Human Resource

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For this project, we are examining the cultural differences between the USA and China and explaining how those cultural differences would affect the HRM actions of those two countries. The HRM activities we are going to focus on are the recruitment/hiring, promotion, and training process. The framework we have decided to analyze and compare the cultures on is the Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension model. This model examines and characterizes cultures by looking at 5 factors. First, we are going to define what each factor is and how each country scores on each factor. Next, we will holistically explain how these factors influence the HRM processes of China and the USA. Finally, we are presenting the take away lessons that should be employed when a HRM manager move from China to the USA or vice versa. The first factor is Power Distance. Power Distance is simply how formal the relationship is between the boss and the subordinate. In a culture with the highest level of Power Distance, an individual’s boss is never wrong and can never be argued with simply because they are the boss. Their orders are absolute and must be obeyed. You do not interact or socialize with them because they are your boss and thus they are superior to you. In a culture with the lowest level of Power Distance the relationship between subordinate and the boss is extremely loose and informal. The boss can be argued with and challenged for they are equal to you. You and your boss can be friends. On a 120 point scale, China scores very highly in this dimension (80), which suggests an extremely rigid and formal social structure. The USA scores on the lower side of middle in this dimension (40), which suggests a society that is much more informal than China is but still maintains some formality. The second factor is Individualism vs. Collectivism. This factor is simply a measurement of how much society emphasizes and values the achievements and actions of the individual vs. the achievements and actions of groups. In an extremely individualistic society, an individual’s actions are highly valued. People are expected to show their uniqueness, to create an identity that is distinctly their own. In an extremely collectivistic society, individuality is not valued. People are expected to blend into their group and not stand out. A collectivistic society “values the group over the individual, and the individuals have a responsibility to the group that supersedes individual needs or rights”. China has a concept called “Face”, which is the importance of maintaining good social relationship within one’s group or network. The USA is very individualistic with a score of 91. China is very collectivistic with a score of 20. The third factor is Masculinity vs. Femininity, this factor measures where society’s values and behavior falls on a spectrum from femininity (modesty and caring) to masculinity (assertive, aggressive, and competitive). The scores for both China and the USA are roughly equivalent in this area (66 vs. 62 respectfully). These numbers means that both countries are in the middle of the range and are an even mix of masculine and feminine characteristics and traits. The fourth factor is Uncertainty Avoidance. This factor is simply society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. In a culture with the highest possible score in this dimension, there are rigid rules and regulations for every possible situation that may arise. Work is tightly micromanaged and absolutely nothing is left to chance and it is meticulously planned out. In a culture with the lowest possible score in this dimension, people are allowed to govern themselves. Rules, regulations and authority don’t control people’s behavior but rather they can choose how they behave on their own. The scores for both China and the USA are roughly equivalent in this area (40 vs. 46 respectfully). These numbers means that both countries are in the lower middle part of the range and thus people are allowed a...
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