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Main Cultural Differences between France and US (Hofstede Cultural Dimensions)

Discuss about the Cultural Impact Of Human Resource Practices On Job.

Cross-cultural management method is conceptualized as a method of managing teams by considering the diverse work culture, preferences of the consumers, and the practices of the internationalized businesses. Karadjova-Stoev and Mujtaba (2016) implied that many of the organizations adopt innovative business practices or modify the current practices in order to take the active participation in the competitive business scenario. Therefore, it is essential for the companies to manage the cultural attributes of the diverse people. The case study highlights the scenario of establishment of the Euro Disneyland that had faced some of the cultural differences in different countries. The use of the Hofstede Cultural dimension would provide the differences identified between the cultural aspects of France and United States. The case study also reflects some of the considerable mistakes made by the company. Furthermore, the study would present the associated learning obtained from the case scenario. 

The case study explores the differences in cultural aspects between France and US that have the clear impact on the operational functionalities (Boga and Efeo?lu 2015). Hofstede’s cultural dimension model is the applied framework that suggests the cultural significance of different countries. There are five major dimensions associated with this framework, which are as follows:

  • Power Distance
  • Individualism vs. Collectivism
  • Masculinity vs. Femininity
  • Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Long-term orientation vs. Short-Term Orientation

The cultural differences between France and US are shown below by considering these specific dimensions.

  • Power Distance

Power distance is conceptualized as the extent to which the less powerful members within the organizations expect that the power is equally distributed. France has scored considerably higher grade in this dimension that depicts that the power is distributed to the superior (Hofstede Insights 2017). The centralized power is visible in companies, government, and geographical distribution as well. On the contrary, United States scored lower in this dimension that has made the country famous fir the most individualistic culture in the world. Americans believe in liberty and justice for everyone.

  • Individualism vs. Collectivism

This dimension ensures the degree of independence maintained by the society among the members. In this dimension both the countries scored the higher grades (Menon 2014). Society is much concerned about their individual needs and one should take care of oneself and own family. The individualism traits are equally shown in these two countries.

  • Masculinity vs. Femininity

Generating high score in masculinity depicts that the society is majorly driven by the achievement, competition, and success whereas femininity indicates the dominant values and the care for others (Pouliagkos 2017). In United States, people are more likely maintaining the masculinity traits that create impacts on the individual mentalities. On the other hand, France highlights more of the feminine culture, which has influenced the welfare system in a commendable manner. Therefore, the differences between these two countries in this specific dimension are clearly visible.

  • Uncertainty Avoidance

Trompenaar’s Research on Cultural Differences

The dimension of the uncertainty avoidance portrays the method utilize by the society to deal with the consequences in future. US have scored average in this dimension as the Americans are sometimes preparing themselves to face the future consequences (Hofstede Insights 2017). They are more likely concerning about their behaviour that may create impact on the cultural aspects. On the other hand, French culture is visible scoring higher in this dimension. People belong to French culture believe in making a structured plan and do not like surprises.

  • Long-Term Orientation vs. Short-Term Orientation

This dimension highlights the judgments of the people in present by recalling the past experiences. It has been observed that the Americans are prone to exploring innovative ideas and try out new experiences even though they are not considered as so much practical. French people reflect the opposite traits by being much pragmatic. They have the belief that the truth depends on the context, situation, and time. They are thus more likely adopting the traditional activities to deal with the situations.

As per the Trompenaar’s research, the corporate culture is classified into four different kinds, such as Eiffel Tower, the family, the incubator, and the guided missile. These dimensions are used for distinguishing different corporate cultures that are depending on the people-centric scenario and equally-hierarchy based work structure. It has been observed that the corporate culture of America is based on the task-oriented situations. The employees need to maintain the fixed schedule with the high efficiency level.  The employers seek loyalty from the employees since they are more concerned about the outcome (Tesler-Mabé 2017). On the other hand, the corporate culture of France does not follow the systematic terms of the actual corporate culture. It is notable that the French companies do not provide the employees the complete rule book that is needed to be followed while performing the organisational functionalities (Shi 2016). The accurate scenario would have contributed towards earning more profitable amount in a competitive landscape. However, the lack of systematic and sequential operational plan created this mess that impacted negatively on the business profits.  However, the employees always have the clarified concept of the functions that are needed to be undertaken. It thus highlights the efficient and flexible work structure that is essential for developing the employee loyalty. This innovative procedure is quite significant for the longer run (Grayson et al. 2017). In fact, the French companies can attract more humans by paying more attention. The process creates more relaxed and harmonious work ambience, which is quite motivating for the employees. 

