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Understanding Cross-Cultural Differences in Management

Understanding Cross-Cultural Differences in Management

Part I

In the article “Cross-cultural Differences in Management,” Kawar (2012) examines cross-cultural differences in managing multinational corporations (MNCs). Kawar (2012) defines culture as the common inherited beliefs, attitudes, and lifestyles of members of the same social group. The article discusses the importance of cross-cultural understanding in the globalized business world. It highlights how differences in the backgrounds of cultures lead to cross-cultural differences. The article also discusses how culture varies at the national, organizational, occupational, and gender levels.

Cross-Cultural Differences in Multinational Corporations

The article notes that cultures within MNCs can be analyzed and understood by Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions of collectivism vs. individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity vs. femininity. These create “cross-cultural conflict.” The conflict arises from the differences between cultures. Nonetheless, subcultures pertaining to families, language, religion, ethnicity, nationality, social status, education, and occupation can all give rise to them.

Cross-Cultural Management

According to Kawar (2012), cross-cultural management aims to solve cross-cultural conflicts and difficulties in companies in different countries as MNCs become more culturally diverse. It seeks to support on-growing cooperation within the MNCs through intercultural communication and support opportunities for everyone internationally.

Cultural Intelligence

The article defines cultural intelligence as an individual’s ability to pose and show behaviors, qualities, and skills that consider and appreciate the culture of others based on one’s awareness of their culture. It covers linguistic, spatial, intrapersonal, and interpersonal intelligence.

The Effect of Cultural Values on Management

In the article, Karas presents cultural values to influence how managers run organizations. However, managers face different cultures when managing business at an international level, like time focus and orientation, power dynamics, competition, communication, and space, among others. Such cultures are either collectivist or individualistic.


The article concludes by noting that cross-cultural differences exist among different cultures, and such differences influence communication. Regardless, people always adapt to such differences. Cross-cultural understanding and cultural intelligence are important for successfully managing cross-cultural MNCs.

Part II

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions YCG SCG
Collectivism vs. Individualism The U.S. mainstream culture can be considered to fall more in the individualism dimension than the collectivism dimension. Although the U.S. is the most culturally diverse country in the world, each culture has its own influence on society (Schlesinger, 2018). The overall mainstream culture in the U.S. pushes individuals towards being more independent, self-relying individuals. It pushes for people within the society to express their personal selves and ideas; people are freer to explore what they believe in or dream to achieve at an individual level rather than the larger society. The U.S. culture also focuses on the rights of the individual within a larger group set than just the group itself. It, therefore, focuses on and celebrates personal achievement rather than the achievements of the larger community or culture.  The SCG, Japanese culture, on the other hand, is associated with collectivism. The Japanese culture focuses on maintaining harmony, agreement, and cooperation among the people rather than on individual interests (Takano & Osaka, 2018). The Japanese focus on their larger social responsibility rather than fulfilling personal interests. The people make decisions that improve or impact the larger society rather than based on individual needs, desires, or greed. More notable within the Japanese culture is that individuals tend to conform easily to the ideas of the larger social group, which is the reason for the individuals identifying with the group and remaining loyal to the Japanese society.
Power Distance The U.S. mainstream maintains a lower power distance. The society focuses on more flat hierarchical structures within all social and economic settings, including government and organizational settings. The American society has the freedom to communicate openly with its leaders. This freedom provided for the lower power culture enables the people of the U.S. to openly criticize and question authority the decisions their leaders make and oppose the authority. The people can also openly express their own ideas and opinions in opposition to the authorities. The lower power culture promotes a flat hierarchical structure and pushes for more equality within social settings. Discrimination based on factors such as social, racial, and economic status is shunned. Regardless of the push for equality, the individualistic culture of the U.S. also allows individuals to grow at a personal pace.  The Japanese culture has a higher power distance. The Japanese people believe in the need for clear hierarchies within all social and economic settings. This SCG promotes respect for all levels of authority. As conformity is promoted in this collectivist society, people agree with what those in authority decide. This means that authority is less challenged, and decisions made by those in power are accepted and adopted by and across the larger society.
Uncertainty Avoidance  The U.S. mainstream culture has a lower uncertainty avoidance. The culture motivates people to take risks, such as in business or personal investments, regardless of the uncertainty. Although Americans understand the risks associated with new trends and change from conventional practices, they also accept the need for change and explore new practices regardless of the uncertainty associated with such changes. The U.S., as with other advanced economies, supports the ideas of change through related policies as it is viewed as a major factor for innovation (Bloom et al., 2019). Therefore, The U.S. mainstream culture, instead of avoiding the uncertainty of times and changes, embraces the uncertainty and becomes more continuously innovative as it navigates through environments of continuous uncertainty. The SCG, the Japanese culture, is inherently a higher uncertainty avoidance culture. Ambiguity is highly avoided in the Japanese culture. People prefer to go with ideas and options that are more stable, and it is possible to predict the future outcomes of such options. The Japanese culture pushes people to make sufficient and sustainable plans as they prepare for any engagement. Changes made within the Japanese culture or society require that available options for change be carefully evaluated before any significant changes are made. This means the focus is paid more to the option that seems more certain to help achieve the intention of the change.
Masculinity vs. Femininity  The U.S. mainstream culture and society adapt more to the ideals of masculinity than femininity. Society pushes individuals to overcome the gender divide rules and to adopt ideologies that present hegemonic masculinity (Tsuda, 2022). People are taught to be more competitive in order to be successful in society. Traditional gender roles tend to be more flexible, with American men and women projecting a certain level of authority and assertiveness in society. The Japanese culture, on the other hand, also promotes masculinity. However, it can be termed soft masculinity as per the current cultures promoted and exhibited by influential social groups such as K-pop by bands that are opposite of hegemonic masculinity (Jenny Lee et al., 2020). Regardless, ideals of hegemonic masculinity, such as competitiveness and succeeding based on effort, are highly promoted in Japanese culture, with traditional roles remaining paramount. Femininity is also celebrated as the collectivist society pushes towards harmonious, peaceful living.


