Essays on Implications of Organisational Culture and National Culture Coursework

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The paper "Implications of Organisational Culture and National Culture" is an outstanding example of business coursework.   Both organisational culture and national culture have in recent decades been at the attention of scholars and analysts alike, as people seek to understand and explain the different success levels realised by different multinational corporations (MNCs). Organisational culture is defined variously, but perhaps the most common definition is the one offered by Martin Bower [quoted by Lundy and Cowling (1996, p. 169)] that it is “ the way we do things around here” . Specifically, organisational culture is seen in beliefs and values that the personnel in an organisation share.

Sun (2008, p. 137) sums up the various definitions of organisational culture by terming it a “ set theory of important values, beliefs and understandings that members share in common” . Based on this definition, it would appear that culture affects the manner in which people in the same organisation think, feel, and react. On its part, the term national culture has been defined by different theorists (Hampden-Turner & Trompenaars 1997; Hofstede 1980; Lewis 1996 etc). National culture is a result of the combination of geography, institutional factors, economic parameters, historical context, and social identity.

More specifically, Hofstede (1980) conceptualised national culture as the collective beliefs and values that distinguish the people of one nation-state from others. In his work, Hofstede (1980) observes that the national culture does not change quickly since what people in that culture have in mind becomes crystallised in institutions therein. This paper will critically analyse and evaluate the implications that both the national and organisational culture has on the management of organisations in an international context.

The paper will include examples and is organised into four many parts which include an introduction (above), a discussion of organisational culture, a discussion of the national culture, and a conclusion. Organisational culture Simply explained, organisational culture is the culture that is shared among people working in the same organisation (Adler 1997; Stahl 2003). It directs employees’ actions, defines what is important and real, and how individual employees are supposed to act (Stahl 2003). Literature sources (Dorfaman & Howell 1988) indicate that people in an organisation can be socialised more into the organisational culture and less into the national culture.

In other words, the staff of a specific organisation is more likely to forfeit understanding or being part of national culture and participating more in activities that enhance its participation in values and beliefs that are part of organisational culture. While debatable (especially since some authors argue that the national culture has an influential effect on organisational culture), the foregoing observation is relevant to international organisations since employees who are socialised into the organisational culture would arguably be better positioned to work in different national cultures. According to Leidner and Kayworth (2006), organisational culture aims to differentiate an organisation by instilling dominant values that guide organisational behaviours.

Microsoft Corporation, for example, introduced flexible working hours into its organisational culture throughout the world. By so doing, it overcame some national cultures that had unwritten codes that demanded people attend 8-hour jobs (Flexible Working 2011). This should not be interpreted to mean that organisational culture is always more dominant than national culture; Rather, and as Hofstede (1991) and Karahanna et al. (2005) state, national culture is among the dominant influences in an organisational setting since it influences work and managerial behaviour.


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