corporations develop their own cultures and
value systems based on a variety of factors.
These most commonly spring from the cultural
orientation of the nation a corporation may
have been initially based in, and the business
philosophy of the corporation's founders.
the globalisation of business, however, such
factors may be said to have declined to some
extent in importance, with a new set o factors
growing in significance. Among these emerging
influences are considerations such as the cultural
background and orientation of people employed
across the corporation's sphere of operations,
and the actual locations of these operations.
relationship between the organisation and the
individual in Japan, for instance, is seen as
a bond of permanent nature. With this 'Womb
to tomb' interface between the corporation and
employee, otherwise larger considerations have
little role to play. Even recession for example
does not result in workers being laid off. On
the contrary, workers voluntarily work long
hours, take pay cuts and fewer holidays when
times are bad. Pride is an important element
of the Japanese psyche and deemed necessary
for both quality production and national success.
other parts of Asia, in countries such as ours,
as well as in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,
the traditional relationship between employer
and employee is a feudal, paternalistic one
where the employer is seen as a father figure
and the employee the child, with the employer
expected to take an active part in every aspect
of the employee's life, including participation
in family events.
contrast, moving westwards to Europe, relationships
between the organisation and the individual
are more formal in nature. Based more on individualism
and related needs than on the needs of the organisation,
these sometimes prove to be area of conflict.
society is the ultimate in the promotion of
individual value systems. Achievement through
monetary success is appreciated and respected.
Individuals change jobs frequently as they move
up to the ladder. This is not viewed badly at
all and, in fact, helps spur careers on.
developing core corporate values, it is important
to have a few key values that people can remember
and implement, according to Dr John Fulkerson,
head of HRD at Pepsi Co.
also believes in the importance of similarities
as opposed to differences, and does not over-emphasise
the importance of cultural adaptation. The technology
of manufacturing, processing and bottling, for
example, does not change with the location of
manufacture, he opines, and while differences
may be discussed, they must not be given undue
issue is of course a debatable one, as managers
have repeatedly found the key to success to
success in varying environments is the ability
to adapt locally, yet without resorting to cultural
differences as an excuse for inefficiency.
Japanese, for example, have been branded as
never saying a direct 'no', and there as in
China, one goes through the social niceties
before getting down to business. Business relationships
seldom, if ever, enter the personal realm.