Business culture is an utmost weapon, which provides its possessors an utter control on its business operations. Nevertheless, it is not necessary that a country have good business culture can only success. However, a good culture does influence the business practices largely (Thomas and Peterson 2014). Singapore in this regard has done tremendously well as the company has been rated as the sixth most innovative countries in the world. The company despite of hiving less resources than the top rated countries such as USA and UK; however, it has performed exceptionally well to be in the list of top rated business nations. This paper studies the business culture in Singapore with the help of a chosen title, which is “Risk culture still lacking in Singapore companies”. The study would try to know about the existing business culture in the country. Moreover, the assignment would also put some lights on the development of cross-cultural relationships by understanding the cross-cultural business relationships of Singapore.
Insight Of Singapore Culture
The chosen article to understand this particular segment of the assignment is “Business culture in Singapore”. The business culture of Singapore has cares for all the ethnic groups such as Chinese, Malay, Indian communities. They have cares for the Malays, which are Muslims as they cut pressures of jobs from them during the month of Ramadan. They also do not offer pork and alcohol to the Muslims workers. On a same note, they also do not offer beef to Indian who are Hindus from their beliefs. Breakfasts in business are rare activities in Singapore as they heavily rely on the lunch meal. Singapore is truly punctual with their timings and the appointments and they expect the same from others. Gift giving is very common in Singapore, which they use to convey thanks. They give high values to the different cultures while it to their business partners and the business associates. For example, clock according to the Chinese people is connotations to death, which is why Singapore does not believe in giving clocks to the Chinese people. They do not give Muslims any gift made of pigskin and alcohol as these are up against the laws of Islam. Business cards are exchanged at the time of meetings and they are kept ideally wit utter respects to the cards. In Singapore, there is high emphasis on the equines of the different sexuality, which means that even women can have high authority position in organizations. The office hours in Singapore are from 08:30 to 17:30 Monday to Friday. Banks are open from 09:00 to 16:00 Monday to Friday; however, some banks have also scopes on Saturdays and Sundays. Shops in Singapore are open from 10:00 to 22:00 daily (Singapore.um.dk, 2017).
Analysis of the business culture in Singapore
The business culture of Singapore is very rare to find at the international platform; however, the country still lacks in the risk culture. As revealed by the article chosen to understand and analyse the business culture in Singapore, Singapore has improved in having risk management process or tools; however, they still need some improvements in building the risk culture within the organization. Approximately around 64% of the companies have disclosed that they have adequate risk management facilities in their organizations. However, only 19% of those have disclosed that they have also culture for risk in their companies ("Risk Culture Still Lacking In Singapore Companies” 2016). The country is home to many cultures; however, the company lacks notably in risk cultures, which is perhaps very important for a business success. According to Adekola and Sergi (2016), “countries such as China are highly successful and developing also but the country has no such values to the varied cultured people such as Muslims and the Americans”. Caligiuri and Tarique (2012) argued that it is an undeniable fact that cultural values and mutual respects have significant values in business; however, leadership is more important to the above-mentioned philosophy. As per the news published in the chosen article, risk management is structural as well as cultural. The different Singapore companies have shown great improvement in structured risk management but most of the companies have tried to hide their faces on disclosing the risk culture. As per the view of Chanlat, Davel and Dupuis (2013), “risk culture is equally important to risk management structure; this is because risk culture initiates the realization about the business purpose and the relevant associated risks”. This is also undeniable that giving values to the cultures do also raise the standard of business practices as it is rightly understandable in the following mentioned fact. According to the theory of psychology, “Employees are motivated and show their utmost desire when they are treated with utmost cares” (Mowday, Porter and Steers, 2013). This is exactly what Singapore is bringing to its business practices. The country has utter respect to the varied kinds of cultures. Their utmost dedications for the fulfilment of different culture’s requirement have also reflected in their business growth despite of being surrounded by various issues such as the ageing population. They have responded to the urgency, which came into existence because of less availability of different resources. However, the facts are rarely supporting the facts as the chosen article is looking above than just the cultural values. According to the chosen article, risk culture is more important than just respecting cultural values of different cultural beliefs. The chosen article is not directly opposing the beliefs but it is affirmatively supporting the risk culture more by emphasizing on the risk culture prevalence across different Singapore companies. According to the article, risk culture across the different companies is more important than just having risk management process and the cultural values (Matsumoto and Hwang 2013).
Singapore has wide respects to different cultures in the country and it rightly serves their beliefs with utmost cares. The diversity of the ethnic groups do get high extensive supports from this country. They are very possessive about the different kinds of intellectual characteristics of the different communities, which are living in Singapore. This is because of such reasons that they are maintaining an utmost adherence to the different communities in Singapore. However, the varied culture existence in the country has produced some challenges to me when I first started my professionals here. I belong to Malaysia, which I left for seeking some better future prospects in some other parts of world. Singapore was my first choice as it was very accessible from my country as Singapore is very near to Malaysia. Another factor, which attracted me towards Singapore, was its favourable working atmosphere that supports varied people with varied cultures with utter respects. The complicated cultural atmosphere in my country has encouraged me to look for some peaceful place where works matters the most. Singapore was the most suitable choice from my every aspect. However, my initial days in Singapore had really tested by patience level as I faced some series of challenges while being there in Singapore. One of the challenges, which I faced, occurred when I had my first professional days in a supermarket company in Singapore. I was selected as a sales executive for a supermarket company in Singapore. I had some targets set for me, which I could not make up in my few initial months. The reason behind my failure was the communication barrier, which kept me guessing on how to convince my colleagues. Based on my observations, Singaporeans are very tentative and fast learner. They could perform with only one given instruction. On my first day working in Singapore, I experienced the differences where I could not catch up from what my manager told me to do so. I kept asking my manager for the same instruction as I need to adapt to the local working environment. It became very tough for me to convince some local customers, as they assumed that I understand their requirements. I experienced that Singapore is considered as high-context culture where people are very straightforward in communication. A below than average performance in initial few months did allow my supervisors take on me. Singapore is known for their innovativeness; however, I was less innovative and highly confused with the communication barrier. It was very tough for me to make my supervisor understand of the issue which I have; however, I tried my level best to make him understand that I must rectify myself if I am given some more opportunities. My proposal had immensely helped me in coming out of the management conflicts and allowed myself some other opportunities to prove my credentials. My career record of accomplishment has had attracted my employer for my recruitment; however, I would definitely try my best to conform the working culture in Singapore.
