Chapter 2 Understanding Cross-Cultural Management Dimensions

Managing Organizations in a Global Economy: An Intercultural Perspective

You just are classified on 1.Your look ±The way you are dressed ±Your ethnic look ±Your gender, ±Your age, 2 Your linguistic expression, 3.Your religious expression, 4.Your hierarchic situation(s) 5.Your educational behaviour, 6.Your attractiveness, But differences exist and depend on time and place

Global Strategy and Culture
y To succeed, corporations must develop global strategies. Recent decades saw the growing importance of global strategies, at least among leading firms and management scholars; however, the new millenium made it imperative (Adler 1997).

Cross±Cultural Management
y The growing importance of world business has created a demand for managers sophisticated in global management skills and working with people from other countries.

. and alliance partners from around the world. managers. and seeks to understand how to improve the interaction of co±workers. executives.Cross±cultural management describes organizational behavior within countries and cultures. suppliers. compares organizational behavior across countries and cultures. clients.

Global versus Domestic Organizations y Two fundamental differences between global and domestic organization are geographic dispersion and multiculturalism. .

.Multiculturalism means that people from many cultures interact regularly. it is necessary to understand the primary ways in which cultures around the world vary. What Is Culture? To understand the differences between domestic and global management.

y Something that shapes behavior or structures one¶s perceptions of the world.Culture is: y Something that is shared by all or almost all members of some social group. y Something that the older members of the group try to pass on to the younger members. .

and behaviors displayed by its members.Cultural Orientations yThe cultural orientation of the society reflects the complex interaction of values. attitudes. yIndividuals express culture and its normative qualities through the values that they hold about life and the world around them (Adler 1997) .

How Do Cultures Vary As shown in Table 1. their relationship to nature and the world. . six basic dimensions describe the cultural orientation of societies: people¶s qualities as individuals. and their orientation in space and time. their relationship to other people. their primary type of activity.

Values Orientation Dimensions Perception of Dimensions Individual ood ood and Evil Evil orld Dominant armony Subjugation uman Individual Laterally ierarchical Relations Extended roups roups Activity Doing Controlling Being Time Future Present Past Space Private Mixed Public .Table 1.

The six dimensions answer the questions y Who am I? y How do I see the world? y How do I relate to other people? y What do I do? y How do I use space and time? .

How People See Themselves People¶s Relationship to the World yWhat is a person¶s relationship to the world? Are people dominant over their environment. in harmony with it. or subjugated by it? .

Personal Relationships: Individualism or Collectivism Activity: Doing or Being .

They see no real separation between people and their natural environment. yOther societies. . attempt to live in harmony with nature. such as Chinese and Navaho.yNorth Americans generally see themselves as dominant over nature.

Japan. . the U.Work Behavior Varies Across Cultures Worldwide Differences in Managerial Style Andre Laurent (INSEAD.. France) studied the philosophies and behavior of managers in nine Western European countries. and the People¶s Republic of China). and three Asian countries (Indonesia.S. He found distinct patterns for managers in each of the countries.

Task and Relationship ³The main reasons for a hierarchical structure is so that everybody knows who has authority over whom.´ .

³In order to have efficient work relationships.´ . it is often necessary to bypass the hierarchical line.

Managers: Experts or Problem Solvers? y Laurent found little agreement across national borders on the nature of the managerial role. .

Another related study by England (1986) found that employees¶ work goals/motivation varied across cultures. .

Japanese. and American Respondents¶ Rankings Work goals Interesting work 2 Good pay 5 Good interpersonal relations 6 Good job security A good match between you and your job 1 A lot of autonomy 3 Opportunity to learn 7 A lot variety 9 Convenient work hours 8 Good physical working conditions 11 Germany Japan 3 1 1 2 USA 4 7 2 3 5 4 8 8 9 5 6 6 6 9 11 4 10 .Table 3: Comparative Work Goals: German.

and Japan conducted by Harris and Moran (1991).In another international study of management± performance appraisals in the U. .A. Saudi Arabia.S. it was found that performance appraisal differed significantly across cultures..

.A seminal research by Hofstede (1980) went further in showing how the underlying values of the cultures across the world permeate through to affect relationships. work. and social values.

These socio± cultural factors were: . Hofstede isolated 4 major dimensions which were congruent with different cultural values of specific countries.Hofstede (1980) undertook a comprehensive study on worldwide sociocultural factors influencing management. Hofstede¶s research compared work± related attitudes across a range of cultures. From his survey of 116.000 employees in 40 countries.

