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Hofstede, Namenwirth and Weber define culture as "A system of values and norms that are shared among a group of people and that when taken together constitute a design for living."
The word "Culture" comes from a Latin word CULTURA, which is related to the cultic worship. Culture is defined as a set of norms, values and behavior that helps in identifying a group with similar characteristics. These values and behavior are the actions that can be considered as good or bad by the society. One of the main factors that influence a culture is religion for e.g. Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam etc. Culture, cultural difference and its impact on the international business are one of the major factors that help in deciding the growth of business. (McDonald and Burton, 2002)
International business is defined as a procedure in which an organization deals with the economic activities outside their country i.e. in the foreign. (Mike W.Peng, 2008)
Every country is different in looking at things, expressing views and dressing and follows its own culture. "People in India take liberties with time, place and even possessions with a little bit of acquaintance whereas Europeans always like to be punctual and make prior appointments." (Chary, 2009)
England is much more advanced and westernized than India. There is a huge difference in the business culture of India and U.K. Therefore, it is very important to be aware of the culture and environment of the country where one intends to work.
In order to do business at an international level, it is important for the organization to learn, understand and adapt itself to that countries culture like the language, values, attitudes, customs, religion, education, social structure, economic and political philosophies.(Neelankavil and Rai, 2009)
Thus, this study will focus on developing an understanding of the culture of India and U.K. and analyze its effects on the business of Hilton Group of Hotels.
1.2 JUSTIFICATION TO THE TOPIC
Due to globalization, every organization wants to grow rapidly in this competitive world. In working internationally, it is important to have knowledge about the culture and cultural difference in order to become aware of the problems that can arise while doing business abroad. In this research, we will study about the difference in the Indian and UK culture by taking the case study of Hilton group of Hotels.
An article on understanding International Business Culture states that "Individuals and companies involved in international business deals would be well advised to make the study and understanding of international business cultures one of their highest priorities". (O'Hara 2011)
Another article in International HR Forum explains that business men who wish to work successfully with a strong position in the market in a foreign country have to learn the culture of that country. Culture has the strength to control the cost involved in the business which further helps in gaining competitive advantage over other companies. Understanding others culture not only avoids making mistakes but it also gives us knowledge and brings peace and prosperity amongst people. (Hummel 2009)
Therefore, it is necessary to study the cultural differences and its impact on the international business of Hilton Group of Hotels.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTION
Are there any differences in how Hilton Hotel in India and U.K are managed? If so, are they a result of the business cultural differences? If not, why are there no differences?
1.4 AIM OF THE RESEARCH
The main aim of this research is to understand the cultural difference of India and U.K and its impact on the business practices of Hilton Hotel group in the two countries. The findings of this research could influence the company to consider an approach that would enhance its business, keeping in mind the culture of the country.
1.5 OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH
To identify the culture of India
To identify the culture of U.K.
To analyze the role of culture on international business
To understand the challenges faced by the Hilton Hotel group in India and U.K.
Offer recommendations to the organization.
1.6 STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY
The first chapter of this study is the introduction which introduces us to the research topic. This chapter explains us the need of this study and defines the terms like culture and International Business. It provides us with brief understanding of what this thesis is about It gives an outline of the research question, aim of the research and the research objectives.
The second chapter introduces us to the company. It gives all the necessary details of the company like its history, background, business performance, market share values and brief information about the working of Hilton Hotels internationally.
The third chapter, known as the literature Review, is a very important part of this research study. This chapter elaborates the concept of culture in India and U.K in detail. It discusses each and every objective of this study in detail. It also provides us with an insight of the negative and the positive affects of culture on the business of the same company but in two different countries with the help of various literature related to this study such as previous research, articles, journals and books.
The fourth chapter is known as the Research Methodology which describes the research design and explains the different research approaches like the in-depth interviews and the qualitative research method used by the writer while conducting this research. Specifically, this chapter describes the various tools and techniques used to collect and analyze the data.
The fifth chapter is the data analysis. This chapter reports on the results of the empirical findings and analysis of the data. In this chapter, the data collected with the help of various procedures is analyzed using the method of "common pattern".
Finally, the last chapter of this research study is the conclusion. In this chapter, the final result has been discussed in detail along with the limitations of this study, the implications of the further study and recommendations.
2. COMPANY BACKGROUND
2.1 INTRODUCTION TO THE COMPANY
Hilton group of hotels is one of the biggest and famous multi-national company's in the world with its headquarters based in Virginia, United States. It was founded in the year 1919 by Mr. Conrad Hilton in Cisco, Texas. In today's time Hilton Worldwide is one of the most respected brands with almost 3,800 hotels and 630,000 rooms in around 91 countries of the world with the aim to increase productivity and its market value. Conrad Hilton states it's each hotel as "a small America, where all people from different countries can speak anything as they like". Each and every detail of the hotel like design, marketing, public relations describes its friendly culture. (Company Website)
The first Hilton hotel was opened under the name of Dallas Hilton in the year 1925 by Conrad Hilton, when there were no air conditioners, but later in the year 1927, Hilton expanded its hotels to Texas and opened its first air conditioned Hotel. During 1940's Hilton Hotel Corporation was created and it was the first hotel corporation to show up in New York stock Exchange list. With this, the first international Hilton Hotel was also opened in Puerto Rico in 1949. Hilton Hotels has been very active in management and innovation in 1950's. It aimed at opening a Hilton Hotel in each and every part of the world and it has also been very successful in doing it. Hilton Group of Hotels united with a company called The Blackstone Group in 2007. After a couple of years i.e. in 2009, Hilton Hotel expanded to 76 countries and changed the name and symbol from Hilton Hotel Corporation to Hilton Worldwide. The headquarters were also shifted from Beverly Hills, California to McLean, Virginia. (Company Website)
2.3 FINANCIAL SUMMARY
The Financial Year 2006 showed exceptional results with an increment of 9 percent in revenue-per-available-room, 51 percent in management and franchise fees and 20 percent in timeshare productivity. The sales were increased where as the debts were decreased.
