Title of the article: Fischer, R. (2009). Where is culture in cross cultural research? An outline of a multilevel research process for measuring culture as a shared meaning system. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 9(1), 25-49.
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Summary of the article
The article entails a comprehensive analysis on how firms’ management teams can measure culture in order to be effective in their cross cultural management practices. The author has achieved this by incorporating various multilevel approaches ( Fischer, 2009). The author has also outlined the various meaning of the word culture.
One of the dimensions that the author has focused on relates to the shared value system. Moreover, the author has outlined a research framework that HR managers can use in the process of measuring and assessing various cross cultural variables. The author has emphasized on the importance of considering culture as a collective construct.
In an effort to illustrate how culture can be measured, the author has integrated two main models which include the equivalence and organizational research models. Additionally, the author has emphasized on the importance HR managers undertaking a comprehensive analysis of culture both at an individual and national level. The author has highlighted the importance of cross cultural differences in enhancing organizational success.
For example, the article has illustrated how culture impacts the behavior and attitude of employees. Barak (2011) asserts that failure to manage cultural differences can hinder organizational sharing which is paramount in firms’ effort to attain the desired level of synergy (Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf & Cooper, 2010). In summary, the article details the importance of firm’s management teams undertaking a comprehensive cross cultural analysis in order to be successful in managing employees from diverse cultural backgrounds.
One of the major strengths of the article is that it highlights the importance of HR managers incorporating the Hofstede model in their cross cultural management practices. The Hofstede model is very effective in that it provides HR mangers with an opportunity to evaluate cross cultural differences at an individual and country level. Over the years, the Hofstede model has been regarded as one of the major milestones in managing cross cultural differences.
Piepenburg (2011) asserts that integrating the model increases the likelihood of firm’s succeeding in their cross-cultural management processes. The author has appreciated the role of the Hofstede model by outlining the importance of firm’s management team analyzing cultural differences at an individual and national level. Secondly, the article has provided a mechanism through which HR managers can measure culture ( Fischer, 2009).
Despite its strengths, the article is characterized by one major weakness. The author has relied on individual-level data in assessing the impact of cultural variables This limits the applicability of the findings of the article at a national level.
Relevance of the article to HR managers
Despite its weaknesses, the article is relevant to HR managers in a number of ways. First, it has given insight on how HR managers can transform cross cultural differences into an organizational asset. Currently, organizations are experiencing a major challenge emanating from the diverse nature of the labor market.
However, managers can transform such differences into a source of knowledge and skills. One of the ways through which they can achieve this is by creating an environment that will result into a high rate of collaboration amongst employees. Secondly, measuring culture can give HR managers insight on how to develop a strong human capital base. In my opinion, HR managers should consider reading the article and integrating the concepts highlighted by the author in their cross cultural management practices.
Barak, M. (2011). Managing diversity: towards a globally inclusive workplace. Los Angeles: Sage.
Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D. & Cooper, C. (2010). Bullying and harassment in the workplace: developments in theory, research and practice. New York: CRC Press.
Fischer, R. (2009). Where is culture in cross cultural research? An outline of a multilevel research process for measuring culture as a shared meaning system. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 9(1), 25-49. doi: 10.1177/1470595808101154
Piepenburg, K. (2011). Critical analysis of Hofstede’s model of cultural dimensions; to what extent are his findings reliable, valid and applicable to organizations in the 21st century. Munchen: GRIN Verlag.