Hofstede’s cultural dimensions model
Discuss about the Impact of country’s culture in use of power to initiate change program.
Change management refers to the framework which is used by managers to identify the change present in the organization and rectify them. Power is an important factor which helps the manager to apply change in an organization. The aim of below mentioned paper is to analyze and evaluate the cultural dimensions of two countries namely Singapore and Australia. It also explains the influence of such culture on the French and Raven Five bases of power. The latter part of the paper tells about how the use of power would be effective and ineffective in an organization change program depending on the culture of a particular country.
Further, power refers to an important tool which helps the manger to initiate their decisions in an organization. Without power, no manager can ask the employees to work according to their direction. Also, it should be noted that power is not present with all; instead it is divided on the basis of responsibility and authority assigned to them. Relating the power with the hofstede’s dimension, it should be noted that the cultural dimension model explains the cultural features of the people of the country which helps in analyzing which should be used by them (Bélanger, et. al., 2016, 287-300). There are specifically six dimensions in the model that are, power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, long term orientation, indulgence and lastly masculinity. Further, it should be noted that there is presence of diversity in the country Singapore as there are 77% of Chinese, 15% of Malay, 6% of Indians and lastly 2% of other expatriate society. And on the other hand, the country Australia has majority of people who belong to British community (67%) and it has presence of some European culture within them and only 2% of aboriginal natives are present in the country (Chua, Roy, Yannig Roth, and Jean-François Lemoine 2015, 189-227).
The first dimension that is power distance talks about the degree to which less powerful member of the society are drifted or motivated with the more powerful member of the society. It talks about the ways in which power is distributed unequally and how people handle such inequality in the society. In the country Singapore, people are more dependent on their superior in the society, so there is very low degree of power distance in the society. People do not take any decision themselves; employees in the organization are more dependent on their manager to take actions. As the Chinese people believe in the Confucian teaching due to which a large segment of the society initiate such activities in the environment (Ferraro, Gary and Elizabeth Briody 2017). Whereas, on the other hand, people of Australia have a relatively high degree of power distance attribute under them. They do not prefer seeking permission of someone to take actions. Also there is presence of flat organizational structure which motivates the employees to take responsibility and initiate actions for the betterment of the company. The second dimension that is individualism versus collectivism tells about the degree of which people of a country want to nurture themselves and their immediate families. Collectivism talks about the attribute to which people want to take of themselves and their relatives in the society and become whole heartedly responsible for their wellbeing and wellness. The loosely knit group in the society tells about the belief of people in used the feeling of ‘I’ and the tightly knit group represents the feeling of ‘WE’ (Yeo, Su Lin, and Augustine Pang 2017, 112-122). Talking about the culture it should be noted that the people of this country score a low grade, as there love taking care of their extended families and depending on each other for existence. Whereas, in the country Australia, people are deeply connected to each other, they only take care of themselves and their immediate family. They have a strong feeling of individualism under them and they prefer being independent at the workplace and in personal life as well (Stone, Dianna and Diana Deadrick 2015, 139-145).
Power distance and individualism in Singapore and Australia
Further, masculinity versus femininity refers to the dimension those talks about the acceptance of people for the monetary benefits and heroism in the society. Whereas, femininity in the society represents act of modesty in the society, it talks about the qualitative growth of a person in the society and masculinity talks about quantitative growth in the society. The country Singapore in this case falls under category of femininity (Aiello, et. al., 2018). The society is little more inclined towards femininity in this case as the score is 48. Whereas Australia scores 61 in this dimension which talks about their dominance in the society. This aspect also talks about the fight between tough and tender. So, it should be noted that people of Australia have strong belief in working shoulder to shoulder in the market. Further, uncertainty avoidance refers to the degree to which people in a society manages to with the future coming problems. It talks about the ways in which people reacts on unknown situations coming on their way. Singapore in case of uncertainty avoidance scores 8 whereas 51 are scored by Australia. The score of Singapore tells that the people respects the rules and regulations and aims to avoid the problems by complying them. Whereas, in the case of Australia, the country do not follow all the rules instead the only follow the ones that they think are important (Todnem By, Rune 2005, 369-380). Long term orientation versus short term normative orientation talks about the ways in which people initiate their future business activities by looking forward and backward at the same time. People of Singapore take long term approach by understanding their past experiences and then correctly applying them in the future goals. The country score 72 in this case. Whereas, people of Australia take relatively short term goals in the future prospects. The last dimension of the Hofstede’s approach is indulgence versus restraint which refers to the degree to which people try to control their emotions and feelings for certain things in the society. People of Australia are more indulgent as they score 71 in this field whereas people of Singapore are more restraint as they score 41 in this field. It states that Singaporeans hide their feelings within them (Soares, Ana Maria, Minoo Farhangmehr, and Aviv Shoham 2007, 277-284).
