This essay focuses on the importance of culture andmanagement of culture in terms of organization perspective. This essay willalso be focusing on cross-border culture alignment and strategic approachtowards it. Hofstede defined culture asacknowledged standards, qualities and practices that push employees to behaveaccordingly (Hofstede, 1980).
This affects everything an organization does,from recruitment-selection to decision-making. Usually, Culture is under-estimatedbecause it is not measurable in terms of tangibility and the perception that itis hard to change. Neglecting culture is a mistake because it holds a strategytogether (Hofstede, 2003).
The organization should identify desired employeebehaviour and align them with the culture. (Martins, Terblanche, 2003).There are countless management strategic approachesfor talent, leadership, and performance, but not culture. Culture has beentricky subject, if not studied and managed carefully can lead to increase costsof cultural mismanagement(Schein, 2017).Increasing globalization market andinterdependence across cultures, and the fact that cultural differences are notgoing away, make it crucial to understand different market segments, differentway of doing business and different world views. While some guidelines exist,they are not comprehensive (Schein, 2017).
In this essay, there will be a casestudy on organizational culture and the essay will be analyzing aspects of thecase and providing critical analysis of culture and management. Organizationthat excels at building and strengthening their unique culture with support ofdelivering desirable performance has constructed a strong “culture foundation”(Schein, 1990).Background Lush Ltd. is a multinational cosmetics retailerheadquartered the United Kingdom and was established in 2000. Lush is a growingcompany and has its retail branches in Japan, USA, and Finland. Lush offersnatural organic hair and beauty products. Lush is a privately owned companywith a diminutive amount of shares available on an invitation basis only.
Thecompany’s expansion is based mainly on partnerships. Lush is a professional orbureaucratic organization design. According to Mintzberg, the professionalorganization is known to be bureaucratic. The vital difference thatprofessional organizations rely on highly trained professionals who takecontrol of their own work.
Therefore, while there is a high degree ofspecialization, decision-making is decentralized. The professional organizationdesign is complex, and there are many rules and procedures. Supporting staffwithin these organizations usually follow a bureaucratic structure. The cleardisadvantage of the professional structure is the lack of control that seniormanagers can exercise because authority and power are spread down through thehierarchy (Mintzberg, 1989). This can make it hard for the organization toimplement change.
The CEO leadership oflush can be defined as transactional and visionary leadership across theorganization. The CEO decided to;consider aligning its organizational culture across all of its sites ofoperation. Currently, other than the UK, these are located in the US, Japan,and Finland. The reason behind CEO’s cultural alignment is to gain morecontrol, standardize procedures and regulate it retail branches by aligning thebusiness strategy with culture in order to get the desired results oforganizational excellence.LeadershipDeveloped by Martin Evans and Robert House, thepath-goal theory can be defined as four leadership styles: directive,supportive, participative and achievement-oriented (House, and Mitchell, 1997).This theory assumes leaders engage in all or any leadership style or acombination of style depending on the situation.
Today, with the growingdiversity in organizations, there is a shift in leadership styles.Transactional leadership can be defined as a managerial approach to leadership.This type of leadership focuses on supervision of organization performance andhas more to do with follower compliance. However, transformational leadershipgoes beyond the cost-benefit exchange of transactional leadership by motivatingand inspiring followers to perform beyond expectations. Transformationalleadership theories predict follower’s emotional attachment to theorganization. (House et al., 1988).
The CEO needs to take into considerationwhat leadership style best suits the organization. Devanna (1990) suggests thechange effects leaders can have on organizations as well as on individuals byidentifying the need for change, creating a vision and, making a commitment tothese visions. Transactional leadership and transformational leadership haverelated models. Bass (1985) views these as separate dimensions, which wouldimply that leaders can be both transactional and transformational leaders. Heargues that transformational leaders are built on transactional leaders and notvice-versa. Leaders should be sensitive to cultural differences when creating anew culture or aligning culture across-borders.
( Kuada, 2010) . Thisinformation, focus on how to help the CEO align leadership with nationalculture and cross-border configuration in order for the CEO to achieveorganizational excellence and control. National culture and cross-border configuration Factors for the CEO to consider while structuringculture across-borders alignment; Hofstede developed a model known as the sixcultural dimensions model to approach national culture.The dimensions were categorized as Individualism/collectivism (IC),power distance (PD), uncertainty avoidance (UA), masculinity/femininity (MAS),long-term orientation/ short-term orientation (Hofstede, 1984). Hofstede’s sixcultural dimensions theory states the structure for cross-border communication.
This theory describes the effects cultural values have on members of society,and how these values translate into behaviours, utilizing the structure fromthe factor analysis (Hofstede & Bond, 1984). Later on, Trompenaars and Hampden-Turnerdeveloped a similar kind of model seven dimensions model to manage andunderstand cross-border cultural differences. The model distinguishes sevencultural dimensions.
