opportunity exists for the company to expand internationally by setting up operations in the emerging economies of China and India. The question to consider is how to build cultural harmony between the facilities operating in three different countries. The question of whether it would be better to establish a certain national organizational culture is likely would be considered in this report. cultures of the United Kingdom, India and China is presented. The organizational cultures prevalent in China and India are more collectivistic and marked by high power distance than the organizational cultures in the United Kingdom. There are other differences such as the importance of status in China and family tradition in India, whereas in the United Kingdom principles of utility and economic efficiency determine organizational practices and behaviors. The three cultures also differ in their assumptions and beliefs that are rooted in different philosophical and economic beliefs. Managing culture is a complex process. People may develop resistance to efforts at controlling behavior and are likely to be seen as eye-wash without bringing about meaningful cultural change. Therefore, it is argued that the company should not try to impose a British model of organizational culture at its offices in India and China. Not only because of differences between western and eastern cultures, but also because of generational differences within the Indian and Chinese workforce, developing a functional organizational culture requires identifying common cultural values and beliefs that can be combined with western and global ideals. These would help the employees at the international offices to work in conformity with their cultural values while satisfying their economic ambitions in the globalized world.
IMPLICATIONS of an INTERNATIONAL CULTURE Management INITIATIVE
Aims of the Report
This report has been prepared to present an analysis of the culture management process that may be developed by the company in view of the plans for expanding operations to China and India. This report begins by presenting the definitions of culture, norms, values and related concepts to aid in the comprehension of the report. An analysis of the various studies conducted on the national and organizational cultures of the United Kingdom, India and China is presented. The organizational cultures of the three countries are analyzed in the light of relevant organizational culture theories and models to clarify the conceptual areas for implementation of a successful culture management program. A further aim of the report is to provide a description of the major issues involved in the culture management process. The report also aims to apprise the reader of the benefits and risks of a culture management process. The report also aims at providing relevant guidelines for developing and implementing culture management process in the event that the company decides to pursue expansion in the targeted countries.
Culture can be defined as the established ways of satisfying needs and attaining goals that are accepted as valid by the community and taught to new members as the acceptable way of satisfying needs. In other words, culture is a set of socially mandated rules for living (Samovar, Porter, & McDaniel, 2012). Culture originates from the moral beliefs of right and wrong held in common by the community members. Culture is shaped as the members act on the basis of decisions made in the light of their moral beliefs to cope with their environment. Once culture is established, it is relatively difficult to change unless a sustained effort is made. Culture also includes norms which are the established ways of doing a certain task. As the norms are taught to subsequent generations, the reasoning underlying them is lost and they serve a function of coherence with other related norms and in maintaining social order. In organizations, such norms may include as the appropriate time to enter a manager’s office, the right way of addressing superiors and the format for writing a letter. Beliefs are assumptions that are held by the community members. They are the foundation upon which knowledge is built (Gasset & Garcia-Gomez, 2002). Beliefs reflect the expectations people have in relation to certain actions. For instance, in an organization, employees may hold the belief that putting in extra effort will result in higher pay raises or praise from managers. Values are beliefs relating to the relative importance of things. Depending on their shared history and environment, employees at an organization may value individual effort, higher status and material possessions more than group effort, equal status and simple possessions.
Culture is managed though a consistent and coordinated effort. Any effort at managing and controlling culture should involve all the organization members affected by the change because culture goes at the very deepest layers of personal identity. Culture also shapes the way in which management exercises control over the organization (Pfister, 2009). Values and beliefs are personal in nature and any change in values should be sought through discussion and involvement. Culture is learnt over a period of time. Hence, there is bound to be resistance to culture management efforts. These concerns should be acknowledged as valid and the underlying needs should be satisfied.
A number of theories relating to organizational culture describe the composition of organizational culture and explain how a number of forces shape it. These theories and models can be used to develop appropriate strategies to manage and control the culture of an organization. These include the models developed by Schein along with the typologies developed by Hofstede, Trompenaars and Handy. These are discussed in detail in subsequent parts of this report.
Culture, Organizational Culture, and Theories of Organizational Culture
According to Pfister (2009), culture can be defined as the “shared understanding” about the ways of getting work done in a particular context. Culture determines the prescribed ways through which people in that particular context interact with one another to satisfy their various needs. Culture is also “embedded” in that it eventually becomes an assumed part of the culture and people follow the cultural norms after having internalized them so that they become part of their belief and value system.
As reported by Inceoglu (2002), Siehl & Martin (1984) have defined organizational culture as “the glue that holds together an organization through a shared pattern of meaning.” In other words, organizational culture helps to create a shared understanding among all the employees within an organizational context about the appropriate ways of satisfying their work-related and personal needs within the organization. As with other cultural norms, these norms have to be learned and internalized. This may be difficult because the learning takes place when the individual has attained mental and emotional maturity and the self is independent. Therefore, greater effort is required at overcoming resistance and in learning new behaviors. This particular difficulty has prompted several scholars to develop theories and models of organizational culture so that organizational culture may be analyzed accurately which would enable employees to acculturate themselves easily.
The theories of organizational culture discussed in this dissertation include those proposed by Hofstede, Schein, Handy and Trompenaars. Geert Hofstede was a Dutch psychologist who was interested in the cultural differences between organizations. He identified these as abstract and not readily apparent. His theory was based on a study involving 40 countries and was published in 1980. He used his theory to describe cultures on the basis of the following dimensions: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism-collectivism and masculinity-feminity. Later on, a fifth dimension of long-term vs. short-term orientation was added (Piepenburg, 2011).
Charles Handy also presented a classification of organizational cultures on the basis of power distribution and interpersonal interaction. Like Hofstede’s theory, this theory was also based on categorization of organizational cultures (Hermans & Hermans-Konopka, 2010). However, Handy’s 1985 four-category model based on task culture, role culture, power culture and person culture did not attempt to categorize organizational cultures on the basis of national cultures.
Edgar Schein went beyond Hofstede’s and Handy’s description of cultural differences and proposed a three-layer model to describe how organizational cultures are shaped over time. This model was proposed in 1985 and described how basic underlying assumptions shaped beliefs capable of being articulated and later manifested in the form of artefacts open to sensory perception (Miner, 2007).
The most recent theory discussed in this dissertation is Fons Trompenaars’ classification of organizational culture presented during the 1990s. Organizational cultures are classified on the basis of hierarchy, equity, task orientation and people orientation. Unlike earlier categorization theories, this model encouraged analysis of cultural dimensions along a continuum as opposed to discrete categorization (Hodgetts, Luthans, & Doh, 2006).
