Cultural Framework Of Business
Today’s’ organizations operate in a very competitive environment in their immediate environment, i. e. within the state they operate and at the global arena. This stiff competition then requires that organization develop a unique pattern of operation that would make it curve a niche for itself over its competitors. Thus, the organization’s behavior is structured under certain cultural practices exhibited by the organization.
Accordingly, it requires that managers of contemporary business, e specially those operating in international business transactions, like Multinational corporations, they need to understand those cultural practices exhibited by organization in the same industry. The immediate environment where an organization operates in tends to influence its cultural practices. Thus, this brings a bout the differences in cultural practices in contemporary business entities.
The challenge then borders on managers of business organization to understand how and which pattern of organizational culture to adopt for a favorably competition.. Thus, those cultural variables that makes up an organization cultural framework include its ethics; relationship with customers, employees, shareholders, competitors, suppliers of raw materials, and government; authority structure within the organization, mode of communication and technology utilize, language of disseminating information to the customers and the general public, diversity in strategic operations, business networking
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according to Mccall & Stone (2004:4), “Globalization is driven by market, cost, government, competition and other factors as well as the motives of managers. Given the global strategic perspective, the corollary that it should be accompanied by a universal standardization is difficult to sustain as such a stance is product oriented and in defiance of the marketing concept”. This goes to show that the expansion of products and services in the global market has to do with pattern of operations and ex habited business culture.
THE DIFFERENT CULTURAL ISSUES FACING CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MANAGERS There are many influences of culture on the institutional and organizational levels of behavior. culture shapes the type of organizations that evolve and the nature of social structures as they grow and adapt. Societies shape their collectivities and social aggregates according to the rules implied by culture. Thus, culture is viewed sometimes, in term of antecedents such as time, language, and locality variables as well as historical and economical commonalties (Earley, 1997:21) TECHNOLOGICAL CULTURAL VARIABLE
The operation of today’s business is technologically driven, due to the constant improvement in communication and information technology, the advancement in means of production. All these, lead to the changes in ways an organization operates. This technologically driven business operations at the international level has brought with it organizations adopting different competitive strategies. Organizations have depended on serious research work in order to understand the market-know-how and find way of coping with the technology and other technical knowledge transfers on ways of operating in their business industries.
“A number of theoretical perspective related to the role of firm-specific knowledge in competitive strategy-resource-based view of the firm, organizational learning-have began contributing to our understanding of international strategic alliances” (Mowey et al, 1996, quoted in Simonin 1999:463). ETHICS CULTURAL VARIABLE Organization’s cultural practices show how an organization behaves and conduct its business operations at the international domestic levels. Thus, ethics play significant issues for an organization operating in the international arena.
In today’s business, ethics form those ideal practices that are expected from an organization operating in an industry. Ethics may come in the form of professional ethics, or standards set by go as a way of regulating the activities of business operations within the state. Also, business customers may have structured or patterned their anticipated expectation on how the ideal business of their choice should operate, thus business organization tend to maintain this pattern of operation. All of these goes top form the ethics guiding the way an organization operates. RELATIONSHIP AS A VARIABLE IN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
Organization’ relationship to its customers and other stakeholders doing business with the business organization, this is a vital variable that constitute to the organization culture ; as the relationship tend to portray the organization in a good or bad way to customers, business partners and the society at large. The importance of building a good and cordial relationship for an organization operating in an international business is inevitable for the successful operation of the organization. Relationship formation for business organization provides a platform for the contact between firms and consumers.
According to Berry (1983:25), cited in Stern (1997:7), this form of contact is termed ‘relationship marketing’, and it is defined as “attracting, maintaining, and –in multi-service organization-enhancing customer relationships”. In contemporary times, it is a reality that customers prefer forming a relationship with people, i. e. members of an organization, rather than with their goods (ibid). It is then a challenge on managers of business to find out the most effective pattern of building up the organization relationship with customers and other stakeholders, in a way that provides effectiveness and efficiency.
HIRARCHY STRUCTURE OF AUTHORITY IN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE Another factor to be considered as a firm engages in international business is how it structures its hierarchy of authority. An organization hierarchical structure determines how effective and how vital decisions are speedily executed. Thus, an organization operating in an international capacity needs to adopt a n authority structure that will make it operate effectively and effect vital and speedy decisions at the right time.
For instance, an organization with a poorly structured hierarchy of authority will continue to face difficulty in speedy information dissemination a s there will be no direct flow of information, and sometimes contradictory decisions could be made from different authorities in the organization. According to Earley (1997:176), in traditional institutionalism, the rational interests and purpose of an organization were viewed as perverted through political and conflict influences a rising from individual actors’ interests, i. e. organizations created informal structures based on powerful cliques and coalitions that they formed.
These structures were thought to detract from the efficient functioning of the organization. LANGUAGE VARIABLE IN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE The language use in passing information across to stakeholders tends to determine the level of relationship form. It is then the task of the manager to develop a suiting language that will make the receiver of the organization’s information understand what is being said and their proper implication. Each country has its own language and those words they consider as suiting and appropriate for effective communication.
Thus, for instance, it is the task of the manager to find out how to structure the language a nd choice of words use by the organization in its everyday operations and information dissemination and advertisement. This is more important for an organization operating in different countries, where their national culture regarding language differs. DIVERSITY AND CORPORATE IDENTITY AS A VARIABLE IN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE Organizations have their own corporate identities which differentiate them from each other.
According to Balmer & Wilson (1998), an organization’s identity results in the acquisition of a favorable corporate reputation. Thus, corporate identity comes in form of the organization logo, its unique ness of performing its functions, its corporate nomenclature, product brand names, and organizational symbol and chosen corporate color. CONCLUSION Organizations operating in international business transactions need to adapt a corporate culture that is unique and effective, which will lead to effective attainment of organizational goals and objectives.
It is then a challenging task for managers of these form of organization to carefully strategize in building a n effective organization culture by harnessing all the aforementioned cultural issues -ethics, relationship, well structured authority framework, ideal language and corporate identity- into a holistic and integrated form to enable the organization curve a niche for itself over its rivals in the international arena. REFRENCES Balmer, J. M. T. & Wilson Alan (1998), “Corporate Identity: There is More to it than meets the Eye” International Studies of management & Organization. Vol. 28, No. 3. Earley, Christopher P.
(1997), Face, Harmony, and Social Structure: An Analysis of Organizational Behavior across Cultures. New York: Oxford University Press. Mccall, J. B. & Stone, M. A. (2004), International Strategic Marketing: A [N] European Perspective. New York: Routledge Stern, Barbara B. (1997), “Advertising Intimacy: Relationship Marketing and the Services Consumer” Journal of Advertising. Vol. 26, No. 4. Simonin, Bernard L. (1999), “Transfer of Marketing Know-How in International Strategic Alliances: An Empirical Investigation of the Role and Antecedents of Knowledge Ambiguity” Journal of International Business Studies. Vol. 30, No. 3.