The Influence of Cultures in Organizations

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Table of Contents

Table of Content

1. Introduction3

2. Chapter 1: The undertow of culture4

3. Chapter 3: Interacting spheres of culture6

4. On Studying Organizational Cultures8

5. Comparative HRM: European view and perspectives10

6. Conclusion12

7. References13


Mangers who readily accept that the cuisine, the literature, the music and the art of other countries run parallel to one another, must also learn to accept that the art of management differs in other countries (André Laurent). The objective of this paper, principally, is to explain that culture is a powerful factor to be taken into account. Through culture companies can get comparative advantages and also disadvantages if they are not able or they do not want to see or anticipate the impact of the culture in the organization. The following pages show how culture play a important role in the effectiveness of nations, companies, functions, and managers faced with the challenge of operating in a globalizing economy. Managers and organizations are subject to multiple spheres of cultural influence, whether functional, corporate, industry, regional or national. Interacting these multiple spheres organizations will be able to anticipate better the impact and implications of managing across cultures , then they can develop competitive advantages. The paper also refers to another important point related with the culture: Human Resource Management. It will be explained how national cultures, in this case USA or Europe, have influence in managerial making process in order to understand better threats and opportunities that culture presents in international business.


- In a globalizated economy is culture more important than it was before? How can culture influence companies? Can taking advantages from culture differences become a main strategy for organizations?

Chapter 1. The undertow of culture:

All the people are the same. It is only their habits that are so different (Confucius). The first step in managing across culture is to recognize that culture means, if you do not recognize the presence and the force of culture you can drowning in the sea of lost opportunities. Managers in order to success have to take the plunge into the sea of international business, they need to assess the “depth and force of the cultural undertow” which is more difficult to detect. To recognize and assess the impact of culture two enduring myths have to be challenged:

- The first one refers to the world is getting smaller, advances in television, telecommunications, and transportation make the world connected “global village”. This means that we appear to dress the same, have the same habits... melting pot. In 1992 was expected a melting pot in Europe with the creation of an economic union, a common European culture was been developed.

- The second myth say that management is management. Many managers and management scholars support the idea of this myth arguing that there are a set of principles and techniques which can be universally applied. Management practice is considered to be scientifically engineered and therefore able to cross national boundaries. As it is explained above culture can be a source of competitive advantage. Culture and institutional configurations work interactively to create potential competitive advantage or disadvantage and each country has its unique institutional and cultural characteristics. Mangers therefore need to evaluate the extent to which national culture can interfere with their company´s efforts to respond to strategic requirements, now and in the future. Sometimes in cross-border alliances the cultural conflicts appeared can not be solved and that generate misunderstanding between businesses. The problem starts when a company does not recognize or diagnose the...
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