1200 words, APA format, cite 1 scholarly journals and 1 attached text book chapter1.In a narrative format, discuss the key facts and critical issues presented in the case.2.Considering the results of Christine’s survey of her managers regarding the reorganization, should she proceed with moving all three offices at once or should she relocate the offices in a piecemeal fashion? Why or why not?3.How do different organizational cultures develop in the four claims’ offices of the same insurance company, all located in one geographic region of the United States?4.What could Christine, as the overall supervisor of all four claim’s offices, have done to promote cultural harmony among and between the offices?Guidance for Unit 5
Well, we’ve made it to the end! Congratulations for coming this far. In this final
Unit, you have the best chance to bring together everything you have learned, both in course
content and in the mechanics of writing. As you craft this assignment, please cite liberally
from all around the textbook as applicable, and from outside sources. Bring your “A” game
in terms of critical thinking and academic writing. Make yourself proud of your
1. Narrative Format: We continue with the same drill: Write in the narrative
format, yet focus on what are truly key facts and critical issues. Read your essay
two or three times to get rid of trivial details. Avoid adding trivial details in an
attempt to expand the essay. The case has enough key facts and critical issues
that can be summarized in at least 200 words.
2. Case Analysis Question #1: Make sure that you anchor your recommendations
on the results of Christine’s survey. Although you may have other opinions, the
question specifically requires that you consider the results of the survey.
Remember to justify your analysis using course concepts and/or theories.
3. Case Analysis Question #2: This question requires that you synthesize what you
have read this week about culture. For example, how might the concept of
cultural strength apply to this question? Avoid going off on a tangent that has
nothing to do with the assigned reading or with other very closely related outside
4. Application The application question is about managing culture. The context is
prior to the consolidation of the offices. In other words, while the offices were
still in separate locations, what could Christine have done, as the overall
supervisor of all four claim’s offices, to promote cultural harmony among and
between the offices? Hint: There is a section in your reading titled Managing
Culture. WARNING: Don’t write your essay about managing the transition from
the four offices to one office; again the question is about managing culture within
the context of four different offices.
All the best!
integrative social contracts view of
justice view of ethics
religious view of ethics
rights view of ethics
self-interest view of ethics
utilitarian view of ethics
There is a “way things are done” in every organization. Long-term members
understand it well and newcomers tend to learn it quickly. Organizational theorists
refer to this phenomenon as organizational or corporate culture. Culture refers
to the commonly held values and beliefs of a particular group of people,1 and the
concept of organizational culture reflects the application of the culture concept to
members of an organization.
the commonly held values
and beliefs of a particular
group of people
The concept of organizational culture is based on the observation from
anthropology that unique norms of behavior develop for groups of individuals who
spend a considerable amount of time together. Originally the term was used to
describe behaviors within geographical boundaries, such as the British, French, or
Bconcept to the study of
Chinese cultures. Organizational theorists have applied the
E culture) refers to the
organizations. Organizational culture (also called corporate
shared values and patterns of belief and behavior that areNaccepted and practiced
by the members of a particular organization.2 As we shall
Nsee, the organizational
culture can greatly influence the success or failure of the organization.
T are often intertwined
Standards and expectations for ethics and social responsibility
with an organization’s culture. Managers and employeesTare expected to act in
“appropriate” ways or consider certain criteria when making
, decisions. As such,
the notions of ethics and responsibility are inseparable from that of organizational
culture. The second part of this chapter discusses ethics and responsibility in
7-1 Organizational Culture
Although it can be traced to the 1940s, the concept of organizational
popular in the 1980s when scholars and executives began searching for reasons to
explain recent Japanese business success. They coined terms such as “Theory
Z” to describe the type of cultures that are common to Japanese organizations.4
Hence, an organizational culture is influenced by the prevailing
although the two concepts should be distinguished.
An organization’s culture exists at two levels. At the surface level, one can observe
specific behavior of the culture, such as accepted forms2of dress and rituals or
T level that includes
ceremonies. These artifacts reflect a deeper, underlying
shared values, belief patterns, and thought processes common
S to members of the
organization. The underlying level is the most critical to understand. Because it
cannot be seen, it is often inferred by studying the surface level.
Because each organization develops its own unique culture, even organizations
within the same industry and city will exhibit distinctly different ways of functioning.
The organizational culture enables a firm to adapt to environmental changes and
to coordinate and integrate its internal operations.6 Ideally, the values that define
a culture should be clear, easy to understand
by all employees, embodied at the top of the
organization, and reinforced over time. “Adaptive
cultures” are innovative and encourage initiative,
whereas “inert cultures” are conservative and
encourage maintenance of existing resources.
An organizational culture provides members
with a sense of belonging and identity within the
organization. By definition, all organizations have
cultures, although some are more pervasive than
others. When a culture is well understood and B
E is transferred more effectively, turnover is reduced,
managed, conflicts are handled more efficiently, knowledge
and teamwork is enhanced. Because culture unifies N
members of an organization around a set of beliefs and
behaviors, it can be a powerful help or hindrance in efforts
N to facilitate change.
The first and most important influence on an organization’s
culture is its founder or founders. The founder’s
core values and business beliefs serve as the foundation for the organization’s activities.7 For instance, the
primary influence on McDonald’s culture was the fast-food
T company’s founder, Ray Kroc. Although he passed
away in 1984, his philosophy of fast service, assembly
, line food preparation, wholesome image, cleanliness,
and devotion to quality are still central facets of the organization’s culture.8 Likewise, Sam Walton’s influence
on the Wal-Mart culture can still be seen today even though he passed away a number of years ago.
Whether allowed to evolve on its own or skillfully managed,
the organization’s culture serves as the basis for
many day-to-day decisions in an organization. For example,
members of an organization whose culture values
innovation are more likely to invest the time necessary
creative solutions to complex problems than
their counterparts in organizations whose culture values short-term cost containment.
Deal and Kennedy identified four key dimensions of culture.
R 9 Values constitute the beliefs central to the culture.
Heroes are individuals within the organization whoAembody the values. Rites and rituals (or ceremonies)
are symbolic events that occur within organizations that influence the culture. The culture network includes
the informal hierarchy and communication systems that develop in any organization. Identifying these four
dimensions for any organization can help determine why decisions are made.
4 Key Dimensions
Rites & Rituals
Views and assumptions
about an organization’s distinctive competence
comprise one of the2most important elements of culture when an organization
is formed and begins to develop. For example, historically innovative firms
are likely to respond to a sales decline with new product introductions,
whereas companiesSwhose success is based on low prices may respond with
attempts to lower costs even further.10 However, it is possible to modify the
culture over time as the environment changes, rendering some of the culture
obsolete and even dysfunctional.