(In millions, except per share amount) 2005 2006 % change
Revenue $4,437 $8,162 84
Operating Income 805 1.274 58
Net Income 460 572 24
Net Income per share - diluted 1.13 1.39 23
According to the Annual Report of Hilton Corporation 2006, "A total of 223 hotels with approximately 36,000 rooms were added to our system in 2006. At year-end 2006, our worldwide system consisted of 2,935 properties and 501,478 rooms"
From the above, it can be seen that the net income for the year 2006 was $572 million i.e. an increase of $112 million in just one year. The diluted net income per share increased from $1.13 in 2005 to $1.39. The total revenue generated in the year 2006 was $2.521 billion, whereas it was $2.049 billion in the year 2005. This means that there was an increase of $0.472 billion in the spam of one year. Hilton's market capitalization in the year 1995 was $3.5 Billion and in the year 2006 it was $13.5 billion. In a time period of ten years the company's stock value increased by 240%. The expenses were also increased from $420 million in the year 2005 to $491 million in the year 2006. (Annual Report: Hilton, 2006)
2.4 BUSINESS PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
Whiting 2004 defines Business Performance Management (BPM) as a "set of integrated, closed-loop management and analytic processes, supported by technologies that address financial and operational activities. BPM helps businesses define strategic goals and measure and manage performance against those goals". BPM is a concept of management and systematic procedure that deals with the finance and operations department of the company with the help of skills and tools.
Hilton Group of hotels is run by a team of very dynamic, experienced and well positioned executives who have always maintained the high standards of kindness and warmth for Hilton.
According to the international directory of company history, Hilton gained a lot of profit though Casino properties, management program and franchising fees in 1980's.
The outstanding performance of Hilton Hotel in all the countries has made it one of the largest growing Hotels. It has maintained its standards consistently all over the world and has left behind Marriot Hotel with a CAGR of 15 percent. Within a time period of three years, Hilton hotel was positioned at the 3rd number in 2008 from 11th number in 2005 amongst the top hotels of the world. In 2007, the Hilton merged with the company called The Blackstone Group. (Tourism Report, 2010)
The developed market of U.S. and a 120 years experience of Hilton Hotel produced a management known as the Human Resource Management. The company's management developed at a very high rate on the basis of the fact that changes appear in human nature. Due to such rapid development and management, Hilton has been able to make innovations. (Edward and Ewen, 2004)
The two features of performance management of Hilton are strict system and mature methods of operation. The performance, organization and classification of the company are dependent on its influence and accountability. The strict system forms an important basis for the management by taking the responsibility of making post brochure of the enterprise. The mature method of operation gives a push factor to the management and the staff members to achieve the goals of the company. It is an easier and effective method for good performance management. (Murphy and Clevelen, 1991)
The performance management finds it difficult to handle the management and the assessment of the factors on which the company runs. Hilton Hotel set up a code of conduct for their staff which is open to public. On the basis of this code of conduct it becomes easy for the personnel to detect the accomplishments and the drawbacks and the reason for the same. The corporate staffs of Hilton works to identify its values and to be kept informed of work that needs to be done in advance so that the training could be provided to the staff members accordingly. Hilton's presentation and evaluation structure is the most significant management standard depiction from general performance management system. Hilton's operation process can be observed from the world's successful international corporation's performance. (Travel courier, 2010).
According to an article on International Business Research (2010), Hilton focuses that the company's ethics, management and the dynamic contribution of the staff towards the environment, which forms the performance management system of the enterprise is the main basis of the success of the corporation. The members of staff of the company agree to communicate about the progress of the performance management plan which is put into practice on the basis of previous performance which is assessed at the end of each year. For this the staff members need to be reminded to perform well and maintain high standards and quality for the customers and remind them about the performance target to be achieved.
3. LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter is divided into two sections. The first section defines culture, its importance in international business and the various cultural dimensions for working globally. The next section describes the culture of India and U.K. and reviews the impact of culture on the working of Hilton Hotel Group in both the countries. Finally, it ends with a brief summary.
Hofstede (2003) defines culture as "the collective programming of mind that distinguishes the members of one human group from another."
It is evident that people from diverse environment can misunderstand each other. When two people interact in an organization, culture characterizes their behaviour and attitude towards others. When a company plans to start a business in abroad, employees with good communication skills and with the ability to adapt into new environment are chosen to travel and interact with people of various cultures and nationalities. (Mead, 1992)
Table 3.1 World population percentages in terms of home region, language, and religion
Home Region %
Latin America 8.4
Non- Religious 14
Former Soviet Bloc 5.5
North America 5.2
Chinese Tradition 4
Australia and NZ 0.6
Sources: www.census.gov ; www.adherents.com.
This table shows the division of world's population according to Region, Language and Religion which are the major aspects of determining ones culture.
Taylor (1870) defines culture as "that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs, and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society".
