Sample Essay Paper on Organisational Structure

Organisational Structure

Introduction

Organizational culture may refer to certain norms that are adopted in a workplace. Dartey-Baah (2013) has described organizational culture as the values, attitudes, and beliefs that define an individual’s behavior in terms of relating with others in and out of the workplace. Organizational culture can impede or facilitate organizational strategy. In a bid to become more effective, various organizations employ various tools, such as Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions.  Merger and acquisitions (M&A) are by far the most ideal example of the application of Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions at play. This is because in most cases, the company making the acquisition comes with its own national culture which mostly conflicts with the national culture of the company under acquisition. Such was the case with the Tata Group when it acquired Jaguar Land Rover in 2008. Using Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, the essay examines this M&A and compares it with the findings from the article by Dartey-Baah (2013). Tata Group is an Indian company while Jaguar Land Rover is a UK company though it had been acquired by the American carmaker Ford, who in turn sold it to Tata (Ciceri, 2013).

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions

Power distance

Power distance describes how power is distributed within. Individuals from large power distance cultures; the top management, enjoy much power, give instructions and make decisions for their juniors (Dartey-Baah, 2013). Small power distance cultures are characterized by even power distribution amongst individuals.  The UK has a low power distance score of 35. This is indicative of a society that seeks to minimize inequalities amongst all people, which means the UK culture is tolerant of equal distribution of power.  Conversely, India has a Power Distance Index of 77 which is relatively high, and points towards the high level of inequality with regard to how wealth and power are distributed within the society (Juhasz, 2013). In acquiring Jaguar Land Rover, there was bound to be a conflict between the divergent aspects of this cultural dimension.  The acquisition was thus likely to influence such human resource practices as leadership styles and performance appraisal. Employees may now be required to demonstrate obedience and loyalty to their superiors, which is the norm in high power distance cultures such as India (Dartey-Baah, 2013).

Individualism vs collectivism

This refers to the level to which people in a society relate to each other collectively as groups. In individualistic cultures, people are not so much concerned about the overall wellbeing and collective objective of a group as they are with their individual interests (Dartey-Baah, 2013). People in such cultures enjoy a high level of autonomy which enables them to make individual decisions. Conversely, individuals in collectivistic cultures are concerned with the welfare of others, and as collective cultures deny individuals the independence and freedom they need to be innovative or creative. The UK has one of the highest individualism scores, at 89 (Geert Hofstede, n.d.). Britons believe in personal fulfillment as the source of happiness. Here, people tend to be more self-reliant and innovative. This contrasts with the collectivist culture of India where priority is on the family.  Bringing individuals from the two teams to work together as a team is likely to bring about challenges given the differences between the two sides in terms of approaching issues facing them.

Femininity vs Masculinity

This particular dimension is concerned with how emotional roles are distributed between genders (Dartey-Baah, 2013). In a masculine culture, there is recognition and rewards for performance. Accordingly, successful achievers who demonstrate the willingness and assertiveness to attain set goals are treated with admiration and utmost respect. Conversely, feminine cultures are more concerned with an individual’s overall quality of life as opposed to success or social status. There is a growing willingness by such cultures to share the wealth with the less privileged members of the society. With a score of 56, India is regarded as a masculine country (Juhasz,2013). Here, the focus is on achievements and success. Consequently, the Indian culture attaches a lot of value to competitiveness, assertiveness, and ambition. This compares well with the high masculinity score of 66 by the UK (Geert Hofstede, n.d.). This means that both societies attach value to achievement and success. It is also indicative of success-driven societies.

Uncertainty avoidance

Uncertainty avoidance describes the level to which individuals are comfortable with uncertain situations. It thus refers to how society reacts to an unknown future (Dartey-Baah,2013). Such lack of clarity often triggers indifference and anxiety in cultures. Therefore, individuals from a high uncertainty avoidance culture prefer formal and rigid decision-making processes and are less willing to take risks. In contrast, individuals from low uncertainty avoidance cultures prefer informality and flexibility in their workplace and take risks. The UK is characterized by a below-average uncertainty avoidance score, at 46. This is almost similar to that of India at 40 (Juhasz, 2013). What this means is that both cultures are highly tolerant of imperfections. Individuals from both countries also value risk-taking and consequently, highly innovative.

Conclusion

Organizational culture affects HR policies, this is especially true for M&As where two national cultures are likely to conflict. Such was the case with the acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover by the Tata Group in 2008, thereby pitting the Indian national culture against the UK culture. Based on this assessment, it is evident that there is a dire need to deal with such cultural issues as they could determine the failure or success of an organization.

References

Ciceri, P. (2013).  Cross-Border Cultural Challenges in Mergers and Acquisitions: The Tata

Jaguar Case. Retrieved from http://tesi.eprints.luiss.it/10539/1/ciceri-piergiorgio-tesi

2013.pdf

Dartey-Baah, K. (2013). The Cultural Approach to the Management of the International

Humans Resource: A Analysis of Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions. International

Journal of Business Administration, 4(2), 39,44. Retrieved from

http://www.sciedu.ca/journal/index.php/ijba/article/view/2581

Geert Hofstede (n.d.). What about the UK? Retrieved from https://geert-hofstede.com/united

kingdom.html

Juhasz, I. (2013).  The Workforce in Indian Organizations. An Analysis Based Upon the

Dimensions of Hofstede’s Model. Retrieved from

http://www.irisro.org/economics2014january/15JuhaszIstvan.pd