The dimensions were as followsIndividualism-communitarianism, universalism-particularism, neutral versusaffective relationships, specific versus diffuse relationships, achievementversus ascription, inner-directed versus outer-directed, sequential versussynchronic (Trompenaars, &Turner, 2015). Hofstede’s definition of culture states that “culture is communalprogramming of the mind that differentiates the members of one group fromanother” (Migliore, 2011). Then,this theory collaborated with the classic theory of personality structure andculture. The classic theorysuggests that a person is fashioned by the culture. Thus, the people of thesame culture will adopt specific collective characteristics and develop aparallel personality structure hence; individuals differ according to differentcultures (Cantwell & Verbeke, 2017).According to Hofstede, cultures have five majordimensions: individualism, masculinity, power distance, anduncertainty-avoidance, long-term/short-term orientation (Vitell, S.
J., et al,2012). Hofstede and Bond added a fifth dimension, categorized it as short-termversus long-term orientation (Chiang, F., 2005).Hofstede’s model may not be aperfect, but is a useful way to tackle culture analysis and comprehendcross-border configuration in terms of these five dimensions.
The most relevantto this case would be as following:Individualism/CollectivismIndividualism/Collectivismthis is one of the most used and important dimension. It concerns how strong isunity regarded or whether an individual regards himself/herself as primarily asan individual or primarily as a group. A community with a lowIndividualism/Collectivism score would have strong unity in their group, andthere is emphasis on loyalty and respect for among the members of the group.Such groups are large and are more concerned for each other’s well-being.However, a high score indicates more individualistic characters. In countrieswith a high score, there is a lack of interpersonal connection (Hofstede,2003).According to Hofstede’s analysis; the UK in this dimension is marked high(Hofstede, 2003).
Thus, UK has a strong sense of need for freedom. This alsomeans challenges are welcomed; however, there is a subculture of rewards forhard work and a high respect for privacy. In general, it can that Britishpeople are individualist rather than collectivist. Finland like the UK is highon individualism and can work well in this dimension. The USA scores thehighest on individualism. The USA has a strong culture, which advocates equalrights in the country. In American organizations, superiors are accessible andmanagers rely on individual employees and teams for their knowledge. Bothmanagers and employees expect information to flow frequently and to be involvedin decision-making.
Communication isinformal and direct. The society encourages independent views and lifestyles (Hofstede,1998).Japan’sculture displays tendencies towards both individualism and collectivism, theBritish will find the Japanese to be more collectivist and place more emphasison group harmony. This will reflect in their communication style, where theBritish are more direct and like open communication.
In contrast, to theJapanese who are more indirect, due avoidance to disrupt group harmony(Matsumoto, 1996). Masculinity/FemininityMasculinity/Femininitydefined as how traditional a society is towards male and female roles. Countries,which have a score high in this dimension, men are the provider and women playhome-oriented roles. Men are deemed, as self-assured, and tough. If women work,they usually do not have same professions as men.
In a society with a lowMasculinity/Femininity score, it observed that women and men working togetheracross many professions. Women allowed to be ambitious about professionalsuccess.(Hofstede, 2003).Accordingto Hofstede, the UK has a low score on masculinity and high in femininity (Hofstede, 2003). The UK offers equalopportunities to men and women. The people in the UK have a well-defineddistinction between men’s work and women’s work, there is gender equality, andsuccessful women are accepted and well respected in the British society. The USand Finland come on the same level as the UK in this dimension.
In contrast, Japan has a high score(Masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven bycompetition, achievement, and success. A low score (Feminism) dimension means thatthe dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life.Long-/ShortTerm OrientationLong-/Shortterm orientation estimates the extent to which a society focuses on its future.
However, every society has to maintain a connection with its history whiletackling the challenges of the present and future. Cultures, with a low scoreon this dimension, choose to maintain correlation with traditions and normswhile allowing societal transformation. A culture with a score high on theother hand, has a more practical approach: they promote frugality and hard work(Hofstede, G., 2003).
UK,USA, and Finland’s Societies are a low in this dimension and promote highcreativity and individualism. This suggests that these countries are notrestricted by traditions and customs. In these countries, self-actualization isa norm.
Society members do not hesitate to initiate changes, in other words,they are very dynamic (Hofstede, 2003). On the other hand, Japanese score ahigh in this dimension. They are more traditional and collectivists inapproach. Japan prefers the bigger picture. In business, this means a higherfocus on long-term ventures (e.g. in R&D) rather than short-term profits(Hofstede & Minkov, 2010).