Recognizable Mistakes in the Case

The major focus of Euro Disney was the financial aspects and population more than the target market and the underlying culture differences. The idea obtained from the case scenario reflects that Euro Disney theme park was established in Central Europe where the population is comparatively higher (Firoz, Rami and Yau 2015). It is noticed that every country maintains the individualism, different cultural background, and it is essential to consider this cultural aspect at the very first place. Most effective errors were found in managing the operational activities. For instance, Disney did not realize that Friday is the hectic day for the Americans more than Monday. It was assumed that the days will be the same due to which they started allocating the staffs accordingly. Eventually, the idea led the company towards loss.

Another mistake was found in staffing and training the recruited associates. It was noticed that the company required hiring almost 12,000 cast members, which was a greater challenge. Most of the problem was faced by Disney since the cast members were more like a theatre troupe (Vitell et al. 2016). It was quite difficult to train the cast members after hiring them. The human resource training was important for these members that included the knowledge regarding the job requirements. It was even quite tough to put the “Disney Smile”, wearing the proper dress code that was a well-scrubbed and rigid. The defined style was quite difficult to adopt for all the members associated with the Disney land. European employees thus faced the challenging scenario to adopt the defined American look. In fact, they could not adhere to the American look since they felt it was against their individualism. The accurate scenario would have contributed towards earning more profitable amount in a competitive landscape (Hudson et al. 2016). However, the lack of systematic and sequential operational plan created this mess that impacted negatively on the business profits. Another mistake Disney committed when he tried imposing the different rules to the European employees. It was necessary to judge whether he decision would hamper their performance and satisfaction level or not.

The errors made in the operational activities affected the attendance and performance parameter of the employees in a recognizable way. For instance, the employees did not serve alcohol that made the French customers astonished for a moment. They even made errors in serving the breakfast. Their assumptions determined that the customers would not ask for the breakfast that made the customers more furious. It was necessary for Disney to conduct the extensive market research about the cultural behaviour of the customers. It was even important to note down the preferences of the customers before structuring the operational activities. 

Before structuring any project work, it is always necessary to make the systematic plan that helps in conducting the business appropriately. However, the case scenario reflects that Euro Disney somewhat failed to categorize the sequential steps that were needed to be taken into considerations (Gentina et al. 2014). In fact, it was recognized that Disney forced to establish the Theme Park for earning easy money. It somewhat failed to look into the broader aspect. The following lessons were needed to be learned by the company more precisely.

  • Extensive Market Research

While planning of establishing the business entity in a place surrounded by the people with the cultural differences, it is always necessary to develop the extensive market research. In fact, gathering the sufficient information about the new country is the initial step that is needed to be considered before entering a new market (Rufín et al. 2016). It is noticed that every country maintains the individualism, different cultural background, and it is essential to consider this cultural aspect at the very first place. However, in this case scenario, it is quite clarified that Disney failed to conduct the extensive market research on the cultural preferences of the potential customers. If Disney would have conducted the proper market analysis, the company would have been able to deal with the diverse cultural traits accordingly.

  • Development of the Alternative Solutions

Every business need to identify the potential risks that the business might face while conducting the entire operational activities in a country (Karin Andreassi et al. 2014). Accordingly, the formulation of the alternative plans is also necessary to deal with the crisis scenario. Unfortunately, in case of Euro Disney, there was no alternative plan. The success achieved in Japan made the company over confident with their abilities of attracting more customers. The company did not realize the necessary adjustments that were needed to make in order to serve the American and French customers in a satisfactory way (Warrick 2017). The realistic approach in gathering revenues was required while France was struggling with the recession. Especially, while dealing with the cultural differences between America and France, the considerable amendments were necessary. The Theme Park could make the monopoly business due to the uniqueness. However, the company concentrated on the providing the different types of entertainments that could help in participating in the competitive scenario.

