leadersCompanies which come from low uncertainty avoidance countries will not think it is necessary to communicate with the public or local governments about the situation, whereas companies from High uncertainty avoidance countries would do the exact opposite.In countries with a high PDI people will respect those who have positions of power, but they will also easily place the blame on the powerful in case of failure.Summing up the author states that companies must be aware of the fact that countries with high uncertainty avoidance and power distance index will penalize and criticize the companies strongly if they break the norms.
6 Coca-Cola scandal 1999, Belgium School kids drank coke and got ill Coca-cola did not accept any responsibilityAfter 9 days the CEO tried to solve the problem;The company coming from a country with low power distance and low uncertainty avoidance did not accept any responsibility for the incident. Only after nine days the CEO made an attempt to solve the problem by flying to the region and offering a free can to consumers in order to win back their loyalty.
7 What happened? low power distance and low uncertainty avoidance = USA Complex cultural variations in EuropeThe company coming from a country with low power distance and low uncertainty avoidance.Therefore the countries with high uncertainty avoidance and high power distance like Spain, France and Belgium had lower tolerance for the crisis and their governments penalized Coca-Cola more than the countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark, which have low uncertainty avoidance and low power distance like the U.S..