Sometimes there is considerable agreement among an organization’s members
concerning its values, norms, and behavior. At other times, however, this
is not the case. Cultural strength refers to the extent to which organizational
members agree about the importance of certain values.11 Strong cultures—such as
3M’s strong emphasis on innovation and Southwest Airlines’ strong emphasis on
delivering value in a friendly manner—can lead to success, but a culture strong in
all respects may not be appropriate for all organizations. Colleges and universities,
for example, value diversity of thought and expression among faculty and students.
As such, a culture strong in the sense that all members place a high value on
freedom of expression and differences of opinion may be appropriate. However, a
culture strong in the sense that all members agree on various perspectives may not
the extent to which
agree about the
importance of certain
It is essential that an organization’s culture be alignedBwith its strategy. For
example, an organization whose environment is rapidlyEchanging may craft a
new strategy that makes sense from financial, product, and
N marketing points of
view. Implementing the strategy may be problematic, however,
N because it requires
significant changes in assumptions, values, and ways of
E working. All things
considered, changing an organization’s strategy is often easier than changing its
culture, and both are often required for organizations to be successful.13
Organizations with “strategically appropriate cultures”—such
as PepsiCo, Wal,
Mart, and Shell—tend to outperform those whose cultures do not fit as well with
their strategies. Successful firms tend to develop cultures that emphasize three
key groups of stakeholders: customers, stockholders, and employees. Note that the
A that the culture must
point is not that these corporations have strong cultures, but
R that can help the firm
be appropriate to that firm’s strategy and must contain values
adapt to environmental change.14
Because culture reflects the past, changes in the environment can necessitate
changes in an organization’s culture.15 Conservative organizations
do not become
Aformulated new goals
aggressive and entrepreneurial simply because they have
and plans, but because they embark on a substantial effort to modify the culture,
the “way things are done.”16
It should be noted that cultural considerations do not end at8the organizational level.
Subcultures can develop in any organization and tend to 8
be more prevalent when
the organization is relatively large and its culture is relatively
2 weak. Shared values
and beliefs in a subculture can be based on commonalities
T within departments or
divisions such as functional expertise, geography, or differences
S in national culture.
7-1a Categorizing Culture
Each organization has a different culture. It is difficult to categorize cultures along
similarities lest the uniqueness be lost in the discussion. Nonetheless, it is useful
to identify broad characterizations of cultures as a means of better understanding
how they influence organizational effectiveness. One way to do so is to consider
four broad categorizations on the basis of the organization’s primary internal and external characteristics. From
an internal perspective, the key issue for the organization is the extent to which its strategic focus is internal or
external. From an external perspective, the key issue for the organization is whether the environment necessitates
flexibility or stability. In broad terms, these key issues suggest four categories of culture, as depicted in figure 7-1.
Source: Adapted from D.R.
Denison and A. K. Mishra,
“Organizational Culture &
The adaptation culture emphasizes an external strategic
N focus through change and flexibility. Innovation and
creativity are highly valued and encouraged. The organization
remains flexible so that its members can adapt to
changes in the environment as they occur. Organizations with an adaptation culture seek not only to adapt to the
needs of the external environment, but also to influence it.
The mission culture emphasizes an external strategic
, focus through stability. Leaders in such organizations
place a great value on developing a shared understanding of the mission and vision. The mission culture is often
best suited for organizations pursuing a focus strategy, as stability is achieved through concentration on only
one specific segment of the market.
The involvement culture emphasizes an internal strategic
R focus through change and flexibility. Organizations
with involvement cultures view performance as emanating
from satisfied employees, well-equipped with
ample resources to do their jobs. Employees are encouraged to become involved as instigators of change in the
The bureaucratic culture emphasizes an internal strategic
A focus through stability. Consistency and predictability
are valued by the organization’s members. Business is conducted in a methodical manner following established
rules and procedures in order to sustain a stable environment. The bureaucratic culture is often seen as less
effective than other cultures because it does not allow members of the organization to tailor solutions to the
individual needs of customers.
Should managers attempt to promote an organizational
2 culture consistent with only one category or should
they draw from multiple categories? The answer is not always clear. On the one hand, it can be argued that an
organization’s strategy should have both an internal and an external focus, and that a balance of stability and
S in which organizations operate. Following this logic,
flexibility might be appropriate for most environments
one might reject the notion of a clearly defined culture and attempt to create a culture that reflects each of the
competing internal and external perspectives.
On the other hand, however, effective organizational leadership requires choices and accepts the fact that
some paths will be taken and others will be avoided. It is rarely possible to produce products or services in
all recognized categories for all segments of the market equally well. When an organization’s mission and
The Individual – Organization Fit
Do you like to dress casually, set your own hours, and make a lot of the decisions that affect your
professional life? Or do you prefer a highly defined structure with clear sets of responsibilities and
hierarchical decision-making? Characteristics such as these describe an organization’s culture. Studies
suggest that many individuals leave one job for another because of differences in the organizational
Business analytics software leader SAS is known for a highly unusual corporate culture, one
that reflects a people-centeredness and promotes high loyalty and low turnover. Developing and
promoting a culture can be costly, however. SAS’ Cary, North Carolina headquarters includes two
on-site childcare centers, an employee health B
care center, wellness programs, and even a 77,000
square foot recreation and fitness facility.
SAS has been included in the list of Best Companies for Working Mothers thirteen times and is
frequently listed on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America.” SAS’ ability to recruit
E professionals can be attributed to its ability to
and retain highly marketable, talented and creative
develop a company “too good to leave.”
strategies are clearly defined, it is logical that a culture whose values reflect the mission and strategies
will be most appropriate. Hence, the key issue B
is the fit between the organization’s culture and other
characteristics of the organization.
It is difficult to change an organization’s culture. It often evolves on its own and is affected by a
number of factors outside of the control of organizational leaders. The culture can be managed,
however, so that it begins to reflect a desired set of values over a period of time.
7-1b Managing Culture
According to researcher Edgar Schein, leaders can manage and shape the organization’s culture in
at least five ways.17 The first way is to systematically pay attention to areas of the business believed
to be of key importance to the strategy’s success. Employees notice where leaders invest time and
resources and are likely to incorporate the values and practices they observe into their own behavior.
8 formally by measuring and controlling the activities
The leader may take steps to accomplish this goal
2 comments or questions at meetings. These specific
of those areas, or less formally by making specific
areas should be ones identified as critical to theTfirm’s long-term performance and survival, and may
include such areas as customer service, new product
S development, or quality control.
The second means involves the leader’s reactions to critical incidents and organizational crises. The
way a CEO deals with a crisis or important occurrence in an organization, such as declining sales or
technological obsolescence, can emphasize norms, values, and working procedures, or even create
new ones. When Saturn’s chief executive chose to destroy a group of vehicles produced with faulty
coolant instead of simply draining the radiators, a strong pro-quality message was sent to its workers.
The third means is to serve as a deliberate role model, teacher, or coach. Employees
take notice of what a CEO does, both on and off the job. When a CEO models certain
behavior, others in the organization are likely to adopt it as well. For example,
chief executives who give up their reserved parking place and park among the line
workers send a message about the importance of status in the organization.
