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Business Across Culture Assignment Sample

Introduction 

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Business across cultures is the core of the essay. An elaborated discussion regarding a business will be analyzed meticulously in regard to its expansion to another country; in a different culture. This essay in its subsequent sections will thoroughly discuss business across cultures, in part one the Hofstede and Trompenaars model of culture will be critically evaluated. In part two of this essay distinctions between the two nations’ cultural trends, workplace principles, attitudes, and communication methods in the venture’s two nations will be assessed. Along with these the substantial effect of cultural norms on the results of certain cross-border commercial transactions and adoption of “organizational culture inventory (OCI)” with its influence on determining venture’s failure or success will be evaluated.

PART 1

Critical Evaluation and criticism of Hofstede model

  • Hofstede model of national culture

Hofstede researched how workplace ideals are impacted by culture. For this reason, he refers to culture as “the communal programming of the mind, differentiating group members from one another.” The Hofstede model, which categorises national cultures based on six aspects, was developed by Geert Hofstede (Maharati and Dadkhah, 2020). Cultural dimensions are differences in the choice between two states of affairs that exist between countries, as opposed to differences between people. 

Hofstede model includes the following dimensions:

  • The Power Distance index (PDI)

This dimension describes the extent to which people accept and anticipate that power is unequally allocated in society. 

In highly power-imposing cultures people fit into an order that does not require additional justification. Individuals in low-Power-Distance cultures try to even out the amount of power (Jackson, 2020).

  • Individualism vs collectivism (IDV)

Collectivism indicates a preference for a society organised into many interdependent parts, with everyone expecting unconditional devotion in return for self-sacrifice on behalf of their close personal connections. In one’s self-image, how one identifies depends on whether they perceive themselves as “I” or “we.”, the “higher side” of this dimension, which is called Individualism (Rojo et al., 2020).

  • Masculinity vs Feminity (MAS)

Society places a high value on accomplishment, heroism, assertiveness, and monetary incentives for success on the Masculine side of this dimension (Maharati and Dadkhah, 2020). Femininity is the opposite, and it represents a desire for collaboration, modesty, care for the vulnerable, and a commitment to the betterment of life. In general, society values consensus. As example Japan is a masculine country.

  • The uncertainty avoidance index (UAI)

Society members show how much they dislike uncertainty and ambiguity when they exhibit an aversion to uncertainty and ambiguity. 

Stubborn adherence to inflexible belief systems, together with a lack of tolerance for unorthodox behaviour and ideas, are associated with countries where UAI is dominant. 

  • Long term orientation versus short term normative orientation (LTO)

Societies with low values for this characteristic have a preference for maintaining tradition and the status quo, while simultaneously regarding societal change with scepticism (Minkov and Kaasa, 2020). Those that have a higher-scoring culture focus on making prudent financial and academic investments to provide for the future.

  • Indulgence versus restraint (IVR)

It represents a society where fundamental and natural human desires are allowed to flourish while people take pleasure in their lives. restraint speaks for a society that prevents people from gratifying their wants while at the same time controlling them by means of stringent social rules. UK shows the attributes of indulgence.

The Hofstede model has a key flaw that it is based on inconclusive research. Due to the model’s reliance on contributions from a single business, the “sample size” is small and skewed. As a consequence, the entire study lacks validity and precision. The second shortcoming is the research methodology, which relied heavily on questionnaires (Maharati and Dadkhah, 2020). This study approach has numerous drawbacks. According to other scholars, Hofstede’s work is undermined by his use of an outdated notion of culture that overlooks the effects of globalisation. Finally, Hofstede believed that location had no significant impact on employee behaviour, which would be wrong, since humans react differently to different situations and environments.



Critical Evaluations and criticism of Trompenaars model

  • Trompenaars model of national culture

Trompenaars Cultural Dimensions Model sometimes referred to as The Seven Dimensions of Culture, will assist in working more effectively with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds varied (HARANGU? and D?IANU, 2019). As business becomes increasingly global, teams become more people certainly need to collaborate with people from various nations and cultures.

