導讀：這是一篇 International Businesses and Management課程的essay,需要用哈佛格式來完成，要說明白跨文化管理在國際商務中的重要性和作用是什么？使用兩個國家作為案例研究。Study on how to deal with cross-cultural management towards Chinese and American staff in international business activities
With the advent of the era of globalization, more and more people with different cultural backgrounds participate in international business activities, how to carry out cross-cultural management to coordinate and resolve contradictions and conflicts between different cultures has become one of the key factors in international business activities (Men and Tsai, 2012). In this study, it is based on cross-cultural management theories and models such as Hofstede model and Hall model, taking Chinese and American cultures as the research objects to discuss on how to conduct cross-cultural management in international business activities. Results of this study provide valuable reference for multinational companies in implementation of cross-cultural management.
2.0 Literature review文獻綜述
2.1.1 The definition of culture 文化的定義
Herskovits (1955) defines culture as a shared value system of a group of people. Hofstede (1980) believes that culture is the mental programs of people, and he points out that culture affects what people pay attention to, how to act and how to judge others and things. Trompenaars (1993) thinks that culture is ways and means that a group uses in solving problem and alleviating plight, rather than just a set of value system.
2.1.2 Function of culture in a society文化在社會中的作用
Function of culture in society is mainly reflected in the following three aspects.
18.104.22.168 Integrating 集成
文化是一個社會群體中不同成員之間交流的中介，如果他們能夠分享文化，那么他們就能夠有效地交流，消除障礙，促進合作（Lee，Kim and Park，2015）。
Culture is the intermediary for communication between different members of a social group, if they are able to share the culture, then they will be able to communicate effectively to eliminate barriers and facilitate cooperation (Lee, Kim and Park, 2015).
22.214.171.124 Guiding and maintaining order
The formation and establishment of a culture means that certain values and norms of behavior have been recognized and complied with, this also means the formation of some kind of order (Ladhari, Souiden and Choi, 2015).
From generation standpoint, if the next generation agrees with and shares culture of the previous generation, then the culture will have the function inheritance (Ladhari, Souiden and Choi, 2015).
2.1.3 Hofstede model
Hofstede (1980) figures that culture is a psychological process jointly possessed by many people with the same education and life experiences. There are differences between this process of different groups, different regions, countries. Such cultural differences can be divided into five dimensions: power distance, uncertainty avoidance index, individualism versus collectivism, masculine versus feminality, long-term and short-term orientation. Hofstede model confirms the existence of significant differences between cultures of different nations, and these differences is rooted in people's minds and it is difficult to be changed easily.
2.1.4 Hall models
Hall (1955) was based on context, spatial distance between people and attitude towards time to classify different cultures. According to Hall cultural context, culture will be divided into high-context culture and low-context cultures. Considering high-context culture, semantic carrying is more dependent on context, the communicative language itself often does not cover all the information; in low-context culture, semantics consists mainly in communicative language. Hall (1983) believes, based on the time dimension of culture, the world can be divided into monochromic and polychromic sense of time, people with monochromic sense of time have strong sense of time, they focus on objectives, tasks and results, rather than relationships. People with polychromic sense of time are on the contrary. According to different habits of people in using personal space, Hall divides culture into contact culture and noncontact culture). Hall (1966) believes that Arabic culture, Southern European and Latin culture belongs to contact culture, while American, Asian, Nordic culture belongs to noncontact culture.
2.2 Cross-cultural management
2.2.1 Concept and importance of cross-cultural management
Cross-cultural management refers to management behavior of overcoming the differences between different cultures and on this basis to re-shape the unique culture of an enterprise to ultimately create a renowned performance (Georgieva, Jandik and Lee, 2012). The importance of cross-cultural management in international business activities of multinational firms and companies is reflected in the following aspects. Firstly, cross-cultural management is conducive to resolving problems arising from cultural differences, cultural conflicts in multinational companies (Lee, 2014). Secondly, multinational companies are through cross-cultural management to allow employees with different cultural backgrounds to form and follow common values, beliefs, codes of conduct to improve the overall performance of employees (Kaba and Osei-Bryson, 2013). Finally, multinational companies are through superior cross-cultural management to be able to gain a competitive advantage through cultural differences (Aggarwal and Goodell, 2014).
2.2.2 Cross-cultural management model
3-step model is one of the most common used cross-cultural management models, it divides cross-cultural management into map, bridge, integrate three steps. In the map phase, business managers should understand what cultural differences there are; in the bridge stage, managers should communicate with employees about cultural differences. In the integrate phase, managers should manage differences through building participation, resolving conflicts, building on each other’s ideas (Aggarwal and Goodell, 2014; Lee, Kim and Park, 2015).
2.2.3 Cross-cultural management strategies
There are generally the following four cross-cultural management strategies: localization strategy, global enterprises in foreign countries need to hire a considerable part of local staff, as local employees are familiar with local customs, market dynamics and various government regulations, and they are easy to reach a consensus with local consumers (Deephouse, Newburry and Soleimani, 2016); cultural compatibility strategy, although there is a huge cultural differences between a home culture and a host culture, they are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other, applying them to a company's operation can take full advantage of cross-culture (Lee, Kim and Park, 2015); cultural innovation strategy, it is an effective integration of corporate culture of a parent company with the local culture to build a new corporate culture, this new culture not only retains the characteristics of corporate culture of the parent company, but also adapts to the local cultural environment (Lee, Kim and Park, 2015); occupation strategy, when a multinational corporation directly invests abroad, its foreign branches keep only the corporate culture of the parent company (Lee, Kim and Park, 2015).
3.0 Comparison of differences between Chinese and American cultures
3.1 Comparison based on Hofstede model
It can be seen from the above table that there are large differences between the two countries in terms of power distance, individualism / collectivism, long-term and short-term orientation. Power distance refers to the degree of people’s acceptance of cases such as unequal distribution of power in an organization (Hofstede, 1980). The power distance index of Chinese cultural is high, people are usually indifferent about inequality. The power distance index of American culture is lower, Americans have a strong spirit of resistance towards inequality distribution of power.
Individualism / collectivism is a measure of whether an overall society focuses on personal interests or collective interests (Hofstede, 1980). Relations between people in American society are loose, people tend to care about their families; and Chinese people are in contrast, they are willing to sacrifice personal interests for collective interests, and they also want to be protected by the community.
Long-term orientation and short-term orientation refers to national values for long-term interests and short-term interests (Hofstede, 1980). Chinese culture has more emphasis on consideration for the future, focusing on savings, thrift and reserves. American culture focuses on immediate interests, focusing on respect for tradition and the burden of social responsibility.