Culture plays a very important role in business. All civilizations have its own cultural elements like language, religion, values, attitude, customs, education, aesthetics and social institutions. (Czinkota, 2007)
Culture passes from one generation to the other, however it can vary from one group to the other. Every society has its own point of view and opinion about various situations; however, it acts as a barrier to communication. (Daniels, Lee and Sullivan, 2004)
3.2.1. CULTURAL DIMENSIONS
Geert Hofstede Cultural dimensions
Geert Hofstede, a much known professor carried out the study of impact of culture on individuals at a workplace. It took him six years to complete this study as it consists of interviews of more than 100,000 employees from 70 countries.
According to Hofstede 2004, "the UK has 35 points in power distance, 89 in individualism, 66in masculinity, 35 in uncertainty avoidance and 25 in long term orientation".
Power Distance -According to Hofstede, 2004, "Inequality exists in every culture; however the extent to which less powerful members of the society agree to the inequality differs from one culture to the other. Power distance is related to the different solutions to the basic problem of human inequality"
High power creates less communication amongst the bosses and employees whereas when the power is low, employees communicate more with their superiors for the decision making purposes.
Individualism vs. collectivism- Individualism is defines as the capability of a human being to only take care of himself or his family where as collectivism describes a group of people who look after each and every member of that group. (Hofstede, 2004)
These two dimensions describe the individualist or collectivist culture of a human being.
Masculinity vs. Femininity- The third dimension is one of the most dominating factors of a culture. Countries where men are considered to be more strong and tough and women are considered to be more delicate and soft follow masculine culture where as countries where men and women are considered equal in terms of strength and tenderness follow feminine culture. (Hofstede, 2004)
Uncertainty Avoidance- It is the level to which an individual can accept sudden changes and situations. Companies which have the tendency to admit unpredicted circumstances and dislike uncertainty have high uncertainty avoidance score culture whereas countries which take things as they come and are prepared for any change at any point of time have low uncertainty avoidance score culture. (Hofstede, 2004)
Long term vs. short term orientation - The fifth dimension known as the Long term vs. short term orientation was discovered quite later by Hofstede with the help of a survey intended by Chinese scholars. According to Hofstede (2004), "long-term orientation means focusing to the future whereas short term orientation is focusing on the present and past. In long term oriented societies, pragmatism, perseverance is valued more; in short term oriented societies, respect for tradition and return favours is valued more".
TABLE 3.2 Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimension
Four Dimensions Degree of Sale
Long Term Orientation.
Commitment to future and use of tradition
Care of relationship
Personal Steadiness and stability
Source: Chang,2003 and Hofstede, 2001
3.2.2. HOME CULTURE VERSUS FOREIGN CULTURE
Tayeb (1998) says that the decision to become involved in international business depends, among others, on the size of the company's domestic market, its production capacity and capability, and the financial and other resources that the foreign market requires. In that way, firms can be placed on an internationalisation scale ranging from domestic single nation to totally globalise.
The extent to which national culture becomes relevant to a firm can be shown in the following table. The company' own home country culture is of high relevance, though the managers and other employees may not be aware of its influence. The relevance of other people's culture becomes greater for a firm as it spreads its activities and products past its national boundaries to reach foreigners with different value systems and tastes (Tayeb 1998).
3.2.3 IMPORTANCE OF CULTURE IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
Understanding culture and its impact on international business is very important for the firm and its employees. Organizations differ not only on the basis of international culture but national culture as well.
According to Ball et al. (1996), doing business with another culture is not an easy task and to be successful, every foreign company should be aware and follow some rules that make their business activity more compatible. They state that there are six rules of thumb for doing business in another culture. Even if these can be important when doing business in the home country, they become more crucial when going abroad.
Johansson (2000) states that it should be kept in mind that even if adaptation to the foreign culture is good when it comes to future negotiations and co-operations, there is a limit for how far a manager should go to try to accommodate this foreign culture. Mistrust from the other part can be created if for example a manager is trying to adapt to the foreign culture and is doing this superficial and with lack of deeper meaning. This can lead to misinterpretation and seen as matter of insincerity.
When a company begins to work outside its national country, it encounters various environmental and cultural changes which is not the case in own country. If one does not understand these cultural differences, then he might to face barriers in the success of the organization globally. (Lane et al, 2001).
More international operations lead to more interaction and communication with people and companies working in different culture. Therefore, in order to operate productively, it is a basic need to understand or have knowledge of different cultural attributes and contrast. (Adler 1983).
Ferner and Quintanilla (1998), state that "companies need to operate as one organisation which face global environment although they are consisted of different subunits which carry the characteristics of the local environment they operate in and the companies also bring the cultural elements of the home countries which they originated in"
Since the study of national and international cultures has become of the most acknowledged topic, therefore, it is important to learn culture, its importance and impacts in international business.
3.2.4 IMPACT OF CULTURE ON INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
According to the article on Cultural impact on international Business, 2011, Culture influences international business in many ways. When culture and business interrelate with each other, it directs to the growth of fascinating circumstances or situation. When diverse cultures come together at an ordinary point with business as the podium, the spar is bound to happen. But most significantly, such circumstances assist us in becoming accustomed to demanding situations. Various societies or nations around the globe pursue different gestures and manners. The technique to see a difficulty might vary from country to country in the world. The global business culture, altogether, is an assembly of a variety of industry tradition, cultural power and the consideration development followed in different countries. Below are discussed the impacts of culture on an international business on the basis of body language, communication, time etc.
