Cross Cultural Management Cultural Values (Essay Sample)
Assessment Essay Outline
Using an appropriate model of cultural values, contrast two cultures then discuss what potential problems might arise for people from these two cultures doing business with one another.
Note that this is an essay, not a report. An essay allows you to construct and present an argument in your own way, so it allows you to develop your own thoughts. An essay does not have sub-headings. An essay develops an argument based on evidence to persuade the reader of a point of view, whereas a report presents facts and makes recommendations.
There are two main ways in which you can approach this essay topic:
1. You could begin by finding some real life problems and then apply a theory of national culture (eg. Hofstede or GLOBE) to them.
2. Or, you could begin by comparing the Hofstede dimensions of two countries and then predict the kind of problems that would follow from these differences. Then, give examples, of real-life problems to illustrate your predictions.
Do not forget that you only have 1,500 words to write, so do not try to be over ambitious in how much ground you try to cover, which may lead to vagueness.
The term “business problem” covers a wide range of possibilities which may include such matters as team working, leadership and negotiation. You cannot cover all of the possibilities in an essay of this length so, once again, you must decide how to focus your essay.
Please remember that these are only notes to guide you and if you feel that your own argument calls for a different structure, you should follow your own judgement. (Don’t forget that there are no headings in an essay, so these headings are only for guidance). Now you can begin writing.
With this approach, you should begin by choosing two countries where there has been a substantial amount of research on their business relationships eg UK-Japan, USA-Mexico etc. Find descriptions of two or three business problems that have risen. These may be found in high quality newspapers such as the Financial Times or the Economist, business magazines, academic case studies or academic journal articles.
Next, choose which theory or theories you will choose as your analytical tool. The main possibilities are: Hofstede, a combination of Hofstede and Hall and GLOBE. You should write a concise explanation of the theory in your own words but with reference to the theory literature (eg. Hofstede’s “Software of the Mind”).
Explain what the essay is about and how you will approach the topic. Here you will say, in only a few words, what problems you will be looking at and what theory you will use for your analysis. The introduction should contain a sentence which summarises the whole essay including the conclusion (thesis statement).
Body of the essay
Next, you will explain your theoretical tools and show awareness of criticisms and limitations of the theory.
Then, you will describe the first problem.
Following that, you will apply your theory to the problem to analyse it and suggest possible solutions.
The next step, is to describe the second problem.
Then, apply your theory to it and suggest possible solutions.
Finally, you come to a conclusion. Here you can compare and contrast the two problems and solutions that you have discussed and draw some generalisations about the kind of problems, and advantages, that may arise from these countries doing business together.
With this approach, you should begin by choosing two countries which are in strong contrast with each other when looked at from the point of view of their Hofstede dimensions. You will then discuss how each of these differences may cause problems in a business context. Finally, some examples from real-life will help to illustrate your argument.
Explain what the essay is about and how you will approach the topic. You will name your theory and explain that you will develop your argument by looking at the consequences of the different scores of your two countries on the Hofstede dimensions. The introduction should contain a sentence which summarises the whole essay including the conclusion (thesis statement).
Body of the essay
You should explain the theory that you are using with reference to the original texts (eg. Hofstede’s “Software of the Mind”) and showing awareness of criticisms and limitations of the theory.
Next, describe the view of each country in turn that is shown by their scores on each of the Hofstede dimensions.
Then, explain what problems might arise from the differences between the countries on each dimension and suggest possible solutions
Finally, give some real-life examples that illustrate the points you have made in the previous section.
Give a brief overview of the differences between the two countries as you have described them and a summary of the kinds of general problems that will arise as a result. Then, give some recommendations to practitioners who have to work in the context of the two countries.
Cross Cultural Management
The United States has enjoyed a mutually beneficial trade relationship with its central American counterpart in Mexico based on the stipulations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The integration between the two countries across the political, economic, social, and or cultural platforms further plays an integral role in fostering the good business relationship between the two nations. The economic relations between the U.S. and Mexico is worth hundreds of billions of dollars in trade, a significant improvement the little under a hundred billion dollars in trading transactions between the nations before the formation of the regional trade organization. The change in political dispensations for both countries threatens to destroy or rather disrupt the cordial and profitable relationship that previously existed between the two countries. The United States insists on renegotiating the terms of trade outlined in the NAFTA treaty claiming better terms to suit its capitalist endeavors while Mexico cries foul on its Northern neighbors’ intent. The U.S. wants to impose tariffs on the Mexican imports against which the latter cries foul as it will hurt its economy and reduce its productivity. The issue of the transfer of intellectual property between the two countries in the communication technology sector further fuels misunderstanding and strains the bilateral relationship. The Hofstede’s theory of cultural dimensions and their differences between the two countries provides an excellent platform for analyzing their deteriorating relationship while offering possible solutions towards addressing the underlying issues. A comprehensive analysis of the U.S.-Mexico trading relations through the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions’ framework offers an insight into the cultural differences and factors hindering the development of the previous understanding existing between the nations.
According to the Hofstede’s theory, the cultural orientation of a given entity varies from that of another group and plays a significant role in determining the kind of relationship developed by the two entities. In essence, the cultural structures and affiliations of an individual influence their interaction and integration with individuals bearing a different cultural constitution, belief, or values. The theory goes further to outline six key aspects through which the differences in cultural orientation reveal themselves. The principles or dimensions of distinct value across various nations include the power distance index, the individualistic or collective cultural orientation of a nation, and tolerance to uncertainty. The distribution of roles between the masculine and feminine gender, the nation’s tendency to embrace changes or restrain from the indulgence, and its orientation regarding in both the long-term and short-term indices complete the six cultural dimensions of the Hofstede’s theory.[Hofstede, G., Hofstede G. J., and Minkov, M., Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, 3rd edn., McGraw Hill Professional, 2010.] [Hofstede, G., Hofstede G. J., and Minkov, M., Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, 3rd edn., McGraw Hill Professional, 2010.]
The theory provides a range of different scores across the outlined parameters for different countries, including the United States and Mexico with equally diverse implications or influence of the scores regarding the cultural orientation of the particular nation. However, the indications provided by the scores attained in from the 1-120 scale of measurement do not account for the extent of the dimension’s influence on the nations’ citizens and their relationship with other nationalities or within the country...
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