Analysis and Comparison of Iranian and American Management; the Cultural Dimensions and Values

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Analysis and Comparison of Iranian and American Management;
The Cultural Dimensions and Values

This report is aimed to represent a brief description of the Iranian management values today and compare the results with a developed country like Unites State. First it will give a description of some of the characteristics of Iran management and culture, then it is tried to categorize these characteristic base on Hofstede's Dimensions (1980) (power distance, avoiding uncertainty, masculinity/femininity, individualism/collectivism) and Flower’s dimensions, Flower 1975, (tribalistic, egocentric, conformist, manipulative, sociocentric, existential). In the next step will be presenting of relative information about United State and at the end the comparison between the results. Most parts of this report is focused on Iran management.

The name ‘‘Iran’’ was used as early as the third century BC by a ruler who described his empire as Iran-shahr and himself as the ‘‘King of Kings’’. The country is highly diverse from every point of view, especially in topography and climate. The population of Iran is estimated at some 70 million, 12 million of which live in the capital Tehran and its suburbs. The official language of Iran is Persian (Farsi) which is an Indo-European language derived from Sanskrit. The country has one of the world’s most diverse ethnic groups ever assembled in one country: Persian (56 per cent), Turk (Azari) (24 per cent), Gilaki (8 per cent), Kurd (8 per cent), Lur, Baluch, Arab and Turkaman. The religious groups are Shiite Muslim, Sunni Muslim, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian and Bahaii. At the present, Iran is an Islamic republic, ruled according to a constitution providing for executive, legislative and judicial branches. The political system comprises both elected and un-elected institutions. Iran’s economy is a mixture of central planning, state ownership of oil, large enterprises, village agriculture, small-scale private trading and service ventures. All large industries and the majority of medium-scale enterprises are run by the public institutions particularly the foundations which were set up during the revolution. These entities own some 20 per cent of the country’s assets, and contribute 10 per cent of GDP (Khajehpour, 2000), however, they are generally mismanaged.

Management in Iran
Iranian management today is interesting firstly because the country is slowly opening up to the West after two decades of ignorance on the part of Westerners as to sides of life in Iran other than the political and religious aspects. Up till quite recently, the political discourse was dominated by the belligerent official language and images of mobs demonstrating in the streets against “the devils in the West”. Now after twenty years of austere clerical regime, the reform movement is gradually gaining momentum, especially among young people who have not known life before the Revolution. Secondly Iranian management is interesting because most people confound Iranians with Arabs, believing that what they learn about Arab countries is also valid for Iran, and this obviously is a misunderstanding. We begin our discussion with bringing some insights into Iranian society and its culture. Based on Hofstede’s findings (1980) Iran is classified in near Eastern cluster including Turkey and Greece. A more recent research found that Iran is part of the South Asian cultural cluster consisting of such countries as India, Thailand and Malaysia (Javidan and Dastmalchian, 2003). For a newcomer these findings may seem very different from the image of Iran as a predominant Islamic/Middle-Eastern country which is often confused with its neighbours. The point is that as a country situated in the Middle East, Iran has many commonalities with its neighbour Muslim countries; however, due to its unique historical, linguistic and racial identities it has a different and unique culture. Collectivism

A very fundamental issue in every...
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