International Journal of Business Administration
Vol. 4, No. 2; 2013
The Cultural Approach to the Management of the International Human Resource: An Analysis of Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
Kwasi Dartey-Baah, PhD
Department of Organisation & Human Resource Management, University of Ghana Business School P.O. Box LG 78 Legon, Accra, Ghana, West Africa
Received: December 14, 2012
Accepted: February 27, 2013
Online Published: March 14, 2013
The subject of culture has gained much prominence and attention in the management of international human resource. This paper examines the issues of culture, both national and organisational, reviews and discusses relevant literature and draws conclusions based on the issues at hand. The discussion of this paper is based on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. The findings of this paper revealed that elements contained in national cultures can transcend into organizational concerns. Moreover, not only are national cultures the main determinants of the success or failure of multinational businesses, but also organisational cultures. The paper advances that in dealing with matters of culture in the international domain, the point in question is how these cultural issues are managed and not the mere existence of the same that determines the success or failures of organisations. Keywords: Hofstede, National culture, Organisational culture, Multi-national companies 1. Introduction
Culture affects and governs all facets of life by influencing values, attitudes and behaviours of a society. The culture of an organisation relates to the unique modes of carrying out their activities. Furthermore, the nature of organisational culture is largely influenced by the cultural orientations of the individuals forming it. Viewed as the socially transmitted behaviour patterns, norms, beliefs and values of a given community or organisations, culture is often seen as a source of conflict than of synergy Hofstede (1998). This conflict arises when people of different cultures interact with one another. In this light, the content of the organisational culture, which is either in line with or different from their respective cultural orientations, would determine to a large extent, the success or failure of the multinational business.
Culture is central in managing the current global workforce dynamics. Aguilera & Dencker (2004) have divided culture into two distinct but overlapping groups; organisational cultures and national cultures. National and organisational culture can have a pervasive and powerful influence in organisations and in various aspects of global workforce management. Each culture is unique and those who find themselves in a particular culture imbibe it and it becomes an integral aspect of their lives. Such cultures may differ slightly or significantly from one organisation to the other.
A more critical issue in this categorization of cultures is that the success of mergers and acquisitions do not depend on the mere differences in culture (organisational or national); but how the cultural issues are managed (Harzing et al, 2011).
The success of mergers and acquisitions involving multinational companies to a large extent depends on the effective management of diverse cultures arising out of such ventures. For this reason, organisations engaged in cross-border mergers and acquisitions need to take into careful considerations cultural issues if they are to be successful. In managing human resources in the international settings some issues of paramount importance are; recruitment & selection strategies, training, retention & remuneration and exit strategies. In all these, culture is a key variable and a predictor of success or failure.
The assertion that if multinational companies want to be successful and maintain a...
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