Hierarchy and power within East and Western enterprises. Introduction Culture is the way we live. It is the clothes we wear, the foods we eat, the languages we speak, the stories we tell, and the ways we celebrate. Culture is also about our roots. Where did our ancestors come from? What do we believe? What makes our lives different from the lives of others? Kalmia, B. (2009). Nations may share civilizations, but they will always be distinct in their culture, since culture defines what they are. Scranton, R. (2007).
The globalization of markets and production continues to bring together people room different cultures and countries in culturally diverse organizations. In the field of international management, it is important not only to recognize these diversities, but it is also vital to understand the cultural differences for the purpose of connecting with and motivating knowledge workers. Traditionally, these cultural distinctions have been classified into ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ views that widely vary with respect to workplace activities and, more specifically, with respect to knowledge management.
With the ‘western’ view being more focused on explicit knowledge and tangible individualistic motivational factors, and the ‘eastern’ view on tacit knowledge and abstract workplace principles; it becomes evident that management of these different cultural perspectives is becoming increasingly complex yet critical in the global workplace. An understanding of these differing views is therefore necessary for effective management in the international sphere, specifically for providing a means for better cross- cultural understanding and successful knowledge transfer.
Management Tasks planning- The goals and objectives Of a company or department are established, as well s determining what actions are needed to achieve. Organizing- organizing actions needed to achieve the goals. Staffing- The task of allocating employees to particular positions within the company. Directing- This has to do with leading the organization and its employees towards its goals. Controlling- Monitoring the performance of the company or department is a task for which different cultures may use different systems and approaches.
Effect of cultural values on management The way tasks and responsibilities are performed in management can be examined in the light of key number of cultural values. Eight cultural value orientations have a considerable influence on the way managers perform their activities. The eight cultural values which can be called as model of culture is, Time focus (Monochromatic and polymorphic) Different cultures have different perceptions of time according to their environment, history, traditions and general practices. In eastern culture where monochromatic perception of time prevails, time is experienced and used in a linear way. People tend to do one activity at a time. For example in eastern culture, people have the diner and then do the home work or read a book. In western culture where polymorphic time is preferred ,people tend to focus on several tasks and and are less dependent on detailed information when performing these tasks. For example in western culture, people have diner while doing the home work or reading a book. Time focus and management tasks Monochromatic Culture (Eastern perspective) Planning- The focus of activity is more on the task itself and Making schedules.
Organizing- The approach used is structured,Linear and task- focused. Staffing- Concerns focused on shorter term. Directing- Managing the inflow and Distribution of detailed information. Controlling- Tendency to Use control systems and strict deadlines. Polymorphic Culture (Western perspective) planning- The focus Of activity is more on relationships when planning. Organizing- The approach is less structured one, More holistic and people- focused. Staffing- Focus on longer term. Directing- Sharing of implicit knowledge/information. Controlling- Tendency to use more flexible control systems involving people.
Time orientation (past, present and future) Culture focused on the past value the upholding tradition in line with the history of the company and the way it usually does things. Those cultures concerned with the present are out quick results and short-term gain. Those with the view towards the future, plans are assessed in the light of expected future benefit. Power (Hierarchy and Equality) The Power value orientation is to do with the extent to which the less powerful members of a society expect or accept that power is distributed unequally.
At work,the level of power and authority are strictly marked out by some eastern cultures oriented to hierarchy. There ,the employees do their work according to the directives of their boss. Len eastern cultures the manager as a separate room from other employees indeed to show up the power distance between the employees and the manager. Companies in west,oriented towards equality there will be more informal structures based on expertise focused on certain projects. Len western cultures the manager works at the same table where the other staffs work.
This shows the equality between the manager and the staffs. Power and management tasks Hierarchy (Eastern perspective) Planning- More autocratic or paternalistic planning is displayed. Organizing- The Organizational structure is tightly controlled. Staffing- Us borderlines expect bosses to take the initiative to train,developing promote them. Directing- Employees like being closely supervised and feel comfortable with a directive supervisor. Controlling- Employees prefer the personal control Of superiors. Equality (Western perspective) Planning- Employees may implement the plan.
