Managing across Cultures Global Cultural Challenges

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Companies decide to globalize if their competencies are relevant, appropriable and transferable to foreign markets but it should also be ensured that these competencies can withstand the barrage of challenges that new markets pose. There are significant differences that are caused by cultural outlook when it comes to working in an organization. Values in the workplace are significantly affected by culture. A study of US multinational corporations found out that poor intercultural management skills still constitute a major management problem. (Deresky)Different researchers and sociologists have proposed different theories about cultural dimensions. Notable amongst these are the Geert Hofstede’s theory of cultural dimensions and the 7d model developed by Fons Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner.There is a growing body of research that focuses on how cultures vary. This research ranges from the pioneering efforts of Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (1961) to the widely referenced approach of Hofstede (1980), to the recent work of Hampden-Turner and Trompenaar (1993).The Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (Kluckhohn, 1961) model have identified six basic dimensions that cover the cultural orientation in societies. These include people’s views of nature, humanity and interpersonal relationships. These also include how people view of activity and achievement. time and space.Hofstede (Hofstede G., 1980) cultural dimensions provide a more comprehensive analysis of cultural dimensions amongst different nations and countries. He focused on 160000 managers and employers of IBM in 60 different countries and found four dimensions of cultural differences that set these countries apart from each other. These dimensions are individualism vs. collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity vs. femininity and form the basis for work-related attitudes.The most recent cultural model is that of Hampden-Turner and Trompenaar released in 1993.