Main Menu

My Account
Online Free Samples
   Free sample   Cross cultural management essay challenges encounter by chinese employee

Cross-Cultural Management Essay: Challenges Encounter by Chinese Employee



Background Discussion & Scenario
Imagine you are the general manager of a chain of hotels based in Auckland. You have recently hired a new employee into your graduate development programme. The graduate employee will be working for the first few months on the ‘front-line’ – meaning they will work directly with hotel customers and other staff on the front desk, and will also fulfil some administrative duties ‘behind the scenes’ in the back office. The graduate programme is designed to expose employees to a range of business functions, and with a view to future promotion into managerial positions.

The new employee has only recently arrived in New Zealand, having spent their formative years outside of Australia.

Drawing upon Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, your task is to prepare a cross-cultural management essay discussing what problems you may envisage the new employee encountering in the first few months of employment. Then, drawing upon course materials (chapters 4 & 6, Robbins et al., 2017 in particular), and your own research, devise two or three recommendations in order to ensure that any potential problems may be avoided or mitigated such that both the business and the employee benefit. Lastly, acknowledge any limitations in your recommendations.

Note: Please be sure to specify the country that your new employee is from and has spent most of their time before arriving in New Zealand.


Hofstede's cultural dimensions can enable understanding difference between varied cultures. In the current scenario of cross-cultural management essay, as a general manager of a hotel chain in Auckland, a new employee has been appointed in the graduate employee program. As the graduate employee will be interacting with many people, being placed in the 'front line', it becomes pertinent to understand the cultural challenges he will be facing. The new employee is from China and spent most of the time in his life there. He has recently arrived in New Zealand and is still in a state of cultural shock. He will be working directly with hotel customers along with other staff on the front desk. He will be fulfilling certain administrative duties in the back office as well; hence there will be a range of business functions he will be undertaking such that he can be promoted into a future managerial position. Analyzing Hofstede's cultural dimensions, he is bound to face a number of challenges in the first few months of employment. The purpose of this essay is to examine the varied cultural challenges he faces and providing certain recommendations to mitigate the problems faced such that the business and the employee benefits from it.

New Zealand has a westernized cultural framework with various multi-ethnic migration post the British colonization. All the aspects of Hofstede’s cultural dimension in the New Zealand society are highly contrasted against the Chinese culture and social practices (Robbins et al, 2017). In the New Zealand hotel where the Chinese employee has to work, power distance will be egalitarian, whereas he has been born and brought up embracing hierarchy. He is used to the fact that power is unequally distributed in an organization. He is used to bureaucratic organization style where he needs to show high respect for authority and rank. However, in the hotel in New Zealand, due to the presence of a low power distance index, the organization encourages flat structure and not hierarchical. There is decentralized decision-making responsibility, a participative style of management with the distribution of power (Yoo et al, 2011). The first challenge that the Chinese employee will face is in making a contribution to various decision making or in assuming responsibilities by him, he will be more used to taking orders than deciding things for himself.

China is a collectivist society but New Zealand is an individualist society (Taras et al, 2010). The employee will have more focus on the goals and targets assigned to him than in the well-being of his group members. While working within a group he will be more focused on attaining goals for the hotel. However, while he is working with other members of his team, who are mostly from New Zealand or have lived here for quite some time, the team members will have greater importance on achieving personal goals. The new employee might face team conflict while trying to prove his point against the individualistic attitude of his team members.

The dimension of uncertainty avoidance index is high for Chinese people as compared to it being low for people from New Zealand. Chinese people have lower tolerance towards any type of uncertainty, ambiguity, and risk-taking (Minkov, & Hofstede,2012). They are known to abide by rules, regulations and follow orders well. However, in the organization in New Zealand, it might be expected that one has high tolerance towards uncertainty, ambiguity and have a risk-taking attitude. People in New Zealand accept uncertainty openly and generally lax rules and regulations. The new employee might face significant challenges in transforming himself to be accepting uncertainty more easily.

Another dimension where there is a sharp contrast between people from New Zealand and from China is in the Femininity vs masculinity dimension (Taras et al, 2012). While people from Chinese backgrounds are characterized by distinct gender roles being assertive and focusing on materialistic achievement and wealth-building attitude. People in New Zealand have greater fluid gender roles, focus on nurturing, are modest and are concerned with the quality of life. The Chinese employee might find it difficult to accept such gender roles and find society to open or averse. While interacting with customers or team members he might assert his cultural beliefs which might highly be contrasted. He will initially face a major challenge in asserting his belief system or in adopting the new system of belief.

