Culture is an essential part of every person’s outlook on life, values, and goals. It is no surprise that culture and its dimensions dramatically affect business on the international level. When different mindsets clash with each other, the prospects of business partnerships can be undermined, and on the contrary, when cultures align, it creates more successful communication. Given that cultures dictate companies’ course of action and goals, it is essential to consider the cultural dimensions of prominent players in the world market.
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Cultural Dimensions and their Influence
Greet Hofstede, a Dutch sociologist, has developed a framework for cultures that consist of dimensions. They are presented as power distance, individualism v. collectivism, masculinity v. femininity, uncertainty v. avoidance, short-term v. long-term, and indulgence v. restraint. A dimension stands for the structure of a particular culture; how it is organized, perceived, and managed. Consideration for cultural differences composes international business ethics of every company that aims to reach or stay in the global market. Personally, while researching this topic and completing the assignment, I have learned that a country’s culture influences the world of the economy at a much greater level than I expected.
In order to identify specific impacts that cultures have on companies, it is necessary to determine their backgrounds. Nike is a prominent American producer of footwear, apparel, accessories, as well as services. It extensively specialized in developing and producing athletic wear and manufacturing sports equipment. Land Rover is a British brand of vehicles, and its specialization is off-road capable cars. Apple, as Nike, is an American company, but their area of expertise lies within the realm of software, consumer electronics, and online services. Rolex is a watch manufacturer and designer based in Switzerland. Therefore, when studying and discussing three dimensions that mainly influence these companies, their cultural indexes (United States, United Kingdom, and Switzerland) must be considered.
The most influential dimensions for the three countries in question would be power distance, individualism, and indulgence. The distribution of metrics in correlation to these countries here is as follows: power distance – from 34 to 40, individualism – from 68 to 91, indulgence – from 66 to 69 (“Compare countries – Hofstede Insight”). As can be seen from these numbers, the dimension of individualism shows the most variety; however, the lower number is still above average enough to impact the company significantly.
Power distance is a cultural dimension that identifies how people view and treat social inequality. Countries with high power distance are characterized by widespread acceptance of inequality in power distribution (Vollero et al. 56). Given that in the discussed cultures, power distance is low, their work climate allows for higher visibility among employees, and the decision-making is not based solely on the higher-ups’ opinions. The dimension of individualism represents people’s attitudes towards others and interpersonal relationships. High individualism in society creates a lack of personal connections, focus on individual goals, tasks, and needs (Vollero et al. 55). This cultural dimension manifests through respect of privacy, time, and celebration of individual accomplishments in a working environment. Indulgence refers to the degree to which people’s personal needs and desires are gratified and valued. A culture with a higher index of indulgence provides an employee with a stronger sense of freedom and encourages personal gratification through reassurance and stimulation.
In conclusion, a country’s culture plays an essential role in business management and communication. The most influential cultural dimensions for such companies as Nike, Land Rover, Apple, and Rolex are power distance, individualism, and indulgence. Each of these aspects allows for more personal freedom within the company and underlines the companies’ focus on the employee’s free will, self-expression, personal gratification, and optimistic worldview.
Vollero, Agostino, et al. “Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and corporate social responsibility in online communication: Are they independent constructs?.” Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, vol. 27, no. 1, (2020), pp. 53–64.
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“Compare Countries – Hofstede Insight.” Hofstede Insights, Web.