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The Cultural Diversity Of Western Conceptions Of Management 1


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Case Presentation of managers views and attitudes from different countries. REF:Andre Laurent

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The Cultural Diversity Of Western Conceptions Of Management 1

  1. 1. “The Cultural Diversity of Western Conceptions of Management”by André Laurent<br />Norm Grunsfeld<br />Marco Lei<br />Austin Lee<br />Erin Wright<br />Angelo Zuazo<br />
  2. 2. Background<br />Laurent noticed: <br />French managers had a difficult time contemplating alternative management styles<br />In particular, matrix organizational structures directly opposed their view of “single chain of command” structure<br />“Each manager has his own management theory… that in some way guide his potential behavior in organizations”<br />
  3. 3. The Study<br />The purpose was not to simply analyze the structure of individual opinions, but to compare how individuals from the same country seem to share a similar managerial ideology.<br />
  4. 4. Method of Research<br />A questionnaire consisting of 56 statements to be rated on a 5 point agree/disagreement scale.<br />60 upper-mid-level managers attending INSEAD executive development program; 40 French, 20 European<br />Between 1977 – 1979: Several more studies were conducted at various INSEAD executive development programs<br />The Presentation Study: <br />10 Western countries; 9 European, 1 United States<br />817 Respondents of varied function, education, age, industry<br />Common element: upper-mid-level management<br />
  5. 5. The Findings<br />The statistics analysis found 4 Clusters<br />Organizations as:<br />Political systems<br />Authority systems<br />Role formalization systems<br />Hierarchical-relationship systems<br />
  6. 6. Organizations as Political systems<br />Some managers see the organization as a political system and this have a profound effect in the organizational behavior of the company<br />Insight into the extent to which managers from different countries tend to interpret their organizational experience in power terms<br />
  7. 7. Organizations as Authority systems<br />Different nationalities have a different perception concerning authority and how this is a huge factor in their day to day behavior<br />
  8. 8. Organizations as Role formalization systems<br />Focuses on the relative importance of defining and specifying the functions and roles of organizational members<br />
  9. 9. Organizations as Hierarchical-relationship systems<br />Differences in management attitudes toward organizational relationships<br />How some countries believe that the managers should have all the answers and that bypassing is no more than subordination.<br />
  10. 10. Political Systems <br />France, Italy Highly political Low org. structure<br />Danish, British Less political More org. structure<br />Authority Systems <br />Belgium, Italy, France Hierarchy = Authority<br /> Authority regulates relationships<br />U.S., Switzerland, Germany Organizations ≠ Authority Systems<br /> Authority regulates tasks, functions<br />Role-Formalization Systems <br />Sweden, U.S., Netherlands Low need for “detailed job descriptions, well-defined functions, and precisely defined roles”<br />Hierarchical-Relationship Systems <br />Sweden, N. Europe, U.S. More likely to bypass authority in time of need<br /> Recognize boss may not have all the answers<br />Italy, Latin Countries Less open to matrix structures<br />
  11. 11. Contemporary Relevance of the Study<br /> The quotes correlate from those of the United States in Laurent’s study.<br />Interview Questions: (US participants)<br />Do you think it is a good strategy to boast your authority around employees so they know you are the top boss?<br />When employees continually causes a small to medium problem that does not affect other employees, how is it best to address the problem?<br />Personal example<br />
  12. 12. Dr. Dee Ellington: <br /> “Forcing your authority, making it well known that you are the boss is a bad idea.”<br /> “One on one. Discuss problems, express opinions, no third parties.”<br /> “Managers need to be more hands on, not micromanaging, but more hands on caring more about the employees.”<br />
  13. 13. Dr. Marilyn Kaplan:<br /> Personal example: “Having a strategic vision is most important for managers to be successful with employees.”<br />Dr. Laurie Ziegler:<br /> “One of the most important things managers misconceive is that all employees are the same. America is a low content country; other countries are the exact opposite.”<br />
  14. 14. Findings in the Questionnaire<br />Support Laurent’s findings (USA)<br />Organizations are not authority systems<br />Low need for detailed job descriptions, well defined functions, and precisely defined roles<br />Most likely to bypass authority in time of need<br />
  15. 15. Contemporary Relevance of the Study<br /> German and US managers seem to report a more rational and instrumental view of authority that regulates interaction among tasks and functions.<br />“Leadership styles and cultural values among managers and subordinates: a comparative study of four countries of the former Soviet Union, Germany, and the US” by Alexander Ardichvili and K. Peter Kuchinke, 1999 <br />
  16. 16. Conclusion<br />Cultural differences in respect to management styles and notions about the role of managers cannot be ignored<br />When directing any employee at the corporation with a different background, it must be explained in terms of their cultural perceptions.<br />
  17. 17. Conclusion<br />Without connecting the firm’s managing style to the cultural perceptions of individual managers within the organization, it will be difficult to effectively reach the collective goals of the organization.<br />
  18. 18. Conclusion<br />Insight on employees and realizing that not everyone is the same and the world is becoming global is another aspect of the new-faced manager<br />
  19. 19. Weaknesses of the article<br />The composition of questions themselves and their aims to isolate specific information <br />The origin of the author as it relates to the countries being evaluated <br />The number of countries evaluated by the questionnaire and <br />The group size and aspect constraints<br />
  20. 20. Strengths of the article<br />Studies such as the MNC-A study and the MNC-B continue to show continuity in results.<br />“People from the same culture will act upon similar and familiar assumptions about situations, people, and things in their everyday lives”.<br />Trompenaars, F. (1994). Riding the waves of culture: Understanding diversity in global business. London: The Economist Books (page 3). <br />
  21. 21. Video<br /><br />