Analyzing short-term vs long-term orientation there is seen to significant distinctions (Hofstede, 2011). They can delay short-term success in order to gratify long-term success. They are more persistent, have more perseverance and focused on long-term growth against New Zealanders, who have a short-term orientation. New Zealanders focus on near term future that involves short-term success. Hence the focus is on short-term orientation emphasizing quick results. This aspect will not impact much on the interaction that this new employee undertakes as he is expected to be more persistent in his functioning against other employees from New Zealand.

Evaluating the last aspect of Hofstede's cultural dimension of restraint vs indulgence, there is also seen to be significantly different (Tung, & Verbeke, 2010). New Zealand society focuses on indulgence indicating free gratification related to enjoying life and having fun. However, Chinese people believe in restraint indicating that society regulates social norms by suppressing gratification of needs. The new employee will be very conservative in his working style in employment.

As the new employee will face a significant number of challenges while working in the new society and cultural framework, there are suggested certain recommendations that he can include to overcome them, as given below;

  • Promotion of cultural differences: As the new employee has recently arrived from China and is still in a state of cultural shock. He needs to be briefed and made aware of the potential cultural issues that he will face. The employee will be provided sessions and presentations over lunch or break time, to appreciate one another's culture.
  • Being accepting of new things: The new employee might try to work in a different manner. Initially, the organization needs to be accepting such schedules, such as prayer time needs or religious holidays. Accepting these will certainly show respect towards the other culture and reduce cultural differences.

These recommendations will assist the new employee as well as the business in avoiding facing any potential problem due to cultural differences. However, there are certain challenges to adopting these recommendations as well. The Chinese employee needs to view the importance of such cultural differences and ways to mitigate them. Then only it will be possible to overcome challenges. In case he avoids such cultural differences then these recommendations will not be fruitful. Another limitation is that these recommendations are built on assumptions of the overall Chinese and New Zealand cultures and not on specific individuals. Hence there might exist a specific cultural challenge that the Chinese employee might experience. There are no discussions regarding the same hence no way to overcome them.

In conclusion, different countries have their own distinct cultural framework. While the culture in New Zealand is different as compared to the culture present in China, there might be other cultural individualistic issues that the individual faces. In this case scenario, the Chinese employee is bound to face several challenges from the difference in culture between the Chinese and New Zealand in general. As the power distance, collectivism vs individualism, uncertainty avoidance index and femininity vs masculinity factors are contrasted in the two different societies, certain action needs to be taken such that they are highlighted and the employee becomes aware of them. China is a highly conservative society, where there is respect for collectivism and organization has bureaucratic structures. Hence providing a cultural bridging course might enable the employee to see the distinctions prevalent and overcome them as well in due course of time. While working in a cross-cultural organization, individuals have to take into consideration the cultural distinctions. Moreover, it is important for organizations as well to take into account any sort of cultural distinctions especially when appointing employees from other cultures. In this case, if the organization considers the different elements of the Hofstede's cultural framework and provides training to overcome each of the separate issues, then it will be possible for the employee to adapt to the organization well. It will also be possible for the employee to continue with the organization for a longer time and stay committed. Cultural distinctions are important and they need to be analyzed especially by when working across cross-cultural domains.

Hofstede, G. (2011). Dimensionalizing cultures: The Hofstede model in context. Online readings in psychology and culture, 2(1), 8.

Minkov, M., & Hofstede, G. (2012). Hofstede’s fifth dimension: New evidence from the World Values Survey. Journal of cross-cultural psychology, 43(1), 3-14. DOI: 10.1177/0022022110388567.

Robbins, E., Shepard, J., & Rochat, P. (2017). Variations in judgments of intentional action and moral evaluation across eight cultures. Cross-cultural management essay Cognition, 164, 22-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.02.012.

Taras, V., Kirkman, B. L., & Steel, P. (2010). Examining the impact of culture's consequences: A three-decade, multilevel, meta-analytic review of Hofstede's cultural value dimensions. Journal of applied psychology, 95(3), 405. DOI: 10.1037/a0018938.

Taras, V., Steel, P., & Kirkman, B. L. (2012). Improving national cultural indices using a longitudinal meta-analysis of Hofstede's dimensions. Journal of World Business, 47(3), 329-341. DOI: 10.1016/j.jwb.2011.05.001.

Tung, R. L., & Verbeke, A. (2010). Beyond Hofstede and GLOBE: Improving the quality of cross-cultural research. DOI: 10.1057/jibs.2010.41.

Yoo, B., Donthu, N., & Lenartowicz, T. (2011). Measuring Hofstede's five dimensions of cultural values at the individual level: Development and validation of CVSCALE. Journal of international consumer marketing, 23(3-4), 193-210.


Related Samples

Question Bank

Looking for Your Assignment?

Search Assignment
Plagiarism free Assignment









9/1 Pacific Highway, North Sydney, NSW, 2060
1 Vista Montana, San Jose, CA, 95134