The fourth means is the process through which top management allocates rewards
and status. Leaders communicate their priorities by consistently linking pay
raises and promotions, or the lack thereof, to particular behaviors. Rewarded
behavior tends to continue and become ingrained in the fabric of the organization.
Policies that reward seniority, for example, support a culture in which loyalty, not
necessarily high performance or innovation, is highly valued.
The fifth means of shaping the culture is to modify N
the procedures through
which an organization recruits, selects, promotes, and terminates employees. An
organization’s culture can be perpetuated by hiring and promoting individuals
E beliefs and behaviors
whose values are similar to those of the firm and whose
T The easiest way to
more closely fit the organization’s changing value system.
affect culture over the long term is to hire individuals who
T possess the desired
In sum, an organization’s culture can be changed, but modification is generally a
difficult, time-consuming process. Leaders should seek toBmodify the culture in a
positive direction (i.e., one that is appropriate for the organization).
should also recognize their limitations in institutionalizing
Rsteep cultural changes
over a short period of time.
7-2 Managerial Ethics
Inherent in an organization’s culture is a set of expectations concerning ethical
behavior and decision-making. Managerial ethics refers
2 to an individual’s
responsibility to make business decisions that are legal, 8honest, moral, and fair.
Unethical behavior in organizations can result in costly government fines and
penalties when it involves a violation of the law. However, the greater costs
2 indirect, such as the
incurred by organizations engaging in such practices are
loss of reputation, the departure of top employees, lostTcustomers, and greater
government regulation.18 Most managers and scholars agree
S that organizational
decisions should be made in an ethical manner. Difficulties arise when the
concept of managerial ethics is examined in greater detail, however, as competing
definitions and perspectives can have a great bearing on what would be considered
as ethical or unethical.
responsibility to make
business decisions that are
legal, honest, moral, and
7-2a Ethical Relativism
Two contextual issues should be considered at the beginning of this discussion.
The first is the frequently debated notion of ethical relativism, the idea that ethics
is based on accepted norms in a culture. Most ethical relativists would argue, for
example, that bribery is unethical in the United States and most western nations
where the practice is generally viewed as inappropriate. In contrast, bribery is
ethical in other parts of the world where the practice is a generally accepted means
of getting things done. Hence, according to the ethical relativist, the culture defines
the idea that ethics is
based on accepted norms
in a culture
B ethical or unethical
Strict opponents of ethical relativism argue that actions are either
without consideration to cultural acceptance. They would E
argue that bribery might
be an accepted practice in some parts of the world, but notN
necessarily for the right
reasons. Following this logic, allowing a culture to define ethics would result in a
society where the ethical nature of all decisions is negotiable and clear standards
of right and wrong cannot be established.
Although the debate between ethical relativists and their
T opponents is real and
legitimate, most decision-makers balance these contrasting views in practice. Most
managers who embrace ethical relativism, for example, would acknowledge that
certain actions in organizations—such as stealing from a coworker or defrauding
B most managers who
a customer—are simply unethical in any culture. Likewise,
eschew ethical relativism would acknowledge that otherAactions—such
as giving a small gift of appreciation to a major customer—are
complex and might be ethical in some cultures but not in B
The second contextual issue involves the resolution of ethical
If a decision-maker determines that a course of actionRis ethical, for
example, should a subordinate be required to implement the
A action if the
subordinate believes the action is unethical? In general, managers or
other employees should not be required to perform activities
inconsistent with their ethical convictions concerning the role
that they may be expected to play in firm activities. From a
practical perspective, however, employees should consider
their ethical views when evaluating employment and
pursue positions that do not inherently run counter to those
views. The ethics test on the next page provides food for
thought concerning both of these issues.
Ethical dilemmas in organizations are not always easy to resolve.
-0- -1- -2- -3-
1. Employees should not expect to inform on their peers for wrongdoings.
2. There are times when a manager must overlook contract and safety
violations in order to get on with the job.
3. It is not always possible to keep accurate expense account records;
therefore, it is sometimes necessary to give approximate figures.
4. There are times when it is necessary to withhold embarrassing information
from one’s superior.
6. It is sometimes necessary to conduct personal business on company time.
9. It is proper to use the company 800 line for personal calls as long as it’s not
in company use.
10. Management must be goal oriented; therefore, the end justifies the means.
14. Occasional use of the company’s copier for personal or community activities
15. Taking home company property (pens, tape, paper, etc.) for personal use is
an accepted fringe benefit.
5. We should do what our managers suggest, though we may have doubts
about it being the right thing to do.
Sometimes it is good psychology to set goals somewhat above normal if it
will help to obtain a greater effort from the sales
I would quote a “hopeful” shipping date in order to get an order.
11. If it takes heavy entertainment and twisting a bit of company policy to win a
large contract, I would authorize it.
12. Exceptions to company policy and procedures are a way of life.
13. Inventory controls should be designed to report
A “underages” rather than
“overages” in goods received.
If your score is:
0 Prepare for canonization ceremony
1-5 Bishop material
6-10 High ethical values
11-15 Good ethical values
16-25 Average ethical values
26-35 Need moral development
36-44 Slipping fast
45 Leave valuables with warden
7-2b Perspectives on Ethics
What constitutes ethical behavior can be viewed in a number of ways, six of which
are discussed here (see table 7-1).
The utilitarian view of ethics suggests that anticipated outcomes
should be the only considerations when evaluating an ethical dilemma. The
primary shortcoming associated with this approach, however, is that it a decision
may have multiple consequences, some of which may be positive, others negative,
and still others undetermined. For example, a decision to layoff ten percent of
an organization’s work force will harm those who lose R
their jobs but may help
shareholders by increasing the projected returns on theirBinvestments. The longterm effect of the layoff could be positive if the organization
A emerges as a more
competitive entity or negative if employee morale suffers and
R productivity declines.
Hence, the utilitarian view is not always easy to apply.
that anticipated outcomes
and consequences should
be the only considerations
when evaluating an ethical
The self-interest view of ethics suggests that benefits of the decision-maker(s)
should be the primary considerations. This view assumes2that society will likely
benefit when its individual members make decisions that
8 are in their own best
interest. As Smith and Friedman argued, firms that attempt to maximize their
returns within the legal regulations of society behave ethically. This perspective
limits ethical concerns to the consideration of short-term financial benefits for the
perspective suggesting that
benefits of the decisionmaker(s) should be the
when faced with an ethical
However, self-interest can be viewed from a narrow, short-run perspective or from
a broader, long-term perspective. It can be argued that one who always promotes
his or her short-term interests at the expense of others will suffer greater loss in
the long term. For example, firms whose managers construct loopholes in their
product or service warranties to promote short-term profits can ultimately alienate
their customers. Hence, ethical behavior has long-term profit considerations.
