Gung Ho Analysis

Topics: Geert Hofstede, Culture, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 3 (854 words) Published: January 14, 2011
Kelvin Rudy
Organizations in the New Economy
Section: 7
Mary E. Boone
Analysis 1: Gung Ho
February 21, 2010

"Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster." - Dr. Geert Hofstede The movie Gung Ho (a Chinese expression for "work together"1), demonstrates a cross-cultural relationship between the Americans and the Japanese working together towards achieving the goal of reviving an American car manufacturing plant (Assan Motors). However, conflict arises due to the tremendously different cultures and work ethics of the two groups. In this analysis, we will examine this movie from a multicultural perspective and analyze the movie by applying three theories of Hofstede’s Dimensions of Cultural Values:

1. Individualism/ Collectivism
2. Uncertainty avoidance
3. Long-term/ Short-term orientation
This dimension focuses as Hoestde states on the degree to which people prefer to act as individuals rather than as members of groups.2 In societies where collectivism is emphasized, people integrate into strong groups and everyone is expected to look after the interest of his or her collective. There are many scenes in the movie that show the individual and collective business culture differences between Japan and American. The most impressive ones involve focus on the family. From the Japanese perspective, Kenji’s wife ask him to assemble the bicycle which is a birthday gift for his son, but he refuses because he’s busy doing work and by doing so, has clearly chosen to put Assan Motors before his son’s happiness. As a result, his wife becomes mad at him and shouts “why American men can have time for their children!” It clearly shows that Japanese are so collective that they will even sacrifice their family for the interest of the company. While the Americans who show more individual seldom or won’t do that. This is seen...

References: 1.
2, 3, 4 In Essentials of Organizational Behavior, by Robbins, Stephen P; Judge, Timothy A., 2008 (pg 45)
5, 6.
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