The Advantages of all Cultures While Avoiding their Excesses
Diversity in culture is the different makeup or what is also known as multiculturalism and it comprises the organizational belief and social stems this makes many organizations develop strategies to cope and adapt to various regional and global situations in various parts of the globe. The existence of variations in languages, ethnicity, races, systems, values, and religions is what differentiates a certain culture from the other. The values which each culture portrays to an organization can be tapped to be utilized to enhance the competitive advantage of the organization (Trompenaars & Voerman, 2009).
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It is indeed possible for an organization to synthesize the advantages of all cultures and avoid their excess. The major competitive advantage that many organizations can rip from cultural diversity is the ability to attract and retain the best available human resource talents in the context of the current demographic trends (Cox, 2004). So it is mandatory for the organization to work out modalities of avoiding the feeling of one culture domineering the organization while making the other cultures seem inferior by promoting intercultural bonding and communicating the good things that each member of the different cultures is contributing to the organization.
Global markets are becoming more culturally diverse for example in the United States, Asians and Hispanics now collectively represent about one thousand five hundred billion per year in consumer spending (Cox, 2004). Many countries such as Japan and China have already integrated the concept of recruiting human resources from many cultures to enhance their business and this has led to many giants like the USA and UK following suit (Cox, 2004). Hiring personnel from many cultures promotes creativity in the organization and makes problem-solving easier (Cox, 2004). This advantage can be synthesized by having managers of organizations which embrace cultural diversity can put up with this new trend of management by opening up new company branches to the different regions where they are able to harness the full benefits of those areas by bringing on board new ideas from the different cultures of the regions.
National Culture is the beliefs, attitudes, values, traditions, and systems which are quite particular to a certain nation while on the other hand, corporate culture is the specific pattern or arrangement of behavior and material which a certain organization has adopted and it is the most accepted way of solving problems in that organization (Ahmed, LOH and Zairi, 1999). Different countries do business differently and this is dependent on the value of the specific country. In the same line, it also follows that different national origins will do things differently owing to the culture of the nation or origin within which they operate. This, therefore, means that multinational Organizations have to abide by the national culture of the countries where there operate.
Japanese National and Organizational Cultures
Japan is a renowned world economy and scores high in power distance dimension which relates well with the strict hierarchical system at the negotiating table, from bowing to seating arrangements as a form of national culture. The Japanese culture has a value of collectivist decision making and problem-solving. The strict rituals they follow may be linked, as a group mentality enforces conformity to social rules.
The Japanese appear to be very risk-averse, probably due to their collectivist nature and also the fore mentioned stringent rules because whenever accountability is being traced more people are questioned.
In most Japanese companies there is a tendency to be more masculine in cultural preferences when hiring human resources which are also seen for example in the hierarchical system observed in the seating arrangements. This implies a paternalistic culture, where the leader is a father figure, both commanding and protecting his subordinates (Cleary, 1991). Cleary (1991) indicates that “the Japanese place more emphasis on the group and building mutually beneficial relationships, meaning that rules are likely to particularize issues in order to accommodate constantly changing social situations.
Japan has a very rich historical justification behind some of its people’s actions when conducting business. Hofstede and Bond (1988) discuss Confucian teachings, which enforce the honoring of unequal relationships and emphasize the needs of the group (Hofstede & Bond, 1988).
Contrasting the Japanese National and Organizational Culture with that of the United States
Recent market research has revealed that the USA has been in disarray in areas where the Japanese economy has excelled. Unlike in Japan American organizational culture is not able to institute better assembly lines, control workers strike, institute visionary long term perspectives all this and more is what constitutes a typical United State’s organization. These problems face many organizations because of the poor relation of the organizations and government.
The Japanese national culture since World War II has given them the spirit of thriving to achieve but the American has no such will and the United States society and as a nation is driven by greed, materialism, indiscipline, and self-gratification which is in direct contrast with Japanese national culture.
Unlike the Japanese who portray collectivist decision making and problem-solving in their organizations, the Americans are very individualistic in the way they lead their lives and conduct their operations they use their inner judgment to formulate decisions. The US promotes gender equality and unlike the Japanese, the Americans have lower uncertainty avoidance to taking risks.
Cox, T. (2004). Cultural diversity in organizations: theory, research, & practice. USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Trompenaars, F; Voerman, E. (2009). Servant-leadership across cultures: harnessing the strength of the world’s most powerful leadership philosophy. Oxford: Infinite Ideas publishers.
Ahmed, P.K., Loh, A.Y.E. and Zairi, M. (1999). “Cultures for continuous improvement and corporate culture learning”, Total Quality Management, Vol. 4 & 5, No. 10, pp.426-434.
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Cleary, T. (1991). The Japanese Art of War: Understanding the Culture of Strategy. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.
Hofstede, G. & Bond, M. (1988). The Confucius Connection: from Cultural Roots to Economic Growth. Organizational Dynamics, 16(4), 4-21.
Hofstede, G. (1993). Cultural Constraints in Management Theories. Academy of Management Executive, 7(1), 81-94