Every country follows a different culture, which can be clearly found or seen in the behaviour and body language of its people. In order to work internationally, accepting the facts about underneath gesture or motion becomes essential. There is likelihood that people can get the wrong impression about the actions of different cultures. Thus, it calls for an accomplished planner to handle tricky state of affairs for the duration of conference. (Moran et al,2011)
communication is another aspect of culture that affects the international business. Different countries have different ways of communication. The words and vocabulary used by a few people might sound unkind to others. The pronunciation of some words could have a different impact on the cultural ways of communicating in the commercial sector. This can also act as an obstacle in the progression of business communication. (Moran et al, 2011)
The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about time in business in Punctuality. Britishers and Germans are very punctual and follow a time-bound schedule. The various 'time-cultures' could be one of the major factors for creating differences amongst people from miscellaneous ethnicity. Multinational Companies follow a schedule for meetings while doing a business and the way in which meetings are handles could also be the cause of having different point of views.(Moran et al, 2011)
"It is necessary for corporate houses to understand the social conditions of different countries, to successfully tap the respective markets. Being sensitive to the values and beliefs of different cultures of the world is necessary". (Leung 2005)
The marketing executives sent abroad to operate business out of the country go through various problems and difficulties in trading with the commercial tradition and customs of that country. To target the international market and customers is not an easy task. It requires qualified experts who are trained and talented to deliver the best of their capability to the clients.
3.3 CULTURE OF INDIA
India is a vast country which houses diverse cultures, ethnic groups and races. The immense population of more than a billion people has resulted from invasions, relocations and inter-marriages that took place over the centuries.
According to an article published in the Inter science Management Review (2012), the various customs and traditions followed by people reflects in the business mores of India. With the advent of technology, the companies have now started to venture out into international markets. It has thus helped the human resources and the organizations to get exposed to diverse working environments across nations. India has greatly benefited by this turn of events as the gap in the work culture of India and other nations has thus decreased to some extent.
INDIAN WORK CULTURE:
First and foremost, the Indian etiquette calls for Namaste being a fundamental mode of greeting or saying goodbye. Recently though, education has brought about a reform in this practice as men and women now prefer to shake hands.
Due to their politeness and respect towards their guests, Indian people have trouble saying no. This aspect of their nature may act as a hurdle in sealing of contracts or doing negotiations. Paramount respect, courtesy and generosity is showered upon guests in India. It is a utopia for the international travellers. (Rai and Neelankavil, 2009)
Rai and Neelankavil, 2009 also state that one of the major drawbacks of the Indian work culture is that there is no management of time. Indians don't score too well in terms of punctuality; long delays in meetings, cancellation or rescheduling of the same are a common sight. This has found its roots in the basic mindset of people and the Indian culture.
Another major failing of the Indian work system is the general slack of work in the Government offices which leads to delays in meting out results, excess of the red tape baggage that leads people not to have confidence in the system. Therefore, any transactions in India call for a huge amount of patience to be able to meet with the results.
The article published in Inter Science Management Review, 2012 also states that Despite other shortcomings, Indians fare well in matters of the English language. The adeptness of the average middle class over the language is laudable. There is absolutely no hitch in sending and receiving of official letters, emails or faxes.
The office environment in India is usually very formal and there are no personal relationship between the bosses and the subordinates. The decision making in almost all of the private companies is from top to bottom, which may take a long time for the decision to be made and implemented. This accounts for the general lack of management inside the working sector. Most of the Indians carry their work pressure home. They put in extra hours at work hence losing the work-life balance. This creates more pressure on them as the workplace demands are entirely different from that of the family. All this is done in an effort to earn monetary benefits and climb higher on the ladder of hierarchy of the workplace. Indians generally don't make good mentors, they are soft critics and don't stand up against something wrong as much as they should. This is thought to be because of the process of appraisal, the appraiser demands positive feedback despite the gaping holes in management and work. The lack of dexterity of the appraiser is usually the main reason behind lack of the much needed critical review. Indians have a hard time coping with changes of any sort, be it changes in management or work timings. A lot of time and energy is required for Indians to bring the change to practice.
3.4 CULTURE OF U.K
There are about 3.7 million businesses in the U.K which includes 75% of jobs in service industry like hotels, restaurants, travelling, shopping, computers and finance. This sector consists of more than 20 million employees and 22 percent of British workers work more than 48 hours a week. (Pryce, 2007)
According to the Central Intelligence Agency (2007), the United Kingdom is one of the most developed countries in the world and being a leader in trade as well as the leader as the financial centre. It is seen as one of the largest five economies in Europe, with banking, insurance and other business services being an integral part of it. As the United Kingdom is a part of the EU, most of the institutions and policies are in accordance with the regulations laid out by the EU. As the UK has a monarchical constitution, the government rarely gets involved in the matters of economy, its main concern is with improving public services like education and health (The Economist, 2007). A large number of international and global enterprises find home in the United Kingdom (Ferner and Varul, 2000). Due to diverse work environments provided by these global enterprises, the British companies get to experience the work culture provided by the international markets and manage it efficiently. An argument provided by Ferner and Varul (2000) states that the British enterprises have a niche above other companies in terms of development of customer friendly policies and structures. Also, these enterprises play an integral role in globalization of industries, thus placing UK in the top realm to play the role of international operations armed with international companies.
Hence, the UK could be expected to be the place with the most number of globalized companies with leading role of international operations.
3.4.1 KEY CONCEPT AND VALUES OF BRITISH CULTURE
According to an article on International Business Negotiations 2005, United Kingdom consists of a blend of four cultural and ethnic backgrounds named as England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Such a multicultural country persists to bring together its rich culture and modern attitude. The understanding of the basic principled business standards of the United Kingdom is very important for any company that wishes to operate business in such an inherited and reputable country.
