Case Study Essay on Cross Cultural Management

Case Study Essay on Cross Cultural Management

Cross Cultural Management

Executive Summary

The analysis by Gert Hofstede’s provides a clear description of varying national cultures that are dependent on research carried out across subsidiaries of Multinational Corporation that has operations in more than sixty four countries. The analysis assist business people or travelers to acquire a better understanding of intercultural differences existing within regions and between countries. As stated by Gert Hofstede, majority of times, culture refers to cause of conflict rather than synergy and culture differences at times are disastrous and annoying. The analysis is evaluated based on different countries and in accordance to cultural dimensions. The analysis uses aspects like power distance index (PDI), uncertainty avoidance index (UAI), individualism (IDV), long term orientation (LTO) and masculinity (MAS). The discussion of these aspects will be discussed in terms of 4 countries, UK, US, Japan and Germany, which will aid in bringing out cultural values in different countries.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………4
    • Background and the issues of the case………………………………………………4
    • Overview of the cultural values of different cultures (U.K, USA, Germany and Japan) and their impact on international business collaboration…………………………….5
    • Purpose and outline of the report……………………………………………………..8
  2. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions analysis………………………………………………….9
  • The definition……………………………………………………………………..9
  • The significance for studying the 4 chosen cultures in international business collaboration……………………………………………………………………10
  1. Comparison table of Hofstede’s culture data of the 4 chosen cultures………………….11
    • Individualism/collectivism
    • Uncertainty avoidance
    • Power distance
    • Masculinity/Femininity
  2. Recommendations………………………………………………………………………11
  3. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………….11
  4. Reference List……………………………………………………………………………12



Geert Hofstede’s analysis has been used to portray cultural values in varying cultures. This was done through comparing between values in the workplace and the manner culture influences them. After working with the IBM Company for 7 years in the capacity of a psychologist, he developed 4 primary dimensions where he collected information from more than 100,000 individuals in forty countries.  It was clear the cultural group in that country was more than one. The Hofstede’s analysis and dimension can be applied to assist business people to understand intercultural differences between countries and within regions (Pauline, 2007).

Hofstede’s cultural dimension analysis

This section of the case study focuses on overview of difference in cultures based on comparison of 4 countries, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Japan and Germany.

In the UK, the dimensions of cultural differences can be impacted through power distance. It involves aspects where not all the societal members are equal. Cultural attitudes are a reflection towards inequality existing among people. The power distance dimension describes ways through which people who work in low positions in an organization in the country accept and expect unequal power distribution. Cultural values of different cultures arise through the beliefs in society that there is supposed to be minimal inequalities among people (Schmid & Appel, 2007).

The power index difference tends to be low among the high class in Britain than among the working class. Power difference does not match with the historical, well established British class system since it brings out the most inherent tensions in British culture. This arises between importance of birth rank on one end and a strong belief that one’s place of birth is not supposed to limit the far they can travel in life (Schmid & Appel, 2007).

Individualism gives the interdependence degree that is maintained by members in a society. The UK scored 89 ranking it as the highest in individualistic scores. The British people have private and individualistic lives where the children are taught to be independent and figure their unique goal/purpose in life at early stages (Schmid & Appel, 2007). The dimension has contributed to spread of affluence and wealth as well as rise of rapid consumerism and the strengthening of personal culture. Masculinity indicated achievement, success and competition. The aspects characterize high levels of masculinity in Britain. It gives to the British people, an urge to work so as to attain clear performance ambition (Schmid & Appel, 2007).

Additionally, uncertainty avoidance includes predictability aspect addressed in the society. The UK has indicated low uncertainty avoidance scores implying they are comfortable with unpredictability state (White, 2012). They are at ease with ambiguous situations, which permit them not to go into details while planning their work schedules. They apply a combination of high individualistic and curios notions that apply innovation and creativity mostly through heavy consumerism for new innovative products. This can be observed in fields such as financial, marketing and advertising (White, 2012).

In the USA, the cultural values of varying cultures exist through the manner depth of driving factors of the culture in the US compared to that in other countries. To begin with, power differences in the US portray everyone as unequal and unique. This arises through the degree of power every individual applies on other person(s). It outlines how members that are less powerful in organizations accept and expect power and how it is distributed unequally. On the other hand, individualism describes the interdependence maintained in a society by state members. It describes how the American people preserve their own self-image where societies that are individualistic focus only on taking care of family members. Collective societies focus on groups bringing out inequality in the society.

The low score of forty one in power distance and the emphasis on individualistic cultures are a reflection of freedom to the entire society. The American government makes sure all factors are served via standardized privileges. Organizations within a state focus more on hierarchy since it is considered convenient through the access of reliability and superiors on individual managers by the managers. Sharing consultation and information is an expectation from managers and employees with direct participation and informal communication. Impacts caused by these dimensions include the fact the Americans are used to conducting interactions and business with unfamiliar people. They never shy away from advancement of corresponding members through seeking or obtaining information.

In the US, masculinity indicates competition of achievement and success of their goals in which case the winner is the best individual in the field. This provides an explanation for the high drive masculinity which is accompanied by the drive for individualistic desire in the world. Americans permit or rather, allow individual masculine drive. This arises through the assessment systems that are dependent on targeting a precise setting. It as well builds the possibility of mentality on the basis of societal enthusiasm. Literally, Americans live to work unlike the case in the UK where masculinity only creates the urge to work in order to show a performance that is better. In the US, conflict degree is driven by masculinity and this produces the perfect results in people since they have a desire to be winners. If the UK culture can be combined with the culture in the US, organizations would witness the best results.

