Case Analysis: Doing Business Abroad

1414 Words Jan 22nd, 2008 6 Pages
Case Analysis: Doing Business Abroad

As businesses grow to the point that they operate globally, it becomes important for the personnel within the company to understand the cultural differences between the home office and the overseas operations. Every region of the world has its unique cultural idiosyncrasies. These idiosyncrasies can prove to be challenging if a manager is not prepared to deal with the cultural differences in a respectful, appropriate way. Some of the specific ways that cultural differences can affect international business relations are group mechanics, employee behavior, and norms. Professor Geert Hofstede initially developed a model that identified four primary dimensions to assist in differentiating cultures:
…show more content…
Individualism affects group mechanics more than anything else does. Employees that grew up in societies with low individualism want to be associated with the group. They view the group as an extension of who they are. As such, they are more likely to want to participate in the group dynamics, providing their thoughts and ideas to improve the group's product.
To be successful in this environment, the manager needs to engender cooperation amongst the employees, create a shared vision within the group and organization, and effectively communicate with his employees. Either expatriate or foreign-national managers can be successful working with these employees. All things being equal between the two managers, because of the cost benefits of employing foreign-national managers, I would recommend hiring a foreign-national manager to run overseas operations when dealing solely with the dimension of Individualism. In societies that have opposing levels of Masculinity, the manager needs to understand the effect that the difference will have on the norms of the employees. Masculinity refers to the society's degree of gender differentiation. In countries that have a high degree of gender differentiation, males dominate a significant portion of the society, whereas in countries that have a low degree of gender differentiation, females are treated equally to males in all aspects of the society. This dimension will be