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Cross-Cultural Management

1.0 Introduction

Barmeyer et al., (2019) state that Cross-Cultural management is the vast interconnection of different fields of social sciences, which are derived from diverse research traditions. Research in CCM focuses on managing human behaviour in companies and role of culture. Additionally, Cross Cultural Management emphasizes on people’s behaviour in a company globally. It also focuses on training people to work in a firm with employees as well as client population from diverse cultures (Barmeyer et al., 2019). Moreover, it describes organisational behaviour within countries and cultures. It compares organisational behaviour in different countries and cultures. Mainly, it seeks to comprehend and enhances the interaction of employees, customers and suppliers from diverse countries and cultures.

The case study focuses on Brett Jones who is a project liaison specialist and his management approach in Tanzania. Graham Steinberg is concerned with how Jones is carrying out his work in the foreign country. Jones seems not to follow the company’s organisational culture. Instead, he is embracing the country’s culture of carrying business. For instance, instead of living in areas where fellow expatriate community lives, he is lives in middle class area. His business-related practices do not match the company’s culture. Therefore, Steinberge is contemplating whether he needs to continue managing the project in Tanzania. The report will focus on three topics that include organisational culture, leadership and ethics and CSR. It will also assess how issues such as nepotism and bribery would influence the company’s image on the short and long-term. Relevant theories that are applicable to the three topics will be highlighted, they include Max Weber theory’s and contingency theory.

2.0 Organisational Culture

Organisational culture has diverse definitions, for instance, it can be defined as a shared means of thinking as well as acting in a collective and coordinated individuals who have the same expectations (Odiakaose, 2018). Also, it can be defined as a set of shared values, beliefs as well as norms that influence the way workers think, feel and behave in a company. Organisational culture can have a positive or negative impact on a company’s economic performance. There are diverse approaches that are used to classify organisational culture (Karthikeyan, 2019).  One model is the Hofstede model which maintains that national and regional factors influence a company’s culture. It also influences the employees behaviour within the company. He compared employees from diverse countries and maintained that there exists cultural difference. He maintained that there is need for changing “mental programs” as the behaviors transform as it will influence value change (Hofstede and Hofstede, 2004). The culture difference in Tanzania can be seen through Hofstede model.

Fig. 1: Country Comparison

(Hofstede Insights, 2020)

Based on the case study, it is evident that a country’s culture influences employees behaviour. For instance, in Tanzania there were different business-related practices that did not match HG organisational culture. One of those practices was bribery, whereby, it was common for a company to give tips so that they can get government services faster. Although the practices did not go in-line with HG culture, Jones adapted the behaviour which was influenced by Tanzania’s culture. Business in Tanzania moved at a slow pace. For example, it could take months for a phone to be installed and supplies to be delivered. Therefore, Jones realized that he could get the services that he needed fast by handing out tips. Another behaviour that Jones adopted was nepotism.

 In Tanzania, job-searches were carried out through word-of mouth, mainly from family members. Therefore, Jones had adopted the behaviour whereby, he mentioned openings to local people. Then he hired the relatives that they recommended. According to him, family connections in Tanzania played an important role. For example, hiring a relative of a high-ranking Customs officer would help when obtaining import clearances. Based on fig. 1, in Tanzania it is evident that it scores 25 in collectivism. It shows that people have long-term commitment to the member group, for instance, a family or extended family. Loyalty is considered as a collectivism culture which is significant and it over-rides many societal rules and regulations.

The two issues can be analysed using contingency theory. Based on contingency theory, many relationships between two variables are controlled by other variables. Therefore, there is no universal approach for organisations and circumstances (Thai, 2014). In this case, a company’s strategy may be influenced by the environment, culture and technology. The theory also holds that there is no best approach that a manager can lead a company. Therefore, although it appears that Jones has gone against the company’s culture, he did what he considered best for the company. The country’s culture and ways of carrying out things influenced his decision to give tips and hire individuals that were suggested to him by relatives. He gave tips so that HG can get services delivered faster. In case, he did not take the necessary steps, there was a high chance that business would go at a slow pace thus affecting HG operations in Tanzania.

Therefore, it is important for Steinberg to consider such factors when passing judgment concerning Jone’s business practices. He should assess the company’s culture and Tanzania’s culture and how it may affect HG’s image. Issues such as nepotism and bribery may have major negative impact on an international company such as HG. Therefore, finding a solution that would help carry out its businesses smoothly without compromising the company’s image would be effective. The management should take time to consider the changes that should be undertaken within the company. They will help in growing the company and maintaining good relationships with the locals.

3.0 Leadership

Leadership is considered as a process whereby an individul exerts influence over others. He/she also inspires, motivates and directs their activities to assists them gain group goals and organisational goals (Simiyu, 2015).  Leadership is a significant factor for a company. Mainly, leadership behaviour influences how a company operates. It is linked to the development of a successful organisation (Larsson and Vinberg, 2010). In the current business environment, companies have broadened the role they play in the society. The role mainly affects the organisations both inside and outside. Businessses are required to conduct their operations with regard to moral and ethical considerations. Many authors consider leadership ethical behaviours.

