Cross-Cultural Management Issues. a Comparative Study of Finland and Great Britain

Topics: Fons Trompenaars, Geert Hofstede, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 10 (2890 words) Published: November 3, 2008

1.0 Introduction2
1.1 Benefits to the Hogshead2
2.0 Typologies3
2.1 Hofstede3
2.1.0. Power Distance3
2.1.1 Individualism Vs Collectivism4
2.1.2 Masculinity vs. Femininity4
2.1.3 Uncertainty avoidance5
2.2 Trompenaars6
2.2.0 Universalism vs. Particularism6
2.2.1 Neutral Vs. Emotional7
2.2.2 Specific Vs. Diffuse7
2.2.3 Achievement Vs. Ascription7
3.0 Motivation8
4.0 Gender Roles9
5.0 Time and Culture10
6.0 Human Resource Management10
7.0 Organisational Control, Structure and Strategy11
8.0 Conclusion13
8.1 Recommendations13

1.0 Introduction

Opening up a subsidiary in another country has to be planned extensively. There are many aspects that the management have to take into consideration before deciding on the feasibility of the operation. People’s natural tendency is to try and transplant the skills that work in their home country into the new environment. (Berger, 1998) The problem is that the management techniques that work in the home country are not always effective in another country. (Rodrigues, 1998) He also believed that this was due to managerial attitudes and values being linked to a societies culture. Therefore, as cultural values mirror how people are raised, they are deeply held and unlikely to change. (Berger, 1998) This view is supported by many other theorists in the cross-cultural management area (Hofstede, 1991; Trompenaars & Hampden Turner, 2000, 2002)

1.1 Benefits to the Hogshead

As knowledge of the value systems and other cultural aspects is a prerequisite for any company intending on penetrating a new market or country (Morden, 1995) The Hogshead needs to know about all these factors in order to help them establish a suitable organisational structure and systems. It is also important for any managers that are placed in Finland, to aid in the development of the subsidiary, to be aware of how to manage the staff effectively.

2.0 Typologies

In order to compare the differences in culture between Great Britain and the host country, Finland, a number of Typologies are looked at. Geert Hofstede and Fons Trompenaars both carried out extensive research over many countries in order to try and measure the characteristics of culture.

2.1 Hofstede

Hofstede (1980) developed a typology that measured cultural differences on five dimensions; Power distance, Individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation. Finland was not included in the countries measured for the latter dimension so it has not been included. This was based on studies throughout 50 countries.

Hofstedes DimensionsGreat BritainFinland
Power DistanceLowLow
Uncertainty AvoidanceLowMed-High

Taken from Hofstede (1991)

2.1.0. Power Distance

The first dimension power distance looks at the degree of inequality in a society. In the workplace this is measured by the levels of dependence between a subordinate and their boss. Looking at the scores of Finland and Great Britain on this scale it shows that they are relatively low power distance countries. This means that the management style of the manager should be transferable between the two countries. In the Hogsheads case if a manager is sent out to Finland, their style should be more readily accepted. However Hofstede (1991) did find that even in the low power distance countries that the lower manual and unskilled jobs did require more authority from their supervisors. And it was only when you moved up the scale that the power distance was more applicable.

2.1.1 Individualism Vs Collectivism

Hofstede (1991) found that nations tend more towards an individualistic nature or collectivism. This dimension measures the extent to which people are expected to look after themselves and their ties with others are loose, rather than being part of a cohesive group. The...
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