National, Business and Organizational Culture in the UK
The organizational culture in the United Kingdom is affected by the national and business culture which is shaped by political, historical, social and economic factors. The United Kingdom has traditionally been a constitutional monarchy with democratic values. It is one of the oldest democracies and as a result of imperialism it has transported its democratic ideals to other parts of the world such as Asia and Africa. However, as it is evident from the functioning of these former colonies, it is difficult to replicate the democratic ideals and values in the same essence as in the home country.
The business culture of the United Kingdom is characterized by the value of free economy and private property (Rendtorff, 2009). At another level, it is marked by a desire to manage work and life issues. The employees in British organizations have long been marked out for their relatively leisurely pace of work and their priority for relationship issues over work related issues. Compared with their American counterparts, employees in UK companies demonstrate a less aggressive work ethic and seek to maintain a low profile. Display of wealth and personality traits is generally discouraged in British society because a higher emphasis is placed on understatement and social modesty. Business managers typically demonstrate a paternalistic relationship which is also appreciated by their subordinates. Bypassing one’s superior is disapproved in British organizational culture (Griffin & Moorhead, 2011). At the same time, employees in UK companies enjoy greater autonomy than employees in India or China where the culture emphasizes collectivism over individualism.
The business culture of the United Kingdom values tradition but is markedly open to innovation and developments in business practices and management philosophies. It should also be noted that employees in companies in the United Kingdom are known to have a weak employment contract with the company (Blossfeld, Mills, & Bernardi, 2006) and are frequent job-hoppers. This has implications for employee relations policies in the UK companies. Employers need to carefully evaluate whether the employee is in the job for the long-term or is simply acquiring experience while waiting for the next better job offer. Randlesome et al. (1993) notes that companies in the UK have been placed sufficiently low on the training and development of their employees. They do not invest large amounts in the skill development of their employees because it is likely that they consider that the investment may go to waste. Trained and skilled employees are in high demand and competitors are always on the lookout for skilled and experienced employees. When these companies offer them a higher pay or better facilities, employees switch over to the rival companies where they apply the sills acquired at the former company. However, Randlesome et al. (1993) also not that UK companies have started to realize the importance of investing in their employees.
George et al. (2012) describe some of the perceptions American managers have of British employees in a UK owned company. The American managers note that the British employees adopt a slow pace to their work. They take more frequent breaks for tea or coffee. In addition, they are also more likely to request leave for situations that may seem irrelevant to managers from a different culture. For example, an employee once requested leave to console a neighbor on the death of his wife from cancer. This example illustrates that the organizational culture in British companies is geared towards accommodating the life of the employees outside the workplace. In addition, the organizational culture is relative relaxed and not as high-strung as in the American business and organizational culture.
Ogbonna & Wilkinson (2003) highlight the functioning of managers in companies in the UK. According to their findings on a study of change management practices at a UK retail grocery store, they noted that managers in UK companies have to profess changed values while persuading their subordinates to adopt them as well. The researchers note that such actions fall short of convincing the subordinates of the importance and necessity of internalizing those values and they adopt a compliance attitude towards organizational change efforts. This means that employees behave in accordance with the new values of the culture change as long as they are being monitored by managers, but revert to their traditional practiced ways of working when they are left to their own. This encourages a greater use of monitoring and surveillance tools in UK companies’ organizational culture, which restricts freedom and increases compliance behavior rather than internalization of management articulations.
Mills et al. (2009) investigated the application of values theory to UK business organizations and found that greater need for alignment in the perceptions of subordinates and managers is necessary for the values to be internalized and practiced in day-to-day organizational life. Some of the values held by employees in the UK were equality, excitement in work, innovation, freedom and creativity, and self-respect. They state that it is necessary for there to be greater dialogue mechanisms and channels between managers and subordinates so that value alignment can be increased for effective implementation. This shows that currently, manager and employees in UK companies follow a top-down approach to managing organizational culture and change management. Another example is the British retailer Marks & Spencer that has a top-down organizational culture (Alon, 2005). The employees at the lower level adopt a compliance behavior to please the managers but do not believe in those values.
Kirton et al. (2007) have discussed the importance of diversity in UK organizational cultures. Although diversity awareness is highest in the United States, the practice has also reached companies in the United Kingdom and they have also started increasing efforts at promoting diversity and dealing with it in their workforce. Unlike the United States, the United Kingdom has never pursued a policy of cultural assimilation, with the result that cultural differences are more marked in British society than in American society. In fact, it has even successfully resisted assimilating into continental European culture (Henderson, 2007). At the same time, British society has been tolerant of ethnic and racial diversity because of its colonial past and the continuous immigration and exchange of people from different nationalities.
Pioch (2007) notes that culture management in UK organizations may not always have the intended results. This claim ties in with the findings of the previous studies where it is stated that employees in UK companies are more likely to comply with mangers as opposed to internalize those values. According to Pioch (2007), employees seldom change their assumptions as a result of culture management efforts. They simply alter their manifestations to comply with the expectations of their managers. At the same time, a strong sectoral culture is present with each group identifying the behaviors that contribute towards their success and adhering to it when not being monitored by managers.
Cooper (2004) has studied the transition of a public company in the UK to a private one and has pointed out the culture change issues that are experienced by the British employees. There are problems in realigning the motivations profile of the employees to the new culture. While employees in public sector organizations are primarily motivated by a service aspect of the job, employees in private sector organizations are expected to direct their efforts at increasing profits.
In the light of the above review, organizational culture in the UK may be described as relaxed with a balance between individualism among employees and paternalistic management styles. Management practices based on this culture may be difficult to replicate in foreign cultures and organizations with different values.
National, Business and Organizational Culture in China
The organizational culture of Chinese firms is also influenced by its Confucian philosophical traditions and the socialist political and economic system. There is an emphasis on formality and impersonality because the Chinese do not believe in expressing emotion (Alon, 2003). However, recently with the economic progress of the country, western ideas of business practices and organizational culture have started to enter the Chinese organizational culture. This has created expectations gaps between employees and managers in many Chinese firms. There has also been a revival of Confucian philosophy in modern times (Wang, 2011). According to Wu et al. (2011), employees in Chinese firms hold different perceptions about performance and organizational rewards than do their managers. The researchers also note that the gap exists in the form that employees believe that a competitive high-performance orientation would assure them bigger rewards. On the other hand, the managers believe that cooperation and teamwork are the best means of securing success for the organization and for the employee. The researchers also note that the gap is wider when the employees are highly educated and have a shorter tenure at the organization. Hence, western organizational culture practices and norms based on individualism and competition would be more welcomed by younger employees than by older employees and managers.