On the other hand, Germany, indicates low scores of power distance as the major determination rights need to be comparatively extended and considered by management. There are as well common stylistic techniques for taking part in direct meetings and communication while control is never recommended. In the same manner, there are challenges arising in leadership so as to bring out expertise. Individualism is reliant on small families where parent-child relationship is commonly applicable. Self-actualization belief as well is highly dependent on since loyalty depends on private partiality. This is brought through the aspect of duties and responsibilities, which arise because of agreement between subordinates and employers. There is also a high level of communication that is dependent on honesty.

In Germany, masculinity is based on the high scores from competition while femininity has low scores reliant on dimension of governing principles in a society that cares for others. Such dimensions imply performance value (White, 2012). Managers are supposed to be assertive and decisive while status is looked upon in terms of valuables like luxurious commodities and locomotives. Uncertainty avoidance has high score that is dependent on deductive approaches that entail planning, thinking and presenting. In the same manner, the procession needs systematic overviews where the details are seen as very important in creating certainty that certain projects or topics are thought out well. Indulgence and pragmatism tend to challenge humanity especially in terms of socialization in children (White, 2012). This leads to restraining of German culture in nature because it restricts control gratification of desires and leisure time. The dimension is one that would blend perfectly with the culture of the UK, since aspects like expenditure are limited. The UK prefers unpredictability and leisure time while Germany believes in identification of the bottom cause of particular issues (White, 2012).

Cultural values in different cultures arise through intermediate perceptions of all the individuals as not equal. The hierarchical society lies in the middle since the Japanese always are conscious of their hierarchical position in social settings. Their business experience and decision making through a slow process is what makes sure every hierarchical layer and the top managers in Tokyo confirm all the decisions. There does not exist any top management with the ability to make decisions. Individualism indicates collectivism aspects in the society where harmonization gets ensured in expression of individual opinions. In the same manner, people have expressed faces of shame in losing. Paternalistic aspects can be observed in society and maintaining the family name as well as assets that are inherited from a father to the elder son.

Masculinity, though it has a high score is limited by combination of mild collectivism that focuses more on masculine culture. Motivation in corporate Japan arises when employees fight in a winning team against their competitors. It ensures there is perfection and excellence in material production, services and presentation. The people of Japan are workaholics, which enhances masculinity aspect. Uncertainty avoidance is also reflected with high score of 92, which often occurs through natural disasters occurrence. This prepares them in the even an uncertain situation arises.

The purpose and outline of the report

The report helps in identification of various differences that arise in different countries and those that would take place if the cultures were collaborated. As a result of this, the differences help business people so they can understand how different countries operate especially in terms of cultural principles and values. This can help them in strategizing purposes necessary while making plans to expand into these countries.

The dimension analysis refers to degree of styles of leadership applied in different cultures. They are an indication that cultural differences between nations are rooted at level of values compared to cultural differences seen in organizations. Such differences are often driven by identification of practices that are felt more than values.

The importance of studying the 4 selected cultures in international business collaboration is the fact they help in identification of a wider cultural gap existence even within the same organization. This difference might be a form of hindrance since the four cultures are the most leading and prominent economies in the globe. It helps in understanding difference between the facts that exist in R&D, finance as between the R&D teams of two or even more partners.

Comparison tables

Dimensions UK USA Germany Japan
Individualism/collectivism 89 91 67 46
Uncertainty avoidance 35 46 65 92
Power distance 35 40 35 54
Masculinity/Femininity 66 62 66 95


Dimensions UK USA Germany Japan
Individualism/collectivism ·         Individualistic societies ·         Liberty for justice·         Consultation and information ·         individualism ·         collectivism
Uncertainty avoidance ·         individualism·         heavy consumerism ·         innovative products·         willingness for something new

·         fear of terrorist attacks

·         perfection·         compensation ·         Unpredictable weather conditions·         Natural disasters


Power distance ·         Historical class system·         Inherent tensions

·         Birth ranks

·         Less powerful membership·         Distribution of power ·          Direct and participative communication·         expertise ·         Hierarchical society
Masculinity/femininity ·         Oriented success·         Modesty

·         Performance ambition

·         Behavior patterns·         individualism ·         performance ·         Perfection·         Work holism

·         excellence



So as these countries or rather, cultures to work effectively together, there must be skills that make it possible for executives of different countries to expand to other areas. This requires helping companies to understand and anticipate behavior patterns displayed within the different cultures (Pauleen, 2007). It would be vital for organizations and businesses in these cultures to have an understanding of culture differences as they present insights into how business should be done appropriately. As such, countries should consider different countries as well as merge them accordingly with every country so as to produce better services. It would as well require alignment of various operations and services so as to make sure quality production as well as maximum consumerism (Pauleen, 2007).


The dimension analysis carried out by Geert Hofstede indicates there exists cultural values of different cultures in all countries. These differences can be used to establish the line between how countries relate in terms of business and the manner they operate at international levels. The dimensions identified, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, individualism as well as femininity/masculinity have been used for purposes of indicating differences existing between these states and values. Collaboration requires alienation of such values so as to make sure there is proper international business. This will mean cultures must collaborate with those of others so as to ensure there is effective production and perfection.



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