Organizational Culture in Different Countries and Regions - Term Paper Example

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Studies have showed that organizational cultures are influenced by national cultures (Terpstra & David, 1991). A business traveler once quipped about this national culture that influences organizational culture that could be inimical to conducting business if not properly understood…
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Organizational Culture in Different Countries and Regions
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Download file to see previous pages Taken negatively, this culture can be used as a shield and process that people withdraw to when they intend to sideline their common sense. It is a form of groupthink or herd mentality that could be used to shrug responsibility (Savio, 2007). But when properly understood, the barriers of cultural differences can come down and the authenticity of the people emerges transcending the old collective and herd thinking enabling one to find homogeneity and common ground to do business.
But understanding the eccentricity or idiosyncrasy of a particular culture can be a challenge and may even take some time to be understood and perhaps after committing some blunders and faux pas that could cost the business itself. Seemingly innocuous behaviors, when not properly understood can be costly to the one doing the business who is unaware of the national culture that is being reflected in the bigger organization. To illustrate, a businessperson attending a dinner by a Chinese host may be aware that he has to be gracious being familiar of guanxi(Hwang, 2009). But knowing the host or Chinese counterpart is not enough (Bedford, 2011). Little things such as not following the nuances of dining protocols may even inadvertently offend the business counterpart. In the example cited, the guest, in his effort to be gracious to his host, ate every food that was served to him (there are 12 courses in a Chinese meal) even if he was full with the hope of getting the impression that he is an appreciative guest. Only to be confounded that the host’s warmth disappeared and turned cold as the evening ended. It took some time for the guest to realize that in Chinese context, cleaning up your plate meant that the host did not feed you enough and that is quite offensive in doing business in Chinese context (Balderrama, 2010). Another example is the customary bringing of whisky to a Japanese counterpart which can be considered as a thoughtful gift but is offensive to Dubai nationals (Tulshyan, 2010). To better understand particular cultures and how they reflect and differ in the larger culture of an organization in different countries, Hoftstede formulated a cultural assessment tool whereby dimensions of one’s cultural strength can be assessed by assigning a scale ranging from 0 to 100 (Hoftstede, n.d.) . This tool of Hofstede is a popular tool among managers who would like to understand another culture apart from their own. The five cultural dimensions of Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Long-Term Orientation; Hofstede’s five dimensions of culture in details are (MCCULLIGH, 2010); Small vs. large power distance – This refers to how a society handles inequalities and the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. Individualism vs. collectivism – Behavior towards community. The degree to which individuals are integrated into groups or are expected to look after themselves and self-actualize. Masculinity vs. femininity) ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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