The above discussed analysis explains the culture of two countries that are Australia and Singapore. Now relating it to the French and Raven five bases of power it should be noted that this model explains five different types of power namely, legitimacy, expert, reward, reference and coercive. Legitimate refers to the power which is attained to a person who can formally restrain and initiate a person to work according to their decision. Under this process, one person obliges to another person to work according to them (Barth-Farkas, Faye, and Antonio Vera 2014, 217-232). The main reason for such power is their designation which gives them opportunity to assign work to people in an organization. This type of power is mainly concentrated with manager, CEO, politicians etc. in the society. Also, with the loss of designation, the power to lose the right to authorize work to people, they no longer hold the responsibility to assign work to their subordinates. Another aspect of five bases of power that is coercive talks about the power to punish their employees. This power explains that the person who is in power has the right to punish their employees for the non-compliance of an event. Under this case, the decision of the leader is followed by the rewards and punishment given to the respective employee (Liao, Li-Fen 2008,169-182). The decision does not hold its effectiveness in this case if they do not punish or reward the employee according to this power. Further, the expert power talks about the under which the leader helps their subordinates to complete their work on time without facing issues. The leader is person who has adequate knowledge of the work, so this power gives the opportunity to the leader to guide the employees to work properly in an organization. The skills and capabilities of a leader are used to guide and motivate the employees. Under the power of reward, the leader attains the opportunity to reward their employees work every good work which they implement in the organization. And lastly, referent refers to the power to deal with a person’s likes and dislikes and generate respect for them (Mackenzie, Kenneth Robert Golembiewski, and Afzalur Rahim 2018).
Masculinity vs Femininity and uncertainty avoidance in Singapore and Australia
As discussed above, both the aspects culture and power impacts the change management program initiated in an organization. According to the power distance dimension in the country Singapore, the leaders should use the power of legitimate. The country should use such type of power so as to satisfy the feature of high power distance in the society. Whereas on the other hand Australia has low score in this case and high score in masculinity so they should use the power of reward. In the country Australia, people believes in individuality and masculinity so the leaders in this case should use the power of reward to satisfy the employees and provide them for the work which they have done well (Golembiewski, Robert 2018). The leaders who provide rewards initiate their actions successfully in the Australian market because at the end every person works to earn a sustainable livelihood. This will help them to earn income over and above their normal costs. Being an individualistic society, the employees’ aims to earn a good living so that they can easily maintain their cost of living. Thus, with this process a mutual interest relationship is created between the employees and the managers. Thus, it should be noted that if the leaders will use the power of reward then they will easily initiate their activities in all types of environment without facing any denial from the employees. Contradicting it to the power used in the country Singapore, it should be noted that the country is a collectivist society where the employees need a ruling authority that can assign the duties to their employees and ask them to work on that (Rosemann, Michael, and Jan vom Brocke 2015).
Furthermore, change in an organization can only be implemented if adequate amount of power is used by adequate person in the society. No person can hold the efficiency of their decision if they do not have adequate powers in their hand. Organizational change management is a process which is used by organizations to deal with the change management in the process (Fullan, Michael 2014). This process is initiated by the person who has some responsibilities in the company like manager, CEO, board of directors etc. It should be noted that use of power in change program would be more effective if the type of power used by the leader matches to the specifications of the culture of the country. Like in the given case of Singapore, as there is presence of power distance in the society so if the leaders will use the power of expert in their activities then the change program will not hold efficiency in their system. So the power used should match to the culture of the society (Moran, Robert Neil Remington Abramson, and Sarah Moran 2014). Thus, legitimate power gives opportunity to the leader to provide responsibility to employees to work on specific task which will make them obliged to complete the work. Thus, in this way the change program can be initiated efficiently. Further in the country, people are freer and want to earn well for a good cost of living. So, the use of reward power will implement the purpose of change program in the companies (Lasserre, Philippe 2017).
Long term orientation vs Short term normative orientation
Thus, in the limelight of above mentioned events, it should be noted that power is a highly distinctive feature which should be received to all people in an organization. The right person should attain the power to initiate the change management program in the organization. The leader should use the power according to the environment in which they are living. The above mentioned paper explains the use of power in change program and how it gets affected with different cultures of different countries like Australia and Singapore
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