The rights view of ethics evaluates organizational decisions on the extent to
which they protect basic individual rights, such as a customer’s right to privacy
and an employee’s right to a safe work environment. The key shortcoming of this
approach, however, is that it is possible to protect individual rights at the expense
of group progress or productivity.
The rights view is generally inferred when legislation prohibiting various forms of
employee discrimination is considered. Such legislation often seeks to protect the
rights of current or prospective employees even if organizations must incur costs
to safeguard them. From an ethical standpoint, proponents of anti-discrimination
legislation often desire a bias-free workplace but invoke a different view of ethics
when evaluating the proposed law.
rights view of ethics
perspective that evaluates
on the extent to which
they protect basic
The justice view of ethics suggests that all decisions will be made in accordance
with pre-established rules or guidelines. Employee salaries may be administered by
N experience, amount of
developing a formula that computes salary based on level of
E The key shortcoming
training, years of experience, and previous job evaluations.
associated with the justice view is that it requires decision-makers
to develop rules
and procedures for every possible anticipated outcome, anTarduous task indeed.
The integrative social contracts view of ethics suggests,that decisions should be
based on existing norms of behavior, including cultural, community, or industry
factors. Although this perspective emphasizes the situational
influences on a
particular decision, it deemphasizes the need for clear standards
A of right and wrong
devoid of the situation.
contracts view of
B convictions. In the
The religious view of ethics is based on personal or religious
United States, the Judeo-Christian heritage has formed a A
distinct notion of ethics,
whereas Islam, Hinduism, and other religions compriseRthe majority viewpoint
in many other nations. From the Christian perspective, for example, individuals
should behave in ways that benefit others, treating other people as one would wish
to be treated. In one respect, the religious perspective counters the integrative
2 of right or wrong with
social contracts view because it emphasizes clear principles
limited regard to situational variables. Needless to say, however,
the religious view
would result in markedly different ethical perspectives across
that all decisions will be
made in accordance with
pre-established rules or
that decisions should be
based on existing norms
of behavior, including
cultural, community, or
religious view of ethics
perspective that ethical
dilemmas should be
evaluated by considering
personal or religious
It should be noted that various additional ethical perspectives
exist. Some have
rich philosophical underpinnings, such as those traced toTAristotle or the famous
eighteenth century philosopher Immanuel Kant. Others are
Sbased in contemporary
business thought and provide a broader framework for decision-making that
extends beyond ethical considerations. One such perspective, the stakeholder
approach, suggests that organizational decisions should balance the interests of the
organization’s stakeholders (i.e., those groups that have a stake in the organization,
such as employees, customers, suppliers, the community, etc.). Hence, the views
presented in this chapter represent the major perspectives and do not comprise an
It is also worth noting that most decisions are made without conscious thought to the perspective on which they
are based. For example, decision-makers rarely speak of whether an organizational decision should be made
from a justice view or an integrative social contracts view. In most cases, managers evaluate alternatives and
make a decision. As such, some of the perspectives applied may be subconscious.
Of the major approaches, research
suggests that the utilitarian view is the
most commonly applied perspective in
organizations.21 It should be emphasized,
however, that these views of ethical
decision-making are not always mutually
exclusive. Further, it is likely that most
managers employ a combination of ethical
perspectives when making decisions. This
is especially true when organizations
are faced with decisions whose ethical
dimensions are not always clear. In 2003
for example, the Recording Industry
Most decisions are made without
conscious thought to the perspective
Association of America launched several
on which they are based.
hundred lawsuits at teenagers and college
students in an effort to emphasize the notion that swapping copyrighted music files via the Internet is against
the law. Critics charged that “suing kids” is both badB
business and unethical, while industry executives argued
that the law is clear and that widespread violations areAtaking a serious toll on its member firms.22
7-2c Overcoming Ethical Dilemmas
The ethical imperatives of other decisions may be easier
R to identify, however. For example, some organizations
and individuals indiscriminately use bulk e-mails to “spam”
the public by e-mailing unwanted direct response
advertisements of pornography sites, mortgage and investment services, and the like. One study suggested
that spam cost American corporations $9 billion in 2002 due to loss of worker productivity, consumption of
bandwidth and other technological resources, and the use of technical support time. Although this largely illegal
8 users, enforcement is a complicated legal endeavor.23
practice is deplored by most industry groups and Internet
Why do some organizations portray a pattern of unethical
Anand and Ashforth identified
2 business practices?
six commonly used rationalization tactics to explain this behavior. First, individuals deny responsibility,
rationalizing that they have no other choice but to participate in unethical behavior. One employee may contend
that the practice is directly associated with another’s responsibility.
Second, individuals deny injury, suggesting that the unethical behavior did not really hurt anyone. This
perspective defines behavior only as unethical if directly injured parties can be clearly identified and then
hesitates to acknowledge the injury.
Third, individuals deny rights of the victims, rationalizing that “they deserve what they got anyway.” This
perspective rationalizes unethical behavior when competitors or other related parties are alleged to be involved
at least the same level of corruption.
Fourth, individuals engage in social weighting by making carefully controlled comparisons. One way this is
done is by character assassination of those suggesting that a particular pattern of behavior is unethical. If those
condemning us are corrupt—the argument goes—then how much credence can be given to their arguments?
Another way this is done is by selectively comparing the unethical action to others whose actions are purported
to be even more unethical. For example, falsifying an expense account for meals not eaten on a business trip is
not considered a major offense when compared to someone who falsifies expenses for an entire business trip
that never occurred.
Fifth, individuals can appeal to higher values by suggesting that justification of the unethical behavior is due
to a higher order value. In this sense, one might argueBthat it is necessary to accept some degree of lower-level
unethical behavior in pursuit of ethical responsibility
E at a higher level. For example, one sales rep who is
brought in to help resolve a dispute between a customer
N and another sales rep may deny the legitimate claims of
the customer, rationalizing that loyalty among sales representatives is a higher order value.
Finally, individuals may invoke the metaphor of the ledger,
E arguing that they have the right to engage in certain
unethical practices because of other good things they have done. For example, a manager on a business trip
may justify padding a travel expense account because2she has already done “more than her share” of traveling
in recent months.
8 however. Treviño and Brown identified five commonly
Improving the ethical stance of an organization is not easy,
held myths concerning ethics in organizations.25 These
2 myths and accompanying realities are summarized in
table 7-2. In concert, they argue that ethical decision-making
is a complex process that extends beyond removing
the “bad apples” from the organization and establishing
S formal ethics codes. It begins with proactive behavior
on the part of top executives that infuses ethics into the fabric and culture of the organization.
In addition, the extent to which an individual behaves ethically is influenced by many factors, including one’s
stage of moral development, individual and personality differences, and the culture of the organization. The
organization can influence some but not all of these factors. Organizations can foster more ethical decisionmaking to a substantial extent, however, by emphasizing ethics in leader decisions, selecting and rewarding
individuals who act in an ethical manner, and raising awareness of ethical concerns through training.
