Cultural Differences Sweden v South Korea


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This presentation looks at the cultural differences between Sweden and South Korea. The national culture differences as well as organisational culture differences are discussed.
The emphasis is put on the challenges a Swedish individual will experience when being transferred for a job assignment in South Korea. Recommendations in terms of adjustment in management practices are provided.

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  • Cultural Differences Sweden v South Korea

    1. 1. MIND THE GAP CCT Solutions Intercultural Global Consultancy Erinn Singman Kaine Jenifer Kesik Sezai Kaya Ziqi Liu 26th November 2013
    2. 2. Contents Sweden v South Korea Process of Cross Cultural Competence Hofstede Dimensions IKEA v South Korea Culture Shock Client Introduction Challenges CCT Background Recommendations
    3. 3. CCT Solutions Intercultural Global Consultancy Cross cultural training Decode cultural differences Build cultural awareness Set employees for a success in the new culture Relocation Cultural awareness and business functions
    4. 4. Anita Jönsson Mid Thirties HR Director at IKEA Sweden Joined the company 4 years ago Promoted 2 times since then
    5. 5. High Global TRANSITIONAL Multi-domestic Low Integration MNE Business Strategy INTERNATIONAL Low High Local Responsiveness (Source: Adapted from Bartlett and Beamish 2010)
    6. 6. Geocentric Approach Ethnocentric Pholycentric Regiocentric Geocentric Prevailing organisational culture Home country Host country Regional Global Finance Repatriation of profits to home country Retention of profits In host countries Redistribution within region Redistribution globally Strategy Global integration National responsiveness Regional integration and national responsiveness' Global integration national responsiveness Marketing Product development determined mostly by the needs of home country customers Local product development based on local needs Standarised within region but not across regions Global products with local variations Personnel practices People of home country developed for key positions everywhere in the world People of local nationality developed for key positions within their own country Regional people developed for key positions everywhere within the world Best people everywhere developed for best positions everywhere in the world (Source: Adapted from Chakravarthy and Perlmutter 1985)
    7. 7. Job Description Title: HR Manager Location: Gwangmyeong, South Korea Job Type: 2 years assignment Responsible for: Recruiting and selecting employees for a new store Leading training and development programs for new employees Developing rewards system Management of subordinates in the HR department Developing and preserving organizational culture of IKEA in South Korean branch
    8. 8. Awareness of Culture Shock Home Country Destination Country Honeymoon Home Country Honeymoon Acculturation Acculturation Emotional well-being N Reintegration Disintegration Disintegration 1 mth 2-3 mths (Source: Adapted from Adler 1975) 2-3 mths 1 mth
    9. 9. Development of Cross-Cultural Competence Reconciliation Resolve differences Integration Adaptation Respect Appreciate cultural differences Awareness Increased awareness of one‟s own cultural perspective Increasing transcultural competence Education Experienc e Reflection Openness (Source: Adapted from Briscoe et al. 2012) Feedback
    10. 10. Cultural Differences
    11. 11. Geert Hofstede‟s Cultural Dimensions Power Distance Individualism v Collectivism Masculinity v Femininity Uncertainty Avoidance (Source: Adapted from Hofstede 2013)
    12. 12. Power Distance (PDI) The extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally. (Source: Adapted from Hofstede 2013)
    13. 13. Power Distance Differences LOW POWER DISTANCE HIGH POWER DISTANCE - Flat organisational pyramid - Hierarchal organisational pyramid - Authority is disliked, status is diminished - The employees with higher positions obtain special privileges and respect - Decentralised decision structure: Employees participate in decision making - Centralised decision structure: Decisions are made without the subordinates‟ participation - Employees‟ ideas/ initiative is encouraged - Employees‟ ideas are not taken into consideration - Information is easily transferred “top to down” and vice versa - The flow of information between top and bottom is not efficient (Source: Adapted from Hofstede 2013)
    14. 14. Individualism v Collectivism (IDV) Describes whether a person functions primarily as an individual or within a group. (Source: Adapted from Hofstede 2013)
    15. 15. Individualism v Collectivism Differences INDIVIDUALISM COLLECTIVISM - Individuals prefer to take care of themselves - Close relationships with family and/or in and their family. other relationships. - One is expected to take responsibility for their own actions. - Loyalty is a fundamental characteristic in society; one takes responsibility for the actions of others. - Corporate management is the management of individuals. - Management is the management of groups within the company or organization. - Employee and employer relationships are based on a mutual advantage. - Employee and employer relationships are based on a moral connection. - With regard to work opportunities, hiring and - Hiring and promotions consider the promotions are primarily based on merit. employees‟ „in-group‟. - Guilt and loss of self-esteem. (Source: Adapted fromHofstede 2013) - Shame and loss of face.
    16. 16. Femininity v Masculinity (MAS) Masculinity represents the dominant male sex role pattern in the vast majority of both traditional and modern societies. (Source: Adapted from Hofstede 2013)
