February 24, 2008
Business Management in Russia
The purpose of this paper is to educate me as I prepare to embark on a journey of management of a bunch of Russians as well as having to report to a Russian boss. There are many areas I will need to have an operational understanding of to successfully supervise the native people of Russia. These areas of the Russian culture I will need to have a functional knowledge of include, but won’t be limited to, attitudes and beliefs, family values, etiquette, punctuality, religion, appearance, behavior and communications. In addition to the aforementioned components I will lead a discussion of Hofstede’s Four Dimensions of Culture, the GLOBE study, and Trompenaars Cultural Dimensions. As to stress the importance of my understanding of the above components and cultural research as it pertains to my endeavor to successfully manage my foreign counterparts, I will lead a discussion of those components and my understanding thereof in more thorough detail in the sections to follow.
The first component we will discuss is Russian attitudes and beliefs. Historically, Russia has been a totalitarian society. The people had no opportunities afforded to them to make their own decisions. The communist party made all the decisions. Russians were expected to respect the opinions and behave as officials told them to. Russians have a high respect for authority. Friendship is very important. Russians are very open with people they trust. They help their friends through the good times and the bad. Although Russians don’t think there is much hope for a better future, they still take pride in their country’s achievements in world literature, science, art, medicine and technology. Russians try to worry less about money and focus their attention to religion. The impact on my management technique’s would be that I would probably have to be aware of observed religious holidays and allow my employees to be absent for those holidays as well as for other functions related to their religious beliefs and ideals.
The most practiced religion in Russia is Christianity with almost fifty percent of Russia’s population belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church. Approximately ten percent or a little more are Muslim. Many Russians practice atheism. In addition, there are some small Islamic and Jewish groups as well as a few Buddhists practicing in Russia. With all these religions I may encounter on my visit, it would probable be a good idea to leave religion out of any conversations I may have.
I should take note of my personal appearance. Russians display social status and celebrate their culture by the way they dress. For young women, short skirts, high heels, and lots of makeup are normal. For young men, if the weather is suitable, jogging pants are acceptable. Older men, in winter, may wear a fur hat referred to a shapka or ushanka. Gender neutral way I may attire myself are jeans and shorts when weather permits. However, while I am conducting business, I will be conservatively attired. Businesswomen may wear downcast colored suits with skirts covering the knees. However as a businessman I will attire myself with suits and a well polished pair of shoes.
Russians hold high family values. They expect to marry and have children. There are lots of single parent households that are run by women. In two parent households, the man is the head of the household. Husbands and wives both work. The divorce rate is high as many people don’t view marriage as long term. When women work, they do not receive equal pay or promotional opportunities. The impact on the workplace is that I may have to deal with excessive absences for woman as many have children that will require care. I will have to allow the women extra time off to provide that care.
I will have to observe proper meeting etiquette. A common greeting I may deliver is a very firm handshake while making eye contact. If I am...