Valuing Ethics in the Organization
Most people desire to work in an organization embodied by sound ethical principles. However, it can
be difficult to distinguish between ethical organizations and unethical ones during a job search. This
problem is further complicated by the fact that an organization one may loosely refer to as “ethical”
probably employ some managers whose activities are not considered to be in line with company
Business publications can provide insight into this dilemma, especially in large firms. Periodicals
such as Forbes, Fortune, and Business Week compile lists of the “most ethical” firms. It is typically
difficult to collect accurate data in order to make this distinction, however. Ultimately, it is necessary
to do your own detective research on organizations
B where you might like to work.
E customers—for their opinions is a great place to
Asking an organization’s customers—and former
N is always upfront in its dealings, stands behind its
start. Customers may report that the organization
N in a fair manner. In contrast, they may express
promises, and can be counted on to conduct business
difficulty dealing with members of the organization
E or even feel “ripped off” at times. Asking prospective co-workers in the organization duringTan interview can also be helpful. They may not disclose complete information about the company, but it is often possible to gain valuable information
in the process.
7-3 Social Responsibility
B responsibility when making business decisions,
Whereas managerial ethics refers to an individual’s
social responsibility refers to the expectation A
that organizations should serve both society and the
financial interests of the owners or shareholders.
R In other words, the notion of social responsibility
adds to the given economic and financial concerns
A the concept of social responsiveness, the idea
that organizations must adapt to changing environmental conditions and decisions should be made
to promote positive social change.
An organization’s stance on social responsibility
8 is typically embedded in its culture. This stance
can and should influence both strategic and 8
day-to-day decisions. If social responsibility is not
considered, decisions may be aimed only at short-term
objectives without balancing social objectives
that the firm might also wish to consider. As we shall see, however, these issues are not always easy
Business organizations have always been expected to provide employment for individuals and to
meet consumer needs. Today, however, many members of developed societies also expect firms
to help preserve the environment, to sell safe products, to treat their employees equitably, and to
be truthful with their customers.26 In some cases, firms are even expected to provide training to
unemployed workers, contribute to education and the arts, and help revitalize urban areas. Some
organizations are noted for their social positions. Firms such as Coca-Cola, UPS, and Johnson &
Johnson recently earned high marks for social responsibility, whereas Bridgestone
and Philip Morris were at the bottom of the list.27
At the global level, environmental concerns have become a major social
responsibility issue. Issues such as the depletion of natural resources, pollution
of various forms, disposal of toxic wastes, and global warming are commonly
discussed areas of concern. Fundamentally, organizations must either behave in a
manner that is consistent with what is believed to be sound environmental practice
or risk increased and costly regulation from governments.
Some organizations practice values-based management, a system whereby
organizational decisions are based on a set of established
B organizational values.
A values-based approach also has implications for ethical
Ultimately, these values reflect the culture of the organization
N and the principles it
The degree to which social responsibility is a relevant concern is widely debated,
however. There is a second perspective that should beTconsidered, the social
obligation perspective. This view suggests that organizations
should only be
required to meet their economic and social responsibilities. As such, many
economists, however, including such notables as Adam Smith
B and Milton Friedman,
have argued that social responsibility should not be part ofA
management’s decisionmaking process. Friedman has maintained that business organizations functions
best when it concentrates on maximizing returns by producing goods and services
within society’s legal restrictions. According to Friedman,Bcorporations should be
concerned only with the legal pursuit of profits and let shareholders
priorities they might have on an individual basis.
the perspective that
organizations must adapt
to changing environmental
conditions and decisions
should be made promote
positive social change
a system whereby
are based on a set of
the perspective that
should only be required to
meet their economic and
Debates between the social obligation and social responsibility perspectives often
delve into philosophical arguments. As an example, the social obligation view
2 given.” As such, an
suggests that rights to property ownership are natural or “God
individual owner or a group of owners (i.e., shareholders)8have the inherent right
to pursue profit as long as it is pursued in a legal manner. 8
Proponents of the social
obligation view tend to emphasize the idea that organizations should not harm
society, not the idea that organizations should seek to advance society in a certain
In contrast, according to the social responsibility view, individual property rights
may be seen as granted by a society as a means of advancing social welfare for
the entire society. Following this view, managers have a responsibility to direct the
organization so that it furthers society’s objectives. It should be noted, however,
that these philosophical viewpoints are simplified herein. Contrary to the social
obligation perspective, advocates of the social responsibility view emphasize the
notion that organizations should actively seek to
advance certain societal goals.
Delving deeper into this debate is beyond the scope
of this text. From a pragmatic perspective, however,
even if one accepts the social obligation view,
one could argue that organizations should act in a
socially responsible manner. There are two primary
reasons why. First, not behaving in a socially
responsible manner can increase the likelihood of
more costly government regulation. Historically, a
number of government regulations over business
operations have been enacted because some firms
refused to act in a socially responsible manner. Had
some organizations not damaged the environment,
sold unsafe products, or engaged in discrimination
or misleading advertising—even when no laws
were broken—legislation in these areas would
not have been necessary. Government regulation
is always possible when companies operate in a
manner contrary to society’s interests.
Second, stakeholders affected by an organization’s
social responsibility stance—most notably
customers—are also those who must choose
whether or not to purchase its goods or services.
Prospective customers have become more
interested in learning about a company’s social and
philanthropic activities before making purchase
decisions. The social responsibility debate aside,
many executives—especially those in large firms—
have concluded that their organizations must at least
appear to be socially responsible or face the wrath
of angry consumers. As such, they are concerned
not only about the actual behavior of the firm, but
also about how it is perceived. Evidence suggests
that consumers want the firms that produce the
products and services they buy not only to support
public initiatives, but also to uphold the same values
in terms of the day-to-day decisions of running the
The line between social responsibility and
managerial ethics can be difficult to draw, as what
Management Focus on Ethics
A Memory Device for Making Ethical Decisions
Most people believe it is important that ethics take on a
conscious, deliberate role in business decision making.
In a nutshell, the issue of ethics boils down to asking
yourself, “What price am I willing to pay for this
decision, and can I live with that price?” This process
can be helped by defining each letter of the word ethics.
EB= EXPERIENCE. The values we carry with us
into adulthood, and into business, are those that were
modeled to us, usually by a parent, teacher, or some other
adult. How people behave and the decisions
they make speak much louder and are more convincing
E what they say.
T = TRAINING. Training means training yourself to
T the question of ethics fresh in your mind deliberately.
H = HINDSIGHT. Success leaves clues that we need
to tap into in order to help us make that tough decision.
What if the problem you face was the problem of the
A you admire most in life? What would he/she do?
= INTUITION. What does your “gut” tell you is the
right thing to do? Some call it conscience, or insight.
How do you know when you’ve gone against your
R You feel guilt, shame, remorse, have a restless,
night, etc. Now the decision is what to do about
C = COMPANY. How will your decision affect the
the people who work with and/or for you,
your customers and your family? No matter how big or
2 your decision is, it affects other people in your life.