There is need for leaders to conduct their operations in an ethical manner (Kooskora and Mägi, 2010). A leader plays a major role in maintaining and establishing an ethical culture within the company. Effective leadership is when a leader’s behaviour fulfills their leadership role matches with ethical and moral values. A leader is tasked with creating an environment where individuals can act based on ethical manner. Ethics of a leader are based on diverse factors that include a leader’s moral character, ethical legitimacy of their vision as well as the morality of the actions that leaders engage in.

In the case study, it is evident that as a leader, Jones does not engage in ethical leadership.  First, Jones engages in bribery to ensure that the company get fast services. In many developing countries corruption tends to be a major problem. It affects good governance and weakens legitimacy as well as effectiveness of public institution (Bashir and Hassan, 2019).  In Tanzania bribery is a common practice as people give tips to ensure that they get services at a faster pace. In this case, Jones as a leader is forced to follow the culture. Another unethical leadership behaviour that Jones is involved in is nepotism. He hires people based on suggestion from their relatives. Mainly, leaders influence their followers at all times and this helps in organisational development (Akuffo and Kivipõld, 2018). Those that participate in nepotism may have a negative impact on the company. For instance, they may lead to an environment that does not value trust and it may increase the turnover rate. For Jones, it appears that his business practices favor the company, however, it may have negative long-term effect.

The particular factors can be assessed using contingency theory. Leadership includes a process of influence so that a company can achieve its goals. Mainly, leadership style tends to influence success or failure of a company. The contingency leadership theory holds that a leader needs to adjust their behaviour based on the understanding of the situation (Vidal et al., 2017). In this case, they need to adopt a leadership style that is appropriate for the occasion. The contingency theory can be used to assess Jones’ leadership style. Although his practices go against proper leadership ethics, he was forced to adopt the style for the good of the company. First, he had to give bribes to help the company get proper services. Also, he had to practice nepotism as it was appropriate based on the Tanzania business culture. Therefore, considering the culture in Tanzania, one cannot argue that his business practices were wrong. Instead, he had to take the steps for the benefit of the company. Jones had to give tips to ensure that their operations were not delayed.

Considering that Jones’ leadership style is meant to help the company, it is important for Steinberg to look at such factors. However, it is evident that the leadership style may influence a culture of dishonesty within the organisation. It may also create a negative image for the company at the international level. Hence, it is important for Steinberg to consider ways in which they can balance the leadership approach and creating a positive image for HG. He should approach Jones and come up with an effective strategy.

4.0 Ethics and CSR

Ethical behaviour and corporate responsibility have positive impact on a company. In this case, it means that a company has responsibility other than making money by ensuring that they influence good moral behaviour within the community. Ethics refer to codes of values and principles that control a person’s action or a group regarding what is right versus what is wrong (Adda et al., 2016). Ethics in a company set standards of what is good or bad in a company when it comes to its operations and decision-making. It focuses with internal values that are linked to corporate culture and influence decisions of social responsibility based on external environment. In business, being ethical means that a company is applying principle of honesty and fairness. The growth of a company is based on its ethical standards. It helps in creating a loyal customer base as they tend to trust it. Also, it enables a company to retain skilled employees. When a company conducts its operations with honesty, workers tend to trust them, thus, there is a low turnover rate.

In HG’s case, it is evident there are issues with how business is conducted in Tanzania. As its leader, Jones is involved in different unethical behaviours that include bribery and nepotism. Such unethical behaviour have a high chance of creating negative image for the organisation. Also, there is a high chance that such behaviours will affect customer loyalty and increase the turnover rate. Although it is common for businesses in Tanzania to practice bribery and nepotism, it is evident that it may affect its operations in the international level. Ethical behaviours will also help the company avoid legal issues. Companies can be tempted not to fully comply with environmental regulations to help them make profits. If caught, the penalties can be huge and affect its operations. It can also lead to negative publicity for the organisation (Adda et al., 2016). HG is an international company, therefore, its practices in Tanzania can lead to negative publicity in the international market. Other countries may be hesitant to carry out business with the company.

Max Weber Theory’s will be used to assess Jones operations in Tanzania. The modern bureaucracy refers to a theoretical approach and system developed to avoid value rationality based on formal rationality (Wang, 2019). It tends to avoid the rule set by man and they avoid abuse of power. Modern bureaucracy tends to focus on development and proper management of an organisation. Nevertheless, there are various changes taking place in both the society and business sector. Therefore, modern bureaucracy portrays unavoidable congenital defects. Companies are required to carry out their operations in a moral approach (Boje, 2008). Their behaviour standards should portray a sense of morality.  In HG’s case, Jones has adopted various unethical business approaches that do not match with the company’s values. However, he first takes time to understand the country’s culture. It helps in understanding how he needs to carry-out his operations. He lives in the country’s middle class neighbourhood which allows him to interact with the locals. Additionally, he practices some of the cultures.

