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Social Sciences
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Research Proposal
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How National Cultures Affect Organizational Cultures and the Impact of This on the Performance of the Business in Different Countries (Research Proposal Sample)

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How National Cultures Affect Organizational Cultures and the Impact of This on the Performance of the Business in Different Countries

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How National Cultures Affect Organizational Cultures and the Impact of This on the Performance of the Business in Different Countries
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Table of Contents
 TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u  HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384754713" Abstract  PAGEREF _Toc384754713 \h 3
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384754714" Introduction  PAGEREF _Toc384754714 \h 4
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384754715" Analyzing Culture  PAGEREF _Toc384754715 \h 4
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384754717" Hofstede’s Five Culture Dimensions  PAGEREF _Toc384754717 \h 5
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384754718" Cultural Value Orientations  PAGEREF _Toc384754718 \h 7
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384754719" Culture and Performance Management  PAGEREF _Toc384754719 \h 11
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384754720" National and Organization Culture Interaction  PAGEREF _Toc384754720 \h 11
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384754721" Case of SABMiller in China  PAGEREF _Toc384754721 \h 12
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384754722" Analysis using Hofstede’s dimensions and cultural values orientation  PAGEREF _Toc384754722 \h 15
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384754723" Conclusion  PAGEREF _Toc384754723 \h 16
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc384754724" References  PAGEREF _Toc384754724 \h 18

