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a) Explain using Hofstede theory how different management style differ in each of these selected countries.
In this part of the study, we will rationalize the management style variances using Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions to show how management styles could be different from each other after taking into consideration of the cultural differences. Geert Hofstede with his famous IBM study is widely recognized as a major break-through in cross-cultural social studies and the proposed five fundamental dimensions of culture has a high-level impact on the human behaviour and national culture research (Luger 2002, p. 12). These five dimensions are: Power distance index (PDI), Individualism (IDV), Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI), Masculinity (MAS) and Long term orientation (LTO). Some countries would be discussed as following.
By having scores of 54 (PDI), 46 (IDV), 95 (MAS), 92 (UAI) and 80 (LTO), the management styles in firms from the country have close relationship with the scores in the five dimensions (geert-hofstede.com 2012). For example, In Japan, individual personality and forcefulness are not seen as the prerequisites for effective leadership which could be linked to the lower individualism in the Japanese national culture. And in another aspect, the Japanese managers value competitiveness, assertiveness, ambition which is a showcase of the strong Masculinity in the Japanese national culture by having an extremely high 95 points out of the 100 full marks. This high masculinity in management practices is not seen from other countries such as Germany which will be talk about below.
By having scores of 35 (PDI), 67 (IDV), 66 (MAS), 65 (UAI) and 31 (LTO), the management styles in firms from the country have close relationship with the scores in the five dimensions (geert-hofstede.com 2012). The German culture tends to take more of a masculine approach to their style of management, though masculinity is still stronger than feminist but still it is much lower than that of Japan. In another point, although companies might compete for the same general market, as Daimler-Benz and BMW do, they generally seek market share rather than market domination. This shows a less competitiveness and ambition than that of Japan and could be understood as a showcase of the medium level of masculinity.
4. South Korea
By having scores of 60 (PDI), 18 (IDV), 39 (MAS), 85 (UAI) and 75 (LTO), the management styles in firms from the country have close relationship with the scores in the five dimensions. (geert-hofstede.com 2012) Compared to other countries such as the talked Germany, we can see that South Korea scores as one of the long term oriented societies, and that is why we can see that the managers in the South Korean firms usually focus on the long term strategy making. And on the other hand, the very low score, 18, in the dimension of IDV explains the fact that the South Korean management is a management of groups and employees will be expected to focus on the group interests and obedience to the management is highly anticipated.
5. Latin America
By having scores of 49 (PDI), 46 (IDV), 56 (MAS), 86 (UAI) and Null (LTO), the management styles in firms from the countries have close relationship with the scores in the five dimensions. (geert-hofstede.com 2012). Here we use Argentina as an example to look into the Latin America’s national cultures. One obvious dimension is Uncertainty avoidance in which the country obtains a sore of 86. That uncertainty avoidance ranks highest indicates a high concern for rules, regulations, controls and issues with career security in the management practices (cyborlink.com 2008).
With the discussion above, we conclude that different management style differ in each of these selected countries with some major differences identified above such as the acceptance of inequity in the management relationship.
Geert-hofstede.com 2012. National cultural dimensions. Accesed on 27 Mar 2012 [online] http://geert-hofstede.com/national-culture.html
Luger, E. 2002, Hofsteede’s Cultural Dimensions. Germany: GRIN Verlag. p. 12