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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 recommendations for this study and discusses the possibilities of studying this research topic further in future.
It is likely to say that the boundaries of international business have been expanding day by day. Not only multinational companies, but also local companies also face to global competition to some extent. Since the integration of companies, countries have been increased; it is also possible to state cross- cultural issues have been become more important. In this dissertation culture has been considered both in national and in organisational levels. As leading actors of global environment, multinational companies have been put in the centre of the discussion and to what extent the multinational companies transfer their organisational cultures to their subsidiaries in different countries and to what extent national cultures of the subsidiaries differentiate transfer of the organisational culture have been discussed.
Firstly, a literature review has been presented in order to understand the key concepts in the literature which have been utilized to analyze the findings of the case study and to discuss the research question. In this chapter, the definition of culture and the relationship between culture and international business has been presented. It has been stated that with developments in the communication, transportation and technology the companies have began to interact with other companies from different cultures, thus, culture has been a concern of international business. Then, some definitions and characteristics of culture have been maintained and it has been argued that since the term culture had been adopted from anthropology there is not one universal culture definition. In the second part of literature review, national culture which usually refers to culture in international business and the frameworks which were developed in order to distinguish the national cultures have been discussed. In this dissertation one
researchers' model, namely Hoftsede, has been presented; however, Hofstede's work has been adopted to explain the effects of national cultures on organisational culture and to demonstrate the cultural differences of the research countries. Then, five cultural dimensions of Hofstede which are individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity and long-term orientation have been explained. It has argued that Hofstede's dimensions are widely accepted in the literature although they have some drawbacks such as they consider multicultural countries like England as one culture. The third part of literature review has discussed organisational culture and presented some definitions, levels, and some classifications of organisational culture. Primarily, the works of Schein, Daft, Deal and Kennedy, and Hosftede have been discussed.
The classifications of organisational culture have been maintained in order to
indicate organisational cultures differ from one cultural setting to another. In this
dissertation Schein's organisational levels have been adopted to clarify which
aspects of organisational culture have been researched. The fourth part of literature review is the effects of national cultures on organisational. In this part it has been argued that organisational cultures differentiate within different national cultures. By using examples, the possible differences between organisational cultures in different cultures have been discussed. The last part of literature review has discussed the organisational culture in multinational companies and factors that are utilized to transfer the organisational culture to the subsidiaries. It has been argued that the multinational organisations should be considered as a set of subunits which are integrated to achieve certain goals by using similar strategies and practices. Fundamentally, the factors that help to transfer the organisational culture have been separated into two groups which are replication of organisational structure and the imperative control of the subsidiaries. The replication of organisational structure refers to the transfer of the strategic practices, standard operating methods and routines to the subsidiaries. The factors which influence the success of the replication of organisational structure also have been discussed. These factors occur in the social, organisational and relational context between the parent company and the subsidiaries. It has been argued that this process enables the multinational companies to generate coordination among the subsidiaries and transfer of organisational culture to the subsidiaries. The imperative control of subsidiaries has been discussed as the second group of factors that assist the transfer of organisational culture in multinational companies. In this section, the formal and informal methods of control have been defined and it has argued that multinational firms have begun changing their control mechanisms from formal to informal methods and informal mechanisms enable transfer of organisational culture to a greater extent. It is likely to argue that the proper cross-cultural management which aims to maintain the coordination of the subsidiaries by transferring the organisational culture is essential for the success of the company.
One multinational company has been chosen as case study in the dissertation in two different countries namely, India and United Kingdom. To what extent the British multinational transfer the organisational culture to the in India, and to what extent two different cultural settings affect the transfer have been researched. Firstly, the basic information of the countries has been introduced and their national cultures have been compared according to Hofstede's dimensions. According to the comparison both country cultures differ from each other. The British culture can be considered as an
individualistic, masculine, low power distance scored, high uncertainty avoidance
scored and short-term oriented culture. It is likely to say that the organisational culture of the multinational firms may carry the British culture characteristics. In the case study, the two cultures which are British and Indian cultures have been discussed. The subsidiaries are located in these cultures. According to the dimensions the British culture is highly individualistic, low uncertainty avoidance and power distance scored, masculine and short-term oriented culture. On the other hand, Indian culture is
likely collectivist, high power distance and uncertainty avoidance scored, relatively feminine culture. The long-term orientation score could not be found for India. It should be noted that in this dissertation only the transfer from parent company to the company have been examined; it has been considered as there is no transactions between the companies. The comparison of the countries has been provided in order to demonstrate the cultural difference between two countries.
After the multinational company, Hilton Group of Hotels, and their subsidiaries in the UK and India introduced, the findings have been discussed.
Some similarities have been found the working of this multinational company in two different countries. Firstly, it is likely to say that the two companies follow the British way for internationalization. They were established as family companies and started their international activities by exported. It has been found that the replication of organisational structure and the imperative control of subsidiaries which are considered as the assisting factors of transferring the organisational culture have been employed by the Hilton Group of Hotels. The multinationals transfers their strategic practices, standard operational methods and routines to the subsidiaries and these activities are internationalised by the subsidiaries. It is likely to say that the transferred activities are accepted positively by the subsidiaries and no fundamental conflicts exist between the parent company and the subsidiaries. According to findings both Hilton Group of Hotels adopt informal control mechanisms.
In general, according to findings of the case study, it is possible to say that organisational culture can be transferred from parent company to the subsidiaries to a great extent. In multinational companies the trend is to increase coordination among all the units of the company and it is believed that by transferring organisational culture, the coordination can be maintained. Another important inding is that national cultures do not generate important differences in transfer of organisational cultures to a great extent. According to findings, there are no fundamental differences between the Indian and British subsidiaries of both companies. The differences that have been found may be caused by the differences that the subsidiaries have in size and facilities. However, it does not mean that national cultural differences do not influence the multinationals and their organisational cultures at all. It is likely to say that they will continue existing since the organisations are formed of people and people carry their cultural backgrounds. Thus, it is possible to say that the culture will always remain as a factor that differentiates the attitudes, the values, the perceptions, the people, and the organisations. Perhaps, now it is easier to find common aspects which lead to reduce or ignore the differences and unite the organisation for the same objectives. It is believed that this is what the multinational companies accomplish by creating their organisational culture. It is likely to conclude that to a great extent the
multinationals companies can transfer the organisational culture to their subsidiaries; and to a limited extent national cultures influence the transfer of the organisational culture.
6.3 RECOMMENDATIONS AND FURTHER SCOPE OF STUDY
Further research on this topic can be carried out in other subsidiaries of the
multinational companies. It is likely to say that the subsidiaries in two countries
are not large data size to reach an accurate conclusion. More sample size may
generate more accurate results. One of the limitations of the dissertation is that the
primary data was acquired by interviews and one day was spent in the companies.
The time was spent and methods to obtain the data are not sufficient to understand
the organisational culture, thus, only artefacts and to some extent espoused values
have been observed during the research. Perhaps, in the further research more time
can be spent by working in the companies, and the organisational culture may be
discovered appropriately. Another suggestion for further research is that sample
parent companies may be chosen from different countries. Hence, it may be
possible to capture different national cultures' perspectives which may lead to
more precise results.