Abstract
This essay explores the relationship between national cultural practices and organization culture. It aims to show how companies operating in a cross-cultural setting can overcome cultural challenges and survive in a new environment. The first part is an introduction to the idea of culture. The second part provides a context for understanding culture by discussing two theories that will help us evaluate the dynamics of culture and provide guideline on categorizing different cultural aspects. The next part looks at the interaction between culture and performance management. The paper then discusses how the national culture interacts with organizational culture; this part provides a relevant case study analyzed using the theories discussed in the second part. The final part is the conclusion. Throughout the paper cites works of several authors to give a good grounding to the arguments.
Introduction
Hofstede (1993) defines culture as the collective distinct programming of the thinking process that distinguishes members of one homogenous group of individuals from another. Previous researchers of culture included features such as shared common beliefs, behaviors, knowledge, customs, and habits. A culture also exhibits similar forms of art, ways of thinking, living and common traditions. These are entrenched in the early stages of an individual’s life and afterwards passed on cumulatively from one generation to another (Javidan et al., 2004), (Dowling & Welsch, 2004). This whole process is what Hofstede (1993) describes as the mental programming of a national culture. Gerhart (2009) in his definition of culture sees it as being a set of biases and assumptions held by an individual about how they think the world around them operates.
If we extrapolate these definitions and findings, we see culture as a system of values that are entrenched into the psyche of individuals and expressed through behavior and practices (Schwartz, Licht & Siegel, 2008). Values are beliefs about what is good and right hence desirable in that society. Typically, values are society specific and what is desirable in one culture could be completely undesirable in another society. Hofstede (1993) argues that nationally entrenched values are resilient to change efforts, but the more tangible aspects of culture, such as management practices, are the aspects that should be dealt with in multi-cultural settings in order to establish alignment and synergies (Buller, Kohls & Anderson, 2000).
Analyzing Culture
We shall use two theories to analyze and understand culture and its effects. The first is Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions theory and the second is Schwartz’s cultural orientation theory. These theories will enable us to understand the dynamics of culture.
Hofstede’s Five Culture Dimensions
Hofstede’s Five Culture Dimensions theory is crucial in helping to explain cultural diversity and analysis of cultural differences. According to the theory, five dimensions used to explain cultural differences across different nations in the world. The first dimension is the Power Distance Index (PDI). This dimension explains the willingness of the less powerful people in the community to accept the unequal distribution of power. In companies, Power distance affects decision-making. Countries like China have high PDI (Emery & Tian, 2010). If a company has, high Power Distance (PD) subordinates are likely to accept and obey managerial decisions almost unquestioningly. Conversely, in a culture with low PD the subordinates are less receptive of orders and gravitate more towards consultation, this can be the case in countries like UK or USA (Hofstede, 2001).
The second dimension of cultural differences pertains to Individualism (IDV). A culture that leans more towards individualism tends to focus more on personal needs, goals, and interests. People rely on their own efforts to get what they want and spend less time on communal undertakings (Hofstede, 2001). On the other hand, a society may be inclined towards collectivism. Oriental countries like China and Japan rank as least individualistic while European and American countries would rank among the most individualistic not least because of their capitalistic record (Zhang & Shavitt, 2003) Collectivist culture has individuals who would be more willing to work in groups and workers willingly subordinate their own preference to those of the group (Hofstede, 2001).
The other dimension of cultural diversity is Masculinity (MAS). This dimension focuses on the different roles played by males and females in a society. Highly masculine society produces the quintessential men, that is, men who are aggressive, abrasive, and ambitious. Women on the other hand are gentle and meek (Jackson, 2002). Countries like China and Nigeria are highly masculine. UK on the other hand is highly feminine which means that men and women equally work hard to succeed. The emphasis for such societies is on the quality of life. People see work as a means to achieving quality life and they maintain a good work-life balance. Such people will prefer more holidays and comfortable working conditions (Hofstede, 2001).
The fourth dimension of cultural diversity is Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI). Societies have different levels of uncertainty. This is highly dependent upon the political and socio-economic living environment. A society like UK and USA with highly stabilized political and economic environments will have people with little anxiety about their future. Such people are more willing to take risks (Jackson, 2002). For instance if a worker is unhappy about the working conditions they are more likely to voice their concerns openly without fearing victimization. On the other hand, a worker from a country like Nigeria is more anxious due to the fragile political and socio-economic state of affairs. The risk of unemployment is high and most likely the worker does not have savings. In such a case, the worker would be more tolerant to difficult working conditions than the worker in UK would (Hofstede, 2001).
The final dimension of understanding cultural diversity is Long-Term Orientation (LTO). This describes the differences that societies have in their approach to the future (Briley & Aaker, 2006). Values such as tenacity and prudence point to long-term orientation while values such as respect for customs show a short-term orientation. Societies that are relatively more developed such as USA exhibit preference for long-term benefits while less developed countries on the other end of the spectrum show greater appetite for satisfying short-term needs (Hofstede, 2001).
Cultural Value Orientations
Schwartz (1999) uses a set of three basic societal problems picked for their criticality to societal functioning to develop dimensions on which to contrast cultures. The first issue is to define the form of the relationships and boundaries between the individual and the group. This leads to emergence of two polar cultural orientations, that is, autonomy and embeddedness. In autonomy cultures, individuals are autonomous, bounded units (Matsumuto, 2000). They articulate their own preferences, feelings, abilities, ideas and find fulfillment in their own uniqueness. There are two forms of autonomy. Intellectual autonomy encourages individuals to follow their intellectual courses and ideas independently. Values that fall in this category of cultures include creativity, curiosity, and broad-mindedness. The other kind of autonomy is Affective autonomy. This encourages individuals to seek out and follow courses, which will generate positive experiences for them. Values that fall under this category include varied life, exciting life, and pleasurable living (Schwartz, 1999).
The polar alternate to autonomy is embeddedness. Here people are components embedded in the collective system. Fulfillment in life comes through warm social relationships, by identifying with the collective, sharing in its communal way of life, and striving toward its collective goals. Embedded cultures lay emphasis on preserving the status quo and restricting actions that might interfere with group unity or the traditional harmony. Critical values in such cultures include; security, wisdom, obedience, respect for tradition and social order (Schwartz, 1999).
The second societal problem is to ensure that individuals behave in a responsible way to maintain the social fabric. That is, individuals should engage in productive labour necessary to sustain society rather than compete ...
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