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French revolution at the World Cup 2010 in South Africa | Culture Matters

Why did the French national football team revolt in a way they did during the WC2010 in South Africa?

Pretty much everyone following the WC2010 knows what happened: Anelka was sent home after he verbally abused coach Raymond Domenech and then refused to apologise. Consequently the whole team went on a training-strike, much resembling common life and society in France.

Why do the French strike so much, including their national football team? From a cultural perspective this can be explained as follows: French culture, according to research from Professor Geert Hofstede, has a relative high score on one of the cultural dimensions Power Distance.

Compared to countries like the UK and the Netherlands, there is a significant difference (UK & NL score much lower). A result of this is that change occurs in higher scoring France through revolution, rather than evolution (the case in UK & NL).

Modern day revolution can be called a “Strike”. When the Boss/Management/Power holder, suggests, or announces a significant change in its organisations operations, people have a tendency to group together to show a force of power by going on strike BEFORE any negotiations take place. In countries like the UK and the Netherlands, after a significant change announcement has been made, people tend to negotiate first (often bitterly) for a solution.

Only when such a solution fails, they might go on strike, and quite often reluctantly.

Chris Smit

I'm passionate about Cultural Difference. I have been helping organizations save time and money when they work Internationally for the last 19 years. I have had the fortunate opportunity to hold lectures, workshops, and consulting projects on this subject World Wide. It has made me understand my own culture much better, and appreciate the differences around the world.
I have a Master's Degree in Organisational Psychology and have lived in the USA, the Netherlands and, currently, in Belgium.
Thank you!

Chris Smit
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