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Influence Of Cultural Differences On HRM Practices

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In order to understand the implications of culture on HRM practices, it is important to learn how culture is perceived by stakeholders mainly labor in an organization and also how it manifests into organizational policies and procedures. According to Hofstede (2001), a culture is a social phenomenon which is learned, shared, trans-generational, symbolic, patterned and adaptive. Also, it is a multilayered phenomenon which is easy to observe but difficult to change in terms of its foundation. These layers of culture include artifacts, espoused beliefs and underlying assumptions (Schein, 2004). In addition to that, culture defines commonality existing in preferences of the workforce and their responsiveness towards organizational practices. Since it defines shared notions driving workforce, labor tends to discard any practice that is inconsistent with it or creates ambiguity. Furthermore, culture is a stable phenomenon which is difficult to change at least in the short-term. Hofstede (2001) further asserts that five fundamental dimensions of management define how the behavior of human resource alters itself in different cultures. These dimensions include power distance between management and labor, uncertainty avoidance, individualism vs. collectivism, masculinity versus femininity and long-term versus short-term orientation. A careful analysis of these dimensions would illustrate the rationale behind differences among organizational practices prevailing in US and UAE. In extension to Hofstedeā€™s work, Aycan et al. (2000) explain that a culture governing workforce of an organization comprises of internal traditions, the external environment surrounding the organization and socio-cultural norms existing in that particular social segment whereas this combination is known as a model of cultural fit. Organizations tend to follow HRM practices that conform to their internal model showing compliance with organizational objectives and traditions followed by the workforce.