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Western Culture, on the Case of Wal-Mart

Over time it has been evidenced that western companies impose their corporate culture on the environments and individuals, within foreign locations where these companies are located; despite the cultural differences that should be put into consideration to allow for the thrive of the host country’s corporate culture. The case of Wal-mart involved the failure of the company in countries like Germany where; the German shoppers were not used to the close jovial customer relations practiced by the employees of Wal-mart. Even though they were giving high discounts this cultural disharmony led to the failure of the company. The article used for this analysis is the “ExxonMobil Historical Collection” (1790-2004) created by the ExxonMobil Corporation that has its repository at the “Dolph Briscoe center” in the University of Texas. The Exxonmobil Company like other Western corporate institutions; has imposed its corporate and local western culture on the various countries of operation that embrace varied cultural orientations. Various instances of cultural impositions by the company were experienced in other countries and Exxonmobil had various strategies that could be applied to avoid the phenomena. (Gibb & Evelyn, 1956).

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Exxon Mobil an American based oil and Gas Company was formed by the merger of Exxon and Mobil on the 30th of November 1999 and is also a direct descendant of the Standard oil company. This company has been ranked the second-best publicly traded under the measures of marketplace capitalization and is working in twenty-one countries with over thirty oil refineries that make a combined daily refining capacity of 6.3 million barrels (Hidy & Muriel 1998).

Exxonmobil has been found to infringe the air-permit restrictions on the West coast of California State. This is evident from the agreement it made with California’s authorities to pay a fine of $400,000 as penalties, for the violation of these restrictions. This can be used to justify that Exxonmobil did not adhere to the environmental protection culture, which is geared towards preserving the quality of air in this region. This therefore can be seen as a result of the lack of the company’s ability to adhere to the cultural provisions of the locations of work (Gibb & Evelyn, 1956).

Exonmobil Company has also shown cases of not respecting the cultural heritage of the residents of the areas it works in. Disrespect for the cultural heritage of other societies can be seen from the constant threats, to drill for oil in the “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge” that directly benefits the livelihoods of the Gwich’in people. The exploitation of this resource would directly affect the livelihood of the inhabitants of this region and their cultural orientation, as opposed to the Western concept of development. This phenomenon came in as a result of the fact that the perception of development in this society is different from the view held by western society. This, therefore, led to the development of a negative perception regarding the interests of the company among the Gwich’in people. This, therefore, drives the point home that the company is imposing its cultural values on the areas that it is working in (Bender & Tammy, 1999).

Exxonmobil is also a victim to the cultural erosion of, the attempts to avoid climate change science that has become a global culture in the efforts to save the environment. Due to the capitalistic views of the company that originates from the western culture, the company did not give much consideration to the environmental effects of their operations but rather their monetary gains. On the other hand, the culture embraced by the local population of the areas that this capitalistic culture was being imposed; constitutes communal values that require that the environment be protected for the common benefit of the different populations. This is evident from the constant attempts by the company to denounce climate change science, even the Kyoto provisions. The company has also been known to engage in the funding of lobby groups against the concept of global warmings, like the “American enterprise institute”. This is to means that the company is simply concerned with making profits from its activities that result in instances of global warming against the global environmentalist culture. This phenomenon can be used to justify the fact that Exxonmobil is imposing its Capitalistic cultural orientation, on the areas of operation especially in West Africa (Hidy & Muriel 1998).

Western culture has experienced the problem of imposing their cultural orientations on the areas of operation, disregarding the cultural orientations of the local people. A good example is the case of Wal-mart that had to close down its operations in countries like Germany due to customer care cultural disparities. The case is not any different with Exxonmobil this company has shown no regard and respect for local cultural orientations when they are located in other countries. Instead, it has endlessly attempted to impose their cultural orientations of the workers and areas of work in the different regions. This problem of imposing the western culture on the areas of operation can be avoided through the use of policies and regulations that allow for the accommodation and thriving of both the western and local cultures within the company’s working locations.

References

Bender, R. and Tammy, C. (1999). An Unauthorized Guide to: Mobil Collectibles — Chasing the Red Horse. Atglen.Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Company.

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Gibb, G. and Evelyn H. (1956). The Resurgent Years, 1911-1927: History of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey). New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers.

Hidy, R. and Muriel, E. (1998).Pioneering in Big Business, 1882-1911: History of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey). New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers.

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