How different management style differ in selected countries according to Hofstede theory?

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a)   Explain using Hofstede theory how different management style differ in each of these selected countries.


1.      The Hofstede theory


Perhaps the most widely cited cultural framework is that of Greet Hofstede (1980). In his work he defines a number of cultural dimensions that are believed to have significant impacts over the business practices and also the management styles. The said dimensions include: which include Power Distance Index (PDI), Individualism (IDV), Masculinity (MAS), Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) and Long-Term Orientation (LTO). Below let us apprehend the meaning of applying the Hofstede theory in the business practice and management practices by comparing several major economies and areas.


2.          Japan

Figure 1.0 The national culture of Japan vs the United States

Source: 2011



Japan as we can see from the above comparison between its national culture and the typical western culture, the United State culture, three major dimensions support the different culture and management styles that are adopted by the management in these two cultures. For example, Japan has a relatively very high score in MAS indicating that male dominate the social positions and this is in accordance with the fact that Japan adopts a high masculinity in its management and leadership styles.


3.          Germany

Figure 2.0 The national culture of Germany vs the Japan

Source: 2011


Through the lens of the 5-D Model on the comparison between the Germany culture and the more familiar Malaysia culture, we can see the major differences between the Germany culture and the Japanese national culture that we just talked above. One major surprising finding is that Germany does not has a culture that has high score in the dimension of power distance suggesting that a direct and participative management style is preferred in Germany which is quite surprising to us, but it is the truth.


4.          South Korea

Figure 3.0 The national culture of South Korea vs the Germany

Source: 2011


In comparison with Germany, the South Korea has a very typical eastern culture which is common in the South East Asian economies marked with high power distance, low individualism and high long term orientation. And because of these, it would be easier to understand that there is usually complex management hierarchy in the companies of the South Korea and also the managers in the companies tend to apply strict control over the operations as well as the staff behaviors.


5.          Latin America

Figure 4.0 The national culture of South Korea vs the Brazil

Source: 2011

Another cultural system that we are going to talk about as an example describing the impacts of the cultural differences on the management styles selection is the cultural system of the Latin America. From the above comparison, we can see that in a major Latin American country, Brazil, it shares a very similar national culture with that of the South Korea. This analysis is also in accordance with the management style of Brazilian companies which is marked with the key words such as centralization of decisions (Fleury, A. C. C. & Fleury, M. T. L. 2011, p. 178).


6.          Summary


From the above analysis we can see that because of the cultural differences in term different business habits and communication ways and so on, management styles could be different.



Fleury,A. C. C. & Fleury, M. T. L. 2011, Brazilian Multinationals: Competences for Internationalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 178


Hofstede, G. H. (1980). Culture’s Consequences. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. 2011. What about Japan? Viewed on 25 Mar 2012 [online]