Gung-Ho Movie and Hofstede

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Gung-Ho is a movie about the takeover of an American automobile factory in Hadleyville, Pennsylvania by a Japanese company. The term Gung Ho is a Chinese expression for “work together” which is what the movie is about. As the Americans and Japanese attempt to work together the viewers are able to see the cross-cultural conflicts and huge misunderstandings that happen throughout the movie because of the differences in culture, work attitude, management styles, and values between the two countries. The movie also goes on to show us exactly what the two countries think of each other. All of this is brought to you in a very funny and forgiving way where we see at the end of the movie the two sides come together and achieve a common goal. The movie is very informative when it comes to doing business in different countries. I will go over this movie from a multicultural business studies point of view. The film helps people visualize the underlying multicultural issues, particularly the concepts of Geert Hofstede.

Hofstede has five categories of cultural values. Individualism versus Collectivism, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity and Femininity, and Long versus Short Term Orientation. These values are all described, easily seen and understood in this movie.

As seen throughout the movie the Americans are portrayed as and frequently called special. This is because Americans like to think of themselves as specialized opposed to the Japanese who, we are reminded of frequently throughout the movie, think of company before they think of themselves. This is what Hofstede calls Individualism versus Collectivism.

When it comes to individualism, people in the United States have very high value in individualism. This is pointed out over and over in the movie. An example of this is when an American worker and his Japanese boss have an argument over why the American has to learn how to do every job in the factory. The Japanese boss...
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