In a world where companies are growing and boarders between countries are expanding the importance of culture is growing at a greater rate. The cultural differences can significantly divide nations ,business and humans and also it is very essential while doing cross border business activity. Many cross cultural studies have been introduced during last decade but in that most important cross cultural study is geert hofstede cultural studies 2007 .
Culture is the shared ways group of people understand and interpret the world and culture evolves and it is not static. According to Hofstede, G. defined culture as "The collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one human group from another",culture in this sense ,includes system of values; and values are among the building blocks of nature.This projects highlights the hofstedes dimensions in doing business in and between different cultures and also how it useful to managers . Strength and weaknesses of hofstedes dimensions and how to overcome the problems.
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Hofstede Five dimension culture
Individualism v/s collectivism:
This dimension reflect the relationship an individual develop with each other is called individualism and extent of co-ordination into groups is called collectivism.Large collectivism means people prefer to work in group like japanes and high individualism means people like to work independently and individual rights are significant to society cultures. Examples of individualist companies are Mitsubishi and shanghai motors
It refers to acceptance of unequal distribution of power in a society.High power distance refers to inequality of power is accepted in the society and low power distance refers to equal distribution of power in society and they fight for opportunities to rise and also to reduce inequality. According to hofstede culture the level of inequality in a society is controlled by leaders that is followers of the society. A weak power distance can be seen in companies like Tata and Samsung and a very good power distance is seen in Sony company.
It refers to tolerance of unambiguous situations in society, institutions and organizations. High uncertainty avoidance refers to those peoplewho follow strict rules and regulations and Low uncertainty avoidance refer to liberal rules and regulations and they are able to take risks in life and they know how to behave in different situation than high tolerance uncertainty avoidance. Uncertanity avoidance are reflected in companies in different way. For example Shell company used a new method to solve the uncertainty avoidance in the Shell Company.
It shows the differences between male and female job tasks. A masculine culture indicates that there is large differences between gender job tasks whereas a feminine cultures shows that there is little differences between gender job tasks. In Masculine society the importance is given to things and value of cash and in feminine the value is on relationship, commitments towards society and value of life.
Long -Term Orientation v/s Short-Term Orientations:
It was designed by Chinese scholar using questionnaire and it is found by studies conducted by 23 students around the world. Long terms orientation refers to the society that is focused on future and values related to this are loyalty ,perseverance and thrift. The values related to short term orientation are honouring traditions and commitment of social duties. Example of long term orientation is japan as they give reward for loyalty,perseverance and also respect traditions.
The hofstede five dimensions helps the expatriate managers to understand and analyse the different culture of different countries. Hofstede five dimensions culture helpmanagers to better understand the constraints in culturally diverse working environments and also helps to understand the cultural perspective of organizational behaviour.
The strength of hofstede culture is that it helps to provide a framework to estimate national cultures and it provides to understand the basic facts of culture.If you understand the hofstede cultural dimensions and applied effectively it will reduce anxiety, concern and frustration.
The weakness of hofstede is that it assumes 1 to 1 relationship between nation and culture state and research shows that it is culturally bound. The survey of hofstede cultural dimensions is conducted only in one industry that is computer industry and also in one company that is IBM company. It is argued that most of the studies are conducted by western viewpoint as studies are conducted by western people. Another drawback of hofstede`s cultural dimensions is that he ignore the subculture in the culture and also failed to understand psychic distance in understanding culture. According to Deresky and Bartlett et al,(2008) many anthropologist and academicians belief that value dimension developed by hofstede are not completely comprehensive. According to McSweeney,B. (2002) he argued that hofstede cultural dimensions is too simplistic and it means that hofstede`s cultural dimensions misses the essential and important parts of national culture.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Comparison of Hofstede Cultural Dimension and Global Project:
According to Hofstede,G(2006) suggests that his research is decentred and GLOBE US is decentred and also he says that the main factor that contribute to decentred is the fifth dimension that is long term orientation v/s short term orientation. The purpose of GLOBE research program is to apply and plan a multi method program to show the relationship between leadership effectiveness societal phenomena and national culture. The purpose of hofstede research is to conduct a post hoc interpretation on employees morale based on finding of survey. For instrument plan and data examination the GLOBE mostly use the theory driven materials. Hofstede research is used to meet the needs of a common US based corporation with a different corporate identity.In Global research there are 160 researchers from 62 societies are included in research and they conduct group and individual interviews with help of managers in their own countries. In hofstede research are conducted by 6 european researchers based on questionnaire which are identified through interviews with employees to cover the issue that were relevant to the company. In GLOBE research questionnaire items are received by country co-investigators(CCI) and they provide reports on their face of understandability and concern in their own culture and items are made corrections based on these reports and also added new items in it and for instrument plan the final material isgone through rigid psychometric process.In Hofstede research questionnaire items consist of what is important to each person than considering the society.
Analysing the cultural between American and Japan culture and also analysing the problems of expatriate managers coming from one cultural background working in other culture:
In this global age, technology has made the world closer together and there are different cultures in the world,so today we are contacting with people of different cultures and also communicating with more people than before.According to claude et al(1971) defines culture as` systems of shared meaning or understanding`(`web of signification`) which drive or explain the behaviour observed.
In the hofstede`s cultural dimensions the power distance is important for japan society,so eventhough there is inequality distribution in power and wealth there is great respect for senior persons in Japanese societies.The Japanese are more collectivist and they prefer to work in group than individualistic according to hofstede`s cultural dimensions and they preferred more group work than doing single work.According to hofstede`s cultural dimensions japan is the highest masculinity country in the world and due to this they are very aggressive and competitive.Due to high masculinity there is great distinguishing difference between men and women.Since uncertainty avoidance is big in japan,so they do business according to strict rules and regulations.In Japanese culture they are well planned before putting into practice in every activity inorder to avoid risks.In japan the long term orientation is high so they give respect to old customs and they are very attached to family.and also they give importance for feelings of allegiance.
On the other hand Americans is totally distinct from Japanese and they have different culture which are entirely different from Japanese.In American culture power distance is average so there is more equal distribution between societal levels.Since America is very high in individualistic they are very loose bonds to others and they like freedom and they are mostly self reliant and look for themselves.In American culture they mostly like honour for their work completed.Regarding masculinity in American culture is not as much as big as japan,so there is great gender differentiation and in American culture male controls the important postion in society and power structure.In American culture since uncertainty avoidance is low they like to update rules and regulation according to circumstances and they like to take risks and also like fewer rules and regulations and they also have higher willingness to recognize various beliefs and thoughts.Due to low long term oriented they seems to meet the obligation of the society and also expect honour for short term work and they also like to develop new things by doing creativity activities. By going to new culture it might be sometimes very annoying and sometime it is very enjoyable and fantastic and it depends on situations and circumstances.
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