Notes for Key Assignment Outline
Phase 4 DB & Brief on Phase 5 IP Chapters 7, 8, 9, 17 & 18 This task is an important first step to the Phase 5 IP. The phase 5 IP is your final task for the class and will incorporate aspects of several of your other tasks. Phase 5 IP OVERVIEW This task has several parts that are designed to create one complete and comprehensive opinion of your chosen company. Further it is an examination of any global opportunities the company may have and what issues might come up as a result of expanding globally. The project will have 5 parts: I.
Executive Summary II. Current State of the Company III. Change IV. Implementation Program V. Future Opportunities Based on what you have done to date you should be able to complete the Executive Summary and the Current state of the company for the Phase 5IP as part of your 4 DB. The executive summary includes: * Create an executive summary about the current state of your company. Include the following information: * Overview of the company including size and revenue * Leadership team * Mission statement * Business ethics and social responsibility
The current state of the company should include: * Product mix * Current financial state * SWOT Analysis components All of which you have already talked about. Remember this is just an outline so you do not need to create a cohesive flowing story. This is designed to help you create the order under each section that you will talk about the issues. Now I would try to have as complete of an executive summary and current state of the company as possible at this point in time. The rest of the Phase 4 DB document will be much more generic and less defined as hey will incorporate issues you will be dealing with this week and next week. Review on your own the sections of the Phase 5 IP prior to doing the Phase 4 DB and begin to gather some information regarding Change, Global issues and future opportunities for the company. Part 3 will be dealt with in your Phase 4 IP we will be discussing on Wednesday. Also begin to look at global issue such as culture and norms of other parts of the world and try to begin to make the connection as to how these issues will effect the company and the way they do business. Going Global
In today’s business environment with global expansions it is important for organizations to take a different approach with their employees. Today’s business is made up of people from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe. It is very important for multi-national companies to understand cross culture issues and even more important is the training and development of its workforce. For our discussion regarding global issues we will focus on the people factor rather than that of legal and economic issues that are far more obvious and understood.
The people issues are what is usually overlooked. In our discussion we will explore communication issues, look and explore an analysis of Hofstede measures and translate that to some management style conclusions. Communication comes in many forms through body language, facial expressions, hand signals as well as written and spoken. Each culture interpretation of facial, body and hand signs is different from one country to another. It is very important to learn what forms of communication can become disastrous.
Some cultures also see the way you dress as communicating who you are or where you are such as in statues. Some cultures giving gifts is a must from just a simple invitation to dinner. Approaching business in any country, other than the county of origin, can be problematic at best and disastrous at worst for companies that do not do their research into the culture of the desired country. “Culture is simply the set of values, attitudes, and beliefs shared by such a group, which sets the standards of behavior required for continued acceptance and successful participation in that group. (Scarborough, Jack, 1998) It is normal to seek out individuals or in this case companies that know the culture and norms of a country to learn from, much like a child learns of acceptable norms from a parent or some other authority figure. In this way a company might gain some insight into the common values, attitudes, and beliefs of the country in question. Although research in this way is necessary, the following discussion revolves around recommending business approaches by drawing conclusions from Hofstede Measures.
It is important to understand that the goal of a company is to develop a stereotype for the society in question. While this word has a stigma attached to it, it simply means properly and accurately characterizing one group of people as being different from another. In this way a company can begin to identify the cultures core values, attitudes, and beliefs. Regressing for a moment, it is at this time that the company should look for a “mentor” of sorts to research in order to better identify those parts of the population that my not necessarily conform to these stereotypical norms.
This added step will help the company to differentiate between conforming to cultural norms and embracing the underlying values. A prime example of the difference is located here in the United States. One could argue that a cultural norm in the United States is that the population is Protestant Christian of course we that live here know this not to be true the country is comprised of virtually all manor of religious beliefs, however by and large the Protestant Christian work ethic and business values are what is commonly embraced by the successful business person, regardless of their religion or background (Scarborough, Jack, 1998).
