CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN ORGANISATIONS Presented by BABASAB Patil
Organisational Culture Culture, being the genetic code of an organisation has significance from various perspectives. Contribution: Culture supplements rational management: Culture communicates to people through symbols, values, physical settings, language and thereby supplements the rational management tool such as technology and structure. Culture facilitates induction and socialization. Culture promotes code of conduct and customer focus. Culture contribute to organisational diversity.
Researches on cultural differences inorganisations Douglas McGregor theory (1960), Adler research theory (1986), Ouchi, Z theory, Hall research (1976), Hofstede study (1980), Sondergaard research (1994), Schein study (1987), Connell research (2001), Indian council of social science research (1995).
Douglas McGregor theory (1960) Theory X’ and Y’ which is based on managers assumption about the employees. Theory X managers do not trust their subordinates and introduce tight control system, which leads to employees irrespective behavior. Theory Y managers who trust employees, give more autonomy to their subordinates for overall goals and tasks without exercising close supervision.
Adler research (1986) Adler research highlighted about, the managers develop a more favorable attitude towards employees with respect to employee performance.
Ouchi, Z theory.. Z’ theory highlighted societal culture influences the organisational culture. (study of the cultural differences between American and Japanese culture) American culture has specialised career paths, fast growth, individualised decision making, individualised responsibility, explicit control, and concern for work relationship with employees. Japanese culture is characterised by slow promotions, generalised career paths, and job rotation across areas, group decision making, high degree of trust, collective responsibility, and concern for social aspects of employees.
Hall research (1976) Research highlighted the difference between high-context and low context cultures. In high-context cultures, People depend heavily on the external environment or situation, and use non-verbal clues for exchanging & interpreting communications. He mentioned examples of languages such as Arabic, Japaniese, and chinese in this regard where indirect style of communication is valued. In low-context cultures, external environment or situation has low importance, explicit, direct and blunt communication is valued and non-verbal clues are ignored.
Hofstede study (1980) His study of culture in sixty countries found major cultural differences in work related attitudes. (1.6 lac employees from an American multinational corporation served as sample) The study revealed.. the difference in attitudes and behavior of the workforce and managerial staff belonging to different countries and these differences had persisted over a period of time. As an organisation is a subsystem of society, it is very difficult to change the culture of people in the organisation because they bring in the culture of their society, they belong to.
Hofstede primary dimensions..He identified four dimensions on which employees and managers differed.1. Individualism/collectivism:Individualism is the focus of people on themselves and to some.Collectivism distinguishes between in-group (comprising relatives, caste and organisation) and other groups.
2. Power distance orientation It refers to the superior-subordinate relationship. The superior inclined to increase the inequality of power between him and his subordinates and the subordinates will try to decrease that power distance. Seniors maintain distance culture with their subordinates.
3. Uncertainty avoidance Hosfsted points out that different cultures differently and have varying levels of tolerance to uncertainty. Based on his study he has classified countries having high uncertainty avoidance. Here employees in low uncertainty avoidance will take more risks as compared to high uncertainty avoidance groups.
4. Masculinity/femininity The dominant values in society highlight the relationship among people, concern for others and overall quality of life.To conclude, culture is the minds of one group, which distinguishes it from other groups.
Sondergaard research (1994) Sondergaard has revived 61 researches replicating Hofstede’s method and has reported that before mentioned dimensions have been “largely confirmed”.
Schein study (1987) His work points, ”Organisational cultures are created by leaders, and one of the most decisive functions of leadership may well be the creation, the management, and – if and when that becomes necessary – destruction of the culture”.
Connell research (2001), He found that the organisation size affected a numbers of variables.
Indian Council Of Social ScienceResearch (1995). ICSSR had made research on work culture in medium size organisations. The project undertaken by Sinha and his colleagues studied 28 medium size organisations based in that state has been classified as soft culture, technocratic culture, and work centric nurturance culture.