Essay about Managing Across Borders and Cultures

2161 Words Nov 6th, 2013 9 Pages
Critically evaluate the relevance of cross cultural management issues within international business and discuss why companies fail to underline the need for cross cultural understanding.


In today’s world, culture is hard to ignore. It affects the way people dress, what they eat, what religion they follow and also the places they go. Culture is essentially a set of shared beliefs, social norms, organizational roles and inherited values (Lee, 2005) that affects everyday life in informal and formal settings. When two different cultures mix, the understanding of the others culture can arguably be seen as respectful and advantageous in a business sense whereas its negligence can be viewed as discourteous, rude and thus lead
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Furthermore, Groupon neglected implementing local experts in its management structure (only two members were Chinese (Zhu, 2011)) who could aid in the education of local nuances, thus boosting its ability to succeed in the Chinese market.

According to “The Resolution of Cross-Cultural Issues” by H.W Lee (2005) a Chinese management approach favours who you know and what family you are from, the ascription dimension of culture as written by Trompenaar (French, 2007). In comparison to America which bestows rewards and recognition based on performance no matter who the person is, it is no wonder that in their expansion plans to China approximately 400 qualified Chinese employees were fired on the basis of performance. In relation to Hofstede, the American company demonstrates individualism in contrast to China’s affinity for collectivism. In the end, Groupon’s ethnocentric style of managing, whereby home country customs are prevalent with no adaptation to the host country’s local culture led to Groupon’s plight to fit into a contrasting culture to their own.

A company that managed to infiltrate, although not without difficulty, China’s traditional culture was Google. Similarly, Yahoo attempted to penetrate the communist country but failed to so the impersonality of emails (as mentioned above). Google took

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