TheCEO should carefully judge these factors while aligning the cross-bordercultures. Apply strategies that will help smooth transaction. A good approachto this would be through training. Training to organizational change in the global contextAsorganizations become increasingly diverse, some have realized thatinternationalization exposes its employees to complex challenges of workingwith diverse cultures across the continents. In turn, employees that are sent aboardusually are given training in the attempt to prepare the individual to adapt tospecific cross-cultural context (Dowling, Welch & Schuler, 1999). Identificationof this challenge has helped organizations in training initiatives that addressthe specific needs of everyone in the organization. Based on a review, Dinges(1983) initiated a set of behavioural competencies needed for successfulintercultural performance and communication.
Some of the behaviouralcompetencies were the interpersonal communication style, ability to maintainmutually rewarding relationships, motivation and an emphasis on personal growthand development. Schneider and Barsoux (1997) also compiled list suchcompetency models that serves as additional guidelines for the design oftraining interventions within an internationally diverse organization. In the light of this research, training should beimplemented to fill the cross-border cultural gap to help align theorganization better (Anderson et al 2009).Training programmes will help Lushemployees to better work in cross-cultural teams. Different cultures havedifferent ways to select and accept a leader. Team members need to developtrust with each other. However, the process of trust building can differ byculture. Therefore, it seems critical for anyone attempting to lead deliberatecreativity by teams that they have an understanding of the ways that teammembers differ (Gelfand et al, 2006).
Hence, training is an important componentin managing and implementing culture across the organization. The CEO shouldimplement training and programmes that allow employees to overcome barriers inculture alignment. Talent management & Job design Aligned cultures tend to have a more engagedworkforce.
Research by Golnaz and Brian has shown that when employees andsenior leaders have the similar perspectives of the culture, employeeengagement metrics (including satisfaction, commitment) are particularly higher than those in lessaligned cultures (Golnaz Sadri, Brian Lees, 2001). It is easier to retain moreengaged employees. One of the key functions of leaders is recruitment andselection of people who fit into organization culture and keep them committed,engaged and persistent (Hughes & Rog, 2008).
Evaluate practices andbehaviours that are being reinforced in terms of how employees do their work.Organizations are fast changing, with mergers, globalisation and joint venturesmaking it more difficult to maintain and sustain an influential and steadyorganizational culture. This makes it more vital that organizations spend thetime to identify and distinguish what their culture should be like, how this culture aligns with their business strategy,and how it can be incorporated across the organization. (Ashton, Morton, 2005).Job satisfaction and motivation Thereare many theories about job satisfaction, which speculate that job satisfactionis the by-product the nature of one’s job or other environmental factors.(Anderson et al, 2009).
Herzberg (1967) suggests that factors that lead tosatisfaction are often different from those that lead to dissatisfaction.Hackman & Oldham came up with job characteristics model (1960). The modelsuggests the idea task itself is the vital element to employee motivation. Independence, decision-making, and diversityare three ways of adding challenge to a job. Job rotation and job enrichmentare two ways of adding variety and challenge.
This model urges that design jobscan add to employee motivation (Fried, & Ferris, 1987). According to Maslow’s theory,motivation is a mental process through which unsatisfied wants or needs createan urgency aimed at achievements of goals. Culture influences the content andgoals pursued (Gambrel, 2003). Findings for countries like United States/UnitedKingdom and Europe indicated independence and self-actualization were the mostimportant and least satisfied needs. Maslow’s theory, suggests that all theseneeds were important to workers across-cultures. In conclusion, Organisationshould focus most on giving extrinsic rewards to lower-level personnel and oncreating a climate where there is challenge, autonomy, the ability to use one’sskills, and cooperation for middle- and upper-level personnel. In addition,reward the upper management with more heavy intrinsic rewards (Koltko-Rivera, 2006).
Conclusion Leadersshould be sensitive to cultural differences when creating a new culture oraligning culture across-borders (Hofstede, 2003). Through Hofstede’s dimensions, a betterunderstanding of how different cultures react to different dimensions can bedetermined (Hofstede, 2003). This information enables the CEO to improviseplans when it comes to planning and performance management, rewards system,motivation, training and development programmes, job design andrecruitment-selection. Implementation of programmes that help with culturaldifference and help bridge cross-culture orientation work better and supportthe objective and preferred employee behaviour and performance.Thisessay talks about the importance to have multiple competencies to deal withchallenges like cross-border operation.
Innovative approaches such as trainingprogrammes, talent management, and job design should be implemented by the CEOwhile culture alignment and management. It is aleader’s responsibility to understand and find ways to bridge culturaldifferences, and balance it with leadership experience, knowledge (Hoecklin,2010).A combination of leadership style works well in all situations (House etal., 1988). With the changing time, leaders should broaden their horizons ofstrategy and cross-cultural awareness.
Besides, there is an increasing need forflexible model that can adapt to national and cross-cultural situations.