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Understanding Culture in a Business Organization

Discuss About The Technology Infrastructure Knowledge Sharing.

The literature review aims to deal with the concept of culture and its usefulness in a business organization. An organized concept or definition of culture mainly denotes the work environment within which the organization is operating in and carrying out its various activities. In this respect G. Hofstede asserts that culture can be comprehended with the help of various dimensions such as control of uncertainties intense/reduced, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, and Hierarchic distance large/small(Bakir et al. 2015). A thorough analysis of these four dimensions is necessary to study culture in a business organization from close quarters. Power distance is the extent to which the subordinate or less powerful members which influence their belief that power is distributed unequally, uncertainty avoidance details on how the dominant roles are enumerated in a society in order to cope up with uncertainties or the ambivalent (Alvesson and Sveningsson 2015). Uncertainty and avoidance centers round institutional and social rule which are agreed upon codes of conduct and written laws that dominates communication and behaviors. Individualism versus Collectivism entails a situation where people are supposed to decide on his own implying that he is a separate entity and is solely responsible for his thoughts and actions. In case of collectivism the group values are highlighted and more dominating and share a collective set of thoughts and views. Collectivism and its incorporation is favored by most of the MNCs since it stands for an unified mode of representation of shared values, beliefs and interests. According to Tocqueville is better than individualism which severe an individual from another due to cultural differences (Bakir et al. 2015).

Within the organization the culture can be perceived as the systematic sharing of values and beliefs, understanding which furthermore get adequate manifestation in the different individuals working for that organization. From the perspective of Hofstede organization values forms the center of an organization. Hofstede has identified four essential element of organizational culture which are value, rituals, heroes and symbols which form the core and overt  elements of organizational culture and identifies one culture from the other (Bolman and Deal 2017).

According to Bird and Mendenhall (2016) the phenomenon of globalization has made it imperative that  within the peripheries of business organization maintaenance of a smooth communication between the managers and subordinates of multi-national firms. The thesis statement: cross cultural management in any organization is a pre-requisite to build successful leadership that would facilitate growth within the organization. The authors support their claims with a number of theories like Hall, Schwartz and Hofstede that helped them to further validate their points. For the best application of cross cultural management the paper argues in an organized manner that firms need to develop and implement international strategies and human resources. The paper opens up with a historical context of World War II in order to demonstrate the change in the organizational management at a time when companies were looking for opportunities overseas. It also provides details on different research studies based on rise of the noble idea of culture and management within organization.  Many organizations found themselves in need of leading and supervising global leaders, teams, projects taking into consideration different viewpoints and form working environment based on the dominant values of the home and host countries. At this juncture, the paper elaborates development of a set of cultural beliefs and practices that were required to manage business and operation with different countries that took part in globalization. The matter of expatriate adjustment which included work environment adjustment, communication and cooperation strategy, and general adjustment was necessitated attention for expatriate productivity and effectiveness. It was therefore that a broader perspective was needed to amalgamate different perspectives and achieve best productivity.

Dimensions of Culture in Business Organizations

MNC or multi-national companies should understand the term “global” to formulate leadership strategies that would be in sync with the long-term goals and values of the organization. In this context it is relevant to understand the concept of expatriate adjustment in which case the individual leaves his familiar culture and practices in order to encounter a different environment. In this case as stated by Cleveland et al. (2016) the MNCs should build an organizational culture to assure that the expatriates are being able to ingratiate him-self with the other members of the organization psychologically, socially and culturally. Both the papers Bird and Mendenhall (2016) and Jiang et al. (2016) state that general adjustment and interaction adjustment that the expatriate is adapting have primary roles to play in giving birth to his experience that is a product of his contact with the different culture. The individual can only become a successful leader in a leading MNC only if the process is endowed with better communication facility as the first step towards the adaptation of crucial elements that are needed for an individual to acquire in a MNC. According to Tung (2016) it is necessary to acquire a global mindset for an individual working in a MNC, which should be composed of knowledge and intelligence, psychological capacity for showing a keenness in diversity. The individual should aslso possess the social capacity to work in collaboration with employees belonging from different parts of world and emotionally connect with them to establish a harmonious work environment. In a cross-cultural environment within a MNC the leaders should be provided with the scope for the capacity to remain open to new perspectives and opinions as well as information. As stated in Bird and Mendenhall (2016) in any MNC, the managers in order to implement  successful cross-cultural management should be well-equipped with the employees’ ethnic background.  The management style followed in their countries and cultural beliefs to impose a culture that would foster an environment for  leaders to communicate with their team members with a global mindset. Global mindset as held in the opinion of Bird and Mendenhall (2016) is the ability to consider and weigh a number of varied perspectives and opinions to take decisions in an unbiased and candid manner. This denotes to the tolerance to ambivalent atmosphere is fundamental to the complete integration of the individual within the working environment of a MNC. In a nutshell the leaders should be adept to stretch the boundary of their learning to include the newly added elements as received from the host country. With the help of cross cultural management therefore, a successful MNC will be able to remove cross cultural barrier and help the leaders to explore their utmost leadership competencies.

The Role of Cross-Cultural Management in Organizations


The paper connects the logic of developing intercultural competence within an individual working in a MNC which demands not merely the efficiency to establish an effective mode of communication with co-workers belonging from different background but maintaining the dynamics of such a communication. MNCs should be careful in adhering to all pervasive communication method that represents them as a globalized sector and would be influential in their branding, advertising, marketing, selling and communicating that is taking place amongst multiple countries. The views of Bird and Mendenhall (2016) are justifiable and in utter coherence withIslam, Jasimuddinand Hasan (2015) in stating that the ability for intercultural communication also acts as a catalyst in promoting a sense of confidence within the employees and competency to flourish in a new culture delivering the best. In this way, the paper hints at the construction of a platform of low context communication where employees and can be encouraged to express their ideas and opinions which are preferred by most of the MNCs in their operation.