Tsui et al. (2006) identify some of the values that are commonly found in the organizational culture of Chinese firms. Understanding these values is important for the firm to consider the magnitude of the gap that exists between the organizational culture of Chinese firms and that of firms in the United Kingdom. The researchers discovered that values like equality, team work, fair treatment of employees, and top-down leadership were highly valued. This shows that the traditional hierarchical organizational culture is still vibrant and strong in Chinese firms. Their results also showed that performance-based pay systems were moderately popular among employees, which also reflects that Chinese employees are moving towards western cultural values that reward hard work and effort at the individual level. Innovation and risk taking were also valued highly which shows that Chinese firms are moving towards a more market-oriented organizational culture than a collectivistic culture.
Wang et al. (2010) echo some of the concerns shown in the previous studies. They reflect the idea of Tsui et al. (2006) that Chinese firms have started placing a high value on innovation and customer satisfaction in recent years as the economy has opened up. However, organizational cultures are still characterized by slow responses based on the assurance of a stable environment and economic circumstances. They acknowledge that organizations now have to compete for customers in a dynamic and competitive environment, but their organizational values have not managed to evolve in line with the environmental changes. Therefore, the researchers suggest that organizations should become more flexible and should develop such values that encourage risk-taking and experimentation. They state that in order to succeed in the evolving economy, organizational cultures should encourage and facilitate employees to innovate and experiment on a small scale so that they gain confidence and become attuned to the market needs.
Ralston et al. (2006) have also stated that since the entry of china into the WTO, the Chinese firms have had to face increasing competition from the foreign markets to develop higher standards for quality and customer satisfaction. Traditionally, Chinese businesses have relied on their low cost of production to compete in the market. As a result, the organizational culture has been emphasizing on the efficiency derived from keeping costs low and putting in increased labor. As the economy grows and matures, china will have to engage in high-end manufacturing and service economies, for which the organizational culture of Chinese firms will have to evolve from a cost orientation to a customer and innovation orientation. The researchers note that the companies have responded by making changes to the organizational structures. However, greater attention needs to be paid to changing organizational culture to reflect modern changes.
Zhang & Jia (2010) state that the organizational culture in Chinese firms mirrors the national culture. The values of Confucian philosophy and socialist ideals hold a number of similarities that have combined to influence the development of organizational culture in Chinese firms. For instance, socialism and Confucian ideals place a high value on cooperation and collectivism. This encourages employees to collaborate as teams to complete deadlines and projects. Therefore, the organizational culture also places a high value on team work and team-based performance rather than rewarding individual effort over team effort. Chinese culture also influences the decision making styles in Chinese firms where the emphasis is on collaboration and cooperation rather than a quick decision. Kinship and personal relationships also play an important role in Chinese culture and organizational values. Kinship does not imply nepotism as in western societies but increases the level of trust and dependability in times of urgency or in critical situations.
Yu & Wu (2011) describe the organizational culture of Chinese firms as marked by a feudal hierarchy over a bureaucratic hierarchy. Chinese culture values and respects age and status, therefore organizational cultures in Chinese firms also mirror the same values (Chen, 2001). In such organizational cultures, rituals and rites are important as is the personal identity of the leader. When compared with the organizational culture of western companies, it appears that the Chinese organizational culture values form over substance. This is due to the emphasis of Confucian ideals and principles that emphasize perfection of form. On the other hand, western companies reward employees on the basis of performance because western culture values substance over form mostly.
According to Hatch (1993), organizational culture can be analyzed in terms of a process with various aspects influencing one another in dynamic ways. Therefore, culture should not be perceived as static and stable. Chinese companies need to realize this and adapt their organizational culture to reflect the values of the market. They should emphasize the part played by market forces and alter their work practices accordingly. As the Chinese markets open to the globalized world, cultural influences from the west will influence Chinese national culture as well as organizational culture. This phenomenon is already evident as seen in the study by Wu et al. (2011) where younger employees value meritocracy over the bureaucratic organizational culture of many Chinese firms. According to Harris & Ogbonna (2002), organizational culture is shaped by managers but is bound to have unintended consequences because managers cannot exercise control and predict every possible outcome. Therefore, any change effort at Chinese firms has to take note of the resistance from Chinese managers and older employees entrenched in the bureaucratic culture. At the same time, western values such as individual worth and meritocracy are more likely to e welcomed by younger generations. Any cultural intervention will have to identify strategies for overcoming the resistance by the old guard to such intervention. They should also identify the processes by which culture is created and reshaped continually so that the right areas can be targeted at the right time. In other words, culture management should be a long-term plan aimed at introducing changes gradually and consistently across the organization. Organizations expanding into China should consider the impact of western values on Chinese employees and modify them to suit the local tastes. Chinese culture is deep-rooted and respect for authority is highly valued. Hence, traditional top-down management styles are likely to remain dominant.
National, Business and Organizational Culture in India
Like the Chinese culture, the Indian culture is also based on centuries old civilizations of the Indian plain. It is heavily influenced by the Hindu traditions along with the various cultural influences from neighboring regions and their religious beliefs and philosophies. India is also largely a collectivist society and has a history of mercantile activity. These factors have also influenced the business and organizational cultures of Indian companies.
Cappelli et al. (2010) explain the features of the organizational culture of India that distinguish it from the organizational culture of companies in other countries. Indian businesses have traditionally been family owned rather than state owned or public owned. This makes the ownership transfer from father to son down the generations. Therefore, the values held by the family become an integral part of the organizational culture. In fact, Indian organizational cultures are a blend of global practices, Indian culture and the culture of the founding family (Sinha, 2009). The closely held ownership of the company also lends a paternalistic style of leadership to the organization. As a result, the organizational culture places importance on the personality of the leader who acts as a coach and a father figure to the employees. The organizational culture is also marked by devotion to a common mission and a social purpose. As a result, Indian organizational cultures place emphasis on corporate social responsibility to a greater extent than do most other companies.