    17. 17. Femininity v Masculinity Differences FEMINITITY MASCULINITY - Dominant values include caring for others and quality of life - Directive style of management - Relationship orientated -Task orientated - Conflicts are resolved by negotiation - Solutions based on power - Work life balance is very important (People work for living) - Work is expected to take over the family life (People live to work) - Shorter working hours: typically 9am-6pm - Longer working hours: typically first to arrive and last to leave - Career is optional for both sexes - Career is optional for women (Source: Hofstede 2013)
    18. 18. Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by uncertain or unknown situations. (Source: Hofstede 2013)
    19. 19. Uncertainty Avoidance Differences MODERATE UNCERTATINTY AVOIDANCE HIGH UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE - Entrepreneurs are relatively free from rules - Entrepreneurs are constrained by existing rules - Strong belief in common sense - Strong belief in expertise - Working hard only if its necessary - Working hard - Tolerance for ambiguity and chaos - Need for precision and formalization - Motivation by achievement and esteem or belonging - Motivation by security and esteem or belonging (Source: Adapted from Hofstede 2013)
    20. 20. The IKEA Way "Maintaining a strong IKEA culture is one of the most crucial factors behind the continued success of the IKEA concept”. -Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA (Source: Adapted from IKEA 2013)
    21. 21. Swedish Character of IKEA “Over the years the unique IKEA culture and set of values have developed from our roots in Sweden” (IKEA 2012, p.8) (Source: Adapted from IKEA 2012)
    22. 22. Togetherness Humbleness Enthusiasm
    23. 23. High Receptive ACTIVE Low Integration Active IHRM Strategy Autonomous Low High Local Responsiveness (Source: Adapted from Briscoe et al. 2012)
    24. 24. Impact on HR Management Selection and Recruitment Training and Development Rewarding System
    25. 25. Selection and Recruitment • Soft skills • Culture fit • Qualification • Clear job description MIND THE GAP How to attract and select “the right people”? (Source: Adapted from IKEA 2013; Brewster 2007; Jackson 2002; Hofstede et al. 2010; Schneider 20
    26. 26. Rewarding System • Non-financial incentives: worklife balance, flexible working environment • Nonfinancial incentives: Job security • Benefit reflects status • Group based performance-related pay MIND THE GAP What is the best way in rewarding employees? How to measure the performance of staff in order to provide a fair reward ? (Source: Adapted from IKEA 2013; Brewster 2007; Jackson 2002; Hofstede et al. 2010; Schneider and Barsoux 2003)
    27. 27. Training and Development • “Paddle your own canoe” • “I want your job” • Formal instruction training • Top down system • Predictability and security in career planning MIND THE GAP How to pass on the IKEA culture? How to design effective training and development programs? (Source: Adapted from IKEA 2013; Brewster 2007; Jackson 2002; Hofstede et al. 2010; Schneider and Barsoux 2003)
    28. 28. LOW Leadership and Management Style Uncertainty avoidance Informal, Open, Caring Theory Y Managers CONSULT STYLE Market Family Machine Pyramid HIGH Authority, Discipline, Order Theory X Managers TELL STYLE LOW Power distance (Source: Hofstede et al. 2010; Browaeys 2008; Schneider and HIGH
    29. 29. Leadership and Management Style MIND THE GAP How to delegate tasks? Are IKEA‟s informality and unconventional solutions going to work? Should Anita reveal her mistakes?
    30. 30. Adjustments in Management Practices Personal Advice (Source: Authors‟ own)
    31. 31. Bridge the Gap- Management practices • Assessment Centre • Headhunters • Graduate Programs • Running cultural seminars • Skills and seniority based career development • IKEA qualification program Recruitment and Selection Leadership Techniques • Provide clear and concise risk orientated instructions Training and Development Rewarding System • Group based performance related payments • Online appraisal • Reward to reflect status (Source: Adopt from Brewster 2007; Jackson 2002; Hofstede et al. 2010; Schneider and Barsoux 2003)
    32. 32. Bridge the Gap- Personal Advice BE Patient BE Aware BE Knowledgeable ENJOY!
    33. 33. Thank You Tack 감사합니다
    34. 34. References Adler, P. S., 1975. The transitional experience: an alternative view of culture shock. Journal of humanistic psychology, 15 (4), 13-23. Bartlett, C. and Beamish, P., 2010. Transnational management: text, cases and readings in cross-border management. New York: Mc Graw- Hill. Briscoe, D., 2012. International human resource management: policies and practices for multinational enterprises. London: Rutledge. Brewster, C., 2007. International human resource management. 2nd edition. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Browaeys, M. and Price, R., 2008. Understanding cross-cultural management. 1st edition. Harlow: Prentice Hall. Chakravarthy, B. and Perlmutter, H., 1985. Strategic planning for a global business. The Columbia journal of world business, 20 (2), 310. Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. and Minkov, M., 2010. Cultures and organizations: software of the mind. New York : McGraw-Hill. Hofstede, G., 2013. Cultural insights - Geert Hofstede [online]. Available from: [Accessed 23 November 2013]. IKEA, 2012. IKEA group yearly summary [online]. Available from: [Accessed 20 November 2013]. IKEA, 2013. What is it like to work at IKEA? [online[. Available from: [Accessed 20 November 2013]. Jackson, T., 2002. International HRM: a cross-cultural approach. 1st edition. SAGE Publications Ltd. Kohls, L., 1979. Survival kit for overseas living. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press. Mohammed, Y., and Chelliah, Y., 2010. Adjustment in international students in Malaysian public university. International journal of innovation: management and technology, 1(3), 275-278. Schneider, S. and Barsoux, J., 2003. Managing across cultures . 2nd edition. Harlow: Prentice Hall.