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Understanding High and Low Context Cultures


14. Thanks

13. Team

12. References

11. Conclusion

10. India V/S Germany

9. Comparision

7. Cultural Values in Germany

6. Cultural Values in India

5. Communication Styles in Germany

4. Communication Styles in India

3. Low Context Culture: Germany

2. High Context Culture: India

8. Business Practices

1. Introduction



This presentation is about the comparison between a high-context culture and another culture which is of low context. We have chosen India for the high-context culture and Germany for the latter. A business and social context is taken for the comparison of the two cultures.

High Context Culture: India

India is a culture of high context. In this culture, relationships are vitally important. Personal connections, trust and emotional bonds are valued greatly by the individuals. Communication is often indirect with great prominence to non-verbal cues and context. Hierarchical structures are pervasive in organizations here and decision-making is long drawn out as it necessitates consensus building.(“Navigating Cultural Differences: India and Germany through the Lens of the Lewis Model”)

Low Context Culture: Germany

Communication in Germany is direct and explicit as it is a country of low context. It is preferred to use straightforward language. Spoken and written language has precedence over non-verbal clues. Personal accomplishment and individualism are prioritized. Here efficiency and punctuality are highly valued. Germans are well known for their planning and fidelity and they often prioritize tasks. Business structures here have a propensity to be more hierarchical but the decision-making process is very quick.(“Navigating Cultural Differences: India and Germany through the Lens of the Lewis Model”)

NON VERBAL EXPRESSIONS: Indians frequently exhibit a wide range of emotions with their faces like grins, mild frowns, etc. It's essential to comprehend these expressions in order to understand the underlying emotion of a discourse.

Relationships are important. Establishment of rapport and trust before talking business is salient.

NAMASTE GESTURE: This traditional greeting is from India. It consists of a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upward, thumbs close to the chest.

HEAD BOBBLE: Its a unique Indian gesture that involves a side-to-side movement of the head. It can signify agreement, acknowledgement but the interpretation may vary depending on context.

Communication in India is indirect and includes many eupheisms and hints.

Communication styles in India

Separation of Personal and Professional:In general,Germans keep a firm line between interactions that are personal and those that are professional.Professional environments typically involve task-forced and business-like conversation.

Respect for time

Clarity and Precision

Germans place a great importance on efficiency and punctuality.Straightforward communication facilitates time saving and rapid point-to-point delivery. It is expected that conversations and meetings will be goal-oriented and concentrated.

It is important to Germans to communicate honestly and openly.Truthful expression of one's thoughts is often expected.Since openness promotes trust and honesty in relationships, people in Germany tend to value directness.

Clear, succinct and direct communication is valued by Germans.The appreciate language that is precise, free of ambiguity and superfluous details. Germans try to be as clear as possible when they explain their ideas or beliefs.

Honesty and Openness

Communication Styles in Germany


Social EtiquettePeople typically use honorifics and formal titles to address others, which are meant to convey their age and rank.

Family StructureIndian families frequently feature a heirarchical structure.Within the family, decisions and obligations are usually assigned according to age and seniority.

Status and RankA person's social status is frequently influenced by their job or line of work.

Cultural Values in India

Social Interactions:In social situations as much as professional ones, punctuality is crucial. It is assumed that people will arrive on time for social events,meetings, or appointments; arriving late without a good explanation could be deproable.

Respect for others' timeBeing on time is regarded as a sign of respect for other people's time. It shows respect for their schedules and responsibilities, as efficient use of time is highly valued in Germany.

Cultural Values in Germany

Cultural Norms:German cultural values have a strong foundation in punctuality. The expression "pünktlich wie die Deutchen" refers to how puntual Germans are, perpetuating the belief that they are always on time.

Business Practices

The term "business practices" refers to practices apropos of selling, marketing and distribution of banking services, and these practices vary in high and low-context countries correspondingly. (“Law Insider”)


German Business Culture: The standards and values in Germany are central to doing good business. When doing business here, values such as reliability, professionalism, punctuality, loyalty and fairness should be requited. Corruption is atypical as transparency is paramount in any company in this country. Germans also place a great emphasis on the quality of their products and services. (“German Business Culture”)


Trust and Credibility: Developing a personal rapport with others enables people to gain credibility and trust from others.Cultural Context: One views personal relationships as a source of collaboration and support that promotes commitment and loyalty.Flexibility and Adaptability: Building relationships with business partners can be facilitated by being flexible with plans and respecting their preferences.

Germans go right down to business while Indians like to usher in with personal and light-hearted banter.

As Germans are stringent about their structures and ethics, Indians come out as having endless creative possibilities.

(“Differences in Business Culture between Germany and India | Software Developer India”)

Germans are assiduous and focused and work regular hours while Indians tend to work long hours with breaks in between.

Germans are meticulous about planning, while Indians are more willing to improvise along the way.

While the German culture calls for compartmentalized work and personal life; Indians tend to mix the two.


Germans are very direct, while Indians tend to beat around the bush.




In commercial dealings, professionalism, efficacy and clear contractual terms are highly valued in Germany. German corporate culture is known for its emphasis on accuracy, efficiency and following set rules.

In India, building personal connections is essential to starting and keeping successful business ties. Developing an affinity, understanding, and trust with business partners is seen to be crucial for productive commercial dealings. This emphasis on interpersonal interactions in the corporate sector is a result of various cultural and socioeconomic elements.


Although the contrast in both cultures can be seen, we have learnt that if we respect and embrace the differences, working in harmony is not a dream of tomorrow. We also get to learn a lot from other people which can expand one's boundaries to a great length.


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Anagha Anil Nair

Pavitt Maan

Prajna Paramita Behera