The World as a Global Village
The world today has turned into a global village, and we are much closer to one another as never before. This is to say that individuals from different ethnicities and cultures find themselves communicating and working together more often. Though this is interesting and exciting, the new trend can also be fraught with numerous uncertainties and it can be frustrating.
Difficulties arise from concerns of how individuals from one culture would relate to those from another culture. Communication is different in different cultures and it also brings about difficulties, other cultures have believed and taboos that affect the way they conduct business, and these can also affect the way people from different cultures work and relate to each other (Hofstede, 1980).
This paper is an evaluation of these issues and it will start with part, which explores some of the ways one can identify and evaluate differences in culture and the way they affect a number of management practices, which include leadership, training of employees and decision making. The second part of the paper will be a business research report for the management team, which will indicate how an organization can address the assigned challenge.
Given the increase in the industrial organization globalization and the increase in interdependencies among countries, the need for an improved understanding of influences resulting from cultural diversity on leadership and other management practices has never been more. The situations that managers must face are increasingly complex, difficult to interpret and constantly changing. More than ever before, international firms’ managers are facing a rapidly changing and hostile international competition. The trends towards the global economic community are clear (Lewis, 2006).
Since effective organizational management is essential to the success and furthering of international operations, the industrial globalization of organizations presents many management and organizational challenges. For example, the cultural diversity of employees and the difference in cultures in case of organizational expansion, found in most international organizations presents managers with a considerable challenge concerning the multinational organizations’ design and their management (Lewis, 2006).
As it follows, for a multinational organization and its managers to be successful in achieving goals, the manager has to come up with organizational and societal measures of manager and culture attributes that are appropriate to utilize in all cultures. To achieve this, the organization has to come up with several dimensions by which organizational and societal cultures can be assessed or measured. In doing so, an organization or the manager has to come up with several dimensions of cultures that different organizations and societies. This is to mean, with respect to the identified dimensions, there is a high within- organization and within- culture agreement and between- organization and between- culture differentiations (Nancy, 1990).
Another critical question that such an organization should address is about the extent to which certain manager behaviors and attributes are universally implemented as contributing to effective management, and the level to which behaviors and attributes are connected to cultural characteristics. In doing so, a manager can find that cultures can be differentiated based on leader attributes and behaviors that their members implement. The organization can also find high within- culture agreement concerning leader behaviors and attributes that are seen as impediments or contributors to effective management (Nancy, 1990).
In addition to the above, the organization can also address questions on how cultural forces in society influence the effectiveness and the form of an organization. Other ways of understanding and evaluating cultural diversities and their influences on management practices include employing both qualitative and quantitative methods to provide descriptive and valid accounts of influences derived from the culture on organizational and management processes (Miles & Huberman, 1994).
Some aspects of quantitative measuring include measurements of organizational culture, societal culture and management behaviors, and attributes. On the other hand, interpretations of qualitative cultural factors of local norms, behaviors, and practices can be developed using content data analysis on the data derived from focus groups, interviews, and published literature. Through these methods, it is possible for an organization and its managers to understand some of the cultural factors that affect management effectiveness and management practices (Miles & Huberman, 1994).
Investigating how Failure to include Employees in Decision Making can affect Management Practices
Practices in business are extensions and results of cultures. In most businesses, the management practices are affected by culture and at other times culture even determines policy, structure and even style of management. When managing a business in a domestic operation with a culture that is homogeneous, everyone seems to understand the same cues, speak the same language and have similar values and norms (Harrison, 1993).
According to a number of surveys, the role of a manager in America is to solve problems, as opposed to the same role in France, which is taken as the responsibility of an expert. The business has quickly developed internationally and management is no longer limited to the traditional territories, but has gone beyond borders and constantly surpasses and challenges cultural diversity. Therefore, for a business to succeed in the current it has to do away with some of these managerial traditions and includes other effective practices that at times confront cultural diversity. In the case of the Omega restaurant, the employees view the manager as the expert, and, therefore, do not expect him to ask for their opinion while making decisions (Adsit, London, Crom & Jones, 1997).