Indirectness - The most important aspect of British culture is its way of approach and communication. In the U.K, people are known well for their graciousness and good manners like courtesy, politeness and civility. While undertaking business in the UK, it is seen that straight questions obtain indistinct answers and the exchange of dialogues takes place in detail. In order to understand what one really means to say, it is necessary to take note of the nature of voice and facial expressions. (Whittaker, 2009)
'Stiff upper lip' - "The term 'stiff upper lip' is often used to describe the traditionally British portrayal of reserve and restraint when faced with difficult situations". All business meetings and deals are done with entire regulations and customs. Any positive or negative form of emotion should be neglected in the british work environment. (Whittaker, 2009)
Humour - A vital element in all aspects of British life and culture is the renowned British sense of humour. The importance of humour in all situations, including business contexts, cannot be overestimated. Humour is frequently used as a defence mechanism, often in the form of self depreciation or irony. It can be highly implicit and in this sense is related to the British indirect communication style. (Whittaker, 2009)
The United Kingdom is renowned for its colourful history and strong sense of tradition that has been shaped by a colonial empire, both civil and European war and a constitutional monarchy. The fourth largest trading nation, the UK is fast becoming Europe's leading business centre. Supported by a long-established system of government and economic stability, the UK is an attractive base for overseas business, offering skills in areas such as research, development and technology. However, in order to operate successfully in the UK business environment, there are a number of important issues to take into consideration both before and during your time there. (Kenna and Lacy, 1995)
In today's time of globalisation, international business is getting bigger and escalating for both multinational as well as local companies. Due to this, cross cultural matter have gained a lot of importance. In this literature review, the main focus has been to discuss culture, its importance and impact on Hilton Group of Hotel in India and U.K. This chapter has been presented to help the reader understand the basic theoretical concepts which helps in the findings of the case study and answering the research question.
This part of the thesis helped us in understanding the relationship between culture and international business. Development in the fields of technology and communication etc, companies from various cultures have started working together, thus making culture an important subject of discussion in International Business.
This chapter discussed the Hofstede's five cultural dimensions named Individualism, Power distance, Uncertainty, Masculinity and Long-Term orientation. It also explains the working culture of India and U.K and the impact of culture on the business of Hilton Hotel, India and Hilton Hotel, U.K.
In international business negotiations, it is important to learn about the counterpartsâ€Ÿ culture and thus ameliorate the problems that can arise in the course of the negotiations. From this study, we can see that there are marked differences in the Indian and British negotiation styles which stem from cultural differences among the two countries. Knowledge of these differences will enable negotiators understand the negotiation behaviour of their counterparts with a view to making negotiations proceed with more ease. However, it is also important not to allow cultural stereotypes to determine the relationships with the potential business partners. This is because individuals may have their own distinct culture which does not always mirror the country's perceived culture.
4. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
This chapter is designed to illuminate the research methodology of this study. It is divided into various parts that explain the different research approaches, research methods, research design and the examination of data collected. In particular, the methodology adopted to choose the sample and analyse the data will be discussed. The writer will also explain the limitations of this research and ends it with a brief summary.
4.2 RESEARCH DESIGN
Research design is defined as an arrangement of answering the research questions in order to collect the correct information. It aims in obtaining the clear objective derived from the research questions, data collection method, limitations and ethical issues. (Saunders et al, 2007)
Conducting a research is not an easy task. It involves various preparations before carrying out the research work for example it requires a research design to get an idea of how the data will be collected. It is a general plan which is structured to get appropriate answers for the research questions.
This research study involves the use of descriptive research so that the reader gets an absolute understanding of how this research is carried out and technique used for analysing the data.
4.3 RESEARCH STRATEGY
Research strategy is the main deciding factor that helps us in choosing the suitable research approach and facilitates us to assess the research proposition. It is defined as the "general approach to research determined by the kind of question that the research study hopes to answer" (Gravetter and Forzano)
The three types of research strategies are explanatory, exploratory and descriptive. This research involves in-depth interviews with the management of Hilton Hotel in India and U.K to get the answer to the research question. The questions of the interview were formed on the basis of the cultural difference and impact on the working and business of Hilton Hotel, India and Hilton Hotel, U.K.
4.4 RESEARCH APPROACH
The most commonly used research approaches known as deductive and inductive approaches are explained below:-
Deductive Approach - Deductive approach, also known as the 'top-down' approach is used for gathering common to definite analysis like laws, rules and principles etc. Thus, the knowledge of a particular field/area or the theory in relation to that area helps in deriving a result of the hypothesis which can further be used to transform the theoretical concepts into a researchable article. (Bryman and Bell, 2007)
Inductive approach - The inductive approach is the opposite of deductive approach. It is used for gathering definite to general observations. It is also named as the 'bottom-top' approach. When the researcher concludes the inference of the analysis of the theory, the result is then stored into the findings related with the research area.
(Bryman and Bell, 2007)
To investigate the impact of the cultural difference on the working of Hilton Group of hotel in India and U.K., the researcher will makes use of both the deductive as well as the inductive approach.
4.5 RESEARCH METHODS
Qualitative Research Method
According to Miles and Huberman 1994, "Qualitative research is conducted through an intense and/or prolonged contact with a field or life situation".
Qualitative Research is conducted in our day to day circumstances of groups, organizations, society etc. It is concerned with the quality and not the quantity. This type of research comes into use to recognize the respondent's behaviour and performance in life.
