Universality of Management

Topics: Leadership, Management, Culture Pages: 5 (1687 words) Published: July 20, 2008
Using practical examples, outline the argument for the statement, “management is a universal process and its skills and understanding are transferable from one company to another and from one culture to another.” Management is a broad and intrinsic aspect of business.  The basic aspects of management that is, directing, organizing, coordinating, staffing, planning and cooperating transcend all cultural and organizational boundaries.  There are, however, fundamental differences in the manner in which these activities are carried out.  Questions have been raised as to whether one type of management style can be effectively and efficiently transferred from one company to another while maintaining optimum performance. A new method of management has come up to battle the problems associated with cross cultural management.  Transformational leadership can be defined as leadership that creates a bond between the leader and the follower inspiring intense loyalty and outstanding performance.  Some experts argue that the most successful international mangers are transformational leaders, pointing out its success in places as diverse as Israel, Germany and Singapore.  One of the success stories of transformational leadership is that of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghoson in transforming a struggling Nissan in Japan.  He is seen as revolutionary leader who inspired all who worked with him. New age management has come up with ways to promote cross-cultural leadership.   One leadership approach that can be adopted to include cultural variables is the path-goal leadership approach.  There are four basic leadership styles namely directive, supportive, and participative and achievement oriented.  To be most effective, leaders should choose the style that bet fits the demands of a particular situation.    The path-goal theory is “culture-free”.  In general, participative leadership should work best in low power distance cultures while directive leadership should work best in high power distance societies.  This is according to Hofstede’s culture dimensions.  Countries with moderate levels of power distance may find leadership that combines participation with some supportive behavior most attractive.A paternalistic style combining both supportive and directive behavior should work best in collective societies.  Individualistic societies should embrace participative leadership.  Finally, strong uncertainty avoidance cultures may prefer directive leadership style while culture that is more tolerant of ambiguity, participative and achievement oriented styles may be better received.   When managers move from one company to another, they often meet already existing management processes and thus are forced to adjust.  They, however, do get a chance to implement their own leadership styles and impart some of their skills to those in the new organization.  Good management makes or breaks a company and we have heard of stories of new management turning companies around. The introduction of new advances in technology has also allowed for the universality of management.  Since technology rarely changes from one country to another, it aids in streamlining the cultural differences.  This is because so long as managers have the basic skills necessary to utilize the technological applications available, they are able to continue managing the firm effectively and efficiently and this aids bridge any gaps in transferring management.  More and more firms are computerizing their processes and thus the increased need for managers to be proficient in their IT skills.  Technology also does not vary from culture to culture hence technology used in one country is usually similar to that used in another country.  Hence a manager will not find many difficulties in managing a new company in a new country.For example an American manager in charge of a processing plant in the States will have little problem adjusting to the practices of a similar Japanese firm if the technologies...
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