Singh (2007) discusses the effect of organizational culture on employee commitment to the organization. She states that in Indian companies, the organizational culture is a strong determinant of employee commitment, particularly in a period where there is a high demand for experienced and skilled employees. Therefore, the organizational culture needs to be managed carefully so that the commitment levels of employees are sufficiently high in order to prevent them from leaving the company for greater monetary benefits. As stated earlier, the organizational culture of Indian companies is marked by a stronger sense of mission and social purpose. Managers can reinforce this as part of their culture management processes to increase employee commitment and loyalty.
As seen in the case of China, the organizational culture in Indian firms has to be modified along the lines of meritocracy to appeal to the younger Generation Y employees now entering the workforce (Maheshwari & Singh, 2010). They state that a number of factors have increased pressure on managers of public sector companies to hasten up the process of change from a bureaucratic culture to a culture based on performance. Therefore, performance-based pay structures are finding their way to organizational cultures of Indian public sector companies. The case of private sector companies is similar but they seem to have developed further in this regard while government owned companies have lagged behind. The enactment of the Freedom to India Act has placed increased pressure on government organizations to be more accountable to the people for their performance. Due to these pressures, government organizations have increased efforts to introduce performance-based pay systems as part of their remuneration systems. They will have to ensure that the system introduced is in line with the expectations of the employees who have been used to a secured pattern of remuneration throughout the course of their tenure.
An important aspect of organizational culture is the attitude towards ethical behavior. Ardichvili et al. (2012) describe the orientation of Indian companies towards ethical behavior. In comparing the organizational culture of Indian companies with that of companies in the United States, the researchers find that Indian companies place a greater emphasis on ethical behavior in some areas than do American companies. For instance, nepotism is not considered to be as unethical in Indian organizational cultures than it is in the organizational culture in American companies. On the other hand, Indian organizational cultures place a high value on responsibility towards the protection of the environment than American companies. This is primarily due to the influence of vegetarianism in Indian culture and religion.
Indian organizational cultures are generally more collectivistic than other organizational cultures. Because of a paternalistic leadership style, employees in Indian organizational cultures consider themselves as part of an extended family. This perception also influences their attitudes towards union membership. Sarkar (2007) shows in his study that organizational cultures that are collectivistic deter employees from developing an interest in union membership. On the other hand, in organizations where rewards are based on individual effort and where there is greater competition, employees tend to have positive attitudes towards union membership. Sarkar (2007) recommends that organizations develop collectivistic organizational cultures to avoid their employees taking up union memberships.
Murugan (2009) has also investigated the dominant elements of the organizational culture in Indian companies. He finds that employees in Indian organizations tend to value opportunities for career advancement, fair and merit-based selection and recruitment processes, and merit-based performance appraisal systems. These factors are managed by companies, particularly those in the it sector, to motivate employees and increase their sense of commitment. The findings of this study reveal that there is an emerging shift in the expectations of the new generation of employees. These employees value reward and recognition and need to be acknowledged and stroked frequently. These employees are aware of their traditional cultural values but are also desirous of acquiring material wealth and getting ahead of their peers. Therefore, there is a pressure on companies to incorporate mechanisms that can rewards competition as well as collaborative effort within their companies.
Matthew & Ogbonna (2009) identify some more factors of the organizational culture of Indian companies. According to their findings, Indian companies are still characterized by a collectivist community-based culture while at the same time nurturing and caring for their employees. This is evidenced in several instances where the company investigated by the researchers demonstrated an orientation of putting its employees before profits. As a result, employees were given opportunities to exercise their own judgment and to fulfill their commitments outside the workplace. The management is also concerned about the health and well-being of the employees. At one time, the company also withdrew its employees from the countries where the SARS epidemic had struck. The researchers claim that although the company offered lower wages to employees, employees seemed satisfied and committed to the company and were more likely to remain at the company. A surprising finding is that in a culture where power distances are accepted, the company being studied discouraged status consciousness by requiring managers and subordinates to travel economy class on a regular basis and by having similar sized offices.
At the same time, there was some friction in the company about who held the greater power at the time of decision making. The company was having difficulty in integrating the product and service-based divisions of the company. Employees and managers in the service department seemed disappointed with the fact that most of the decisions in the company were being taken by the managers from the product division. There was also some resentment at the hiring of lateral managers from outside the organization. There was also the common perception that managers and employees were forced to accept pay cuts during a period of low profitability. This has also created some resentment among new employees who felt that the managers should have accepted greater pay cuts.
DISCUSSION and ANALYSIS
Analysis in the Light of Relevant Theories
The various aspects of organizational culture in the United Kingdom, China and India discussed in the previous sections of the literature review can be further analyzed in terms of the relevant theories of organizational culture. These theories include the theories and models of organizational culture presented by Hofstede, Schein, Trompenaars and Handy. This analysis will facilitate the process of decision making required to determine the culture management approach and strategy that will be most beneficial for the company. The first theory that can be used in this analysis is the theory presented by Geert Hofstede. Hofstede analyzed organizational culture in terms of five dimensions: individualism-collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculity-feminity and long-term-short-term orientation (Melkman & Trotman, 2005). The organizational cultures of the United Kingdom, China and India can be analyzed along these dimensions to yield meaningful insights. The organizational culture of the companies in the United Kingdom can be characterized as high levels of individualism, moderate uncertainty avoidance, low power distance and high level of masculinity (Avdelidou-Fischer, 2011). This means that in the United Kingdom, members of the organizational cultures tend to be concerned with their own individual interests rather than the interests of the team or the work group. Their concern is with their professional standards and code of ethics rather than loyalty to a particular employer or a department. Members of such cultures also demonstrate a moderate level of comfort with uncertainty. It should be borne in mind that the United Kingdom does not have a written constitution and most of it is based on convention and precedent. Therefore, the United Kingdom is a low context culture but reasonably tolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty. Members are expected to address one another as equals because there is a low power distance. The democratic traditions of the country have contributed to this type of organizational culture. Finally, the organizational culture is based on masculine characteristics, i.e. individuals are expected to be assertive and possess a drive for achievement.