Quantitative Research Method
Quantitative research is used to measure the data. It is often carried out using two methods: survey and testing by the respondents to perform the analysis. It is more concerned with the quantity and not the quality such as it focuses on the characters, properties and observed values. (Nan, 1995)
Quantitative research consists of questionnaires, in-depth interviews, projective techniques etc. to collect the data.
Mixed Research Method - "Mixed research method engages philosophical assumptions that guide the direction of collecting, analyzing, and mixing qualitative and quantitative approaches in many phases in the research process." (Creswell and Clark, 2007)
It involves the use of both the qualitative as well quantitative research methods in one study or a sequence of studies.
Since, this research aims to investigate the difference in culture of India and U.K. and its impact on the business of Hilton Hotel in India and U.K., in-depth interviews were conducted with the management team of Hilton Hotel, India as well Hilton Hotel, U.K.
4.6 DATA SOURCES
A data source is the method from which the data is collected. It is of two types: Primary and Secondary. The primary data is generated from the questionnaires and the interviews conducted whereas the secondary data comes from the books, articles, journals and other applicable literature. Primary data is used in developing new hypothesis and the secondary data helps in building an academic environment. Both primary and secondary data are a reliable source of collecting information and use of both the sources can provide the researcher with a consistent conclusion. The data collected from both the sources can be checked against each other in order to attain a suitable end result. (Saunders et al, 2009)
4.7 DATA GATHERING INSTRUMENT
Questionnaires are considered as one of the most common methods of collecting data in business studies as it is very beneficial. The most important advantage of using questionnaire as a research method is that it can be easily managed, consume less time and reduces cost as compared to the other methods (Ghauri et al, 1995)
This research study required the use of quantitative research method. A questionnaire was designed and used as the measuring instrument. The data was gathered using the questionnaire and in- depth interviews were conducted with the senior management staff of the Hilton Hotel in India and U.K. to understand the impact of cultural difference on its working.
4.8 POPULATION AND SAMPLE
Leary (2004, p.118) defines sampling as, "the process by which a researcher selects a sample of participants for a study from the population of interest".
A total of four in-depth interviews were conducted with the senior management staff of Hilton Hotel, India and Hilton Hotel, U.K.
The Interviews were conducted only with a few staff of Hilton Hotel as interviews with the entire management of Hilton Hotel in both India and U.K. would have been very costly, time-consuming and impractical.
Target Population is the first step of sampling process. According to Malhotra and Birks 2003, "target Population is the collection of elements or objects that possess the information sought by the researcher and about which inferences are to be made."
The sample used in this study was selected from employees in various job roles, comprising mostly Project Managers, Developers, Solutions Consultants, Systems Architect and management job categories.
Saunders et al, 2009 states that it is quite understandable that to gain access to the management of a company or organization is the most difficult task while carrying out research in business studies or environment.
Paroutis and Pettigrew (2007) argue that in order to gain access to the associates or management of the company, the most important fact that should be kept in mind is the trust factor as it requires valuable support and crucial time of the respondents. In order to get affective results, the respondents must participate in the meetings and workshops where the researcher can have a thorough study of them at a time. On the other hand, Johnson et al, 2007 argues that it is in the hands of the researcher to gain access in regards to a person's observation through well designed questionnaires and interviews.
Thus, for this research, the researcher had to make use of a significant strategy of getting access regarding the available relevant resources like time and money. Therefore, the most suitable way of gaining access to the team was through brief information of the purpose and importance of conducting this research
4.10 DATA COLLECTION
As mentioned above, a questionnaire was designed that helped in conducting in-depth interviews with the senior employees of Hilton Hotel in India and U.K. Each question was chosen with awareness in connection to the aims and objectives of the research study.
Hence, the statement provided by Saunders et al, (2009) that the use of questionnaire to reduce the number of participants facing trouble in answering or assess the questions in a small scale study proved to be true.
4.11 DATA ANALYSIS
The quantitative and qualitative data was observed very carefully to conclude the final result for the research question. To analyse the quantitative data, SPSS ( Statistical Package for Social Sciences) software was used. The data collected was in the numerical form which was put into the system which measured the correlation between the selected variables and is handed in the findings chapter in the forms of charts, tables and graphs. On the other hand, the qualitative data was analysed through open ended questions and thematic patterns. This type of analysis helps in gaining understanding of a specific observation. (Saunders et al, 2009)
The researcher characterized the themes in order to make the structure of the study more evident by answering the research question. The answers were then categorized to form a combination to understand and explain the general view of cultural impact on the hospitality industry especially Hilton Hotel in India and U.K.
Comparing the findings with the literature
After the Primary data was analysed and the conclusion was retrieved, the researcher correlated the secondary data from the literature with the findings to look for the similarities and inconsistency. It was necessary to link the secondary and primary data until the researcher was satisfied with the conclusion so that a convincing and legitimate result could be drawn.
4.12 GENERALISABILITY AND RELIABILITY
It is highly recommended to notice that since the sample size of the research was comparatively small, the findings and results cannot be generalized. This matter was resolved by using both the numerical as well as the theoretical data by the sampling process. The research was conducted amongst the expert professionals of the applicable division of the company; therefore, more dependable and consistent answers to the research question were derived.
4.13 VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY
Validity and Reliability in a research study are the most important and negligible factors that deal with the trust of the research, findings and conclusions and should not be forgotten to mention. (Saunders et al, 2009)
Threat to the validity of this analysis could come from testing, record, appliance, humanity and uncertainty of the contributions. Talking about this study, the researcher realised that small sample size and limited access was a matter of difficulty. Although some measures were applied while doing the research as the researcher was aware of these hazards. All the participants were the employees of the company and had to follow some terms and conditions and were restricted to the influencing policies, customs and traditions of the company, therefore their point of view could be biased.