Dimensions of Trompenaars Cultural Dimensions Model:

  •  Universalism vs. Specialization

Universalist cultures strive to handle all instances equally, regardless of whether they include peers or loved ones. The emphasis is mostly on the rules rather than the connection. Relationships will take precedence over regulations in specialist cultures. As example UK belongs to Universalism.

  •  Individualism in Contradistinction to Communitarianism

Individualistic societies think that one’s life results are determined by one’s decisions. In these societies, decision-makers make their own decisions without consulting others (Zukhi, Hussain and Husni, 2020). 

Communities founded on communitarianism believe that helping one another improves one’s quality of life. As a result, these civilizations are organised around groups.

  • Neutral vs. emotional

Individuals in a Neutral society are less prospective to express their emotional state. People are more likely to share their feelings in an emotional society. Japan is Neutral country.

  • Distinct vs. Diffuse

Individuals in a certain culture favour to keep their “personal and professional” lives apart. These civilizations do not believe that the two spheres intersect. In a diffuse society, people tend to view their “personal and professional” lives as inextricably linked. These cultures think that good relationships enable them to do more.

  •  Achievement vs. Attribution

In an accomplishment culture, status is earned via education or talent. Job titles are acquired and correspond to this level of knowledge and ability. In an ascription society, one is assigned a status based on one’s identity (HARANGU? and D?IANU, 2019). Respect is earned in these societies based on dedication to the group, not on talents. UK is associated to achievement based criterias.

  • Synchronous vs. sequential time

Time is critical in a “sequential time” culture. Individuals like staged completion of tasks. Because time equals money, it is critical to complete each stage on time. In a “synchronous time”, the past, present, and future are seen as inextricably linked. Since a result, individuals perform several tasks concurrently, as time is fluid. This leads to a degree of flexibility with regard to planning and timelines. 

  • Internal direction versus outer direction.

People who have faith in “internal direction” think they can affect their surroundings in order to accomplish their aims. The emphasis is on self-interest (Zukhi, Hussain and Husni, 2020). People  living in an “external direction” culture think that they must collaborate with their surroundings in order to accomplish their aims. 

One flaw in Trompenaars’ model is that he does not include scores of nations in the cultural model, which turns it challenging for people to evaluate study findings (Thomas and Scroggins, 2021). His scale for calculating indices is likewise imprecise, which impairs the interpretation of study findings. Trompenaars’ original research focused on five tiny villages, resulting in a limited and unrepresentative sample size. This has an impact on the validity and reliability of study findings.

 

PART 2 

 Discussion of the Organisational Background

Tesco Plc is the major retailer in the United Kingdom and is among the world’s top three retailers. They operate 3700 shops worldwide and employ about 470,000 people.   Tesco Plc was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen and the name Tesco first appeared in the shop in Edgware in 1929. As the firm grew, it used its innovations in a variety of other businesses. Tesco was started by Jack Cohen, Tesco developed its first in-house brand, Tesco Tea, in 1924. The names are derived from the initials of TE Stockwell, a collaborator in the tea supply business, and the CO abbreviation for Jack Cohen’s surname. Tesco is a brand that has fundamentally altered the way it conducts business in every aspect of the organization (Awadari and Kanwal, 2019). As a result of this development, they have expanded their business, which includes loyalty management. Tesco has reacted to critics by measurable growth in sales through Clubcard, leveraging the relevant data it generates to enhance how it operates its company.

Differentiation of Cultural Tendencies of the Two Countries 

Hofstede Cultural Model:

Hofstede Cultural Dimension

United Kingdom

Japan

Power distance Index (PDI)

.

At 35, the United Kingdom is ranked lower on the PDI (Beugelsdijk, Kostova and Roth, 2017).

Japan, with an intermediate score of 54, is a society on the verge of becoming hierarchical (Asai, 2021). Japanese are always aware of their social hierarchy and respond appropriately. 

Individualism vs collectivism (IDV)

Certainly, Japanese culture exhibits many of the traits of a collectivistic society. 

With an Individualist score of 89, The British are an extremely private and individualistic people.

Japan receives a score of 46 on the Individualism scale.

Masculinity vs Feminity (MAS)

The United Kingdom, with a population of 66, is a Masculine society - highly competitive and driven.

