Is there a difference in orientations of eastern and western managers? Results show Asian managers are more collectivist and western managers are more individualistic. Asian managers are also more likely to use external factors to explain performance and behaviour where western managers are more likely to focus on performance internally. These results suggest the need to improve cross-cultural sensitivity of both leaders and their subordinates to ensure more effective communication and relationships.
Prepare a written report which include the following:
1-Description and analysis of Western management
2-Description and analysis of Asian management
3-Difference between Asian and Western management style
4-Ethical principles of Asian and Western management
5-Leadership style in Asian and Western management
6-A cross-cultural comparison of Asian and Western managers
Importance of Management Style in the Business Operations of a Firm
As opined by Hefner (2018), the organisational or the business prospects of a business firm greatly depends on the kind of management style which is being followed within the framework of a firm. Heraty, Michailova and Morley (2016) are of the viewpoint that the management style followed by a particular business firm is greatly dependent on the national culture and other attributes of the nation in which the concerned firm is operational. More importantly, it is seen that the management style which is being adopted by a particular firm is also influenced by the personal attributes of the managers and also the manner in which the managers manage the diverse aspects of the firm as well (Tjosvold 2017). In this context, it needs to be said that the increasing amount of competition that the different firms are facing within the business markets in which they are operational had made it all the more imperative for them to use the kind of management style which would not only be in synchronicity with the needs of the workers or the employees of the firm but at the same the customer base or clients that they cater to (Heraty, Michailova and Morley 2016). Thus, it can be said that the management style which is being adopted by a firm had a profound influence on the overall performance as well as the profitability of the concerned firm and this is perhaps one of the major reasons why the different firms are increasingly resorting to the usage of different kinds of management styles. More importantly, it is seen that there are differences between the leadership styles which are being adopted by the leaders in the western nations and in the Asian nations in synchronicity with the difference in the national culture which is being followed in these nations. This report will discuss the difference between the management styles adopted by the managers in the western and Asian nations.
Witt and Stahl (2016) are of the viewpoint that the managers in the different business firms over the years have been considered as worthless or useless and often seen as a burden for the financial and other resources of the firm. As a matter of fact, 30% of the workers or the employees in USA associated with different business firms and more than 13% of the employees on a global basis hold this viewpoint (Heraty, Michailova and Morley 2016). However, in the recent times it is seen that this image or the idea of the managers had changed in a drastic manner and the managers are increasingly undertaking the job roles of both the managers and the leaders (Deresky 2017). In this regard, it needs to be said that the managers are increasingly seen as the stewards of the contemporary business firms wherein they are not only required to manage the different employees as well as the business operations of the firms but at the same time to oversee it as well (Zhang et al. 2015). This job role of the managers as well as the management style adopted by them becomes more important in the particular context of the western business firms.
Management Styles Adopted in the Western Nations
The management styles adopted by the different business firms in the western nations like USA, Canada and others is characterised by different factors. Vollmer and Wolf (2015) have articulated the viewpoint that one of the most important features of the management style adopted by the firms in western nations is the fact that the CEOs and the top-level managers are rarely recruited from outside and these designations are being passed on the next best suitable person once the person holding the designation retires or resigns. This can be explained on the basis of the fact that the entities of polities or power play very little role within the framework of the different western business firms (Peus, Braun and Knipfer 2015). The net result of this is that the factor of capability or talent rather than familial connections play a vital role in the framework of these firms. More importantly, because of the individualistic work-culture which dominates the majority of the workplaces of the western nations it is seen that the managers are required to adopt the visionary style of management (Barkema et al. 2015). Rohlfer and Zhang (2016) are of the viewpoint that the one of the most important features of the visionary managers is the fact that they communicate a particular objective to the employees and motivate them to achieve the same. Recent researches have shown that the employees feel more satisfied and also perform in a better manner in the organisations which use this style of management (Hefner 2018).
