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MBA Thesis:A case of China’s Company

MBA Thesis:A case of China’s Company

Literature Review
Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions and Performance
Hofstede is credited with pioneering the most influential work on cultural measurement. In the earlier versions of his work Hofstedeindentified  four dimension of culture which highlighted the differences of the cultural  norms in multinational companies, namely individualism versus collectivism; power difference; uncertainty avoidance;  masculinity and femininity. In his research Holfstedeanalysed the behaviour of employees and managers across fifty three national subsidiaries of IBM to reach his conclusions (Hofstede, 1980). However in later year further research, with questions prepared by the Chinese Value Survey (Hong Kong) lead to the addition of a fifth dimension to list, namely long term versus short term orientation (Hofstede et al, 1987). Furthermore the results of the survey showed that the Chinese culture differed from Western culture in terms of its values on masculinity and uncertainty avoidance, it was also noted in the same paper that these was a significant gap in western and eastern countries on issues of power difference, individualism and long term orientation. However critics of Hofstede point out that in his work Hofstede was using the measurement of a single organization to make general claims about national cultural differences (Korman, 1985; Robinson, 1983), whereas other criticise it for focusing too much on attitude surveys (Schooler, 1983; Sondergaard, 1994), despite these critiismsHofstede's work still remains a pillar to the study of cultures (Sondergaard, 1994).
Hofstede's research showed that individualism  gives arise to a form of selfishness in people that lead them encourage them to prioritise and pursue their interest. In an individualistic society this allows them to take control of their own actions to pursue goals that full fills their utility (Laura, 2011), where as in a collective society people tend to consider the needs of the whole group before their own interests, and fell spiritually  obligated to contribute towards further the cause of their group and maintaining a loyalty towards their organzation (Xiao, 2009).  For example in countries such as the UK, USA individuals place a stronger emphasis on personal interests over that of others where as in countries such as China and Japan interaction with other members in the society is a very important concept and a person's identity is defined by the identity of the group he or she is a member of (Brislin, 1993).
Power Distance
Ideas such as leadership, decision making, de-centralisation, centralisation are interrelated concepts and are important factors that affect the management of an organisation. In high power distance societies there is a strong reliance on leaders, managers for decision making and guidance in the process setting up a preference for centralised decision making where subordinates execute tasks without too much thought (Xiao, 2009). This trait is more prevalent in Asian countries where as in European countries employees are encouraged to participate in generating ideas and making decision in a bid to ensure that employee talent is fully utilized (Xiang, 2008).  For example in France the power distance in society is very high whereas  is countries such as Israel and Sweden the converse is true. Furthermore in France where the power difference is high managers keep their distance from subordinates, do not socially with subordinates and offer their subordinates little space in terms of negotiating  assignments; whereas in countries such as Sweden where the power difference is very low subordinates and worker groups have a higher influence over their assignments and work environment (Adler, 1991)

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