These core values are at the hart of what defines a population’s expectation with regard to all aspects of business and personal life. Although there are several aspects to core values that are required to be questioned one question must be the first from a marketing standpoint. This question is weather the culture is high-content communicators or high-context communicators. Western life business is generally high-content or very precise written and documented communication. This is due to the fact that usually in western life there is a high degree of diversity amongst the population.
With high-context communication the people communicating must have a high degree of commonality in experiences and expectations. Research indicates that Middle Eastern and Asian countries have a high level of high-context communication which depends heavily on unspoken, implied communications through other means such as facial expressions and body language (Scarborough, Jack, 1998). The measurements of Geert Hofstede that are going to be examined are power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity/femininity, individualism/ collectivism and long term orientation.
Power distance in a culture is the degree to which people accept unequal distribution of power. In high power distance societies people feel dependent on those in power and expect direction from them. It is important to understand this when choosing management styles because in a high power distance culture managers do not involve their subordinates in a decision making or group collaboration setting. In contrast if a manager takes this view in a low power distance culture they might be looked at as arrogant and with resentment.
Uncertainty avoidance is a measure of tolerance for ambiguity and the unfamiliar. The lower the score the more accepting of variety and opinions the society is. Oddly enough, as will be shown, the countries that are recommended have a significantly lower than average score in this regard but based on the ideology of the governing bodies in question one would not initially think this to be the case. This fact combined with some other facts will lead to an interesting theory that will be proposed later. Masculinity of the culture is the next measurement.
A masculine culture is interpreted as aggressive, decisive, and confrontational with well defined gender roles placing great value on achievement outside the home. While a feminine culture is more amiable placing great emphasis on harmony. This type of culture is more likely to have flexible gender roles and utilizes compromise and negotiation over conflict to resolve disputes. Individualism will be explored next. This score represents the level at which the population thinks of the individual over the collective or visa versa. The lower the score the greater the likelihood that decisions will be made in the best interest of the collective.
Finally Long Term Orientation refers to how engrained is tradition in the cultural norms. Hofstede Measures As the above scores indicate all three countries show an above average Power Distance rating. This insinuates that western style management practice of team opinions might not be advantageous. The employees will be looking for decisive leadership and direction from the management staff and will expect direct and structured instructions. As one would expect with a power distance rating significantly higher than average, the Uncertainty rating is significantly lower than average.
This indicates that the establishment will be more open to managers making decisions without consulting other authorities, leading to a potential for differing opinions on how situations should be handled. Earlier a theory was mentioned. It has been observed that the Asian cultures utilize more contextual communication rather than content oriented communication. Combined with the information from the figures above one might conclude that cultures having a high power distance and low uncertainty rating could be more likely to use contextual communication.
The reason for this potential relationship might be that the historical governing bodies combined with the seemingly uniformity of the population allows for the possibility that experiences and thought patterns amongst the population will be similar and therefore be less likely to make radically differing decisions; just food for thought. The final measurement is long-term orientation. As the numbers indicate China is drastically higher than average, India is moderately higher than average and Singapore is slightly lower than average.
The reason for this is simple, China has been closed for so long, India is very entrenched in religious issues and therefore has been somewhat closed while at the same time Singapore has specialized in import/export endeavors. China being the new kid on the block will somewhat detach themselves over time to some of there traditions as India has however unlike Singapore China is unique in that it is a gigantic consumer and will continue to play a substantial role in that regard and for this reason will not be required to disinherit their traditions in stead it will fall to the sellers to understand, if not embrace, their traditions.
In conclusion, all three countries require a strong management approach. Taking western style management of team play and group participation is not recommended, initially. I think given time this technique is and will be more productive, but not until the culture catches up with the times. It will be critical to pay close attention to the communication given and received; all three countries are context communicators not content like estern society. Management must be involved personally as well as professionally with the employees. This will improve company production and increase communication avenues between all parties involved. In short a clear chain of command, well structured with defined rules is required. The managers must be strong and independent, and the company should position itself to be community oriented.