The paper provides a commendable commentary on global leadership and it can be therefore deductable that organizational culture plays an important role in building global leadership that requires the development of cognitive abilities, motivation to learn and improve on one’s tenacity for delivering the best to an organization. In a business organization in order to achieve the best performance and output the managers should assure for a defined set of values and practices that should lead the way for a better synchronization and integration of different values and beliefs in an organization. The newly acquired set of practices within the organization should be prudent enough to support the flux and inter-mixed values of the different countries from which representatives are joining the MNCs or organizations. Under the context of globalization and inter-change of cultural values and tenets, the paper provides a lucid account on why the mangers need to let go of their tight grasp on stereotypical notions of power and express their beliefs in shared valued and beliefs which different workers represent.


The authors take into account three sets of studies in the domain of cross-cultural management, unilateral, intercultural and comparative. Schwartz cultural dimension which held that the dominant cultural traits and beliefs should be recognized as the most predominant and central has been applied in the paper to convey the usefulness of the theory in real lifeBeugelsdijk, Kostova and Roth (2017).  According to Schwartz MNCs need to address the three primary issues fundamental to organization culture. It must first identify the relation between different groups and individuals, then establish norms to protect social tissue and lastly to identify the nature of human relationship with their social and natural environment. The paper Bird and Mendenhall (2016) lastly enumerates on the necessity of creating a negotiated culture in MNCs, which is also held true in Beugelsdijk,Kostova and Roth (2017) stating the significance of MNCs in adopting a pattern of shared values, effective communication and negotiation that would induce within the people capabilities to conduct successful business.

Developing Intercultural Competence and a Global Mindset

The paper with clarity and evidence shows the functioning of different components within the environment of a MNC that would propel the development of a global leader. It justifies the tag line “ think global act global” in a precise manner along with the qualities that would generate this within an individual. The paper in an organized manner concludes why strategic thinking, intercultural communication is necessary to build competent global leaders who would be able to give way to rapid and swift communication in the operational process and encouraging a work environment for the employees build upon collaboration and harmony. The paper substantiates its claim with theories and evidences which have been elaborated in a linear order with the help of cultural dimension models and coherent syllogistic arguments regarding the context of leadership and personality development.  Related skills  which are needed to be harbored for a successful coordination within the structure of MNC are also stated in the paper. In the opinions of Bird and Mendenhall (2016) the ability of a selected leader in a global organization to provide superior quality performance is based on intercultural communication, their previous cross-cultural experiences, adjustment capacity, appreciation and comprehensibility of cultural diversity, and global strategicthinking.


An in-depth analysis of the paper makes the reader understand that it is not always feasible to write down a set of clear-cut definition regarding the various core competencies and their relationship in giving birth to a successful global leader. However, the paper formulates a number of assumptions to give evidence to some of their claims and is successful in stating how global leaders can collaborate in MNC. Cross cultural management therefore allocates the leaders to develop a mindset that would help the leader to evolve his essential being and incorporate into his self essential elements chosen from dominant cultural trends within the organization. In the opinion of Jiang et al. (2016) global mindset will provide an interest towards exploring the versatility of culture and norms within the market the MNC is operating that would expand the leader’s personal experiences and opinions. Arguments presented in the paper are reliable since they are deduced after carrying forth an empirical study in the field of global leadership in order to pinpoint the competencies and qualities that leaders need to acquire in major MNCs of a globalized world.The paper is very relevant in the scope of knowing extensively about the subject of cross-cultural relationship and development of leadership qualities because of the wealth of journals that have been cited in the paper.  Perspectives that the papers allows of a number of research scholars to the readers has been adequate for a complete understanding of each of the theories like leadership theories ad their function against the backdrop of cross-cultural management in business organizations.

References

Beugelsdijk, S., Kostova, T. and Roth, K., 2017. An overview of Hofstede-inspired country-level culture research in international business since 2006. Journal of International Business Studies, 48(1), pp.30-47.

Bird, A. and Mendenhall, M.E., 2016. From cross-cultural management to global leadership: Evolution and adaptation. Journal of World Business, 51(1), pp.115-126.

Cleveland, M., Rojas-Méndez, J.I., Laroche, M. and Papadopoulos, N., 2016. Identity, culture, dispositions and behavior: A cross-national examination of globalization and culture change. Journal of Business Research, 69(3), pp.1090-1102.

Islam, M.Z., Jasimuddin, S.M. and Hasan, I., 2015. Organizational culture, structure, technology infrastructure and knowledge sharing: Empirical evidence from MNCs based in Malaysia. Vine, 45(1), pp.67-88.

Jiang, X., Flores, H.R., Leelawong, R. and Manz, C.C., 2016. The effect of team empowerment on team performance: A cross-cultural perspective on the mediating roles of knowledge sharing and intra-group conflict. International Journal of Conflict Management, 27(1), pp.62-87.

Tung, R.L., 2016. New perspectives on human resource management in a global context. Journal of World Business, 51(1), pp.142-152.

Alvesson, M. and Sveningsson, S., 2015. Changing organizational culture: Cultural change work in progress. Routledge.

Bakir, A., Blodgett, J.G., Vitell, S.J. and Rose, G.M., 2015. A preliminary investigation of the reliability and validity of Hofstede’s cross cultural dimensions. In Proceedings of the 2000 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference (pp. 226-232). Springer, Cham.

Beugelsdijk, S., Kostova, T. and Roth, K., 2017. An overview of Hofstede-inspired country-level culture research in international business since 2006. Journal of International Business Studies, 48(1), pp.30-47.

Bolman, L.G. and Deal, T.E., 2017. Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

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