It appears that Jones practices do not follow ethical standards. Therefore, it is important for Steinberg to ensure that the company’s image is not affected. It is evident that he is concerned with Jones’ behaviour and how he carries out business in the foreign country. It is significant for him to communicate his concern with Jones and try find a common ground. He needs to ensure Jones balances between the organisation’s culture and his approach of handling his tasks. The company needs to create a good image in the country and globally. Finding a solution that would help carry out its businesses smoothly without compromising the company’s image would be effective. The management should take time to consider the changes that should be undertaken within the company. They will help in growing the company and maintaining good relationships with the locals.

5.0 Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that there are different factors that may affect both HG’s operations in Tanzania and global image. First, there is issues pertaining bribery and nepotism. As a leader, Jones is involved in dishonesty and unfair operations. Although his approach in conducting business matches with the country’s culture, it may affect its image in the long-run. Although it appears that Jones has gone against the company’s culture, he did what he considered best for the company. The country’s culture and ways of carrying out things influenced his decision to give tips and hire individuals that were suggested to him by relatives. Additionally, there is need for leaders to conduct their operations in an ethical manner. A leader plays a major role in maintaining and establishing an ethical culture within the company.

Effective leadership is when a leader’s behaviour fulfills their leadership role matches with ethical and moral values. The growth of a company is based on its ethical standards. It helps in creating a loyal customer base as they tend to trust it. Also, it enables a company to retain skilled employees. When a company conducts its operations with honesty, workers tend to trust them, thus, there is a low turnover rate. It is important for Steinberg to ensure that the company’s image is not affected. It is evident that he is concerned with Jones’ behaviour and how he carries out business in the foreign country. It is significant for him to communicate his concern with Jones and try find a common ground.

6.0 References

Adda, G., Azigwe, J. B., and Awuni, A. R. (2016). Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility for Business Sucess and Growth. European Journal of Business and Innovation Research, 4(6), 26–42.

Akuffo, I. N., and Kivipõld, K. (2018). Leadership Behaviour in the Context of Nepotism,

Cronyism and Favouritism: A Review of the Literature. . Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320830285_Leadership_Behaviour_in_the_Context_of_Nepotism_Cronyism_and_Favouritism_A_Review_of_the_Literature.

Barmeyer, C., Bausch, M., and Moncayo, D. (2019). Cross-cultural management research:

Topics, paradigms, and methods—A journal-based longitudinal analysis between 2001 and 2018. Int’l Jnl of Cross Cultural Management, 19(2), 218–244. doi: 10.1177/1470595819859603.

Bashir, M., and Hassan, S. (2019). The need for ethical leadership in combating corruption.

International Review of Administrative Sciences, 002085231882538. doi: 10.1177/0020852318825386.

Boje, D. M. (2008). Critical Theory for Business and Public Administration. Charlotte:

Information Age Publishing.

Hofstede Insights. (2020, August 12). Country Comparison. Retrieved from https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/tanzania,the-usa.

Hofstede, G., and Hofstede, G. J. (2004). Cultures and Organisations. Blacklick: McGraw

Hill Publishing.

Karthikeyan, C. (2019). Organisation Culture. . Retrieved from

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334107435_Organisation_Culture.

Kooskora, M., and Mägi, P. (2010). Ethical Leadership Behaviour and Employee

Satisfaction. . Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263852132_Ethical_Leadership_Behaviour_and_Employee_Satisfaction

Larsson, J., and Vinberg, S. (2010). Leadership behaviour in successful organisations:

Universal or situation-dependent? Total Quality Management & Business Excellence – TOTAL QUAL MANAG BUS EXCELL, 21(3), 317–334. doi: 10.1080/14783360903561779.

Odiakaose, H. (2018). Organisational Culture and Dynamics. Global Journal of Management and Business Research: Administration and Management, 18(1).

Simiyu, A. (2015). Role of Leadership in Organisational Development.

Journal of Management Studies. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273766248_ROLE_OF_LEADERSHIP_IN_ORGANIZATIONAL_DEVELOPMENT#pf6.

Thai, M. T. T. (2014). Contingency Perspective. ResearchGate. doi: 10.1002/9781118785317.weom060036

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Vidal, G. G., Campdesuñer, R. P., Rodríguez, A. S., and Vivar, R. M. (2017). Contingency

theory to study leadership styles of small businesses owner-managers at Santo Domingo, Ecuador. Int J Eng Bus Manage, 9(2), 184797901774317. doi: 10.1177/1847979017743172.

Wang, Y. (2019). Ethical Dilemmas of the Modern Bureaucracy and its Solution. ResearchGate. doi: 10.2991/isemss-19.2019.55.

7.0 Appendix

Fig. 1 Country Comparison

(Hofstede Insights, 2020)

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