National Culture Of Managers: Understanding People´S Value

2046 words - 9 pages

This report will argue that Sylvie Chevrier (2009), study of the relevance of national culture to international managers is an interesting but programmatic piece of research. The article questioned the significance of national culture to managers faced with a global business, claiming that “large parts of people’s behaviour cannot be explained by cultural values or shared perception, and called for a different definition of national culture”. The article is broken down into four sections. The first defined and explains the difference between political and national culture. The second section uses Switzerland as an example to examine the significance of national political ...view middle of the document...

Theory and Literature

Chevrier et al (2009) is very critical of country level analysis of cross cultural management, drawing examples on Sackman and Phillpps (2004) study of influence on cultural research. Who supported the need for multiple cultural perspectives, including that of regional and professional cultures. The authors claimed culture cannot be defined at just one level. A country can have many cultural values, believes or norms. And the multiple perspectives can be used as a research example to understand people’s values and shared perception. These claims are further supported by (chapman et al 2007) perception of culture. Who argues that cultural distance should always be treated as relative to a given society not an absolute to all. They believe by doing so it will contribute to a better understanding of ethnicity and cultural situations.

Several other researchers have also investigated the use of national culture to global managers. Lenartowick & Roth (2001) support chevrier’s study by calling for an expansion of national culture and examination of small regions within a country. Soderburg & Holden (2002) argued that country level analysis of culture is outdated in today’s business world and does not solve many of the challenges internationals companies or managers face. The authors also called for an alternative approach which will acknowledge the difficult connections and identities within an organisation.

Soderburg & Holden (2002) develop a model of three core problems and three core solutions for organisations to consider in a cross cultural situation. They believe that the model can be seen as the primary subject issue in cross cultural management. The three identified problems are ethnocentrism, cultural diversity and cultural shock where as their proposed solutions include cultural adaptations, cultural adjustment and development of intercultural skills. In criticism to sodeburg & holden’s model does not does not take into account, other factors besides the three core problems, that may affect cultural diversity in the workplace.

In his research on cultural relativity, Hofstede (1983) claimed that nationality is important to international managers for three reasons. Political, Sociological and Psychological reasons. This contradicts with chevrier (2009) study on the relevance of national culture, who claimed culture cannot be measure by nationalities but instead by the political values and norms of groups or individuals. Hofstede also states that “national characters are more distinguishable to foreigners, than to nationals themselves.” This again contradicts chevrier (2009) research and findings from the Swiss national culture. A country with various internal linguistic borders, the characteristics of individual groups can easily be traced by nationals and are used to remind detach.

Hofstede (1983:19) proposed the four cultural dimensions as to describe national culture. They are as followed...

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