Organizational culture and the national culture of the global organization:
For a global organization that brings together employees and managers of different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities to the workplace, the national culture is very important. In the study conducted by Hofstede, a single multinational corporation had striking cultural differences. His study showed that 50 per cent of the differences between the attitudes and behaviors of the employees could be explained by the national culture. Therefore, national culture could be explain the differences more than would professional roles, age, race and gender etc. moreover, in a multinational organization, the national cultural differences are usually more prominent especially if the employees are from various other countries and working together at the same place (Adler & Gunderson, 2008).
Organizational culture is known to enhance the national cultures rather than suppressing them. This can be attributed to various reasons such as employees’ resistance to conforming to the foreign organizational culture which makes them cling more to their national cultures, or the reason that the national culture is well rooted in a person and by the time they start working in an organization, it cannot be easily displaced. But at the same time it has been concluded that in whichever part of the world, employees maintain to work in their own culturally specific ways or even go as far to enhance them despite working in a multinational or global organization.
Organizations that are functional across the world in numerous countries have to be flexible so as to deal with diverse cultures and markets. Therefore, companies have to develop ethical codes and structures so as to cater to the complexities of doing business on a global scale. This leads to the development of strong organizational cultures but they are less successful if the global environment is divergent. Therefore for the managers, it is a tough task to build a strong organizational culture that promotes cohesiveness and sense of community.
Companies that exist in such divergent global environment are multinationals that by and large employ people from different countries and place them in different countries as well depending on the relevance of the employees to the tasks at hand. Therefore, understanding the importance of national cultures is very important for such organizations that pursue global strategies. The company’s strategy is to be in line with the national culture in which the organization resides. Usually such organizations that develop global cultures emphasize on multicultural values, promote merit instead of nationality, rise to the challenges presented by new cultures and are at the same time open and sensitive to the different cultural values instead of being hindered by them.
Therefore, the organization needs to be sensitive to these national cultures when formulating and implementing a strategy. Organizational culture has to be multicultural instead of showing dominance of one culture or ethnicity. For instance, if in a country the religious holidays of the country are being observed, then nationals of other countries in the organization should also be allowed leverage for their religious holidays. The organizational culture has to be so that it doesn’t limit anyone, rather it reinforces feelings of community and mutual understanding amongst each other.
Management in the firms should develop global organizational cultures which allow them to execute corporate global strategies. There should be a global perspective in all the initiatives undertaken, global competence and cross cultural skills should be valued, interdependency between headquarters and subsidiaries should be promoted and the company should subscribe to globally acceptable ethical standards.
Adler, N. J & Gunderson, A (2008) International dimensions of organizational behavior, USA: Thomson-Southwestern