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Cultural Differences and Global Organizations

I need assistance in the application of the concept of organizational culture, addressing the following issues, along with presenting any other ideas about this concept that may be interesting:

a. at least three specific ways that cultural differences would affect doing business internationally
b. the specific skills would global managers need to address these differences
c. the relative ability of expatriate or foreign-national managers in terms of being better equipped to deal with these challenges
d. the degree to which organizational cultures, including those of companies doing business abroad, can or cannot be seen as independent of the national culture within which they originate (is Coca Cola always American? is SAP always German?)
e. What, if anything, that thinking about an "organization as a culture" adds to what we have learned by thinking about an "organization as a machine", an "organization as an organism", and an "organization as a brain"

Please provide references if any for further information.

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I attached two articles, some of which this response is drawn. Although I could not open one of the articles in your attachment from ProQuest, I located other relevant information for you to consider for your final copy.

RESPONSE:

1. At least three specific ways that cultural differences would affect doing business internationally and the specific skills would global managers need to address these differences.

Culture is defined as the accepted norms and behavior of a group of people or community that also determines how business is done in the country http://www.helium.com/items/1073102-cultural-differences. Understanding cultural differences can mean success or losing the deal at the first meeting. It can also create a huge impact on your reputation and the way your business is viewed by the rest of the world (Murley, n.d.); thus, the importance for selecting and training managers about cross-cultural issues. There are many cultural differences that would affect doing business internationally, such: religion, language and unique cultural preferences for product and service.

(1) Cultural differences linked to religion impact business operations.

For example, in Malaysia and Indonesia, both Islamic countries, religion is a way of life. Muslims pray five times a day, as such labor laws must be adjusted if you want a successful operation without seeing your license revoked for reasons that were not accounted for. Major festivals are also important, and days off for employees are expected. Uniforms must also comply with the sensitivities of the community. http://www.helium.com/items/1073102-cultural-differences?page=2
Operational rules need to be carefully blended into the context of the local cultural context. For example, in one study, Glinow, Huo and Lowe (1999) concluded that although a multinational firm ought to maintain a certain degree of system-wide consistency in terms of its leadership style, the operational rules used overseas should be carefully blended into the local cultural context. Thus, international leaders need to find strategies to blend the operational rules into the context of the local cultural context, such as blending the labor laws with the religious cultural aspects unique to the country as mentioned in the above example.

(2) Language barrier impact business operations.

Research suggests that the first difficulty is always the language barrier that is encountered by the expatriate staff from home country sent to work in the host country. This is a major disadvantage that Western multinationals have encountered, where miscommunication have caused many to be frustrated and failed. Research has demonstrated that proficiency in the language of the host country can reduce culture shock and facilitate adjustment, because inability to effectively communicate with host country nationals would tend to increase culture shock and, therefore, inhibit adjustment (Black, 1990; Church, 1982, as cited in Sims, 2004). One strategy used to address this problem is by hiring locals rather than expatriates from home country or using the data base or different nationalities of expatriates to select from (Holstein, 2004).

Another strategy is to have the expatriate learn the language of the host country (Ellemoren, n.d.). Understanding the use of language e.g. communication styles and gestures are also important to avoid misunderstandings in business. For example, "Asians are known to avoid conflict, especially the Japanese, where the word "no" is avoided so as not to offend the other party especially in business negotiations. You will then see business negotiations dragged on for no apparent reason and vague conditions given when business licenses and approvals are turned down. To Westerners, time is money, and the focus is on closing the deal and signing the contract, while Asians, building relationship and trust is the more important activity before a deal is signed. As such, do not expect a signed contract in just a short visit. Multiple visits that last days and weeks is the norm to building trust, when doing business in Asia" (Wadhwa, n.d.).

(3) Cultural preferences for products and services impact business operations.

Businesses need to take into consider the host country and choose (or avoid) products that are culturally sensitive. Products and services need to reflect the people's needs in a cultural context; or, it will impact business outcomes negatively. For example, if you intend to sell products, ensure that you do not go against ...

Solution Summary

By addressing the questions, this solution applies the concept of organizational culture to global organizations on several dimensions e.g. three specific ways that cultural differences would affect doing business internationally, etc. It also discusses what thinking about an "organization as a culture" adds to the metaphors of an "organization as a machine", an "organization as an organism", and an "organization as a brain." Supplemented with two articles on expatriate success and training. References are in APA format.

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