At 95 per cent Masculine, Japan is one of the world’s “most Masculine societies” (Retherford and Omuro, 2019). 

Uncertainty avoidance (UAI)

At 35, the UK has a low Uncertainty Avoidance score (He and Filimonau, 2020).

At 92 Japan is among the world’s most averse to uncertainty.

“Long term orientation versus short term normative orientation (LTO)”



The UK ranks 51 in it.

Japan ranks 88th in terms of Long Term Orientation (Wan et al., 2018).

Indulgence versus restraint (IVR)

A score of 69 shows that the British culture is Indulgent (Kristjánsdóttir et al., 2020). 

With a score of 42, Japan has a culture of restraint.

 

Trompenaars model of national culture:

Dimensions of Trompenaars model

United Kingdom

Japan

Universalism versus particularism.

The United Kingdom is linked to Universalism.

Particularism prevails in Japan (Thiele, 2018)

Individualism versus communitarianism.

Individualism prevails in the UK.

Communitarianism is present in Japan

Specific versus diffuse.

The UK has the dimension of Specific (He and Filimonau, 2020)

Japan has the dimension of Specific in it

Neutral versus emotional.

The United Kingdom is Neutral

Japan is linked with Neutral

Achievement versus ascription.

Achievement is found in the UK

Ascription is the dimension Japan holds (Toma, Marinescu and Toh?nean, 2018)

Sequential time versus synchronous time.

Sequential Time prevails in the UK

Synchronous Time is the dimension associated with Japan

Internal direction versus outer direction.

Internal direction rules in the UK (Jumayev, 2021)

outer direction is found in Japan

 

Illustration of “Workplace Values”, “"Attitudes” and “Communication Styles” in the Two Countries in the Venture 

The United Kingdom faced issues with the Japanese method such as:

  • Obsessive about little details

  • Always arrive at meetings with a response in mind.

  • Decision-making is extremely sluggish as a result of obsessive attention to detail.

  • Once they have reached a conclusion, they are not willing to revise it ((Omura, Stone and Levett?Jones, 2018)

  • Obsessed with their jobs to the exclusion of their personal life

  • When they say ‘yes,’ they do not always mean ‘yes.’

Japan’s issues with the UK’s approach are-

  • Severe lack of focus on detail No preparation for meetings, making it impossible to arrive at a conclusion

  • Make hasty judgments based on scant information

  • Make snap decisions but then reverse them just as fast

  • Prioritize their personal lives over their career and the firm (Angouri, 2018) 

  • When they say ‘no,’ they mean ‘no.’

The British people are outgoing and sociable, their communication method is an odd combination of direct and indirect communication in relation to statistics, figures, and policy, for example, while feedback, delegation to colleagues, and general contact are filled with indirect ‘suggestions’ and nuances that frequently confound (Braithwaite et al., 2017). The British people’s emphasis on civility appears to be the source of these perplexing nuances. Another element of British culture that may be unnerving to visitors to the UK is that individuals usually embrace change and are unafraid of making errors. They are constantly willing to ‘give things a try,’ certain that if it does not work out, they can go on. On the other hand, Japanese corporate culture is built on consensus. Consensus is emphasized as the major method of decision-making in bigger Japanese enterprises as well as other organizations and services like the government. 

Decisions are viewed as a culmination of all inputs. As a result, a manager or leader’s job is frequently that of a facilitator of consensus formation. Hierarchy is critical in the Japanese workplace. The leader is required to meet with each participant of the decision-making committee individually (Watanabe et al., 2018). Consultation and input from senior members are critical. Keeping up with communication is critical for sustaining all types of business ties in Japan. Japanese society’s collectivist elements pervade the corporate culture. Individuals frequently view themselves as the group’s or company’s representative. Relationship building and maintenance are fundamental to Japanese corporate culture. The majority of people expect and seek long-term relationships.

