Comparative management attempts to identity aspects of an institution which are related and aspects which differs in culture around the world. It also further distinguishes the different in aspects of the institution or organization theory which are truly global and those that are culture specific. It also defines patterns which emerge from all other cultural studies making no culture being dominant. Culture is defined as collective programming of mind which distinguishes the member of one category or group of people from one another. It is a collective phenomenon since it is partly shared by people living within the same social environment where the culture is up held. Question one
Conflicts normally occur when cultures with different priorities try to work together since they exist on a different time line and can irritate one another in the course of work. Other difference also occurs in the way culture view leadership, time, and status and in the way in which they communicate. The four basic conflict areas that can show the dimensions of culture that is the aspects of culture that can be measured relatively to other cultures; Social inequality.
This refers to a situation in which individual group in a society do not have an equal social status which include; voting rights, the extent of property rights, freedom of speech and assembly, access to education and other social goods. The way people in organization behave socially, through racism and other forms of discrimination, normally tends to trickle down and affects the opportunities and improvement in services offered by the organization and also wealth individuals can generate. For example in United State during segregation, African-American families were denied bank loans to use for housing and business activities, while the white family’s loans were approved the remedies for social inequality is accepting one another social status in an organization to build up a well and successful organization. (Shapiro, 2004). Individualism vs. Communitarianism.
In societies where an individual dwells in, people regard themselves as individuals and other societies they consider themselves as community since the culture of different individuals are understood and is shared by the individual. People practicing individualism more often use “I” form while the communitarianism uses “We” showing togetherness in their activities. Also in individualism decisions are made on the sport by representatives during negotiation while in communiterianism decision are referred or made by the delegates of the organization.
Furthermore individualism people normally ideally alone and assume personal responsibility while in communitarianism people normally ideally are achieved in groups which assumes joint responsibility. Individualism and communitarianism can be reconciled to bring clear objectives that require organizations and individual initiatives and accountability for success. There are some suggestions for the reconciliation which include the following; individualist should show patient when negotiating or discussing with communitarians while communitarians should be prepared for quick decisions and sudden offers from individualist. Individualists should also accept that conducting business while surrounded by helpers’ means that their persons are of high status in their organization while communitarians should also accept that conducting business alone makes the person to be respected by their company and has esteem. (F.Trompenaars, 1964).
Uncertainty avoidance. (From weak to strong),
In an organization the weak individuals should also be in-cooperated and be understood in the running of the organization, uncertainty should be avoided for the betterment of the organization running. Due to different in capability of individuals in the organization, individuals tackle uncertainty in the organization in deferent capacity, that is the strong and the weak. There is a deference in comparisons on uncertainty avoidance between the weak and the strong and they can be summarized as follows; the weak believes that uncertainty is a normal feature in life and each day should be accepted as it comes while the strong believe that uncertainty is inherent in life and can be felt as a continuous threat in the organization which must be eliminated, the weak believes that motivations in their work is by achievement and appreciate, while the strong believes that motivation is security one has in the job or in the work place and belongingness in the organization, the weak has to learn precision and punctuality in their duties while for the strong precision and punctuality naturally comes by itself due to the dedication of the individual, the strong work in time scheduled for every activity upholding the theory that time is money while for the weak time is a framework for orientation.
On comparing the idea innovativeness between them the weak are tolerance of unusual and pioneering ideas and behavior on the other hand the strong has control of unusual ideas and behavior resistance to innovation. (J.G.Hofstede, 1976) For the institution or the individual to achieve their goals, they individuals in the organization need to work together and understand the culture of everyone in the organization, for example the weak and the strong should work together and share ideas.
Question Two (a)
The top management of IKEA Company is culturally insensitive. When the company was founded in Sweden it has since expanded to other countries around the world. The management team tried to bring IKEA concept to many people from deferent regions with deferent cultural believes. For example the company expanded in a phase where it stated in Scandinavia to West Europe and then to North America. The cultural believes of this regions differ and the company management team managed to penetrate these markets because they valued and respected the cultural difference of the deferent market regions.
Question Two (b)
According to their operation they avoided individualism and they embraced communitarianism, this is shown when the company on expansion to other countries they subcontracted their work to other manufacturers in these regions to help in shipping of the goods to nearby areas that they can be easily be reached by consumers. They have also cooperated with other companies to offer vans and small trucks for delivery of goods to consumers. IKEA uses mail order services in Europe and Canada but has resisted expansion into it in the United State, mainly because of capacity constraints, here the management team demonstrated uncertainty control which lead to their success. (Nowotny, 1964)
IKEA Company being that it offers consumers with lower prices and they also practiced do-it yourself approach in marketing will make them able to penetrate the markets in China. And also since they can standardize their price accordingly with the changes in rates and deferent taxation regimes from deferent regions they can penetrate the market. They also centered their promotions on catalog which are printed and circulated worldwide which can reach many people.
Having all these advantages the IKEA Company has the ability to expand their business to China. Before the introducing their product in China the company should carry out a ground survey and identify other companies they can partner with to enhance delivery of products to consumers and any other issue that need to be addressed concerning the product. Apart from identifying other companies to partner with, they should also consider the cultural dimensions that are practiced in the region. For example the company should take into consideration cultural diversity that is embracing a communitarian society. Also consider “high vs. low organization loyalty”, since in some cultures people identify themselves less with their organizations or employers but more with their occupational groups or professions this will help the company in the recruitment of the managerial staff in that region.
“Centralized vs. Decentralized decision making”, this the learning of variation across national culture in the extent to which important organization decisions are made by senior managers, or by whether decision are put into place by the authority developed and also consider “Informal vs. Formal procedures”, since in some cultures there is considerable use of informal procedures in carrying out the business activities and in other cultures formal procedure is the most important. If all this put into consideration will enable the IKEA Company to successfully penetrate the China market. (Richman, 1965).
Question Two (c)
Young generation has their own tests and preferences in terms of consumptions of goods and services. They will prefer the modernized products and also the method of distribution should also be the one that is more appealing to the young generation for example the methods of advertisement should be very appealing that is the use of role model personalities in the advertisement like incorporating somebody like Hussein Bolt pictures in adverts, carrying out road shows and using the great musicians who at that time are the celebrities, this these will attract the attention of many young people. Young people of different age groups have deferent tests and preferences. Teenagers will be more attracted to adverts that involve the use of celebrities while senior youth stage that is from 20-35 years will be more concentrated to the quality and the quantity of the product.
For the IKEA Company to exploit global markets they have to strategize on how to consider the value of the taste and preferences of the young generation since the bigger potion of the population is composed of young people. Comparing the needs of the young generation with Hofstedes’ cultural dimension it brings the consideration and respecting people’s cultural dimensions, hence calling for embracing cultural dimension of young people around the world.
Since comparative management attempts to identity aspects of an institution which are related and aspects which differ in culture around the world, different cultural dimensions should then be respected and embraced in business managements. For a company to globally concur the global market they should set strategies that appeal and respects cultural dimension from different regions around the world. And also for proper and efficient administrations cultural dimension of employees in the organization should be respected since they come from different cultural practices.