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The "X" company, located in Uzbekistan, decides to send one of their members from managerial staff to Algeria. The aim of this travel is to find new ways of transporting gas from this country. Algeria is a country with rich culture and strong religion believe, and in order to achieve success with this country it is lively important to learn more about their culture and religion. While meeting with Algerian people, you should approach them differently depending on their gender. It is also advisable to find out some general information about the person's social and professional environment. For example, if you deal with Algerian person, it does not matter whether it is woman or man, you should know the company and town where he or she works and some interesting information may be useful like, the town's population, history, the name of the town's soccer team and other things. Algeria was conquered by French military forces and became their colony for almost 130 years. During that time significant amount of people emigrated from France to live in Algeria's cities. According to Algeria.com (2012), "French influence on Algeria's culture, economy and society was strong, although it was often resented by the native population who complained of favoritism, exclusion from the political process and the denial of basic rights and freedoms". In 1954 the famous war also known as "Algerian War of Independence" was started, it was completely finished in 1962 and Algeria got their independence. In spite of the fact, that Algeria was under French culture before, now Algeria is mostly influenced by its religion Islam. Algeria is 10th largest country in the world and largest in Africa, the country located in North Africa. The native language of the country is Arabic, but besides that most people also speak French and Berber languages. Algeria is famous with their hospitality, as it is regarded as a part of their culture. As a rule of religion women must cover their heads and bodies. In most big cities of Algeria, people mainly behave and live as in Western culture, but in the south and rural areas they follow more traditional practices. The people are mostly keen on buying jewelry, traditional pottery, traditional clothing of the country and especially they like their Berber rugs. According to algeria.com (2012), the most important library in Algeria is the National Library founded in 1835 in the city of Alger. In the capital you will find the Museums of Prehistory and Ethnography, the National Archeological Museum and the National Museum of Fine Arts.
Let us start with the Hofstede analysis of Algerian culture. According to Hofstede (1980), culture is: "the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group of people from another". He also claimed that every person's patterns of thinking, feeling and potential acting are learned throughout their lifetime. Comparing national cultures of different countries, Hofstede developed five dimensions that capture cultural differences; they are power distance, individualism and collectivism, masculinity and femininity, uncertainty avoidance and long term orientation. According to geert-hofstede.com (2012), power distance is defined as "the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed inequally". It means you identify a culture which will be either high or low on power distance. The culture with high power distance has high inequality in status or unequal distribution of resources, the poor people will get even poorer and the rich people will get richer. In other words, if the distance between poor and rich people is high that culture has high power distance. For example in organizations this power distance can be seen by the distance between chief management and rest of the management. According to the statistics taken from 1000ventures.com (2012), Algeria has rather high score in power distance index which is equal to 77, consequently in this country inequality is accepted normally, therefore people in this country accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. Hierarchy in organization is seen as employees expect to be told what to do form upper staying managers or boss, and in such organization the boss is right from all sides and cannot be obeyed. The representative of "X" company would benefit from this, because in our country the power distance is practically the same. The important thing in this situation for Uzbek side to choose one person who will be boss and it is advisable not to challenge his decisions.
The second dimension is individualism and collectivism. Individualism and collectivism is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It is how you make your decision on individual basis or collective level. People with high individualism are worried only about their goals and personal ambitions. People with high collectivism usually think about society and worry for ideas of other members of society. According to the statistics of 1000ventures.com (2012), Algerian culture with the score equal to 20 is more collectivistic rather than individualistic. Loyalty in a collectivist culture is crucial as the society promotes strong relationship where everyone takes responsibility for other members of the group. For example, in most companies in Algeria the relationship between employee and employer is perceived in moral terms like family link, also hiring and promotion decisions take account of the employee's in group management activities. As concern to our traveling managers, it would be advisable for them visit meetings with group of people and take decisions in a group.
Our next dimension is masculinity and femininity, in other words it can be understood as aggressiveness and softness of the culture. According to the statistics provided by 1000ventures.com (2012), in Algeria masculinity rate equals to 52 points and consequently we can say that this country has more masculine society. In masculine countries people "live in order to work", managers are expected to be decisive and assertive, the emphasis is on equity, competition and performance and conflicts are resolved by fighting them out. According to 12manage.com (2012), in Algeria masculinity society distributes among gender and therefore in this society males have an aggressive and dominant role. While females if they make a career they are given different options than males. In the feminine society or low masculinity culture the roles are not reversed but diffused, which means that both genders provided the same kind of jobs or simply equality exists. For Uzbek managers it is advisable to be more active and persistent during their visit in this country, and also it would be preferable to send male staff.