The culture of Chinese organizations can also be analyzed in a similar way. The Chinese organizational cultures are characterized by collectivism, high power distance, high uncertainty avoidance, and feminity. In such cultures, the interests of the group are given priority over the interests of the individual. This is influenced by the Confucian philosophies and the tenets of socialism that emphasize hierarchy and harmony (Boden, 2008). Individuals sacrifice their interests for the benefit of the company or the work group such as by putting in extra hours. Secondly, the members of the organizational culture possess high tolerance for uncertainty because it is a high-context culture. Agreements are tentative and changes at the last minute are expected. At the same time, there are rules and procedures in place to ensure predictability of the work flow. There is a high level of power distance because seniority and authority based on age and experience are valued in the national as well as the organizational culture. Chinese organizational cultures are also characterized by low levels of masculinity which are now increasing as people become accustomed to increasing standards of living and greater display of wealth and status symbols. These cultures are also marked by a long-term orientation (Matsumoto & Juang, 2012).
The organizational cultures of Indian companies are similar to Chinese organizational cultures in that they possess high levels of power distance (Senior & Fleming, 2010) and uncertainty avoidance, and low levels of individualism and masculinity. However, the culture is less impersonal and formal than Chinese organizational cultures. There are high levels of power distance as age, authority and wealth are respected in Indian organizations although western influence has introduced egalitarian values in the organizational cultures. Organizational cultures are collectivistic as employees view one another as extended families. Employees identify strongly with the social mission and view the leader as a father or coach which influences collectivistic attitudes in the organizational culture along with a culture of caring for fellow employees and valuing friendships and relationships.
Charles Handy developed a typology of organizational cultures that can also be used to analyze the organizational cultures of the three countries under review. The typology included power cultures, task cultures, person cultures and role cultures (Knights & Willmott, 2007). According to the features of each of these cultures, the organizational cultures of companies in the United Kingdom can be describes as a power culture where power is held at the top and is then delegated to those at lower levels in the hierarchy. Although western companies have relatively fewer hierarchical levels, the power still originates at the top and then flows downwards. This kind of a culture encourages compliance rather than internalization of cultural changes. As seen in the literature review, the employees in the organizations follow the expected behaviors as long as they are conscious of being observed and then revert to their practiced behaviors. The organizational culture can also be characterized as a role culture because employees are assigned specific roles on the basis of their qualifications and expertise. They have clear job descriptions and are aware of their responsibilities and duties. This also reflects a low tolerance for uncertainty in this area. The organizational culture also reflects some of the characteristics of person and task cultures because team work is common in UK organizations while allowances are also made for employees to accommodate their personal issues, as evidenced in the studies conducted by George et al. (2012). Employees frequently take out time to smoke, have tea and even make personal visits during working hours. Therefore, organizational cultures in the United Kingdom are lower on the low-context rating than the United States and Scandinavian countries.
The organizational cultures of Chinese companies can also be analyzed by using Handy’s typology. The most dominant characteristics relate to the power and task cultures. Chinese organizations are hierarchical and several levels of hierarchy may exist between the senior management and the workers. This indicates bureaucratic tendencies in the organizational culture (Hallinan, 2006). The organizational culture also encourages loyalty on the basis of power delegated. Since the culture is characterized by collectivism and feminity, the delegation of power is viewed as an indication of personal favor and trust which inspires greater loyalty and allows favoritism. The second aspect relates to the task culture. The organizational cultures are based on personal contacts as well as personality in work processes (Robbins, 2008). Therefore, committees and work groups are formed to resolve ongoing issues at the workplace. This also ties in with the collectivistic cultures of these organizations. To an extent, a role culture is also present because employees are assigned roles on the basis of their education and skills. But at the same time, personal relations and nepotism also influence the distribution of tasks and rewards in the organization.
Indian organizational cultures, when analyzed using Handy’s typology, reflect a power culture and a person culture. Power is concentrated at the top and is transferred generation after generation within the family from father to son (Francesco & Gold, 2005). This makes the culture more centralized than the United Kingdom. Individuals are again delegated power in the form of status symbols and promotions on the basis of interpersonal relations along with work performance and bureaucratic norms and regulations. Organizational cultures are based on less impersonality than the Chinese organizations as employees also celebrate religious festivals at the workplace and engage in social activities. With the growing influence of globalization and westernization, organizational cultures are moving towards a task culture and role culture while retaining some of the characteristics of the two dominant cultures.
Schein developed a layered theory of organizational culture that explains organizational culture formed as a result of a process from the abstract to the tangible (Magalhaes, 2004). According to Schein’s model of organizational culture, assumptions lie at the most abstract level of the culture and form the basis for the organizational culture. These assumptions are then articulated or manifested in the form of values. These vales embody the assumptions and are shared and communicated to the employees by the leader. Finally, the values are then realized in the form of artefacts that are the most tangible layer of the organizational culture. Therefore, the organizational culture can be traced to the assumptions by analyzing the artefacts and the expressed values of the culture.
In the organizational culture of the United Kingdom, the usual artefacts that are seen include open office layouts, less status consciousness and more frequent employee breaks during the workday. These artefacts reflect certain expressed values. For instance, the open office layout may reflect values of openness, facilitated communication and interaction, and sharing of ideas (Phatak, Bhagat, & Kashlak, 2006). Similarly, the lack of status symbols may also reflect egalitarian values of equality and sharing of resources. The workforce composition can also convey the values of tolerance for racial, ethnic and gender diversity at the workplace. Finally, the organizational values can also be reflected in the number of breaks allowed to the employees. This reflects the value for the mental well-being of the employee in addition to a concern for their productivity levels. These values further reflect the assumptions of the organizational culture. Some of these assumptions may be valid for the organizational culture. Values of openness may reflect the assumption that employees will be more productive and satisfied with their jobs if they can share their ideas and opinions freely with one another (Alvesson & Sveningsson, 2008). The values of equality may reflect the assumption that all employees are equally important and valuable for the organization. The values for employee overall well-being reflect the assumption that the organization is responsible for the work-life balance of the employees.
The organizational cultures of Chinese companies can also be analyzed along similar lines. The dominant artefacts of Chinese companies may include separate offices for the managers. This reflects the high value and regard for seniority and experience in the organization. These values in turn rest on the assumption that decisions based on experience will be better for the organization than decisions based on expertise or skill. It may even reflect the assumption that expertise is developed with experience. However, as more educated and professional managers enter Chinese organizations, these traditional assumptions may need to be changed (Daft, Murphy & Willmott, 2010). Another aspect of the artefacts may be in the way employees address one another. In Chinese organizations, employees address one another with their designation which reveals the value for power distance and impersonality. This may reflect the assumption that individuals feel more respected when familiarity is not assumed and that people are more interested in work outcomes than in familiarity.
