The AIU organization in Europe exhibits a corporate culture that is fit to what obtains with the European. In the organization’s bid to expand its network of operation to South Africa, there is need for it to adequately study the national culture and pattern of marketing in the African country. Thus, it could be able to integrate its already adopted corporate culture with the pattern of culture in South Africa, The marketing strategy introduced into its operation in European country has to be introduced to suit the cultural practice in South Africa if the organization intend keeping to its adapted corporate culture.
Hence, if the organization wants to stick to its corporate culture it is exhibiting in Europe it is bound to fail. There is the need to carry out a thorough research and analysis on the culture existing within a country where the organization intends to expand its operation. In this view, Oden (1997:3), argues that “many of today’s most successful organizations continue to survive because many years ago they offered the right product at the right time. Most product, market, and process venture decisions of the past were made without the benefit of strategic thinking or planning.
However, present-day managers increasingly recognize that venture decisions must be made in the context of a venture strategy. As they find themselves in ever more complex and turbulent environments, their past internally oriented, reactive approach to decision making is giving way to an externally oriented proactive approach that requires more analysis”. The need for AIU to analyze both its internal and external environments is a needed strategic framework for the organization to thrive in international corporate venture and strategy.
Hence, this long-range strategic and proactive orientation to decision making is an important element of the innovation culture (ibid). The need for an organization to adapt to the culture in the environment where it operates goes a long way to show how successful it would be. The strategy in place should take into cognizance those cultural variables that would blend with the environment and people’s life style and taste. This is where the management of AIU International has missed the mark.
There is the intention to transfer the AIU European culture to countries that has no cultural similarities; such as South Africa Israel, Australia, Japan, and Canada. In countries that are in the European continent, they tend to share the same cultural background. Thus, little effort needs to be put in place in these countries unlike in countries that operates very different culture and pattern of transmitting marketing and business transactions. To buttress this argument Ulijn et al (2000), illustrated that, “when a multinational firm, such as Philips, operates in the United States, it is accepted almost as a U.
S. firm since it is loosely related to the individualistic U. S. society where interaction is explicit, low context, and monochromic. On the other hand, to be successful in Japan, Philips should behaves as a Japanese firm, where national culture and corporate culture overlap in a tight, collectivistic society where interaction is implicit, high context, and polychromic”. The above illustration shows that every country has its own cultural characteristics and variables that would compact with the environment in which business operation is done.
In addition, there is the consideration that needs to be made on regulations and rules emanating from government. Different countries governments have their regulations and rules on how business is to operate in their country. Thus, as AIU expands its fast food business base to South Africa, it needs to put into consideration on how to make sure that this regulation does not hamper its move to franchise its business in Africa. National culture is a great reckoning force, which the AIU organizations need to greatly imbibed in. The need on maintaining the European culture should be deemphasized, in its bid to operate in South Africa.
To make this national corporate culture to be retain and be in conformity with the cultural pattern of the South African, every new staff should be adequately orientated on the existing cultures they are recruited. , and it is expected they keep to this culture. As the organization’s activities are built round the national culture, this is reflected in the management style, relationship between staff and management, selection of partners. Corporate identity is an important factor to enable an organization competes favorably in an industry.
“Based on this notion the effective management of an organization’s identity result in the acquisition of a favorable corporate image and, over time, of a favorable corporate reputation which leads an organization’s key stakeholders and stakeholder groups to be favorably disposed towards it” (Balmer & Wilson, 1998). According to Balmer (1997), cited in Balmer & Wilson (1998), an important pre-requisite for a corporate reputation to contribute to business survival and success is that it offers a distinct advantage in relation to the organization’s external environment”.