Task: 1. Critically assess the Hofstede model of national culture
2. Identify a specific example of a cross-border business development that is impacted, positively and/or negatively, by national cultural differences.
This organizational culture assignment involves the assessment of organization strategies required to enhance business operations. The modern-day businesses, as a strategy for earning increased profits, often resorts to expanding their businesses globally, setting up organizational outlets or offices in different countries, in an effort to reach out to the customers effectively. Furthermore, globalization has boosted connectivity between the developing and developed nations and has allowed for easy passage of skilled workforce from the developing nations to the developed nations, in search of better income and job establishments; this too has increased the incidence of intermingling of cultures and requires the organizations operating globally, to manage the workforce from the diverse cultures, efficiently. The senior-management authorities of organizations usually resort to certain models for understanding the cultural dimensions that needs to be considered for effective cross-cultural management of the workforces. This organizational culture assignment focuses on ways in which the national culture influences the actions adopted by the organizations as well as plays a role in the success or the failure of the ventures, depending on the ability to cater to the differences in the cultural dimensions, have been discussed in this project.
1. Critical assessment of Hofstede’s model of National Culture (1200)
Definition of National Culture: The term ‘National Culture’ refers to the traditions, activities, rules and standards as well as morals exhibited by people belonging to different populations from different sovereign nations. It is, almost always, associated with residents of specific geographical regions and varies with the change in the countries. For example, the set of cultural values, behavior, ethics and professional outlook of the people belonging to the UK is markedly different from that of China and the dimensions of differences as well as aspects of the same needs to be considered by the senior management of the organizations, for effective cross-cultural management.
The cultural dimensions of Hofstede is considered as a cross cultural communication framework which aims at defining the impact of the culture of t society on the significance of the member and the inter relation between them. The cultural dimensions as described by Geert Hofstede are Power distance index, Individualism Versus collectivism, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity versus Feminity, Long term orientation versus Short term orientation, and Indulgence versus Restraint which is discussed in detail in following section along with the illustration of various countries.
In the year of 1965, Hofstede established a personal department of research in IBM Europe which was managed by him till 1971. However, from the year of 1967 to 1973 he conducted a large survey in the subsidiary of this multinational company across the world in order to understand the difference of the national value. The main aim of conducting the survey was to compare the attitude of IBM employees in different countries. The survey first was conducted in forty countries then it further extended into fifty countries and three regions. The cultural dimension theory by Hofstede is the first quantifiable theory that can explain the cross cultural difference. The analysis from the survey identified four cultural dimensions namely, Power distance, Individualism, Uncertainty avoidance, and Masculinity which aimed at solving four cross cultural issues that is anthropological problem areas, inequality problems, coping up with the uncertainty and individualistic relationship in the society. The independent research in Hong Kong added the fifth cultural dimension that is long term orientation. In the year of 2010 the last cultural dimension that is indulgence verses self-restraint was added to the framework of cultural dimensions.
According to Jones (2007) the cultural dimensions of Hofstede is considered as an intellectual achievement but his model also attracted criticism in various context. He also opined that one of the most well-known criticism of Hofstede’s study is he assumed that the population of a country is homogeneous and hence his study has a limitation in this context that it does not consider opinions of the ethnic minorities. McSweeney (2002) criticize the model of Hofstede because the model aimed at measuring something that is not measured due to some usage of wrong means. However he also argued that the model of Hofstede defined the culture of a nation which does not emphasized on the totality of the culture and hence these dimensions fails in certain situations. El-Azez Safi (2010) argued that the research of Hofstede was conducted on the employees of one multinational company and the dimensions are the outcomes of the survey which is considered as an influential one due to the corporate policy and other practices of management. As opined by El-Azez Safi (2010) and Jones (2007), the cultural dimensions of Hofstede model are very few hence does not make any contribution to the cultural difference.
