Topics: EADS, Cross-cultural communication, Nationalism Pages: 10 (2881 words) Published: February 9, 2014

Airbus case study

Airbus case study
Introduction (Facts).
Airbus is the company that deals with the manufacturing of aircrafts in the market. It was formally established in 1970 as a European consortium.
It has a head office in Toulouse; France operates out of over 160 international locations. It include 16 main development and manufacturing sites in France, UK, Germany & Spain and three wholly owned subsidiaries in China, Japan and North America. The Airbus benefits from a unique workforce that integrates more than 80 nationalities and speaks over 20 different languages.

At the heart of the airbus lies a core of human talent, vision and hard work the keeps them as a leading company in the market.
There are over 55,000 workforces of more than 80 different nationalities working at the Airbus. Such cultural diversity is the key to Airbus success.
The main problems in the case study is what is the cause of delay in bringing Airbus A380 in market for two years and a loss of euro 2 billion.
The delay was basically due to the cultural differences and technical problems such as wiring problems.
An autumn report 2006 highlights an intercultural survey at EADS, which portrays the different perception that each culture at Airbus has for others.
The remarkable thing about these perceptions is that they are highly stereotypes.

Problems Faced by Airbus
Socio-cultural & technical problems.
The workforce at the aircraft manufacturer is geographically distributed in proportion to national ownership stakes. In an instance of economic nationalism, government distort private transactions among economic actors by discriminating against foreigners in the name of national interest. This lead to the decrease in the productive efficiency. It is because of the various differences of management styles and way of communication. For e.g.: comparing with the French people, the Germans prefer collective decision making, whereas the French prefer centralised decision. At the same time the Spanish are flexible but have inferiority complex, so they have tendency to be vague and unreliable due to which they respond very less. (Ian Stokes, 2006).

The main problem is when EADS company of Airbus was created, two chief executivesGerman and French headed it. It was maintained even due to knowing the fact of the crisis caused by problems in development in A380 began. Looking from the Hofstedes cultural dimensions the



Airbus case study

French likes high power distance whereas the Germans prefer low power distance. So while making decisions Germans tend to interfere in the conversations while it is being dislike by France people. So this unintentionally hurt the ego's of the French people and creates a conflict between them. (Hofstede. G, 1991) 1

Due to the government involvement respective countries, cost cutting measures were delayed as state aid comes to rescue their respective partner first. From this situation it seems that power id distributed unequally. The government is being self centred and looking after its own motives. Even no action id being undertaken by the group members of the company in order to tackle this issue. It is in this area that a culture shows the extent to which it ‘tolerates and fosters pecking orders, and how actively members try to reduce them'. (Mead, 1994; 66) 1 One of the main causes in delay of the launch of Airbus A380 for two years was owing to the fact of having a complex wiring design system for it.

There were 1,200 functions to control the plane that takes 98,000 wires & 40,000 connectors. The system has 500,000 models, which needs to be kept in sync from different countries. It was complicated and very much time consuming due the fact of the engineers being at different locations.

Even the aircraft parts were built at different locations. For example: nose sections are built in France, fuselages in...

References: 1. Marie-Joelle Browaeys and Roger Price - Understanding Cross-Cultural Management, 2008.
2. Marlo Thomas; Helene Hill, International Marketing Review, Vol16, Number: 4/5, Year: 1999, pp:
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