For every company, effective leadership and management is an important factor that connects all the other organizational elements hence improving the functionality of the organization. Inefficient leadership leads to dormancy of the business resources associated with the company. Globalization is a worldwide phenomenon that is gaining its popularity across the world (Haugen & Mach, 2010). It involves social and cultural aspects, where there is an attempt to integrate communications, financial trade, and the economy. This global age has generally brought people closer to one another through technology. Therefore, it’s not surprising to find people of different cultural beliefs working together. Working with people from different cultures can be exciting. However, this can cause frustrations because cultures are different, and fitting into another person’s culture can be challenging. Cultural norms greatly affect the interpersonal as well as mechanical associations of people at the workplace (Team Publications, 2006).
Russians cultural dimension based on Hofstede and Mark’s team behavior
According to Hofstede, there is a certain degree of inequality in existence between people with power and those without power. He also noted that this inequality is acceptable (Hofstede, n.d). The society that Mark’s team knew had lived with this perception all their life; hence they didn’t have a reason to question Mark’s actions or instructions. The cultural beliefs of Mark’s team is that there is an unequal distribution of power among members of society. Considering their actions, it would therefore be correct to state that according to the Russian culture, the team acknowledges power. They believe that authority comes from those up in the organizational hierarchy while it’s the subordinates’ duties to follow orders.
Hofstede’s opinion on long term orientation can further explain the teams’ behavior. Hofstede suggests that some societies, especially in the Asian countries, highly respect tradition and therefore keen on delivering social obligations rather than being creative and innovative in the work setting hence risking mistakes (Hofstede, n.d). Despite the tremendous changes that Russia has gone through business-wise, traditional standards and values still exist.
Russia background and its effects on the team’s behavior
It’s important to note that the communism political background of Russia has greatly affected most Russians. This is evident with the fact that taking the initiative is not a choice for them as they fear making mistakes (Newsome & Kingsbury, 2013). The communism heritage has programmed them to assume that it’s the responsibility of the senior management to make the final decisions. This political background can provide an insight as to why Mark’s team was not in a position to question any of his actions as they viewed him as an authoritative figure.
The current characteristics of organizational structure and businesses in Russia reflect those instilled during the Soviet era. The management style used by most businesses is autocratic in character. In Russia, the corporate structure is such that the autocratic character who leads the organization takes the responsibility of making decisions as well as delegating tasks to middle-level managers and lower-level employees. It’s not expected for the employees to question anything from the management, and they are expected to comply with the management decisions and follow its directions with minimal or no discussion (Tsvetan, 2010)
. This is a perfect explanation as to why Mark’s team does not make an effort to challenge his decisions or act without his direction. Additionally, the large gap between the rich and the poor in Russia can also explain why subordinates and low-level employees are not confident in correcting or arguing with the manager. They assume that it’s his responsibility to dictate to them what they should do, and it’s their duty to follow instructions without question.
I agree with Mark’s opinion that the culture of American business is more effective than that of Russian business. This is because, for the success of every organization, teamwork and two-way communication are important. In Russia, debating with those in authority is forbidden. Additionally, the employees do not have any self-initiative to perform any tasks neither do they have the motivation of any kind. This kind of workplace character, therefore, leaves the manager with the task of making all decisions for the organization. This eventually leads to reduced productivity from the company since the manager is too exhausted, making decisions and solving problems for the company all by himself.
Mark believes that changing his leadership styles will not help the company. This is true because his management style is a known form of producing positive results in any organization. However, as much as this is true, it’s important for him to consider that Russian employees know no other way to behave in their workplace since it’s the only culture they are used to. Therefore, having them immediately adopt the American management style will greatly affect their work output. For this reason, he should make the change gradual following a step by step process, and this way, the American management style will be incorporated into the Russian system with minimal resistance.
Embracing cultural diversity is an important tool for every organization. Cultural differences act as a hindrance to communication and development. It also affects the ability of individuals in an organization to build connections. Therefore, awareness of cultural differences will provide a respectful cross-cultural relationship among individuals hence enabling people to work together in a more effective manner. It is therefore important to learn how to behave towards people when in a new cultural setup.
Haugen, D. M., & Mach, R. (2010). Globalization. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Hofstede, G. (n.d.). Cultural Dimensions in Management and Planning. Udsnit af Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Jan. 1984.
Newsholme, A., & Kingsbury, J. A. (2013). The Background of Russian Life. Red Medicine, 58-63. doi:10.1016/b978-1-4831-6707-7.50009-1
Team Publications. (2006). Cultural diversity & awareness.
Tsvetan, I. (2010). Applied Aspects of the Leadership in the Bussiness Unit. Acta Mechanica Slovaca, 14(1). doi:10.2478/v10147-011-0002-3