Another important style of management which is being used in the different business firms of the western nations is the democratic style of management wherein the perspective of the employees are taken into consideration during the decision-making process (Vollmer and Wolf 2015). This not only fosters a sense of responsibility or accountability among the employees but at the same time enhances their productivity in a significant manner as well. In addition to these, the business firms related to the western nations also adopt the kind of management style wherein the managers are required to offer coaching as well as mentoring to the employees so as to enhance their performance in an effective (Tjosvold 2017). However, at the same time it is seen that the extreme focus of the western organisations on profitability as well as enhanced performance often makes them take the help of an aggressive management style which in the long-term can prove derogatory for the organisations (Joo Kim et al. 2015).
Management Styles Adopted in the Asian Nations
Heraty, Michailova and Morley (2016) have articulated the viewpoint that the entities of power and politics play a pivotal role in the management style which is being adopted in the different business firms of Asian nations. For example, it is seen that the designations of CEOs and managers are being passed on to the family members in case of family firms in complete disregard of their abilities or capabilities (Witt and Stahl 2016). More importantly, it is seen that the collective kind of work-culture which is predominant in the majority of the workplaces of the Asian nations requires the managers to adopt the kind of management style which will foster a collaboration. In addition to this, it is seen that the concept of adaptability is less predominant within the workplaces of the Asian nations in comparison to the western nations and this is perhaps one of the major reasons for the high amount of resistance that the firms in Asia receive when they try to implement any new kind of changes (Barkema et al. 2015).
Figure 1: Main feature of the Asian managers
Source: Barkema et al. 2015
As opined by Vollmer and Wolf (2015), the Asian nations because of the effective usage of the process of globalisation are experiencing a significant amount of business and economic growth and at the same time the business firms of these nations are also trying to expand into the various western nations. The net result of this is that the managers of these firms often try to imitate or mimicry the management style which is being followed by the managers in the various western nations. This in turn had given rise to an altogether new style of management in the Asian business firms wherein it is seen that the managers try to integrate the best aspects of the management styles used in both the western and Asian nations.
A critical analysis of the management styles used in the business firms of Asian and western nations clearly reveals the fact that there are some inherent differences between the two. For example, it is seen that the major difference in the management style of the two lies in the manner in which the power and politics play a role in the recruitment of the new managers or CEOs (Zhang et al. 2015). More importantly, the difference between the two management styles becomes apparent in the kind of workplace culture that the managers in the two nations try to foster within the workplaces. In this regard, it needs to be said that the managers in the western nations following the aspects of their national culture try to foster an individualistic work-culture whereas the Asian managers try to foster a collective workplace (Vollmer and Wolf 2015). Furthermore, the difference in the two management styles also becomes apparent from the fact that the employees as well as the managers in the western nations show a higher adaptability in comparison to the managers or the employees of the Asian nations and this is the reason why the western managers face a comparatively lesser amount of resistance from the employees during the process of change management (Schuette 2016). Moreover, the western managers are more open, confrontational and direct whereas the Asian managers are put great emphasis on relationships and seniority. On the other hand, it is seen that the western managers are more flexible as well as creative in comparison to the Asian managers and encourage the empowerment of the workers.
Comparison between the Management Styles of the Western and Asian Nations
Figure 2: Major differences between the Asian and Western management styles
Source: Vollmer and Wolf 2015
Crane and Matten (2016) have articulated the viewpoint that the concept of ethics as well as morals should underpin the management style adopted by the different managers as well as the business firms. This is important because of the fact that the management style adopted by the managers as well as the firms not only have a profound impact on the stakeholders of the firms but at the same time on the planet or the environment as well. However, in the context of both the Asian and western nations it is seen that the managers as well as the firms completely disregard this fact and use the kind of management styles which are not only unethical but at the same time detrimental for them in the long-term as well (Barkema et al. 2015). In this regard, mention needs to be made of the aggressive management policies followed by the western nations for expansion into the Asian nations had been deemed not only unethical but at the same time detrimental for the interests for the business firms of these nations as well (Deresky 2017). More importantly, in the business firms of the Asian nations it is seen that the unethical practices of favouritism, bias and others dominate the workplaces which in turn reduce the efficiency of the management style used by them. Furthermore, it is seen that the extensive focus of the western managers on the attribute of performance and profitability often makes them take the help of the ethical theory of Kantianism, which states that the end justifies the means which had taken for the attainment of the same (Rohlfer and Zhang 2016). However, this often hampers the prospects of the firms in the longer run and is one of the major reasons for the large number of issues or challenges are facing in the contemporary times. On the other hand, it is seen that because of the focus of the Asian managers on the attributes of relationship and connections, the ethical theory of Utilitarianism, which focuses on the kind of actions which will cause maximum benefit to the maximum number of people, is used extensively by them (Barkema et al. 2015). However, it needs to be said that the extensive usage of this theory by the Asian managers often shifts the focus on the firms from the attributes of competition and profitability and thereby can hurt the prospects of the firms in the longer run.