The organizational culture of Indian companies also stands to a similar analysis. Indian organizational cultures also value seniority and tradition (Pathak, 2011). Therefore, organizational values may be communicated from the senior levels to the lower levels. This artifact reveals that power rests at the top and should be respected. The right to make decisions is assumed to be vested in the founder and then by the heir in the family. The managers and professional staff are assumed to be present for facilitating the founding family in running the business. The organizational culture also reflects a value for interpersonal relationships as evident in the social events and religious festivals celebrated at the workplace, which reveals the assumptions that life at work is an extension of the personal life of the individual.
Trompenaars also developed a typology for analyzing and understanding organizational cultures. This typology was based on the power dynamics and exercise of control within the organizational culture. The typology consisted of a guided missile culture, an Eiffel tower culture, a familial culture and an incubator culture (Jacob, 2003). These typologies can help to analyze the organizational cultures in the United Kingdom, China and India in further detail.
The organizational culture in the companies of the United Kingdom can be best typified as the guided missile culture because the company is concerned with the task fulfillment and meeting stated goals and objectives for the organization (Wright, 2011). Work flows are designed and teams are organized to ensure that the work targets are met efficiently. A person culture and policies are adopted to enable the employees to remain at their maximum productivity levels while working for the project. Therefore, employee welfare is a means to the realization of work objectives. Efficiency is the key criteria for utilization of resources and all decisions and policies have to satisfy the criteria of meeting objectives and meeting them with the least cost to the organization. To some extent, the organizational culture may also be characterized as an incubator culture. This kind of culture allows greater autonomy, flexibility and authority at the lower levels and to the technical staff to develop new products and solutions to organizational problems. This kind of a culture supports research and innovation so that the organization can remain productive (Trompenaars, 2007). The United Kingdom is part of the developed industrialized world. Therefore, it is essential for the organizations to encourage innovation by developing an incubator culture. Innovation teams or organizational sub-divisions can be created to enable the employees involved in such projects to collaborate and determine resource usage. This kind of culture requires sharing of power and authority at lower levels.
The organizational culture of Chinese companies can be understood in terms of an Eiffel tower culture. In such cultures power rests at the top levels of the organization and is delegated to the lower levels. The culture is characterized by a top-down style of management in which employees are assigned tasks and roles by their superiors (Zhang, 2003). They are unable to exercise greater control or take decisions without being granted the authority by their seniors. The employees have to follow numerous rules and regulations for ensuring that the goals of the organization are met to the satisfaction of their managers. To some extent, the culture is also typified by the guided missile culture because the work is assigned to distinct teams and committees to enable decisions to be reached through discussion and airing of views.
The organizational culture of Indian companies is more identifiable with the familial culture where power is vested in a central authority but an approach of benevolence and concern for the overall well-being of the employee is present. This culture is apparent in the family-owned businesses of India where the manager is also concerned about the personal issues such as health, education and family matters of the employee in addition to his or her work related matters. Employees are expected to know about the personal matters of one another and help each other out. The management also adopts a paternalistic approach towards employees and displays genuine concern for their well-being. The managers frequently perform the role of a father figure in the organization.
The Benefits of Culture Management
Initiating culture management efforts at a company can be an extremely beneficial exercise in increasing the competitive effectiveness of a company. Culture management allows a company to adjust and modify the values of an organizational culture to make those values reflect the environment realities more clearly. Since values serve as a guide and motivational source for employee efforts, culture management efforts can help to increase the commitment and productivity levels of the employees in the organization. Secondly, culture management efforts can also increase the commitment levels of employees by articulating the mission, vision and values of the company. While the mission may not have been articulated earlier or may have been forgotten, environmental challenges may necessitate that it be articulated. This conveys a message to the external stakeholders as well as to the employees, which may increase commitment to the organization during crisis situations. Culture management efforts can also prove effective in taking dysfunctional and counterproductive behaviors out of the organizational culture and replace them with more productive ones. Employees may be encouraged to reflect on their results and their productivity to identify problematic aspects of the culture and address them. Culture management efforts also require frequent communication between top management members and the employees at lower levels of the organization (Flamholtz & Randle, 2011). Therefore, as a result of culture management efforts, communication between employees and management is enhanced which results in increased productivity through increased motivation levels. In the current situation, the company is considering culture management efforts at offices that will be opened up in China and India. Since these foreign offices will be set up from scratch and will be company owned, there will be the added benefit of being able to shape the culture without having to face the resistance of established norms and values. Employees will be more flexible and will be better at assimilating the values from the headquarters than in the case of a merger or an acquisition. Culture management, if done with care and long-term commitment can also shape a culture that could become a source of competitive advantage for the organization. A culture that makes the most productive use of its employees’ intellectual and creative energies is likely to produce better products and services than its competitors. While production methods can be imitated by competitors the specific mix of employees, their talents, capabilities and their synergies cannot be copied or replicated. The organization thus becomes resistant to competitive efforts at attacking its strengths. This makes the culture management efforts a source of differentiating the company to realize its strategic objectives.
Ethical Objections to Culture Management
While there are numerous benefits to culture management, there are some objections and arguments that can be raised against culture management efforts on the grounds of ethical justification. Culture operates at several levels according to Schein’s widely accepted model of organizational culture. At the foundation of the organizational culture, lie the assumptions that shape values and artefacts. These assumptions are based on national, cultural and religious beliefs and expectations. Employees also perform their tasks in the light of their personal values and assumptions. If culture management efforts are not made with caution, the entire exercise may be perceived as an attempt at manipulating the employees through deceptive means which is unfair (Shulman, 2007). The situation may become more questionable when the culture management exercise is attempted in a foreign subsidiary where the proposed cultural changes may clash with local culture and religious values. Depending on the work orientation of the people in that culture and the importance of organizations in the society, the efforts may be viewed as disrespectful of the people as individuals of equal status and legitimate values.
Ethical values are also different as one moves from one culture to another. As seen in the studies of Ardichvili et al. (2012), there are sufficient differences in the ethical standards of different countries. A behavior that is considered unethical in one culture may be an accepted form of business practice in another. For instance, bribery or any form of inducement for business gain is considered unethical in the United Kingdom. However, in countries like India, small payments are necessary to get work done through the bureaucratic red tape. These payments are called facilitation payments and are an accepted practice by many businesses. An organization that seeks to prevent such practices in the organization without making some allowances is likely to experience low morale and productivity as employees fail to find other ways of getting work done through government channels, especially when their rivals continue to engage in such practices. Similarly, when entering the Chinese business environment, companies should consider that personal relationships and friendships are important sources of trust and honesty in business relationships. If the culture management efforts view these as sources of favoritism and nepotism then the employees are going to find it difficult to develop trust and confidence in business partners whose background is unknown to them. It may also create resentment towards the controlling organization.