Developing cross-cultural effectiveness
Cross-cultural businesses have widened the complexities in the business communication and have made this difficult at times to get integrated with the cultural differences (Emmerling and Boyatzis, 2012). This is happening for a quite long time, which has seen an elevation in its effect in the era of globalization. Globalization has brought many nations together for business purpose. This has not only widened the language barrier but also reduced the cultural awareness (French, 2015). A good communication is a collection of both the language and the culture, which the particular company has. To understand the cultural complexities, I am choosing Australia as a foreign country to compare with Singapore, which is the country where I am spending my professional career. I have also become the citizen of Singapore. However, it would be very difficult for me to spend my professional career in Australia, as it is very much different to Singapore in cultural beliefs. They are very straight in business deals, which are very good for the productivity of the works; however, they have some serious issues with some minority groups such as the Indigenous people. Australians are racist, which is why they have racism for every superior factor such as talent in some minority groups. They have biased behaviour with the minority groups (French, 2015). Moreover, this is one such factor that haunts; however, the highly incrementing GDP per capita and the educational system of the country attracts many towards the location.
Comparison between the cultures of Singapore and the chosen country
There are high differences in the different cultures that exist in Singapore and Australia. Singapore is friendlier towards different cultures, which they have also expressed in their practices. They care a lot to the sentiments of different cultural beliefs, which is why they never indulge different cultural people into any activities that are up against their beliefs. For example, they never force Muslims to work hard during the month Ramadan. They never also offer pork’s meat and alcohol to Muslims as these are up against the Muslim laws. Therefore, it was relatively easier for me to get assimilated with the business atmosphere of the country. However, Australia is majorly a different country when it comes to cultural beliefs. Australians have racism feelings against some minorities groups those who have migrated from some other parts of world such as the Indigenous people. They have also biased feeling towards any superior factor that does not belong to the country. The atmosphere in degree colleges and at the workplace is relatively complicated in Australia. It is very challenging for minority groups to earn some acknowledgement at the workplace (Gesteland, 2012). Nevertheless, the cultural differences can very well be understood with the help of Hofstede’s Five Dimensions model.
Hofstede’s Five Dimensions Model
The model does explain the impact, which the five dimensions can have on the employee’s performance. The five dimensions are as follows (French, 2015):
Power Distance – According to the Hofstede’s Power Distance concept, the job experience in an Australian company would be very tough as the hierarchy of the organization keeps its employees at the below most position. This means that employees are not highly valued; however, works are appreciated. The human resource management of the country is effective in laying principles to follow at the workplace but they have not yet succeeded in dislodging the racism effects from social beliefs of common belief. This would create some sorts of problems to me as my performance might get hampered because of some racism attacks of some unsocial Australian people.
Individualism– Individualism is another critical problem while working in Australia. Teamwork is highly valued factor for an organizational success as well as for an individual grooming. However, in the atmosphere of racism, this would be difficult for me to work collaborate with some employees who have racist feelings in them. This might also affect my morale, which is harmful for a prosperous career at the workplace.
Masculinity – Australia scores high on the Masculinity and this is given preference over the Feminine. This means that the competition is very high there at the workplace. This also means that the work experience in Australia is more challenging than in Singapore. This is because of the level of competitiveness in the country and because of racism feelings in some groups. The high competition in the country is extremely testing for my credentials as I would have to compete with such people who are less cooperative to minority groups.
Uncertainty Escaping – The level of uncertainty in Australia is equal to approximately 50%, which is not a good sign for someone who is new to this country. The level of uncertainties might fill him or her up with all sort of confusion about the success, which is up against a prosperous career. This is very challenging for me to work under such atmosphere, which has high percentage of uncertainties. My career would therefore be in high stake.
Long-Term Direction – Australians are relatively low on the Hofstede scoring as far as long-term orientation is concerned. This means that they have high cares for their traditional values. In addition to this, they are more susceptive to their cultural beliefs, which is up against some other minority communities such as the indigenous people. This would be very challenging for me to work under such circumstances as the Australians have high values to the professional talents. On contrary to this, they have also less interest for some other ethnic groups.
Singapore is a rare country in this world, which cares for every cultural group. The country has high values to the varied cultures such as Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian. Cross-cultural effectiveness comes with the united thoughts that arise with the help of collectivism and good leadership in organization. It is hypothetically possible but rare practical as the long hierarchy of organization fall short on many things as depicted by Hofstede. Moreover, this also affects the employee’s behaviour.
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