S = SELF ESTEEM. The greatest ethical decision is one
S builds one’s self-esteem through the accomplishment
of goals based on how these goals positively impact
those around you.
Sources: Adapted from Frank Bucaro, “Ethical Considerations in
Business,” Manage, August/September 2000, p. 14; and Alice Gaudine and
Linda Thorne, “Emotion and Ethical Decision Making in Organizations,”
Journal of Business Ethics, 1 May 2001, pp. 175–187.
may be considered by some to be socially irresponsible firm behavior may be a direct result of unethical
managerial decision-making. Nonetheless, while the debate over social responsibility continues, few would
argue that managers should not behave ethically. However, what is morally right or wrong continues to be a
topic of debate, especially when firms operate across borders where ethical standards can vary considerably.
In the U.S., for example, bribes to government officials to secure favorable treatment would be considered
unethical. In a number of other countries—especially those with developing economies—small “cash tips”
are an accepted means of transacting business and may even be considered an integral part of an underpaid
government official’s compensation.
The notion of social responsibility can be difficult to put into practice. By definition, a firm that is socially
responsible is one that is able to generate both profits and societal benefits. However, exactly what is good
B demands for high employment and the production of
for society is not always clear.29 For example, society’s
desired goods and services must be balanced against E
the pollution and industrial wastes that may be generated
by manufacturing operations. The decisions made to balance
these concerns can be quite difficult to make.
N become increasingly concerned about trade deficits
Many consumers and activists in the United States have
with other nations and job losses that occur when an organization
moves a production facility abroad or a retailer
T of American firms have closed production facilities in
stocks its shelves with imported products. A number
the United States and opened new ones in Mexico, T
China, India, and other countries where labor costs are
substantially lower. In 2003, China and Mexico accounted
for almost one quarter of imported apparel in the
U.S., followed by Honduras, Bangledesh, and El Salvador. With the expiration of world garment quotas in 2005,
China’s lead is expected to increase.32 Analysts also suggest that differences in wages could spark increased
B technical fields, such as architects, accountants, and
global outsourcing in a broad array of professional and
Although outsourcing usually does not create legal concerns for an organization, many organizations have
become more sensitive to this issue. In 2004, for example, E-Loan announced that customers would be given
a choice about whether loan applications will be processed
in Delhi or Dallas, with the latter taking as much
R their own decisions by balancing their concerns for
as two days longer. Hence, E-Loan customers can make
speed and outsourcing.
In many respects, an organization is defined8by its culture, the shared values and beliefs held by its
2 its culture must be aligned with other characteristics
members. For an organization to be effective,
of the organization, including the strategy. It
T is possible for leaders to shape the culture within an
organization, but this process can be difficult.S
The culture of an organization is likely to include values or expectations concerning both managerial
ethics and social responsibility. Ethics can be viewed from a variety of perspectives and is a key
component in organizational decision-making. Although the extent to which social responsibility should
be a concern for organizations is often debated, acting in a social responsible manner is generally in the
organization’s best interest.
Review Questions & Exercises
1. What is the difference between a national culture and an organizational culture? Are the two related?
2. What are four categories of organizational culture? Which of the four is best? Explain.
3. What is the difference between social responsibility and managerial ethics? Explain.
4. Could you argue that organizations should act in a socially responsible manner even if their leaders
do not accept the notion that firms have social responsibilities?
• Culture: The commonly held values and beliefs of a particular group of people.
• Cultural Strength: The extent to whichTorganizational members agree about the importance of
Ethical Relativism: The idea that ethics is based on accepted norms in a culture.
Integrative Social Contracts View of Ethics:
Perspective suggesting that decisions should be
based on existing norms of behavior, including cultural, community, or industry factors.
Justice View of Ethics: Perspective suggesting
that all decisions will be made in accordance with
pre-established rules or guidelines.
Managerial Ethics: An individual’s responsibility to make business decisions that are legal,
honest, moral, and fair.
Religious View of Ethics: Perspective that ethical dilemmas should be evaluated by considering
personal or religious convictions.
Rights View of Ethics: Perspective that 8
evaluates organizational decisions on the extent to which
they protect basic individual rights.
Self-Interest View of Ethics: PerspectiveTsuggesting that benefits of the decision-maker(s) should
be the primary considerations when facedSwith an ethical dilemma.
Social Obligation: The perspective that business organizations should only be required to meet
their economic and social responsibilities.
Social Responsibility: The expectation that business firms should serve both society and the
financial interests of shareholders.
Social Responsiveness: The perspective that organizations must adapt to changing environmental
conditions and decisions should be made promote positive social change.
Utilitarian View of Ethics: Perspective suggesting that anticipated outcomes and consequences
should be the only considerations when evaluating an ethical dilemma
Values-Based management: A system whereby organizational decisions are based on a set of
established organizational values.
E. Weitz and Y. Shenhav, “A Longitudial Analysis of Technical and Organizational Uncertainty in Management Theory,”
Organization Studies 21 (2000): 243–265.
W.J. Duncan, “Organizational Culture: ‘Getting a Fix’ on an Elusive Concept,” Academy of Management Executive 3 (1989):
M. Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (Englewood Cliffs, NY: Prentice-Hall, 1947).
W.G. Ouchi, Theory Z: How American Business Can Meet the Japanese Challenge (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1981).
E.H. Schein, “Organizational Culture,” American Psychologist 45 (1990): 109-119.
M. J. Rouse and U. S. Daellenbach, “Rethinking Research Methods for the Resource-Based Perspective: Isolating Sources of
Sustainable Competitive Advantage,” Strategic Management Journal 20 (1999): 487–494.
E. H. Schein, “The Role of the Founder in Creating Organizational Culture,” Organizational Dynamics 12 (Summer 1983): 14.
J. F. Love, McDonald’s: Behind the Golden Arches (New York:
R Bantam Press, 1995).
T.E. Deal and A.A. Kennedy, Corporate Cultures: The RitesB
and Rituals of Corporate Life (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1982).
G.A. Yukl, Leadership in organizations ( Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2002)
B. Arogyaswamy and C.M. Byles, “Organizational Culture: Internal and External Fits,” Journal of Management 13 (1987): 647A
12. E. H. Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985) p. 30.
and Fall of the Intelligent Organization,” Industry Week, 78
March 1994, pp. 16–21; D. Lawrence, Jr., “The New Social Contract
Between Employers and Employees,” Employee Benefits Journal
8 19, no. 1 (1994): 21–24.
M. Driver, “Learning and Leadership in Organizations: Toward
2 Complementary Communities of Practice,” Management Learning
33 (2002): 96–126.