Finally, it is important for the top management to be committed to the effort and be clear in its stated intentions to its employees. It is important that managers are seen to bear the costs of the culture management effort along with the employees in the same measure. Withholding information about the long-term costs and real motives of the culture management effort is unethical.
Approaches to Implementation of Culture Management
Hatch (1993) discusses a number of approaches through which culture management efforts can be planned and executed effectively and efficiently. In order to attain this, it is necessary that the culture management effort by appreciated as a continuous process. As the environmental factors continue to increase in complexity and potential to impact the organization, organizations must adapt their cultures more frequently to be able to respond well to the environmental factors. Therefore, the first principle in the approach to culture management is to recognize that culture management is not a one time activity but an ongoing process. Taking such an approach to culture management has several benefits. It keeps the organization’s management and employees in constant communication with one another and allows the sharing of views and concerns over organizational culture aspects. Since managers have greater opportunities to interact and communicate with employees, they can use to opportunity to increase the level of commitment among the workforce.
A second aspect of the culture management approach identified by Hatch (1993) is that culture management needs to be conducted regularly in the organization instead of attempting to bring about radical change in one go. Organizations that practice culture management space out their change activities by taking up one aspect of the culture and conducting workshops on it for employees. Employees are then given a period of approximately three months to practice the behavior and internalize the values. A second aspect of the proposed organizational culture is taken up for the next phase of the culture management effort. In this way, the culture management process also remains a flexible one. As environmental pressures and challenges evolve, so do the values and behaviors of the culture management process. While this may lead to some confusion and uncertainty in the minds of the employees, it is better than having employees locked into a certain set of behaviors from which they may find it difficult to adapt to new ones.
Management also needs to adopt a long-term approach for the culture management process. Culture management is a continuous and ongoing process that is based on feedback from the environment. According to Hatch (1993), not only do environmental factors affect the culture management process, but each stage and aspect of the organizational culture influences the other. So values are shaped by assumptions but they also affirm them. Similarly, values shape the activities that lead to the creation of artefacts, while artefacts are assigned more abstract meanings to become symbols. This process is continuous and dynamic. Hence, it is necessary that a continuous long-term approach be taken to manage the process productively. The management should also be aware of unanticipated effects of the change process that may have positive as well as negative consequences for the organization. These issues are discussed in the following section.
Obstacles and Pitfalls to Culture Management
Harris & Ogbonna (2002) have highlighted some of the obstacles and pitfalls that culture change managers need to be careful about at the time of developing and implementing culture management policies. The most important factor is the possibility of unintended consequences of culture management practices at the organization. The researchers explain that due to communication and perception gaps between management and subordinates, the intended benefits of culture management efforts may not be realized while additional costs may have to be borne by the organization. One such problem or obstacle arises in the form of reinvention of the old culture in the form of the new one. This may be unintentional because the management may not have spent sufficient time over analyzing the values of the proposed culture in relation to the existing ones. At times, this may also be intentional as the culture management team may not be committed to the process and may simply decide to go through the motions. An example of such recycling of the cultural values is presented by the researchers where they describe that a company that had been focusing on sales performance in the existing culture decided to promote the new value of customer service. When the implications of customer service were interpreted by the employees, they discovered it to be no different from what they had already been doing, i.e. selling quality products to the customers. Therefore, failure of the management to explicitly state the values and their interpretations to distinguish it from the earlier culture may cause the employees to perceive culture management as an eye-wash or as a manipulative ploy. In either case, they are likely to demonstrate low levels of commitment to the process.
A second obstacle identified by Harris & Ogbonna (2002) is the perception of the process as mere ritual instead of a process of meaningful change. Employees have to understand that the culture management attempt is an important part of their professional development. The most effective way of ensuring this is through top management participation in the activities. When managers assign their subordinates to attend workshops and motivational seminars, the employees perceive it as another task or responsibility without making an effort to commit themselves to the cause. When top managers participate in the same workshops alongside their subordinates and demonstrate those values in their day-to-day behavior at work, employees learn to develop greater commitment and ownership of the process. While the culture management process may become derailed if top management do not participate in the process themselves, another obstacle can come in the form of processes that act as a disguise for other vested interests. The employees have to be convinced that the management is presenting to them a fair picture of the goals of the organizational culture change process. At times, managers may articulate the importance of cutting costs across the organization in order to become a more efficient company, yet at the same time they may continue to enjoy special privileges and benefits in the form of bonuses and business class travel. Employees who may have been forced to forgo some of their benefits might become resentful and not accept the change process as genuine. Another problem that can arise is that the culture management process is isolated from reality. The changes employees are expected to adopt must relate to the daily challenges they face in the execution of their tasks and responsibilities. When the employees feel that the proposed culture holds no relevance to their daily work life, they are likely to engage in merely behavioral compliance without becoming committed to the proposed values or behaviors. Therefore, managers need to scan the environment and obtain employee feedback before developing a culture management plan. If they fail to do so, they will have only wasted a significant part of the organization’s time and resources. A culture management process can also fail when the process is not developed in an integrated manner. Where a silo mentality persists in organizations, it becomes difficult to implement the change management process effectively. Conflicting values may be fund in different departments, which prevents a common shared set of values to become a part of the organizational culture. It may lead to conflict between departments, particularly in organizations with a matrix structure where employees are supposed to report to two managers.
On the basis of the previous discussion, culture management processes at the company should be managed in a holistic manner and on a continuous basis. It is also important to consider the culture of each of the countries that the company is planning to enter. Such an analysis will not only enable the company to develop a motivated and productive workforce but also gather relevant information relating to the needs of the market. First, the values that can be implemented in all the three markets should be selected and a program for introducing them in a manner that integrates the three markets should be developed. The employees for the China and India divisions should be selected on the basis of their compatibility with the values and their willingness to adapt to them. Organizational culture cannot be improved or changed in a radical manner. Culture represents established ways of perceiving and relating to the world and is difficult to change. Therefore, culture should be changed gradually and persistently otherwise the employees may revert to the old behavior. It is also important that the progress be monitored continuously and results communicated to the employees. Feedback has an important regulating and motivating factor so that any gaps can be bridged through increased effort. It is also important for top management to remain visibly involved at every stage of the change management process. Cultural change is a process that is accompanied by high levels of anxiety. Therefore, employees need the support from authoritative individuals who can demonstrate the values and then inspire the other employees to adopt these values and behaviors. It is also important for leaders to continuously articulate and demonstrate the values and behaviors so that employees are constantly reminded of hem. At the same time, expectations should be realistic and in line with the capacities of the employees. Particularly, when the cultural values are not in consonance with the national culture, greater effort should be invested in allaying any apprehension and in creating singularity of purpose among the scattered divisions.