To validate the research, the researcher presented very transparent and understandable information on the purpose of the research, aims and objectives and the importance of conducting this research along with the justification of the liberty to take part or pull out them self from this research.
Finally, in case of any uncertainty or support, the researcher offered his personal contact details like email and phone number to the employees of the company.
4.14 ETHICAL ISSUE
Saunders et al, 2009 defines ethics as "how suitable the researcher's behaviour is towards the people who are the subject of the study or the people who are affected by it."
The researcher made sure that all the respondents were made aware of the need and purpose of this research and agreed to take part in completing the questionnaire wholeheartedly. The data that was collected from the questionnaires and interviews was not to be disclosed to anyone else apart from the researcher and required no name to be addressed to as only the researcher would have the access to all the information.
Cooper and Schindler (2008) stated, ethics are "the norms or standards of behaviour that guide moral choices about our behaviour and our relationships with others".
Other ethical issue to be well thought-out was the amount to which unconstructively acceptable answers could be extracted and the level to which opening the information to everyone could make the participants uncomfortable.
The author feels that studying about the cultural impacts on the Hilton Group of Hotels is not an ethical issue since it is only being researched to understand and benefit the readers with the knowledge of the cultural difference and its impact on the hospitality industry of a developed and a developing country.
Along with the advantages of this study, come a few limitations. There are a few subjects of concern that must be discussed and brought into notice as they act as a threat to the validity of the results and findings.
Below are the limitations that were faced by the researchers in conducting the research:-
The sample size was small as compared to the total number of employees working in the organisation
Due to less time and finances, the area under discussion could not be studied in detail
It has always been difficult for the respondents to devote their valuable time in answering the questions while working
Since the sample size was small and only contains the information from a few experts of the company, the findings cannot be generalized
There is a matter of concern with the reliability of the findings because of factors like instruments, history etc.
Considering all the limitations mentioned above, it has come into account of the researcher that there exist flaws and drawbacks that offer these restrictions for the achievement of the present thesis.
This chapter discussed the various research strategies, research approaches, research methods and the types of data sources that were used to gather all the data and the related answers to the research question of this research study. It also explains the ethical issues, limitations, validity and the reliability measures the researcher had to face while conducting this research.
In order to get an appropriate answer to the research question for this study, the researcher made use of the quantitative deductive approach as well as the qualitative inductive approach by taking help of a well designed questionnaire and conducting in-depth interviews with the senior management staff of the Hilton Hotel in India and U.K.
5. FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
This chapter aims to discuss the findings gathered from the results of data analysis through the questionnaire and the in-depth interviews. The author used the SPSS (Statiscal Packages for Social Sciences) programme for performing the quantitative analysis and representing the data. The data was collected by conducting four in-depth interviews with a help of a well-designed questionnaire with two senior employees at Hilton Hotel in India and U.K each.
Hence, the findings and correlation from each question of the questionnaire is presented along with the demographics
Culture and its influence form a very important basis of doing International business. Before starting a business in a foreign country, in a new market, it is very important to study that market, its target population, the culture of that country and other various things that influence the business performance of an organization. Every country has its own beliefs and culture. For example, In India people are shy and reserved whereas in U.K. people are quite open - minded and punctual. Culture also influences the buying behaviour, consumption quality and disposal of products by people belonging to different cultures.
Below are the results of the interview conducted by the author with the help of a suitable questionnaire that helps in explaining the personal point of view of the employees of Hilton Hotel in India and U.K.
Fig: 5.2 Age distribution
The above figure mentions the age group of the respondents. The percentage of the respondent that fall in the age group of 30-35, 35-40 and 40-45 were 25% (n=1), 25% (n=1) and 50% (n=2) respectively.
Fig: 5.1 Genders
The above figure shows the number of males and females take took part in the questionnaire. The percentage of male and female respondents were 75% (n= 3) and 25% (n=1) respectively.
LENGTH OF SERIES
Fig: 5.3 Length of series
The above figure shows the amount of time the respondents have worked at Hilton Hotel. The percentage of respondents that fall into the time length of 1-5 yrs, 6-10yrs, 11-15yrs and 16-20yrs were 0% (n=0), 50% (n=2), 50% (n=2) and 0% (n=0) respectively.
5.2.2 INTERPRETETION OF THE INTERIEW
Question 1- How important is culture in international business? Please describe your openness to differences in culture, beliefs, and language while working at Hilton Hotel.
The above question was asked to the employees of Hilton Hotel in India and U.K. The purpose of raising this question in the interview was to understand the importance of culture in International Business.
Culture is the unspoken language in international business. It is one of the most important aspects to be kept in mind while interacting with international business associates in order to avoid any problems or issues of cultural offence. Awareness of cultural difference can evade the problem of miscommunication and leads to successful cultural management and business. (Walker et al. 2003)
According to the employees of Hilton Hotel in India and U.K, "Lack of awareness of culture in International Business leads to failure in achieving the goals and objective of the company. Therefore, culture has a great importance in doing business internationally".
Question 2 - Do you find it difficult to communicate with people from different backgrounds or cultures?