L. Hayes, “Gerstner Is Struggling as He Tries to Change Ingrained
S IBM Culture,” The Wall Street Journal, 13 May 1994, pp. A1,
13. D. Tosti and S. Jackson, “Alignment: How It Works and Why It Matters,” Training 31 (April 1994): 58–64; T. Brown, “The Rise
16. Pringle et al., Managing Organizations: Functions and Behaviors, p. 309.
17. E. H. Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985)
18. T. Thomas, J.R. Schermerhorn, Jr., and J.W. Dienhart, “Strategic Leadership of Ethical Behavior in Business,” Academy of
Management Executive 18(2) (2004): 56-66.
19. E. Soule, “Managerial Moral Strategies—In Search of a Few Good Principles,” Academy of Management Review 27 (2002):
20. G. R. Weaver and B. R. Agle, “Religiosity and Ethical Behavior in Organizations: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective,”
Academy of Management Review 27 (2002): 77–97.
21. D.J. Fritzsche and H. Becker, “Linking Management Behavior to Ethical Philosophy—An Empirical Investigation,” Academy of
Management Journal 27 (1984): 166-175.
22. C. Bialik, “Will the Music Industry Sue Your Kid?” Wall Street Journal, 10 September 2003, pp. D1,D12.
23. M. Mangalindan, “For Bulk E-Mailer, Pestering Millions Offers Path to Profit,” Wall Street Journal, 13 November 2002, pp. A1,
A17; B. Morrissey, “Spam Cost Corporate America $9B in 2002,” 7 January 2003, Study by Ferris Research reprinted at www.
24. B.E. Ashforth and V. Anand, “The Normalization of Corruption
in Organizations,” In R.M. Kramer and B.M. Staw (Eds.),
Research in Organizational Behavior 25 (2003):1-52. Amsterdam:
E Elsevier Publishing.
25. L.K. Treviño and M.E. Brown, “Managing to be Ethical: N
Debunking Five Business Ethics Myths,” Academy of Management
Executive 18(2) (2004): 69-81.
M. J. Verkerk, J. DeLeede, and A. H. J. Nijhof, “From Responsible
Management to Responsible Organizations: The Democratic
Principle for Managing Organizational Ethics,” Business and Society Review 106 (2001): 353–378; A. E. Randel, “The
T A Cross-Level Framework,” Business and Society 41 (2002):
Maintenance of an Organization’s Socially Responsible Practice:
R. Alsop, “Survey Rates Companies’ Reputations and Many
, Are Found Wanting.” Wall Street Journal, 7 February 2001, pp. B1,
28. R. Alsop, “Perils of Corporate Philanthropy,” Wall Street Journal,
B 16 January 2002, pp. B1, B4; A. Maitland, “No Hiding Place
For the Irresponsible Business,” Financial Times, 29 September 2003, Special Report pp. 1-2.
Outcomes,” Administrative Science Quarterly 46 (2001): 229–273.
C. Ansberry and T. Aeppel, “Surviving the Onslaught,” Wall Street Journal, 6 October 2003, pp. B1,B6.
J. Dean, “Long a Low-Tech Power, China Sets Its Sight on Chip Making,” Wall Street Journal, 17 February 2004, pp. A1,A16; D.
R Wall Street Journal, 20 February 2004, pp. A1,A6; D. Luhnow,
Morse, “In North Carolina, Furniture Makers Try to Stay Alive,”
“As Jobs Move East, Planst in Mexico Retool to Compete,”A
Wall Street Journal, 5 March 2004, pp. A1,A8; J. Millman, “Blueprint
29. R. J. Ely and D. A. Thomas, “Cultural Diversity at Work: The Effects of Diversity Perspectives on Workgroup Processes and
for Outsourcing,´Wall Street Journal, 3 March 2004, pp. B1,B4.
32. R. Buckman, “Apparel’s Loose Thread,” Wall Street Journal, 22 March 2004, pp. B1,B8.
K. Maher, “Next on the Outsourcing List,” Wall Street Journal,
8 23 March 2004, pp. B1,B8.
J. Drucker and K. Brown, “Latest Wrinkle in Jobs Fight: 8
Letting Customers Choose Where Their Work Is Done,” Wall Street
Journal, 9 March 2004, pp. B1,B3.
SAS web page, www.sas.com, accessed 6/23/04.
S and Effectiveness,” Organization Science 6 (2001): 204-223.
Based on D.R. Denison and A.K. Mishra, “Organizational Culture
37. Based on L.K. Treviño and M.E. Brown, “Managing to be Ethical: Debunking Five Business Ethics Myths,” Academy of
Management Executive 18(2) (2004): 69-81.
Global Influences on the
Global Influences on
Global Corporate Strategy
GLobal Indluences on
Global Influences on the
Most large organizations in the developed world have shifted from an emphasis on resources, products and
customers in their home countries to one that seeks to produce and distribute products worldwide. This
global transformation has altered how organizations function in a variety of ways. Today more than ever, an
understanding of a global orientation—including the acquisition of resources, production of goods and services,
and marketing to customers across borders—is essential to organizational success. This understanding begins
with the concept of culture, a concept applied to organizations in a previous chapter.
Each of the world’s nations has its own distinctive culture, its generally accepted values, traditions, and patterns
of behavior.1 With many organizations functioning in multiple countries and conducting business across borders,
the need to understand the influence of national culture on organizational processes has never been more
important. The concept of a national culture should beEdistinguished from that of a corporate or organizational
culture, however. A national culture refers to commonalities
among individuals within a country, whereas a
N organization. In this chapter, the word culture refers
corporate culture refers to commonalities within a single
to a national culture.
Geert Hofstede developed a popular approach for comparing and contrasting national cultures in 1980.2 His
Tover 70 countries. Although it has been both refined and
work is based on over 116,000 surveys of employees in
, excellent starting point for discussing national culture.3
critiqued ever since, Hofstede’s framework provides an
According to Hofstede, cultures can be classified along five dimensions.
The first dimension, power-distance, refers to the degree in which individuals with less power expect and accept
unequal distributions of power within a culture. Cultures like Mexico with high power-distance emphasize
hierarchies and centralization, whereas cultures withRlow power-distance emphasize flatter hierarchies and a
more equal distribution of power.
The second dimension, individualism, refers to theRdegree to which one’s self and immediate family are
emphasized over the society at large. High individualism
A cultures such as the Australia and the United States
value freedom, individualized rewards, and privacy, whereas low individualism cultures emphasize collectivism,
tradition, experience, and group harmony.
The third dimension, masculinity, refers to the degree to which a culture emphasizes the traditional masculine
8 cultures such as Japan value these roles, whereas low
roles of assertiveness and competition. High masculinity
masculinity cultures emphasize cooperation and family
The fourth dimension, uncertainty avoidance, refers to the degree to which individuals within a culture seek to
avoid uncertain events. Cultures high in uncertainty avoidance like France emphasize formality and structure,
whereas those low in uncertainty avoidance are more informal and relaxed.
A fifth dimension, long-term or short-term orientation, was a later addition to the framework.4 Cultures with a
long-term orientation such as Korea prioritize values focusing on the future such as frugality, persistence, and
hard work. Those with a short-term orientation emphasize such values as stability and respect for tradition.
