The United States has been known as the leading country in the world. They have strong increases of productivity, low inflation and unemployment rate. But in the 1980s the income rates has decelerated. Reuters states that the declining in global economy and maintaining cost efficiency would not prevent companies to implement the international assignment i. e. sending employees overseas. The article addresses this issue and shows the cultural characteristics and values of United States.
Moreover, this essay will focus on Geert Hofstede’s value dimensions of United States which are acquire from the article, namely individualism, low power distance, masculinity and low uncertainty avoidance. Secondly, this essay will also evaluate the cultural characteristics of United Arab Emirates in order to explain the causes of Marc Lawlor; an employer who is appointed to work in Dubai for 12 months had tough time while implementing his jobs. Discussion According to Hofstede’s value dimensions, United States scores the highest value for individualism that is 91 on the scale of 100.
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It also gives us evidence that United States has loose relationships between individuals and they are expected to take care of themselves or their family. Scott Sullivan, an executive vice president of Brookfield Global Relocation Services states short term assignments has been growing and “They’re cheaper because it doesn’t involve bringing the family”. Thus, this statement shows most companies are implementing the short term assignments for their own benefit i. e. reducing cost of sending employees overseas while not bothering the employers’ families.
In terms of psychological needs in the Maslow’s hierarchy model; individualism is associated with achievement motivation. This is shown in the article that Marc Lawlor agreed to the 12-month working period in Dubai in order to enhance his international experience to the resume and increase income. The highest authority in this case is the immigration authority of the host country. In a country where there is a low power distance such as United States, the subordinates usually have a strong relationships and better understanding of the superiors whom they are working with.
This is supported by the article that management consulting firm started using a website to inform employees about tax and visa issues. They had done this because they understand that the immigration authority cares about these issues. Furthermore, low power distance countries are more likely to have higher expectation on distributive justice rather than procedural justice. Since distributive justice concerning about the quantity not quality, we could conclude that low power distance has an interconnection with masculinity.
United States is included as a masculinity country which has a ranking of 61 out of 100. It implies the high gender role differences where male population is dominating the country. This is the evident in the article. Employees being sent overseas for either long term or short term assignments are mostly man rather than woman. “A large American company sent an executive to run operations temporarily in Spain, but when immigration authorities there discovered he did not have working papers… . ” Another evident identified in the article is when the company appointed Mr.
Marc Lawlor to work in Dubai for 12 months. Besides, the woman in this type of culture also more competitive and assertive compare to those in the femininity country. This is shown in the article that Brenda H. Fender who is a woman and become a director of global initiatives for Worldwide ERC, an association concerned with workforce mobility. It is the same case of Anne P. Copeland who successfully became The Interchange Institute’s executive director. United States has low uncertainty avoidance where ambiguity is more likely to be tolerated.
According to Christopher and Deresky, companies which are operating in low ambiguity avoidance countries are less formal, less structured, has high job mobility , managers tend to be more willing to take risk compare to those operating in high uncertainty avoidance and they seem to be in a internal locus of control . The article illustrates companies in United States are flexible since some companies changed their long term assignment of sending employees overseas to short term. In addition, companies in United States also had made a high-risk decision by sending their employees overseas.
For example, due to failure in applying the tax and immigration law the appointed employee might be deported or put in jail. This would cause the employees to lose their job, thus come to the conclusion that United States has high job mobility. By the time Marc Lawlor was implementing his duty in Dubai for 12 months, he had tough time. This is due to the difference in cultural characteristics of the two countries, namely United States and Dubai. Dubai is one of the states in United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to Hofstede, UAE is a collectivist country, has high power distance and high uncertainty avoidance.
Hofstede’s value dimension of UAE that is related to the article is high uncertainty avoidance which is resulting companies become less flexible. The article states that Mr. Lawlor worked 10 hours a day in Dubai and looked for housing at night. However, the average working hours for employed persons in United States is 7. 6 hours a day. Moreover, in country such as UAE where uncertainty avoidance is high usually the subordinates have to submit their paperwork on time. Subordinates who are employed in high power distance country also given lesser time to finish their paperwork.
This is because the organization usually has a narrow span of control where it forms tall pyramid hierarchy rather than flat pyramid. Thus, due to tight deadlines Mr. Lawlor found that the paperwork in Dubai’s company never properly done. Conclusion This essay has focused on the cultural characteristics measured by Hofstede’s value dimensions of two countries, namely United States and United Arab Emirates, Dubai. United States is an individualism country which has low power distance, high masculinity and low uncertainty avoidance. Low uncertainty avoidance will form a better personal relationship between subordinates and their authorities.
On the other hand, United Arab Emirates is a collectivist country which has high power distance and high uncertainty avoidance. However, high uncertainty avoidance is the only value dimension of the UAE country that is related to the article and discussed in this essay. This is also the reason why Marc Lawlor was having tough time in Dubai. Overall, it seems evident that different countries have different cultural characteristics and value. Therefore, it is important to understand the cultures of countries we are dealing with to become successful leaders and managers as well as in running a business.