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Intercultural differences may be manifested in various things including organizational culture peculiar for different countries. In this work, I would like to consider the differences between the United States and Pakistan.
Trying to describe the differences between the countries, Hofstede managed to single out a few dimensions that allow us to understand the priorities peculiar for cultures. There are six indices; the first one is connected to the way of distributing the power (“National culture,” 2016). The larger is this index, the more people accept inequality that exists in their society. The second scale defines whether the society supports individualism (every person defends his or her interests) or collectivism (people feel they are responsible for each other). The third dimension defines whether the society prefers “masculine” or “feminine” values where the former are represented by persistence. The “feminine” values include simplicity and collaboration. The fourth one shows the degree of people’s unwillingness to tolerate uncertainty. The fifth dimension defines whether society is oriented towards changes or holding up the traditions. At last, the sixth one defines whether people are allowed to do almost everything to satisfy their needs or there are strict rules that regulate it. The primary difference between the two discussed countries is connected to the second and sixth dimensions.
Speaking about the United States and Pakistan, it is necessary to consider the role of a participative approach to management. As for the United States, it may be stated that managers in this country are more likely to use this approach in their companies as democracy and freedom of speech are more typical for American culture. At the same time, Pakistan is one of the Asian countries whose cultures can be characterized by a more developed system of seniority that defines the distribution of power (Warner, 2014). Thus, the discussed approach would be less typical for Pakistan.
Although the companies in every culture should pay increased attention to training and developing the workforce, it is possible to suppose that managers in Pakistan would be more active while training the employees. To begin with, the United States can be called the country that supports values related to individualism much more. It is common knowledge that individualism encourages people to be responsible only for their performance. Thus, managers in more individualistic cultures will be more likely to provide the employees with the initial knowledge and let them study the details on their own. At the same time, people in Pakistan tend to respect collectivism and it means that the managers may devote more time to training the employees as they feel more responsible for them and the target they need to reach.
There is another aspect related to differences between cultures. People belonging to some cultures tend to be more specific during teaching somebody. The choice of more precise ways to express thoughts is connected to the culture that can be low or high-context (Dinnie, 2015, p.121). American culture is a low-context one and it means that the messages used by the representatives of this culture are not likely to be ambiguous. Pakistan belongs to the number of high-context cultures; people in such cultures tend to pay a lot of attention to word choice as the same phrase can be understood in many ways. Due to that, people from high-context cultures have to make more effort to explain something exactly. Thus, supervisors in Pakistan are more likely to provide employees with very detailed instructions to avoid misunderstanding.
In the end, the United States and Pakistan are countries whose cultures have nothing in common. These differences are especially significant if we analyze these two countries according to Hofstede’s model.
Dinnie, K. (2015). Nation branding: Concepts, issues, practice. New York, NY: Routledge.
National culture. (2016). Web.
Warner, M. (2014). Culture and management in Asia. London, UK: Routledge.