According to a noted scholar, the cultural framework developed by Hofstede aims at evaluating the values of works whereas on contrasting to the model of Trompenaars and Turner aimed at evaluating the behavior in both the situations of leisure and work (Cacciattolo, 2014). The common aspect in both the theories focused on the questionnaires that is based on the cultural onion. The model of Trompenaars appears to be focus oriented that emphasize more about the insight of the people that is in other words it can be said that the model focuses on the behavioral characteristics of the people which includes the dimensions of universalism versus particularism, specific verses diffuse, and internal control and external control. The model also emphasize on the relationships which includes neutral versus affective, achievement versus ascription and individualism versus collectivism (McSweeney, 2015). However the model of Hofstede focuses on value that is present in the society and how it affects. As opined by a scholar, Trompenaars’s model emphasize on the surface of the investigation of culture whereas Hofstede’s model focus on the cultural layers (McSweeney, 2015). According to a noted scholar, the cultural model of Hall emphasize on the context of the culture (McSweeney, 2015). In the cultural model of Hall the high context culture emphasize on the variety of rules that members of the society understand easily. The low context culture focuses on the change in minds ((McSweeney, 2015). However Hofstede’s cultural frame work focuses on the several cultural groups that is it can be said that the cultural dimensions of this model becomes meaningful only when they are compared (Jayatilleke and Gunawardena, 2016). As opined by scholars and World Values Survey Association (2016), the world value survey is considered as a research project that aims at exploring the beliefs and values of the people and their impact on the society (Alemán and Woods, 2016). However, Hofstede also conducted a survey in more than 100 countries where IBM operates in order to identify the changes of attitudes of the employees cross border (Ergin and Mandiracioglu, 2015). As opined by a scholar, the GLOBE research is concerned with the cultural clusters and dimensions and the effectiveness of the leaders in this context (Eisenbeiß and Brodbeck, 2014). The research also emphasize on the values, norms and beliefs that is embedded in the society and the organizations (Stephan and Pathak, 2016). The research is based on the findings of Hofstede, Smith, Schwartz and others. However, the model of Hofstede is based on the premise that emphasize on the cultural difference in the groups (Mooij, 2015).
2. A specific example of a cross-border business development that is impacted, positively and/or negatively, by national cultural differences.
Overview of a cross-border business: GE Healthcare is an American Company, headquartered in Chicago, dealing in manufacturing and distributing radio pharmaceuticals and imaging agents which helps in invasive as well as non-invasive medical imaging procedures. The company was inaugurated in the year of 1994 with an aim of serving the people globally that is the company serves people in more than 100 countries. The organization basically is a cross border business which is a subsidiary of General electric. This organizational culture assignment outlines the products offered by the organization includes machines for processes like CT, ECG, MRI, Ultrasound and PET processes, incubators for monitoring of the patients and the equipment of Bone Densitometry. The company also caters the need of people by serving them with the technology of medical equipment, solutions for bio pharmaceuticals and the health care administration. As the company operates on an international level in that context it has list of competitors which includes Boston Scientific, Kyphon, Philips health care, Care-stream Health, Hitachi Medical Systems and many more.
The ways in which national culture influenced the actions and behavior of GE Healthcare: GE Healthcare is an organization that operates on an international level and hence faces several cultural challenges when it operates in China in the context of cultural diversity, health beliefs, language and contact with the religious and cultural institutions (McFarlin, and Sweeney, 2014). GE Healthcare serves the diverse patient population. All the culture does not share same illness and health beliefs and the main challenge is that the patients from the diverse backgrounds do not agree on the same and appropriate treatment. For instance, when the healthcare organization is operating China the diversity problem is considered as the most prominent one because Asian countries relies upon the traditional treatment which results in the distraction of the healthcare provides due to the welt on the patients. The outcomes of this challenge is not only limited to the distraction but it also includes the identification of the actual source of the illness.
The second challenge that the healthcare organization face is the health beliefs. The diversity in the culture of the patients develops various health beliefs because people with diverse backgrounds seek for diversified beliefs of health. For instance the population of many Asian countries like China associate illness as the punishment of sins and this health belief lead to the death and many other self-destructive outcomes (Lewens, 2015).
Language is also considered as a cultural challenge that is faced by the organization. The patients of China who are unable to speak English cannot properly communicate with the medical providers as the medical providers are basically from America so the language barrier in this context is considered as the cultural challenge. The outcome of this cultural challenge is lack of effective communication and hence the source of the illness cannot be identified properly.
The religious beliefs are also considered as the cultural challenge for GE Healthcare that is in short it can be said that the Chinese patients sometimes relies on the religious beliefs. In other words it can be said that the spiritual beliefs of people from diversified backgrounds creates barriers for the organization and hence this can create problem for the organization in terms of performance (Ebaeguin, and Stephens, 2014).