Rohlfer and Zhang (2016) are of the viewpoint that the leadership styles of charismatic leadership, transformational leadership, transactional and others are more prevalent among the leaders in the different business firms of western nations. The extensive usage of these leadership styles by the different western business leaders can be explained on the basis of the fact that competition and success forms an integral part of the western culture and thus the leaders often try to take the help of the styles which are likely to help them to achieve the same. For example, through the usage of the transactional style of leadership the leaders use the concept of ‘reward and punishment’ for the enhancement of the performance of the employees whereas the transformational leaders lead by example for the enhancement of the employee performance (Zhang et al. 2015). The extensive usage of these leadership styles by the western managers can be explained on the basis of the fact that these are in synchronicity with the extreme focus of the firms on the aspects of competition, performance, profitability and others. More importantly, it is seen that through the effective usage of these styles of leadership the leaders have not only been able to enhance the productivity of the employees but at the same time enhance the job-satisfaction level of the employees as well.
It is seen that the democratic leadership style, autocratic leadership and others are more pre-dominant within the various business firms of Asian nations. This actually can be seen as a reflection of the national culture of these Asian nations wherein it is seen that the people like to work in a collective manner rather than in an individualistic style which is more predominant in western nations. The extensive usage of the democratic, authentic and other similar styles of leadership by the Asian business leaders can be explained on the basis of the fact that in Asian firms relationships are very important and rather than an individual workplace culture a collaborative one is predominant (Vollmer and Wolf 2015). More importantly, the extensive usage of these leadership styles by the Asian managers can be explained on the basis of the fact that these are in synchronicity with the attributes of relationships, connections and others which are important in the part context of the Asian business world. Thus, through the usage of these leadership styles the leaders try to establish effective working relationships with their subordinates so as to achieve the goals or objectives that had been outlined for them.
An analysis of the western nation, USA and the Asian nation, India on Hofstede’s model of national culture, clearly reveals the fact that there are some inherent differences between the national cultures of the two nations. For example, it is seen that the managers in USA are more individualistic in nature than the Indian managers because of the higher score of the nation in the aspect of individualism (Barkema et al. 2015). More importantly, the American managers are more motivated by the concept of success as well as completion than the Indian managers which in turn is an indicative of the higher score of the nation in the masculinity index (Vollmer and Wolf 2015).
Figure 3: Indian on Hofstede’s national culture model
Source: Hofstede’s Insights 2019
Figure 4: USA on Hofstede’s national culture model
Source: Hofstede’s Insights 2019
The Indian managers in contrast to the American managers show a lower level of adaptability and thereby try to avoid uncertain situations which are accompanied by a certain degree of risk. More importantly, it is seen that the American managers share a very cordial relationship with their subordinates and the subordinates are also encouraged to reach out to them in case of any problem (Barkema et al. 2015). However, this is not the case with the Indian managers since in the Indian firms it is seen that the seniority is being followed in an ardent manner and the subordinates are generally not encouraged to reach out to their superiors. Lastly, the American managers show a high level of indulgence in comparison to the different Indian managers.
To conclude, the management style which is being followed by the managers as well as the business firms greatly determine the success or the failure of the concerned firms. This is perhaps one of the major reasons why the different business firms are increasingly trying to use the kind of management style which is suitable for their firms. However, at the same time it needs to be said that the element of national culture plays a key role within the framework of the management style which is being followed by a particular firm and this is perhaps the major reason for the differences in the management style that is witnessed in the management styles adopted by the business firms in the western and the Asian nations. These aspects become clear from the above analysis of the western and the Asian management styles.
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