This question was important to understand the working of Hilton Hotels internationally. People from all over the world, belonging to different backgrounds and cultures travel for their personal and professional purposes and book a long or short stay at Hotels like Hilton, Marriot etc. Providing customer satisfaction is another aspect for a successful business and good communication with the customers becomes significant. Thus, this question was raised to understand the importance of communication with people belonging to different cultures in International Business.
It is evident that communication among two people of diverse environment is capable of being misunderstood. Communication system helps in determining organizational culture. Companies stand on their communication system. If the communication or interaction does not take place, the organization fails ultimately. (Mead, 1992)
The employees at Hilton Hotel in India and U.K believe that people have their own way of communicating. Although, English is considered as the primary language and most commonly spoken language among the people of all the cultures, at times it is difficult to communicate with tourists who can only communicate in their mother tongue.
Question 3 - If things go very wrong in terms of cultural misunderstanding, what would you do?
During the interview, the employees at Hilton Hotels mentioned that their team members are provided with all the training required in dealing with international customers. Even then if there is any misunderstanding in terms of culture, it is considered as a big insult for both the Hotel as well as the customer and the first thing would be to amend the mistake. This can be done by giving them a brief explanation of the norms and values of that country and providing them with some incentives/ complimentary items as a way of apology in order to avoid further misunderstandings and setting a good impression.
Question 4- Do you think it is advantageous to serve customers who are from the same cultural background as you? Why / Why not?
Multi-culture engages an extensive array of matters such as age, gender, religion, language, ethnicity etc which play an important role in effective of doing business abroad and maintaining relationship with International business connections.
It was important to raise this question to the employees of Hilton Hotel as it puts an impact on the customers as well as provide job satisfaction to the employees.
According to the employees at Hilton Hotel in India, most of the customers belong to the same culture and therefore, it becomes easy for them to serve those customers. The member of staff states that, "it is always easy for any country to serve its own people due to an understanding of their cultural needs". Due to the same reason India plans to have fifty Hilton Hotels by 2015. Whereas the employees at Hilton Hotel in U.K. expressed their feelings on the same by saying that "it is very important to maintain the standards of all the Hilton Hotels situated in the entire U.K. We have to interact with clients of all cultural backgrounds. Even the members of staff belong to different backgrounds, so it becomes easy for them to serve customers from all over the world".
Question 5 - Do you feel that foreign culture has affected the opportunities for local people in any way?
It is important to understand foreign culture in International business. Foreign culture varies from national culture because every country consists of different societies and cultures. It is necessary to acknowledge the difference in culture but at the same time it is also important to understand the need and importance of understanding these differences in culture and its impact on international business.
This question was asked to the employees of Hilton Hotel to understand the effect of foreign culture on national culture in international business. The business operation and management used for doing business internationally is different from that of doing business in home country.
According to the workers at Hilton Hotel in India and U.K., foreign culture has a great impact on the local people. When a new business is introduced in a country, the competition increases as it affects the market. It increases more opportunities for employment and creates awareness about new things amongst people.
The employees of both the countries had same opinion about the affect of foreign culture on the local people. Although Indian culture is different from British culture, but doing business in India or U.K. has its own implications and affects on culture.
Question 6 - What is the influence of multi-culture backgrounds on the business performance of Hilton Hotel?
It was quite interesting to get information on the impact of culture on the business performance of Hilton Hotel. Since, this research study involves the case study of Hilton Hotel in India and U.K., it is important to analyse the influence of culture on the management and performance of Hilton Group of Hotels.
When asked this question, the workers at Hilton Hotel stated that "in today's globalized world it is almost impossible for unsuccessful or failed businesses to stay in the market as there is fierce competition amongst companies to be at the top position and be known as the worlds most reputed and popular company. Therefore, it becomes important to take the business from a national level to international level, for which one has to develop an understanding of various cultures. Dealing with international clients who belong to different cultures provides a competitive advantage over other companies. Thus, it influences the business performance of Hilton Group".
This question presented an overview of the entire interview conducted with the work team of Hilton Hotel. It serves the main purpose of this research study which focuses on the importance of culture and its impact on International business.
Question 7- What do you recommend to improve the awareness of doing business internationally?
The last and final question was very important for this interview as it consisted of any kind of recommendations for the business professionals who wish to work internationally, by the members of Hilton Hotel.
The senior employees at the Hilton Hotel in India and U.K. mentioned that "environmental awareness, market scenario, knowledge of society, government authorities, laws and culture of a country are the most important aspect of doing business internationally as it helps in resolving any issues or problems that could be new for the company. Here we are talking about a particular working professional or a company as a whole who wish to work in a foreign market. The most important reason that makes a business run victoriously is its clientele, so it is mandatory to understand the people, their culture and their likings or disliking."
Coming across the data collected, it is quite evident that culture plays an extremely significant role in International business. Worldwide famous companies such as Hilton Group of Hotels, which have their Hotels in each and every corner of the world with a booming rank, has made it fairly apparent that culture has an enormous influence on the doing business in a foreign country.
Every society possesses its own delicate associations surrounded by expression and performance. Understanding the wants and needs of the customer is the key responsibility of the management. This communication is necessary for further plans and activities. It is beneficial to be aware that culture affects working internationally in different fields and areas that it limits business performance or starting a new business in any country.
This chapter focused on analyzing the results of the semi- structures interviews conducted with the employees of Hilton Hotel in India and U.K. with the help of a well- planned questionnaire.
This chapter aims to describe the analysis of the data collected from the interviews with the help of the questionnaires in plain words along with the final result and understanding of the cultural difference in India and U.K. and its impacts on the growth and business of Hilton Group of Hotels. It also explains the recommendation