More participative planning. Organizing- Organizational structure encourages individual autonomy Staffing- Work relationships should not be strictly prescribed. Directing- Managers exhibit participative or consultative styles. Controlling- Subordinates develop performance objectives with their bosses. Space (private and public) One aspect of space orientation is related to private or public space. Another aspect related to invisible boundary around every person. The concept of space can be seen in terms Of personality.
There can be cultural differences in the relative size of people’s public and private spaces and also in the degree to which they feel comfortable sharing those parts of their personality with other people. In Eastern workplace managers and employees do not share the same office ,but in western workplace the location or size of the place here an employee works does not necessarily reflect that persons rank in the company. The influence of personal space at work Private Planning- Forms of planning: individualistic or systematic. Organizing- More task-centered. Staffing- Explicit information about how staff are to be employed.
Directing-. Managers and employees do not share the same office Controlling- Explicit measures of performance public Planning- Group-oriented or authoritative forms Organizing- Relationship-centered approaches Staffing- Implicit information Directing-. Size of the place where an employee works does not reflect the arson’s rank Controlling- Managers can use more informal checks on performance Structure (Individualism and Collectivism) Individualism Individualism, can be defined as a preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families only.
Individualism shows the extent to which cultures elevate the role of the individual over the role of the group. When individualism is valued the “I” predominates over the “we” Individual goals, initiative and achievement are most important and people are encouraged to be independent and self-reliant. Collectivism Collectivism represents a preference for a tightly-knit framework in society in which individuals can expect their relatives or members of a particular in- group to look after them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.
Most of the Eastern cultures place more importance on personal relationships rather than the task to be performed or the deal to be completed. Example Along with the collectivist nature Of the individuals a team based behavior can be seen in the work place environments in Sir Lankan. Similarly there is a new concept which is identical within the emirates airlines which is known as the Family concept. The boss is the ‘father’ and the employees are the ‘children’. The father tells the children what to do but also looks after them and cares for them. The ‘children’ do as they are told and show their father ‘respect’.
It is a two-way relationship in which all parties benefit. This can be comparable to the team based relationship oriented work place conditions in Sir Lankan. Highly individualist cultures (Western) believe individual is most important unit People taking care of themselves (including immediately family only) Self- orientation Identity based on individual Guilt culture Making decisions based on individual needs “l” mentality Emphasis on individual initiative and achievement Highly collectivist cultures (Eastern) believe group is most important unit.
Expect absolute loyalty to group (nuclear family, extended family, caste, organization) Group orientation Decisions based on what is best for the group. Identity based on social system Shame culture Dependence on organization and institutions (Expects organization / institution / group to take care of individual) “We” mentality Emphasis on belonging Structure and management task Individualism (western perspective) leaning- It is expected that those involved in planning will take initiative to present their views. Organizing-Tasks assignment and resources allocation.
Staffing- Organizations are not expected to look after their employees career development. Directing-Leaders expect employees to meet or exceed their responsibilities. Controlling- Control tends to be exerted by individual standards of excellence. Collectivism (Eastern perspective) Planning- plans are developed within the shared values used for measuring activities in the organizations. Organizing- organizational structures emphasize he group; the team is assigned tasks and resources. Staffing- promotions are are based primarily on seniority.
Directing- Leaders expect loyalty in exchange for protection. Controlling- Deviations from standards and expectations is discouraged through group oriented pressure. Conclusion General management and knowledge management theories and practices have to be viewed and reviewed in the context of local cultures. In an organization, the managers bring values, experiences and beliefs that are profoundly rooted in their national cultures. Even the perspective of hat management actually entails varies widely across different national cultures.
The model of culture has been applied to the world of international business and the daily tasks of a manager examined in terms of cultural values. Individual’s frame work of cultural preferences influences the way in which their tasks are executed. Management tasks in the firms varies according to the culture Management tasks in western enterprises varies from the management tasks that are carried out by eastern enterprises. Additional studies must be undertaken to have a thorough understanding of the cultural rabbles.
Without Andean different perspectives from the traditional and AC opted frameworks, such as Hypotheses dimensions, organizations cannot leverage the strengths of the global economy, which can make the difference between survival and success for today’s firms.
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