Definition of Organizational Culture Inventory (OCI): Organizational culture inventory is considered as the most widely used tool that has been research thoroughly in order to measure the culture of the organization (Belias and Koustelios, 2014). The concept of organizational culture inventory was developed by Drs. Robert A. Cooke and J. Clayton Lafferty which aims at measuring the attributes of the culture that are mostly related with performance and behavior of the members. This measurable tool is applicable to every organizations irrespective of the size and operations (Blattner and Walter, 2015). The OCI measures the prevailing culture of the organization in terms of the behavior that is required to meet the expectations. The OCI basically evaluate the impact of the transformational efforts. In this context the valuable factors of OCI of GE Healthcare includes the following:
The changes are adopted by GE Healthcare in China in order to fill the cultural gap a proper accreditation of OCI is mandatory for the departments that are exposed to the changes. In short it can be said that OCI enhances the effectiveness of the organization in order to achieve long term changes in the cultural orientation. However it can be said that organizational culture inventory is the tool that has been adopted by GE Healthcare in order to enhance the operational performance in the international market of China (Ostroff and Schulte, 2014).
The success or failure of the GE Healthcare can be defined with the help of Hofstede’s model because the organization is operating on an international level and hence the cultural difference can effectively impact the organizational performance (Chipulu et al., 2014). GE Healthcare is a US based company that is operating successfully in China but the organization faced several challenges in the cultural context. The society of China has high degree of power index as compared to US and for that reason when GE Healthcare had to made some strategic changes in the organization (Tabibi et al., 2015). Due to the high PDI in China the society follows hierarchy in the organization, however the powers in the organization are not freely distributed. The employees are not willing to participate in any organizational activities wherein the powers are centralized in this context GE Healthcare effectively developed employee engagement strategies in order to involve them in the healthcare activities and this contributed to the success of the organization. The effective communication strategy is also developed in this context on this organizational culture assignment. As the language barrier is considered as the cross cultural challenge in order to cope up with challenge and maintain the flow of communication in the organization this effective communication strategy is developed. The society of China follows collectivism that is togetherness whereas the US society supports individualism (Kaur and Noman, 2015). This cultural gap has not been filled up by GE Healthcare effectively and hence this can lead to the failure in the organization. GE Healthcare in China is more concentrated with providing services to the people in order to gain the competitive advantage in the international market. The patients of China are more concerned with health and beauty but follows traditional way of achieving health benefits (Laitinen and Suvas, 2016). In this context the healthcare organization develops wide range of healthcare services as an organizational strategy to gain the competitive advantage.
The corporate culture is considered as the behaviors and beliefs of the organization that aims at determining the relationship of the organizations with its employees and management. The corporate culture of GE Healthcare includes leadership, learning and growth followed by community engagement and high integrity business practices. The leadership practices are not only limited to the classroom activities but it also includes activities that promotes growth and learning opportunities to the members of this particular healthcare organization in order to embrace change, develop skills and knowledge and hence getting energized. GE Healthcare invests more than $1 billion on an annual basis for the leadership training and development programs which signifies that the culture, process and the individuals of this healthcare organizations are developed in such a way that it contributes to the success of the organization because the society of China supports the task oriented culture. The community engagement of GE Healthcare drives the philanthropic efforts along with the organizational practices because the company believes that an organization can perform well only when it is supported by its stakeholders. This is indeed considered as a successful factor in expanding the business in China because there is collectivism society in China. The corporate culture of GE Healthcare is a high-performance environment which focuses on the business practices that is in short it can be said that the goal of the healthcare corporation is to integrate workplace and marketplace that respects the human rights and hence this corporate culture contribute to the success of the organization.
On this organizational culture assignment The differences in the business is well defined by the cultural dimensions of Hofstede because it is considered as the most renowned model for its quantifiable standards that aims at defining different cultural aspects in the field of business. This study highlights the critical assessment of the Hofstede’s model. This critical analysis thoroughly discussed about the six cultural dimensions of Hofstede using the illustrations or examples of three different countries namely Britain, China and South Africa. The evolution of the Hofstede’s model is also the point of discussion in this study followed by the criticism of the model. Other cultural models are also compared with the Hofstede model. However due to the increased rate of globalization the organizations are expanding its operations on an international level. For this assignment the selected company is GE Healthcare which is a US based company serves the people worldwide with its healthcare related products and services. However in this context the organization expanded its operations in China and the cultural challenges that are faced by the organization are discussed in this assignment. This organizational culture assignment reviews the inventory (OCI) of GE Healthcare in this context discussed the role of the corporate culture that contributes to the success and failure of the organization in the international market of China. Organizational culture assignments are being prepared by our management assignment help experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable assignment help online service.
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