Bloom, N., Van Reenen, J., & Williams, H. (2019). A Toolkit of Policies to Promote Innovation. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 33(3), 163–184.

Issa Kawar, T. (2012). Cross-cultural Differences in Management. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(6).

Jenny Lee, J., Kar Yee Lee, R., Hoon, J., & Kar Yee Lee Hoon Park, R. J. (2020). Unpacking K-pop in America: The Subversive Potential of Male K-pop Idols’ Soft Masculinity. International Journal of Communication, 14(0), 20.

Schlesinger, A. M. (2018). The disuniting of America: Reflections on a multicultural society. Color – Class – Identity: The New Politics Of Race, 199–212.

Takano, Y., & Osaka, E. (2018). Comparing Japan and the United States on individualism/collectivism: A follow-up review. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 21(4), 301–316.

Tsuda, T. (2022). What makes hegemonic masculinity so hegemonic? Japanese American men and masculine aspirations. Identities, 29(5), 671–690.


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Understanding Cross-Cultural Differences in Management

Understanding Cross-Cultural Differences in Management

Hofstede (1980) surveyed business people in more than 40 different countries and applied a statistical technique, which is called factor analysis to their responses to determine outstanding behavioral characteristics. Hofstede found that there were distinct behavioral constructs that could be used to differentiate cultures and labeled the constructs’ cultural dimensions. The dimensions have been used in numerous research studies for both basic and applied research. These dimensions have helped cultural psychologists define cultural groups and determine the differences between cultures.

Part I

Do an internet search for the full text of the following article using the search terms: Cross-cultural differences in management. Kawar, T. I. (2012). Cross-cultural differences in management. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(6), 105–111.

Briefly summarize the article in essay format, adhering to APA format and style. Make sure to include in your work a summary of the following sections:

Cross-cultural differences in multinational corporations
Cross-cultural management
Cultural intelligence
The effect of cultural values on management
Part II

After reading and summarizing the research article, use the four original cultural dimensions to compare your cultural group (YCG) with a foreign cultural group of your choice. This cultural group will be referred to as the selected cultural group (SCG) throughout the various parts of this class project. Note that YCG is defined as the group that you feel has most influenced your development and identity. For most of you, YCG will be US mainstream culture. However, some of you may feel that you are most influenced by a different cultural group. For example, if you moved from Vietnam to the United States at the age of eleven, the most dominant influence would probably be Vietnamese culture. The SCG that you choose to compare with YCG might be from any region of the world. However, you should avoid selecting broad groups, for example, Africans, Asians, or Hispanics. You need to select more specific groups, such as Liberians, Sudanese, Egyptians, Japanese, or Spaniards.

Remember that there are variations within each group; therefore, your task will be to determine the average expression. Perform the task by using the following table. Note that the dimensions are listed in the first column, the information regarding YCG is to be placed in the second column, and the information obtained on the SCG should be placed in the third column. You may use your textbook and lectures or online resources for assistance.

Review Hofstede’s original four dimensions.

Cultural Group Comparison Using Hofstede’s Dimensions

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions



Collectivism vs. Individualism

Where does your cultural group fall on the collectivism vs. individualism dimension? Fill in the information in this cell and insert the appropriate information into the remaining cells.

Power Distance

Uncertainty Avoidance

Masculinity vs. Femininity

In a 3- to 4-page Microsoft Word document, include the following:

Completed article summary table
Completed cultural group comparison table

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