Individualism 2.Small vs.Collectivism vs.Femininity vs. Large Power Distance 3.1.Weak vs. Masculinity . Strong Uncertainty Avoidance 4.

. in collaboration with Bond (1984). identified an additional cultural dimension by which nations can be classified: Confucian Dynamism.Fifth Cultural Dimension Hofstede. Short Term Orientation. Confucian Dynamism is also referred to as Long Term Orientation vs.

Confucianism is not a religion. . but a system of practical ethics prevalent in China. The five basic relationships are: y Ruler±subject y Father±son y Older brother±younger brother y Husband±wife y Older friend±younger friend.

.The junior owes the senior respect. and the senior owes the junior protection and consideration. The prototype for all social institutions is the family. as opposed to being just an individual. A person is mainly a member of a family.

Treating others as one would like to be treated oneself is virtuous behavior. one¶s dignity. self respect. and prestige. and harmony is the maintenance of one¶s face. that is.Harmony in the family must be preserved. .

.Skills for Effective Cross-Cultural Management Respect. Tolerating ambiguity.

.Skills for Effective Cross-Cultural Management Relating to people.

Skills for Effective Cross-Cultural Management Being nonjudgmental. .

.Skills for Effective Cross-Cultural Management Personalizing one¶s observations.

´ .Skills for Effective Cross-Cultural Management Empathy²the ability to ³put yourself in another¶s shoes.

Skills for Effective Cross-Cultural Management Persistence. .


How are decisions taken ? 6 Decisions 5 Choosing the way to use them 4 Choosing available means & tools 3 Choosing objectives and their ways 2 Determining orientations 1 Psychological basis ? How ?? Tactics Logistics Strategy Politics Weltanschauung .

belonging ands its ideological consequence. social. etc. . religious. linguistic. national. leisure-related.What is Weltanschauung? Die Welt = the world Die Anschauung = the way you look at this includes ±personal and family history. educational. ethnic.

human-sized companies ±The importance of status and postures and the subsequent difficult versatility. top managers. ±How to keep a balanced image when disrupted environment ‡ The relations with the powerful people ±company owners. ±Their secretaries. clubs) . ±Trade-unionists ‡The specific network members (associations.Some specific risks and opportunities in companies ‡ Image and postures ±Trusts and multinationals vs.

Cross-cultural management studies the behavior of people in organizations around the world and trains people to work in organizations with employee and client populations. suppliers. seeks to understand and improve the interaction of co-workers. and alliance partners from different countries and cultures. It describes organizational behavior within countries and cultures. most importantly. . clients. Cross-cultural management thus expands the scope of domestic management to encompass the international and multicultural spheres. Compares organizational behavior across cultures and countries: and perhaps.


Culture as a: opportunity/resource problem/threat culture gets ³in the way´ culture as a source of competitive advantage .

Model of core problems & core solutions (Holden 2002) Core problems Ethnocentrism in the face of Cultural diversity experienced as Cultural shock which varies with exerience and may be lesser or greater in impact Core solutions Adaptation as first reaction to cultural shock Adjustment as a more permanent & positive reaction Development of intercultural skills: creating ´the crosscultural manager´ .Example: Indian Global Sales Manager for a Danish company from his office in Shanghai.

Critical Cultural Variables Urgency Power Extent to which power is distributed Authority. responsibility & accountability Time The view of and way time is used Culture Structure Extent to which uncertainty creates discomfort Communication The way and style information is shared Individual/group Whether individual or group takes precedence Commitment Agreements & contracts Risk-taking Konflikt Source: Interlink .

³The central operating mode for a global enterprises is the creation. organization and management of multi-cultural teams ± groups that represent diversity in functional capability. experience levels and cultural backgrounds. ³The Manager¶s Guide to Globalization´ (1993) . Rheinsmith.

. Differences in national culture. but that they do not know enough about cultural differences to determine whether or not they are a factor. while important. 2.The mistake made by many managers is not that they leap to cultural solutions from personal differences. are usually secondary 3.Guidelines for diagnosing the effectiveness of multicultural teams 1. Begin as one would with mono-cultural teams until there is a problem that appears to have a cultural basis.


corporate culture .effective team functioning .stages of professional development .personal styles .functional culture .national culture .stage of team development .Diagnosing difficulties in team A manager or facilitator should use the following order in examining potential team difficulties: .

Group task What are the evidences of paradigm shift in the Vicks case? .

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