National Culture in International Management

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Introduction: National culture in International Management
Deresky (2011) defines international management as “the process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling in a multinational or cross-cultural environment” (p. 458). Miroshnik (2002) suggests that although the economic and physical environments certainly are important issues in multinational business, the cultural environment has a special importance in multinational business. Therefore, it is essential for international managers to understand the notion of national culture, as it influences how managers and employees of a particular nation make decisions and interpret their roles. As a result, differences between national cultures not only can create important opportunities for growth and development, but also are capable of creating serious problems if they are not well understood (Morden, 1995). Therefore, the challenges posed by the differences in national cultures will subsequently change the necessary skills and competencies that managers should possess in order to effectively manage any particular host country environment on a contingency basis. The first part of the essay will briefly describe the external environment components surrounding a business in any given host country, with an increased emphasize on the cultural variable, and how it affects various managerial functions. Next, the challenges presented across different national cultures will be identified, using Hofstede’s (1984, 1991, 2001) value dimensions as an underlying framework. The final part of the essay will conclude the discussion through an analysis of what skills and competencies should international managers have in order to cope with these challenges, and what factors they need to keep in mind when utilizing such approaches.

The Environment of Multinational Business It is very important for international managers to fully understand how the internal and external environment of a given country affects their

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