The academic literature - Sample Essay

Critically analyse the academic literature on a national culture of your choice from the ones studied, described and mapped by Hofstede, and Hofstede & Bond. Using their views plus those of Trompenaars and other researchers, indicate the likely implications and potential pitfalls for an Anglo-Saxon manager working with people from this national culture. During the course of this report which requires me to analyse and compare an Anglo-Saxon country to one studied by Hofstede. I will begin with a brief description as to why I have chosen India.

I will go on to analyse and compare the cultural differences between U. S. A, (Anglo Saxon country) and India. I will conclude with a summary of the cultural difference and my personal opinion. There are numerous reasons for my decision to study India. Firstly, India is my country of origin, and the Indian culture and traditions has been passed down generation by generation through thousands of years. I am interested to understand why I am following trends and practices of a thousand years ago. I have learnt a lot about my cultures, rituals, norms and values that I follow today.

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However, I have limited knowledge of how Indian organisations operate and what Indian managers require to reflect the culture within the organisation. This has motivated me to research in this area within the Indian culture of the business industry. From gaining valuable knowledge in this field of interest, it will strengthen my understanding of international businesses. It may also enable me apply for a position abroad such as India to relate my theoretical knowledge to practical business situations. India is located in the northern hemisphere, south west of Asia.

It forms a natural subcontinent with the Himalayan Mountain range to the north. The Arabian Sea lays west and the Bay of Bengal lays to the east. India borders Pakistan on the northwest, China and Nepal on the northeast. Near India’s southern tip lays Sir Lanka. India occupies a great part of the sub continent of Southern Asia, shown below: JPEG Image(2006) Figure1. A map of India A number of theorists have tried to increase theoretical knowledge of an Anglo Saxon manger of; non-western as well as westernised countries, norms and values.

The most recognised of these theorists is Geert Hofstede with his five dimension theory. He conducted the largest ever organisationally based study which gave us insight into other cultures so that we can be more knowledgeable when interacting with people in other countries. During 1978- 1983, the Dutch cultural anthropologist Geert Hofstede conducted detailed interviews with hundreds of IBM employees in 76 different countries. Through statistical analysis of large data sets, he was able to determine patterns of similarities and differences among the replies.

This enabled him to formulate his theory that world cultures vary along consistent, fundamental dimensions. India is one of 76 countries compared using Hofstede, five cultural dimensions against the world average. Hofstede (2006) Firstly, power distance index, measures the level of equality or inequality between people in the country’s society and the effects on the workplace. Secondly, individualism looks at the degree to which the society reinforces individuals or collective achievement and interpersonal relationships.

Thirdly, masculinity focuses on the extent to which society reinforces or doesn’t reinforce the traditional masculine work role model of male achievement, control, and power. The fourth dimension is uncertainty avoidance index, which focuses on the level of tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity within the society such as an unstructured situation. Finally, long-term orientation focuses on the degree the society embraces, or does not hold long-term devotion to traditional forward thinking values.

Hofstede stated that “the position of a country on these dimensions allows us to make some predictions on the way their society operates including their management processes. ” Hofstede (2006) Hofstede’s dimension can be applied to U. S. A and India as analysed below. U. S. A low PDI score of 40 reflects its greater equality of power and wealth within society. This can be compared to India who has extremely high PDI score of 77 well above the world average of 56. 5, which reflects its inequality within its society. India’s LTO is above the world average of 48 ranking at 61 indicating a cultural which is perseverant and economical.

U. S. A is also well above the world average ranking at 91 reflecting its power within the world economy. With regards to masculinity the U. S. A is above the world average standing at 51 and India, 56 at 62. The higher the rank in this particular dimensions illustrate the greater the division of values between the male and female gender. The higher the rank may also generate the more competitive and assertive female population however may be less than the male one. Uncertainty avoidance in India is ranked at a low 40 compared to world average 65 on the dimension.

This can be U. S. A ranked at 46 showing both of these countries cultures may be open to unstructured ideas and situations. People have little or no guidance in terms of a few rules and regulations with which to attempt to control every unexpected event or situation. Individualism in U. S. A is ranked 91 which is the highest against the world average where as India is collectivist. Hofstede believes that “High PDI culture tends to be collectivistic, whereas low PDI cultures tend to be individualistic. ”

Hofstede (2006) Figure 2: A graph to show the comparison between U. K and India using Hofstede When doing business with India an Anglo Saxon manger from America, one should be aware of the cultural difference. In relation to Hofstede theory Trompenaars developed a model also to do with cultural difference the seven dimensions of cultural Model. This model illustrates how managing complexity in the international environment is a major challenge for managers and is an important component for long term success. Trompenaars believes that differentiating between cultures is clearly a complex area as every culture is diverse.

Trompenaars seven dimensions provide a way of examining and thinking about a new culture in which you might have to manage. The dimensions help to recognise culture values, belief and prejudices. Management from the U. S. A should be aware of India’s culture and belief when managing the organisation because U. S. A culture differs from India. Fons Trompenaars (2003) Firstly, Universalism vs. Particularism dimension questions whether you value rules of your country of origin and other national country and whether relationships are of value to you.

Some cultures feel that people should be loyal to each other. U. S. A management should be loyal, when doing business with Indian management if they want the business meeting to be successful. U. S. A is a universalise country meaning culture you will see a contract as definitive and binding, but it will only be a rough guide or approximation to someone from a Particularist culture like India. Therefore U. S. A management have to be patient as Indian like to spend time building relationship and also they take more time than usual discussing the deal proposed before accepting it.

Fons Trompenaars (2003) Secondly, Individualism vs. Collectivism dimension indicates Individualism as a prime orientation to an individual. Collectivism demonstrates a main orientation to common goals and objectives. India is a collectivist, they tend to negotiate and make decision in groups so the process can take time however this shows that Indian management is committed to objectives and goals. U. S. A is an individualist culture so management may get irritated and frustrated because they might see that taking a long time discussing the business contract is a waste of time.



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