Assessment and Explanation of the Way of National Culture Influencing the “Actions” and “Behaviours” of the Organisation and the Consequence of the Venture 

Tesco exited the Japanese market in 2011 after only nine years. The grocery behemoth stated that Japan was a tough nation to deal in owing to high prices and unmet customer needs. According to Brannen, Mughan and Moore, (2020), Tsurakame (Tesco’s Japanese name) has a 1% market share in Japan’s grocery industry. Tesco horribly failed in Japan since they did not appear to take cultural differences between the UK and Japan into account properly.

The reason for the failure is that “Japan’s culture” is considerably dissimilar from that of the “United Kingdom”. The country is home to several “family-owned” and “long-established grocery” businesses that assist as a community centre and are highly regarded for their personal touch. Another cultural omission is the fact that Japanese shoppers value high-quality items and exceptional service. Due to the scale of Tesco shops, it was nearly hard to provide exceptional customer care to every shopper (Rosnizam et al., 2020). While Japanese consumers like purchasing western items from the United States and Europe, it is critical to display them in a creative manner that appeals to the Japanese psyche. Tesco’s British business model omitted to compete with Japan’s department and food stores. The general populace of Japan places a high premium on the quality and freshness of food. Department store food corridors began providing high-priced yet great nutrition products, while marketplaces continued to provide low-priced basic food items. Despite the fact that discount stores were gradually including fresh food items to entice more client visits, they were considered as being on the lower end of the market alongside convenience stores. Japanese consumers are extremely demanding and finicky, and they should be provided with a diverse selection of products and delicacies. Japanese consumers also value the freshness of their delivery, and they are likely to make their purchase from a hypermarket, such as Tesco.

Comparison of the Two Actual Culture and the Ideal Culture

To clarify this, ideal culture is viewed as the norms that a company wants to maintain or adopt. It’s the system of values that a company wants to maintain. It’s the standards they ideally want, using one of our terms. It’s just what society wants to be. Simply stated. Sadly, society, like people do, does not always live up to its high objectives and ambitions despite its best attempts. Real culture comes into play here (Lühr, Bosch-Rekveldt and Radujkovic, 2020). Real culture may simply be described evolutionarily as the actual behaviours of a civilization. How a culture really is. What actually goes on in daily life is the genuine norms of a society.

Implementation of Organisational Culture Inventory (OCI) and its Impact to Measure the Failure or Success of a Venture

The “Organizational Culture Inventory” (OCI) is a popular assessment utilised to assess corporate organisational culture. It results in a clear assessment of the corporate culture of Tesco. This company culture defines the behaviours of employees in the organisation and their behaviours. An OCI extends beyond the culture of corporation; it concerns cultural aspects that pertain to all types of organisations. An OCI not only measures the features of the organisational culture; however, also establishes a working culture that is intimately linked to all employee and management comportments and performance (Khan et al., 2020). The OIC allows an organisational culture to be assessed statistically, making it simpler to explain and comprehend abstract facts. It defines the culture of the business in terms of what is necessary to fulfil expectations. Based on surveys, OCI is performed. Organizational culture inventory offers information on the behaviours of employees and managers, which drives and shapes current cultures. Shared standards of conduct, which workers and managers feel will fulfil expectations, will be apparent. It guarantees that it is obvious which relative standards in the organisation are constructive, passive, aggressive and defensive. The OCI framework identified, on the other hand, the ideal culture, which is most suited to achieve the goals of the company.

Conclusion

In a nutshell it can be said that though Tesco took bold step to emerge its business to expand in the domain of Japan but as illustrated and discussed thoroughly in the essay examined above, it could be said that due to the cultural differences Tesco horribly failed. Japan’s culture is highly opposed to that of United Kingdom, and as Tesco originated in the British domain and are intertwined with the British culture, it failed in taking into account all the diverse and different dimensions of culture that Japan is linked with. This paved the path of Tesco’s failure into Japan. This essay in its preceding sections extensively discussed Tesco’s expansion into Japan, in part one the Hofstede and Trompenaars model of culture were censoriously reviewed. In part two of the vivid contrasts between the two nations’ cultural trends, workplace principles, attitudes, and communication techniques were scrutinized. Along with these the considerable effect of cultural norms on the results of specific cross-border commercial transactions and adoption of “organizational culture inventory (OCI)” with its influence on determining venture’s failure or success will be assessed. 

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