Identification of Culture Management Areas
After identifying the suitable approach to initiating, improving and changing the culture management process, it is important to determine the specific set of assumptions, values and behaviors that are to be used in the culture management process. The national and organizational cultures of the United Kingdom, China and India have been discussed in the previous sections. While the organizational cultures of China and India hold greater similarity with one another than to the organizational culture of companies in the United Kingdom, because of the economic development of these countries and increased integration with the global economy, there has been a steady increase in the acceptance of western organizational work practices and values. For instance, the younger generations employees in China and India are more favorable to individual performance-based rewards then their predecessors. At the same time, the company needs to appoint managers in these countries who still believe in collectivistic values and collaborative efforts over individual glory. These employees and managers will have to work together and may also have to work with their peers in other markets if employees are transferred to other divisions. Therefore, it is important to develop an organizational culture that is based on a set of shared fundamental values while allowing for their expression in accordance with the national culture. In order to do this, the values held in common by the three cultures and those most relevant to the organization’s interests need to be selected.
It is important to reward individual effort in the organization while stressing the importance of collaborative effort and team work. Individual effort is an important value of the organizational culture in companies in the United Kingdom. Employees are expected to work hard and are assumed to be responsible for their actions. Younger employees in China and India are also motivated by personal rewards and responsibility for their career growth. Therefore, these values are shared to some extent by the three cultures. However, organizational cultures in the United Kingdom are more democratic and power is shared with the employees to a greater extent than in the other cultures. Employees are encouraged to be independent and resources are placed at their disposal. In China and India, while authority may be delegated, there is still less independence and employees cannot deviate from the example set by their managers. Instead, adherence to group norms and expectations is valued. This gap can be bridged by selecting team work as an integral part of the organizational culture. Team work involves collaboration and sharing of work tasks which is exhibited in the Chinese and Indian organizational cultures (Gupta & Wang, 2009). At the same time, value for mentorship could be included in the set of shared values. In Chinese organizational cultures, deference and respect for authority is presumed to be a source of reward. Similarly, in Indian organizational cultures, leaders are perceived as father figures and coaches who are interested in the overall well-being and needs of their employees. This concern can be shaped into a useful value what encourages managers and subordinates to engage in mentor-mentee relationship in the organization. While the younger employees possess greater skills and education than their managers, managers can guide their subordinates through their experience as to the best way of using those skills for achieving the organization’s strategic goals along with their professional goals. Such values will also prove to be beneficial in the United Kingdom where organizations have traditionally been wary of investing heavily in training and development programs for employees for fear of their skilled employees being poached by rivals. A value for collaborative learning through mentor-mentee relationships will enable employees to develop greater commitment and identification with the company. The bond shared between mentor and mentee would also enable the organization to benefit from synergistic relationships and greater cooperation. There is a risk that such relationships can become shaped into cliques and alliances in the organization leading to rivalries similar to the inter-departmental rivalries in silo structures. This can be overcome by instituting reward systems that reward collaborative effort along with individual achievements (Miles, Miles, & Snow, 2005). In such a culture, rewards can be determined for the team according to their performance as well as for putting in individual effort within the team. Non-monetary forms of acknowledgement and appreciation can also be introduced to reward individual achievement and satisfying the need for positive stroking held by Generation Y employees.
Culture management is an effective way of instilling a set of assumptions, values and behaviors that reflect the current opportunities and challenges faced by an organization. Culture influences the formal and informal norms and practices of an organization. These behaviors determine how the organization is perceived by various stakeholders. Since stakeholder power is increasing in the twenty-first century, organizations cannot afford to ignore their perceptions. Culture needs to be managed in a way that it leads to positive and productive behaviors that result in greater profitability for the company.
The company currently faces the opportunity to expand internationally by setting up branches in China and India to exploit those markets. At the same time, there is the challenge of developing a unified culture for the organization while maintaining sufficient integration to reap the benefits of efficiency through synergy.
The organizational cultures of India, China and the United Kingdom can be integrated on the basis of emerging commonalities such as a desire for individual reward and recognition, a potential for team work and collaborative improvement and a dialectic approach to problem solving. Because of geographical proximity between India and China and a shared colonial past linking the three countries, there is a familiarity with the culture of all three countries shared mutually. Therefore, there is a greater likelihood for compatibility to emerge despite cultural differences. As the global economy integrates further, there are likely to be increased prospects for the Chinese and Indian cultures to become more open to western values, behaviors and work practices. As both the countries indicate the growing economic power of the East over the industrialized West, firms in the United Kingdom may become more flexible in accommodating business and organizational cultural practices found in the firms of India and China. This would open greater opportunities for the three cultures to meet midway through the forces of globalization and the growing economic power of the eastern economies.
In the light of the previous discussion, it is recommended that the company should expand to China and India by setting up branches or wholly-owned subsidiaries in those countries. There are sufficient cultural similarities that would enable an innovative and flexible organizational culture to be shaped in those countries. The following measures may be taken to implement the culture management process:
Senior managers should conduct a detailed study of the organizational values held in the two countries by making business visits to the countries and visiting similar clothing retailers. This would enable them to experience the behaviors and business values at these companies.
The values should be identified and integrated into a common framework that can be modified according to the particular business setting. At all times, the process should be open to review and change by the culture management team.
The employees at the United Kingdom office must be communicated the benefits and aspects of the culture management process and the implications for their performance should be discussed with them openly.
The culture management team should develop a schedule for implementation of the culture change process. The values should be made a part of the orientation program of the employees in the target countries. Suitable rewards should also be made contingent to the demonstration of these values.
It is essential that the top management and middle management teams regularly visit the China and India divisions to participate in the culture management process and to interact with the employees. This would help to persuade the employees of senior management’s commitment to the process and the benefits that such integration can bring to them and to the organization.
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