National Culture And Cross Cultural Management Cultural Studies Essay
In recent years many researches, articles and study cases on the influence/relationships between culture, globalization and economy management were written or performed, especially in the developed countries. No one can deny that culture plays a vital role in organizing people’s life, their co-existence, reciprocal tolerance and cooperation in many societies. This assignment requires analyzing the two articles by Bird, A. & Fang, T. (2009) and Chevrier, S. (2009). A bird’s eye view of these articles reveals that these papers have shed some light on the evolution of national culture and political culture and the above-mentioned problems. In her article Sylvie Chevrier (University de Paris-Est., France) entitled "Is National Culture Still Relevant to Management in a Global Context? The Case of Switzerland" she reviews the earlier literature on cross cultural management, especially those of Soderberg (2002), Appadurai (1996), Lenartowicz and Roth (2001), Sackmann and Philipps (2004). This article addresses these challenges at the national level and demonstrates why and when this level is still relevant for managers faced with global business.
Let me first check what is meant by cross cultural management. Basically human races came with different background. "Cultural background". The way of doing things in one culture may not be the same in another culture. Meeting, interacting with and understanding a person in one culture forms the cultural background in cross-cultural management. Culture enables an organization to create meaning in the actions carried out and provide "models" for how to act and why they should act like this. It also creates stability, security, and streamlining the communication between members of the organization. It is necessary for people working in economic management learn how to manage both the convergence and divergence in cultural diversity and cultural behavior.
In the other article "Cross Cultural Management in the Age of Globalization" Allan Bird and Tony Fang (2009) present a short review of the evolution of cultural independence, cultural convergence /divergence, cultural collision and cultural harmony. This special section on ‘Cross Cultural Management in the Age of Globalization’ aims at providing a forum to examine what globalization means for cross cultural management, with a special focus on the evolution of our understanding of national culture and cultural change. They attempt to avoid a simplistic debate over convergence vs. divergence. The first to tackle the problem of cultural group independence was Sir Francis Galton. In the 1970s cultural research underwent change through the works of (Geertz, 1973). Keesing (1974) who distinguished between the ecological theory of culture and the ideational theory of culture. Another article by Van de Vliert, Einarsen, Euwema and Janssen invites us to return to the origins of anthropological perspectives of culture. All those writers argue that economic system may be more globalized rather than Marginalized.
Culture, according to Bird (2000) concerns the limits of ‘cultural paradox’ and his definition sheds light on this notion by limiting culture to a set of values and norms. But he confirms that "it does not account for the diversity of behaviors within a given cultural group and that generalizations are not reliable since many exceptions are observed". Then he proposes an alternative approach to national culture, namely political culture, which accounts for what different people in behavior and opinions, still share in a given country. Such a culture constitutes a sense-making pattern used by employees to evaluate the legitimacy of management practices. The second section illustrates the relevance of the national political culture through the case of Switzerland, meaning, which are shared at the national scale, such as ideas about the appropriate way of living together, which make up a political culture.
To succeed, managers need to know how decisions are made in cross-cultural management contexts. They also need to identify, describe and explain key models used for comparing cultures, critically assessing the practical value of these in the context of cross-cultural management decision-making. Another requirement is to critically assess some of the ethical issues inherent in cross-cultural and international management decision-making against a background of ‘globalization’ and ‘culture shift’. Not less important is how to identify, describe and explain significant aspects of overlap between national and organizational cultures. Economists should identify and analyze the role of effective communication in contexts for international and cross-cultural management generally, and specifically in the field of international marketing.
Successful managers can identify and analyze how disputes and conflicts arise, and how they might be resolved in cross-cultural management contexts. Thus in today’s global world, managers must be able to handle diversity effectively. To increase the awareness of national cultures on business and to provide the managers need to improve their productivity and doing business with people from other cultures, they should cooperate with other managers and economists. Recognizing organizational culture is essential to carry out the development and changes in the business as efficiently as possible. The organizational culture is closely related to management model and culture includes shared values, experiences and consistent mindset.
Generally speaking, the references and criteria used to appraise the legitimacy of the forms of government make up a political culture (d’Iribarne and d’Iribarne, 1999). Companies are necessarily affected by these cultural representations of acceptable ways of organizing and regulating social life; they directly entail appropriate ways to exert authority and possible forms of autonomy in work organization (Hickson and Pugh, 1995; Barsoux and Schneider, 2003). Political culture approach, presented in this article, differs from the widespread definition of national culture based on values and also from the majority of definitions focused on meanings. The writers report on Switzerland, which is divided by various internal borders. The most obvious ones are linguistic borders between French, German and Italian speaking Switzerland. It is also split between several religions.
The linguistic and religious divisions that split the country are linked to psychological borders. The Swiss nation progressively constituted itself through the aggregation of small communities attached to local life. In July 1937, employers and the metal industries’ union signed an agreement through which they engaged to solve all their eventual conflicts through conciliation or, as a last resort, through the arbitration of a court. Swiss management consists of making men and women work together on a collective project; it is a political activity. People cannot work together successfully if they do not share some basic conceptions of justice, human dignity, equality, liberty, and social order (d’Iribarne, 2000).
To sum up, I need to point out that globalization has given rise to a paradoxical movement of cultures. On the one hand, emergent global cultures transcend national boundaries and cultures. On the other hand, power of the Internet and wireless digital technologies provide local companies and indigenous cultural values with unprecedented global exposure. Two broad constructs seem to have been driving the paradoxical movement of cultures: (1) cultural ecology with uniquely embedded local political institutions, climate, language, traditions and customs; and (2) cultural learning of values and practices as a consequence of cultural clashes in the marketplace and cyberspace of globalization, foreign direct investment (FDI) and the internet. Tipton’s article re-opens debate on this question. At the same time, it also draws attention to the likelihood that nation states are not passive participants in the globalization process, but rather may well be consciously engaged in ongoing efforts at shaping emergent national identities. The second article, by Chevrier, continues with the political perspective. She argues that national culture is meaningful even in the global economic context. But national culture is defined not in terms of ‘shared values’ but in terms of ‘national political culture’.