Identifying the Problem
In the case of the Omega restaurant, the Australian manager, who works in a French subsidiary, might be quite ineffective as a manager or a problem solver for the French employees might see the manager as incompetent. On the other hand, the French manager managing an Australian business is considered increasingly directive in his response to the questions directed to him by his employees. On the organizational level, influences of culture direct the behavior, as well as, the structure of different stakeholders.
Depending on the business, the response to operating internationally varies from parochial to ethnocentric to synergetic. Excluding the synergetic approach, most corporate cultures do not usually consider the national culture it operates in. the issue, in this case, is that employees do not expect to be included in decision making, and the manager of the business has overridden cultural norms in France, which allow employees to leave all the decision making to the manager.
In the case of the Omega restaurant, the corporate culture and its norms override the national norms in the culture of letting the manager make all the essential decisions. However, this universal view of organizational culture does not do away with influences of culture (Cyert & March 1963). In fact, the culture in the organization magnifies cross-cultural differences rather than hiding them. Cultural differences in global organizations, therefore, have their greatest influence mainly in teamwork, motivation, negotiations, mergers, and acquisitions and in decision-making (Bass, 1983). As it follows, the Omega restaurant can assume three possible solutions to solve their problem. The business can decide to operate under any of the following approaches of decision making; ethnocentric, synergetic or parochial.
Possible Courses of Action
Bartol and colleagues described decision making as the process that managers can use to identify problems affecting their organizations and attempt to solve them. According to these authors, the organizational structure is a formal blueprint of coordination and interactions created to connect to the roles of groups and individuals to achieve the aims and goals of an association. The authors, therefore, described the key to decision making as the decentralization and centralization within a business.
Centralization is used to describe the extent to which authority and power are retained at the top levels of the organization. Decentralization refers to the degree to which authority and power are delegated to the lower organizational levels. Bartol encouraged the decentralized manner of making decisions in an organization (Bartol, Mattin, Tein & Matthews, 2008), which goes hand in hand with the synergetic approach of management. Omega should consider adopting this mannerism of management.
Implementing and Monitoring
Before implementing the course of action, the organization must find the most appropriate model for implementation. One of the most essential models in the rational model, which according to Bartol is a classical approach in the field of decision-making. This model provides an organization with a basis for quantitative economics, statistics and mathematics disciplines. This model can be divided into four steps, investigation, and development of alternatives, evaluation of alternatives and implementation and follow up (Child, 1981).
Conclusions and recommendations
Culture is an essential factor when it comes to management practices and effectiveness. As we have seen above, Omega restaurant is experiencing challenges, as a result, of differences in cultures. These challenges can only be solved if the concerned individuals decide to override their cultural differences and adopt several solutions such as adopting the synergetic management approach.
Adsit, D. J., London, M., Crom, S., & Jones, D. (1997). Cross-cultural differences in upward ratings in a multinational company. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 8, 385 – 401.
Bartol, K., Mattin, D., Tein, M., & Matthews, G. (2008). Management: a Pacific Rim focus. Sydney: McGraw-Hill.
Bass, B.M. (1983). Organizational Decision Making. Illinois: Irwin.
Child, J. (1981). Culture, contingency, and capitalism in the cross-national study of organization. In L. L. Cummings (Ed.), Research in organizational behavior (pp. 303-356).
Cyert, R. M. & March, J.G. (1963). A behavioral theory of the firm. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Harrison, E.F. (1993). Interdisciplinary models of decision-making. Management Decision, 31, 27-33.
Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences. International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Lewis, R. D. (2006). When cultures collide: Leading across cultures (3rd ed.). Boston: Nicholas Brealey International.
Miles, M.B. & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: an expanded sourcebook. California: Thousand Oaks.
Nancy, J. (1990). Adler International Dimensions of Organization Behaviour. Canada: Southwestern.
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