Cultural differences between South Africa and Thailand


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Cultural differences between South Africa and Thailand

  1. 1. “ South Africa meets Asia”
  2. 2. Introduction: <ul><li>Culture deals with elements such as beliefs, arts, morals etc. (Cateora et al, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Differences must be understood to be culturally sensitive </li></ul><ul><li>This may aid in developing business relationships </li></ul>
  3. 3. Problem and Aim: <ul><li>Determine cultural differences between South Africa and Japan/Thailand </li></ul><ul><li>How the dimensions of culture affect Island View Shipping (IVS) operations </li></ul><ul><li>The role which relationships play in business transactions. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Theoretical Discussion: <ul><li>Culture is: </li></ul><ul><li>How we think, feel and act </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the environment where people live </li></ul><ul><li>A group phenomena </li></ul><ul><li>Learnt, not inherited </li></ul><ul><li>Neither right nor wrong </li></ul><ul><li>(Hofstede, 2005: 3 - 6) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Theoretical Discussion: <ul><li>Cultural acts are perceived differently (e.g. Handshake) </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solving techniques are different </li></ul><ul><li>Values must be assigned </li></ul><ul><li>Variations must be understood to develop relationships </li></ul><ul><li>(Trompenaars, 2002: 13 – 16) </li></ul>
  6. 6. 5 Dimensions of Culture <ul><li>Power Distance </li></ul><ul><li>Individualism vs. Collectivism </li></ul><ul><li>Masculinity vs. Femininity </li></ul><ul><li>Uncertainty Avoidance </li></ul><ul><li>Long Term vs. Short Term orientation </li></ul>
  7. 7. Cultural Model:
  8. 8. Research Questions: 1. What are the key cultural differences IVS faces when conducting international business? 2. How do managers of IVS manage cultural differences in order to build long-term international relationships? 3. Do cultural differences create problems for IVS? 4. How do cultural differences contribute to the operation of IVS? 5. How do the cultural differences the firm faces affect the leadership?
  9. 9. Data Collection: <ul><li>Snowballing/Purposive approach </li></ul><ul><li>Antony Brown interviewed at Island View Shipping’s head office in Durban </li></ul><ul><li>Russell Wright interviewed at his residence </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-Structured, individual in-depth interviews based on Hofstede’s 5 dimensions of culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled by the Researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews lasted +- 1 Hour </li></ul>
  10. 10. Background of Island View Shipping <ul><li>Established in 1976 by The Tiger Oats Group </li></ul><ul><li>Acquired by Grindrod in 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Ships between 15 – 18 million Tonnes per annum </li></ul><ul><li>Joint Shareholder in Island Trading and Shipping which is based in Singapore </li></ul>
  11. 11. Research Findings: Objective 1: What are the key cultural differences Island View Shipping faces in international business? Management Style Degree of Adaptation Power Distance Index Affiliation and Social Acceptance Power and Achievement Communication Style Gender bias Corruption and Bribery Culture Type Other Cultural Elements
  12. 12. Research Findings: <ul><li>Objective 2: How do managers of IVS manage cultural differences in order to build long-term relationships? </li></ul><ul><li>Island View Shipping sends their employees on a culture course prior to proceeding to do conduct international business. </li></ul><ul><li>The employee also utilises the internet to further research culture </li></ul>
  13. 13. Research Findings: <ul><li>Objective 3: Do cultural differences create problems? </li></ul><ul><li>Open Minded Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt to Other Cultures </li></ul><ul><li>“ So long as you are humble, respectful and present yourself in a courteous way – that transcends into the majority of cultures” (Russell Wright) </li></ul><ul><li>However, one incident was mentioned in which a Danish manager was unable to adapt to the Asian culture and shortly left </li></ul>
  14. 14. Research Findings: <ul><li>Objective 4: How do cultural differences contribute to the operations of IVS? </li></ul><ul><li>Communication Style </li></ul><ul><li>Management Style </li></ul><ul><li>Employee Diversity </li></ul>
  15. 15. Research Findings: <ul><li>Objective 5: How do cultural differences affect the leadership? </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership style in Thailand is much more formal. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no direct access to higher management. </li></ul><ul><li>Titles are important in Thailand, as people like to think they are dealing with someone with authority. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Analysis <ul><li>Objective 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Different in Power Distance, Masculine vs. Feminine </li></ul><ul><li>“ Grey area” in Individualism vs. Collectivism </li></ul><ul><li>Daily culture transcends into business culture </li></ul><ul><li>Other cultural elements have little impact on business </li></ul>
  17. 17. Analysis <ul><li>Objective 2 and 3: </li></ul><ul><li>No major problems because of adaptation and previous experience in SA </li></ul><ul><li>Objective 4: </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding of cultural relativism and SRC </li></ul><ul><li>Objective 5: </li></ul><ul><li>Local way of doing business prevails but change is possible </li></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusion:
  19. 19. Recommendations for future research <ul><li>Wider scale </li></ul><ul><li>More Hofstede’s culture dimensions </li></ul><ul><li>Success factors in shipping business </li></ul><ul><li>Who is meant to adapt to the new culture? The host or the guest? </li></ul>
  20. 20. End of Presentation