International Business Management
Understanding the Role of Culture
What is meant by the culture of society, and why is it important for international managers to understand it?
What is meant by the culture of society, Explain how culture affects all aspects of international management?
Culture A set of shared values, understandings, assumptions, and goals that are learned from earlier generations, imposed by present members of a society, and passed on to succeeding generations.
A critical skill for managing people and processes in other countries is cultural savvy that is, a working knowledge of the ...view middle of the document...
Such a process of adaptation to the environment is necessary to successfully implement strategy. It also leads to effective interaction in a workforce of increasing cultural diversity, in both the United States and other countries
Company reports and management studies make it clear that a lack of cultural sensitivity costs businesses money and opportunities. One study of U.S. multinational corporations found that poor intercultural communication skills still constitute a major management problem. Managers’ knowledge of other cultures lags far behind their understanding of other organizational processes. In a synthesis of the research on cross cultural training, Black and Mendenhall found that up to 40 percent of expatriate managers leave their assignments early because of poor performance or poor adjustment to the local environment. About half of those who remain are considered only marginally effective. Furthermore, they found that cross-cultural differences are the cause of failed negotiations and interactions, resulting in losses to U.S. firms of over $2 billion a year for failed expatriate assignments alone.
Culture and its effects on organizations: As generally understood, the culture of a society comprises the shared values, understandings assumptions, and goals that are learned from earlier generations, imposed by present members of a society, and passed on to succeeding generations. This shared outlook results, in large part, in common attitudes, codes of conduct, and expectations that subconsciously guide and control certain norms of behavior. One is born into, not with, a given culture, and gradually internalizes its subtle effects through the socialization process. Culture results in a basis for living grounded in shared communication standards, codes of conduct, and expectations. Over time, cultures evolve as societies adapt to transitions in their external and internal environments and relationships. A manager assigned to a foreign subsidiary, for example, must expect to find large and small differences in the behavior of individuals and groups within that organization.
These differences result from the societal or sociocultural variables of the culture, such as religion and language, in addition to prevailing national variables, such as economic, legal, and political factors. National and sociocultural variables, thus, provide the context for the development and perpetuation of cultural variables. These cultural variables, in turn, determine basic attitudes toward work, time materialism, individualism, and change. Such attitudes affect an individual’s motivation and expectations regarding work and group relations, and they ultimately affect the outcomes that can be expected from that individual
Compared to societal culture, which is often widely held within a region or nation organizational culture varies a great deal from one organization, company, institution or group to another....