  • Structured Operational Plan

The extensive research on the population of America and France was also required. The company needed to be attentive towards the preferences, age, income rate, expectation level,   and cultural values at the initial phase of preparing the business plan. The accurate scenario would have contributed towards earning more profitable amount in a competitive landscape. However, the lack of systematic and sequential operational plan created this mess that impacted negatively on the business profits (Ariëns 2017). Therefore, Disney should look after the use of the appropriate ‘marketing tool’, which channelize the business in a significant way. In addition to this, it would even help the company to know the customers and their cultural values to promote the long term sustainability.

Conclusion

The case scenario reflects on the challenges faced in the operational activities of Euro Disney in order to deal with the cultural differences between France and United States. In this study, the cultural differences between these two countries were highlighted by using the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. The different corporate culture creates the impact on the business functionalities. The success achieved in Japan made the company over confident with their abilities of attracting more customers. The errors in the operational activities created the negative impact on the organisational profitability. Moreover, it created the uncertainties that led towards dissatisfaction. The lack of extensive market research and the improper alternative plan developed the challenging scenario for the company. It is thus necessary for the company to collect the insightful knowledge about the cultural expectancy and the market preferences before establishing the business entity in a new country. 

References

Ariëns, M.G.B., 2017. Here You Leave Today and Enter the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy." An analysis of Disneyland Anaheim, Disneyland Paris, and Geert Hofstede's Dimensions of National Cultures.

Boga, S. and Efeo?lu, I.E., 2015. A Case Study on Cross-Cultural Differences: A Failure Story. In Handbook of Research on Global Business Opportunities (pp. 492-531). IGI Global.

Firoz, N.M., Ramin, T. and Yau, K., 2015. THE EURO: SUCCESS TO CRISIS. International Journal of Business & Economics Perspectives, 10(1).

Gentina, E., Butori, R., Rose, G.M. and Bakir, A., 2014. How national culture impacts teenage shopping behavior: Comparing French and American consumers. Journal of Business Research, 67(4), pp.464-470.

Grayson, L.E., Grayson, L.E., Sheikholeslami, G., Sheikholeslami, G., Grayson, L.E., Grayson, L.E., Sheikholeslami, G., Sheikholeslami, G., Rubenstein, F. and Rubenstein, F., 2017. Euro Disney or Euro Disaster?. Darden Business Publishing Cases, pp.1-14.

Hofstede Insights. (2017). Country Comparison - Hofstede Insights. [online] Available at: https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/france,the-usa/ [Accessed 25 Jan. 2018].

Hudson, S., Huang, L., Roth, M.S. and Madden, T.J., 2016. The influence of social media interactions on consumer–brand relationships: A three-country study of brand perceptions and marketing behaviors. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 33(1), pp.27-41.

Karadjova-Stoev, G. and Mujtaba, B.G., 2016. Strategic human resource management and global expansion lessons from the Euro disney challenges in France. The International Business & Economics Research Journal (Online), 15(3), p.79.

Karin Andreassi, J., Lawter, L., Brockerhoff, M. and J. Rutigliano, P., 2014. The cultural impact of human resource practices on job satisfaction: a global study across 48 countries. Cross cultural management, 21(1), pp.55-77.

Menon, R., 2014. Global or glocal: the future course for strategy. Global Journal of Finance and Management, 6(5), pp.427-432.

Pouliagkos, V., 2017. Analysis of the global amusment industry.

Rufín, R., Belanger, F., Molina, C.M., Carter, L. and Figueroa, J.C.S., 2016. A cross-cultural comparison of electronic government adoption in Spain and the USA. Technology Adoption and Social Issues: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, p.476.

Shi, L., 2016. Advertising-Operations Interaction Effect on Promotion Success in the United States during the Early Stage of a Retailing Innovation. Journal of Promotion Management, 22(6), pp.918-931.

Tesler-Mabé, H., 2017. A Mickey Mouse kind of Europe: representations of Europe at Walt Disney World. Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 25(2), pp.197-210.

Vitell, S.J., King, R.A., Howie, K., Toti, J.F., Albert, L., Hidalgo, E.R. and Yacout, O., 2016. Spirituality, moral identity, and consumer ethics: A multi-cultural study. Journal of Business Ethics, 139(1), pp.147-160.

Warrick, D.D., 2017. What leaders need to know about organizational culture. Business Horizons, 60(3), pp.395-404.

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