As concern to the fourth dimension, this is uncertainty avoidance. Hofstede claims that the dimension uncertainty avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known. Referring to the stats provided by 1000ventures.com (2012), Algeria scores 68 on this dimension and consequently has high preference for avoiding uncertainty. Therefore Algerian people prefer to make everything by plan, make rules to control situations they are worried about or when they faced with unknown situation or change. Precision and punctuality are the norms in such culture, also their people prefer being busy and hardworking as time is money. For Uzbek manager it is good opportunity to show his abilities and achieve success, as most things are settled and the only thing he has to do is prepare properly for the meeting and follow all set rules. In addition, he should be on time, as time is money for Algerians, they never lose any time or money.
Finally, the last dimension is long-term orientation. According to geert-hofstede.com (2012): "The long term orientation dimension is closely related to the teachings of Confucius and can be interpreted as dealing with society's search for virtue, the extent to which a society shows a pragmatic future-oriented perspective rather than a conventional historical short-term point of view". Referring to the stats provided by 1000ventures.com, Algeria scores 16 on this dimension, which means they are not risk takers and prefer for planning and thinking about near future, rather than long-term possibilities. For the managers of "X" company arriving from Uzbekistan, it is advisable to speak about short-term goals in order to achieve success, as long-term possibilities are practically impossible.
Laurent's model of framework
Andre Laurent in his research mainly focused on how management differs across culture and reflects values through hierarchical system, political system and role formalization. He suggested that main reason for hierarchal structure is so that everybody knows who has authority over whom. In Algeria people are more used to this type of management, as in most organizations employees expect to be told what to do form upper staying manager or boss. As I mentioned before in such situation it is advisable for Uzbek managers to choose one dominant person in their group. In political system Laurent mentioned, that in order to have efficient work relationship, it is often advisable to avoid hierarchical line. But according to http://w01-0814.web.dircon.net/articles/text20.html (n.d), 66% of Algerian managers disagreed with this statement. It was clear from previous point, that Algerians prefer hierarchical system of management. Laurent in the role formalization claimed, that it is important for managers to have at hand the precise answers to most questions their employees may ask about their work. Referring to the statistics (http://w01-0814.web.dircon.net/articles/text20.html, n.d), 59% of mangers agreed with that statement.
Laurent in his article "International Studies of Management and Organization" (1986), explained about two contrasting views in organization social, which is focused on relationships and instrumental focused on task. In social view of organization, companies or organizations are more worried about people and relations between them. For example if you work in such organization, your position in the organization is important and you need to defer to your boss in all things. As concern to instrumental view of organization, control in such organization is impersonal and decentralised and authority relating to your position is not person. This type of organizations prefers setting rules within the company. In my opinion, Algeria companies are more related to social view of organizations, as they are more focused on relationships and prefer collectivism.
Hall's model of framework
During his life Hall concentrated on 3 factors, they are: context, time and space. Hall was mainly famous for his works over high and low context cultural factors. Low context communication usually lasts not very long, as time is highly organized and product is more valuable than process. In low context communication message should be done clear and the sender depends less on the receiver deducing the message from the context. Also in such types of communication agreements usually written rather than spoken. As concern to high context culture, there are many contextual elements that help people to understand the rules. In high context culture communication is more nonverbal and relationships depend on trust. Hall claimed that high context communications are more popular in eastern countries than in western and in countries with low racial diversity. Information in this case is taken from multiple sources and the process flows from general to specific. The problems are mostly solved in groups. In my opinion Algeria more suits for high context culture rather than for low context one. As in this country people are more collectivists and the trust is crucial for them. For example, Algerian person would not deal with a person who lies, as it is regarded a very serious guilt in their culture and religion. The time factor also divided into 2 parts monochronic time which means doing one thing at a time and polychronic time is opposite one which means doing many things at one time. In spite of the fact that monochronic action is regarded as slow one, this type of action provides more qualified job and in polychronic action people are easily distracted. Finally, Hall was worried about space and others handle with it. Hall was sure that some people need more space in all areas, as an example he mentioned people's desire for bigger homes, cars, offices and other things. People with high territoriality have greater need for ownership; while for people with low territoriality have less need for ownership of a place as it is less important for them. As for low territoriality people material ownership is less important, consequently their sense of 'stealing' is less developed, meanwhile it is more important for highly territorial people.
Laurent, A. (1986). The cross-cultural puzzle of international human resource management. International Studies of Management and Organization, 13(1-2), 5-96.
Hofstede, Geert. (1980). Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Hall, E.T. (1976). Beyond Culture. New York: Doubleday