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Cultural Constraints on Management Theories

Discuss management issues present in the case and explain what options the managers had in dealing with issues. Do you agree or not agree? Explain. What are some better alternatives?

Geert, Hofstede. Cultural constraints in management theories. The Executive. Feb 1993 7(1): 81-94.

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There are differences in management style between the United States and the rest of the world. The main difference in the views shared by management such as: an emphasis on market processes, an emphasis on the individual and an emphasis on managers instead of the workers. The focus of the paper is to share and gain acceptance of international management philosophies within the United States.

The theory that managers and employers are human was created in the 1930s and further explained by Herbert Simon's "Bounded Rationality" and Richard Cyert and James March's Behavioral Theory of the Firm. Every author and theorist is human and grew up in a particular culture, country and society, which influences their ideas but may provide difficulty in applying theories within every culture, country and society.

The modern definition and application of management in the United States and Great Britain was created by Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. Adam Smith was a Scot and John Stuart Mill was British. Management is a process and managers are individuals utilizing management. The managers are distinct set of class that don't own a business but uses its skills at the behest of the owners. However, the managers don't personally produce for the owners but are invaluable in the production process by motivating the employees. Managers are viewed as class with a high regard and status that Americans want to be a part of.

In Germany, the manager is not the desired position or class. Instead, the engineer is the desired class. Certain aspects of the medieval guild system remain in contact and flourishes today within Germany. The Germans have a very good apprenticeship system within the production floor and office area. The purpose of the apprenticeship is supplement classroom training with practical on the job training. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, the worker receives a certificate that valid anywhere within the country. Roughly sixty-six percent of the German population holds an apprenticeship certificate. Further, recipients of the apprenticeship certificate are currently the president position within a lot of German companies. The manager assigns tasks and serves as an expert as a resolver of technical problems. In contrast to Britain, where roughly sixty-six percent of population doesn't hold an apprenticeship (occupational) certificate, which makes sense because the medieval system didn't survive in Britain. Is the United States management style better than the German style? Since 1973, the German economy has outperformed the United States economy in all aspects. The German management style appears to be more successful as based on the economic performance.

In Japan, the permanent long tenured employee is the desired class. The second class in Japan is the non-permanent employee, which ...

Solution Summary

The cultural constraints on management theories are examined.