According to an article written by Matt Goodwin called the, “Think Quest,” in 1861 Italy became a nation-state when the regional states of Peninsula, Sardinia, and Sicily became united. These states were united under the authority of King Victor Emmanuel II in the 1920s. When Benito Mussolini was established a Fascist dictatorship, the era of parliamentary government came to a close because a new alliance was formed with Hitler’s Germany. This new alliance with Nazi Germany led Benito Mussolini and Italy to its defeat during World War II. After Italy’s defeat in World War II, a democratic republic took over the old monarchy in 1946, giving way to a new economic revival. Italy became a charter member of NATO in 1949 and part of the European Economic Community in 1957. In 1999 after joining with the Economic and Monetary Union, Italy has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification (Matt Goodwin).
In 1946, Italy changed its government because the citizens of Italy voted on having a republic system of government. This type of government is headed by a president rather than having a monarchy system which was ruled by a king. By this time Italy also established a new constitution that now consisted of having a President, Prime Minister, Cabinet, Parliament, and Courts. In Italy the president is elected to a seven year term, this is done by both the houses of Parliament in joint session, not by voters. The president has the ability to remove Parliament and call for a new election. The president of Italy is considered the commander and chief of the Italians and they don’t have a vice president. For instance, if the president of Italy becomes ill and is unable to perform his duties, the Italian Senate takes over the president’s duties. If for some reason the president dies, a presidential election is held to replace him. The Italian prime minister and the cabinet are officially called the government, not including the president. In Italy the prime minister is picked by the president, but the Prime Minister can be voted out of office at any time within his term. The Prime Minister, of Italy, is considered to be the most important person in the Italian government. The Prime Minister is the one that develops a national policy for Italy. The Prime Minister usually elected by someone within the cabinet. The president then appoints the members to the cabinet, as they are approved by the Parliament. The Parliament consists of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate. The Chamber of Deputies has six hundred and thirty members who are elected by voters. These voters represent twenty seven different voting districts. The Senate has three hundred and fifteen members who are elected by voters from twenty different units called regions. These three hundred and fifteen members are picked by the President for life with other former Presidents being members for life. The Chamber and Senate both distribute power equally to make and pass laws. Both the Chamber and Senate serve five year terms. The Courts Judges are appointed rather than being elected. The Court Judges get appointed during service exams. These judges that are appointed come from the constitution court, while five others are by judges of other courts and they are all picked by the President of the Parliament. The Justice Panel of the Judges is called; “The National Ministry” and they oversee the courts (Matt Goodwin).
According to writing by Mathew Biggs called, “Economy Watch” Italy’s economy is very diverse and Italy has a number of brands and products that are famous world-wide. For instance Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and Bugatti are all good examples of Italian automobiles recognized world-wide. Based on Italy’s geography, the industrial sectors are well divided. Northern Italy is predominantly ran by private companies, unlike the south with its fertile soil, is dominated by agriculture. Italy has been recognized and listed as a country with a high degree of standards when it comes to business, investment, and trade according to an assessment made by the World Bank. Not just that, but Italy’s economy is well developed and surpasses other countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Greece. Italy’s GDP or, “Gross Domestic Product,” in 2010 was equivalent to $ 1,771.14 billion U.S dollars. This amount was down from the $ 1,813.23 billion in 2008 before the recession. Nevertheless, Italy’s economy remains the 11th largest in the world during the financial crisis. However, Italy did see its growth rate reduce by five percent in 2010 and one percent in 2008. The countries revenue in 2010 was $960.1 billion while expenditures for the country were $1.068 trillion. Italy’s government has been quite active in implementing new structural reforms. These new structural reforms are needed in order to overhaul the costly entitlement programs while increasing opportunities for employment. In 2010 the per capita income remained high with data confirming it at $31,800, which is slightly higher than in 2008 average of $30,200 (Mathew Biggs).
Italian Culture and Values
Affective Communication in Italian culture is important because you need to be able to express your thoughts and feelings openly. This is a common behavior for most Italians. Close personal contact and large hand gestures are common during Italian conversations because emotions tend to flow easily within Italian culture. As a result, in business situations Italians are usually guided by their feelings. This is important to remember because establishing solid long term relationships are based on trust and are important in successful business meeting and for negotiations. Individualism Culture in Italian is regarded as being a highly individualistic society that emphasizes on individual responsibility with close family ties. As a result, Italians will tend to take care of their family and themselves before anything else. It’s also common to find many Italian businesses owned by individuals and their immediate family. Predominately Italians tend to conduct business with people they are familiar with or already known (Mathew Biggs).
Doing Business in Italy
According to writing by Lindfelt, Lise-Lotte, and Jan-Åke Törnroos called, “European Journal of Marketing” The Republic of Italy has been involved in numerous historical upheavals and periods of cultural influence since Italy has become a nation state in 1861. Italy is one of the founding members of the European Union and has contributed substantially to the Political integration of European. Both the north and south have strong manufacturing sectors. The north and south of Italy provide a diversified economy consisting of both industrial in the north and agricultural in the south industries. These manufacturing sectors have also been strengthened by the success that comes for small family owned businesses. With such a firm family orientation and national pride within the country, it is quite important to gain an awareness of the Italy’s culture, business practices, and people before considering to conduct business with them. Here are some examples of what you might need to know while conducting business in Italy. In Italy while at a business meeting; it’s not uncommon to openly express constructive conflict and disagreement. Initial business meetings are not aimed at making business decisions. Initial business meetings are usually informal and are used as opportunities for establishing relationships and evaluating colleagues. For instance, when you initially meet Italian business colleagues and are greeting them, you should greet them by their last names and professional titles unless invited to do otherwise. At the beginning of the first business meeting, you should exchange business cards and make sure that it’s translated into Italian on one side. Ensure that your business card has your full name, title, position and any higher educational qualifications on it. While talking to your business colleagues maintain eye contact at all times. If you don’t, this could be a sign to your business colleagues that you are not being completely honest or sincere with them. It’s common practice when being introduced to shake hands with everyone during a social business meeting. If you are a man, only extend your hand to a woman if she extends hers first. Make sure you knock before entering an office in Italy and when leaving a room always check and make sure you close the door. During business negotiations don’t appear to be impatient or rush your Italian colleagues while they’re making decisions. This is due to the fact that Italians may see this as a sign of weakness. During a business meeting it’s a common practice, of the Italians, to interrupt or simultaneously speak over one another. If this happens during a business meeting, don’t be surprised by their communication style (Lindfelt, Lise-Lotte, and Jan-Åke Törnroos).
In conclusion I studied the country of Italy and focused on its history, government, economy, culture, values, and business practices.
- Biggs, Matt. “Economy Watch”. World Economy. Delta Holding SA.14 Jun. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
- Goodwin, Mathew. “Think Quest”. Novi School District. 12 Jan.2004. Web. 15. Nov. 2013.
- Lindfelt, Lise-Lotte, and Jan-Åke Törnroos. “Ethics and Value Creation in Business Research: Comparing Two Approaches.” European Journal of Marketing. 4 March 2006. ProQuest. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.