Table 12-1 lists culture dimension
scores for eleven select nations
and one nation cluster.5 Following
Hofstede’s framework, distinct
differences can be seen among
nations. The United States, for
example, is the most individualistic
nation. As such, factors such as
employee personal time, freedom
and challenge in job assignments,
and salary level (as opposed to
working condition) are relatively
more important than in other
nations. In contrast, Mexico—the
United States’ neighbor to the south,
scored the lowest in individualism
among the select twelve in the table.
Japan’s high scores in masculinity
and uncertainty avoidance are also
noteworthy, as is Israel’s low score
on power distance.
In a similar vein, Ronen and Shenkar
proposed eight country clusters
based on cultural characteristics:
Anglo, Germanic, Nordic, Near Eastern, Arab, Far Eastern,
Latin American, and Latin European. The Anglo
cluster, for example, includes the United States, Canada,
Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New
Zealand, and South Africa. Ronen and Shenkar note that cultural values tend to change as a country developed
economically and technologically, and are also infuenced by language, religion, and geography.6
Other attempts to understand and categorize national cultures
have also been made. Trompenaars, for example,
surveyed over 15,000 managers in 28 countries over a ten-year period and proposed a five-dimensional
framework.7 In many respects, there are substantial similarities across approaches, however.
The work of Hofstede and others demonstrates the importance
of taking culture into consideration, especially
when decisions concern organizations or divisions across
In too many instances, these differences are
avoided or simply ignored. The unconscious reference to one’s own cultural values as a standard of judgment—
the self-reference criterion—has been suggested as the cause of many business problems when multiple
T become so accustomed to their own ways of looking
cultures are involved. Individuals, regardless of culture,
at the world that they often have difficulty comprehending
other perspectives. When organizations function
in multiple countries, however, they should adjust to the culture of a host country to improve prospects for
success.8 Some adjustments are product related, such as KFC’s decision to sell a spicier version of its chicken
in China than it sells in the United States.
The self-reference criterion presents other problems related to organizational culture as well. Managers often
believe that the leadership styles and organizational culture that are effective in their home country should work
elsewhere. Because each nation has its own unique culture, organizational values and norms must be tailored
to fit the unique culture of each country in which the organization operates, at
least to some extent. The need to customize values and norms can create special
challenges when firms from different countries become partners or even merge
their organizations. There is also considerable debate on precisely how much
customization is appropriate when mergers occur.
Whereas the self-reference criterion refers to the subconscious realm, a distinction
should be made between the conscious perspectives of cultural universalism
and cultural relativism.9 Cultural universalism holds that there is a single best
culture—either in theory or in practice—and all cultures should be evaluated
on the basis of the superior culture’s characteristics. For example, a proponent
of cultural universalism would hold that specified levels
B of power distance,
individualism, masculinity, and uncertainty avoidance would comprise the best
possible combination. These specified levels may be embodied within a certain
N cultures would be
culture, or they may represent a theoretical standard. Other
judged on the proximity of their scores to those of the superior
In contrast, cultural relativism holds that no single culture can be judged as
inherently superior to any other culture. This perspectiveTsuggests that managers
T when functioning
should not attempt to enforce culturally sensitive standards
in other nations. Instead, management styles should be, tailored to the specific
characteristics of each culture.
the unconscious reference
to one’s own cultural
values as a standard of
the idea that that there is a
single best culture—either
in theory or in practice—
and all cultures should
be evaluated on the basis
of the superior culture’s
the idea that no culture is
inherently superior to any
B as opposite ends of a
Cultural universalism and cultural relativism can be viewed
continuum. As such, individual perspectives may lean substantially
in one direction
or the other, but most would comprise some sort of mixR
of the two extremes, at
least within a specified range. Hence, individual differences in perspectives on
culture are not always easy to categorize or quantify.
In some respects, cultural differences appear to be diminishing
with other cultures increases. Indeed, the Internet explosion is in part responsible
for some degree of cultural convergence in recent years. As individuals become
more comfortable with other parts of the world, they become less resistant to
2 and communication
other cultures. Although the introduction of high-speed travel
coupled with the expansion of the Internet has led to a convergence
of social and
other practices across nations, substantial differences among nations still remain.10
Rather, the differences in culture that can affect organizations operating across
borders will likely remain important in the upcoming years.
It should be noted that global effects on culture are not limited
S to national culture,
but also include organizational culture. In many respects, an organization’s culture
can be viewed as a subset of the national culture. Operating outside one’s own
country can create leadership challenges and make it more difficult to maintain
a strong organizational culture. For example, leaders of some nations resist
innovation and radical new approaches to conducting business, whereas others
welcome such change. Such national tendencies often become a part of the culture
of the organization in those countries.
Would you be excited about an international career assignment or would you rather leave the organization? As global business expansion continues, more managers will have the opportunity to
work in other countries and experience other cultures. In addition to opening career doors within the
organization, accepting an international assignment can also provide a rich cultural experience for
a manager and his or her family. There are several things you can do to prepare for an international
First, seek employment with a global organization and express your interest in working abroad.
There is a need for talented, energetic professionals willing to live and work abroad. Finding the right
company is the best place to start.
E courses in a language is one way to learn, but
Second, study a foreign language. Taking college
N programs designed to teach foreign languages.
there are also numerous audio and computer-based
In general, an organization will not require language
capability for an assignment and will provide
“immersion” training to facilitate the survival E
skills within a given country. The more background
one has prior to this training, however, the better.
T Discuss your plans with your spouse before you
Finally, consider your personal and family goals.
pursue an international assignment. Your spouse, may also need employment and many organizations
are willing to assist spouses in obtaining a rewarding experience abroad as well.
12-1a Influence of Religion
B factors as family values, educational institution,
Cultures are comprised of and influenced by such
and religious orientation. It can be argued that
Areligion is the greatest of these factors because it
greatly influences many of the others. Most religions
R attempt to shape the morals and values of their
followers, but there can be differences. There are a number of religion orientations represented in
the world, but five appear to have the greatest influence on world cultures (see table 12-2). A cursory
understanding of each of these is essential to comprehending differences in world cultures.
Source: Based on
information available at
Accessed Oct. 2010
Christianity has had the greatest influence in the Americas and Western
Europe, although it is growing in other parts of the world as well, including
Eastern Europe, Africa, and China. Christianity dates back about 2000
years, although it grew out of Judiasm, an older faith. Christians follow the
teachings of Jesus Christ and as such strive to live in peace, respect individual
rights and responsibilities, and treat others as they would like to be treated.
Christians comprise about 31 percent of the world’s population.
Islam had had its greatest influence in the Middle East and Asia with the
largest number of Muslims (i.e., practitioners of Islam) living in the populous
Asian countries of Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. Islam claims
about 22 percent of the world’s population. Although it has roots in Judaism
E prophet Muhammad
and Christianity, Islam dates back to the teachings of the
around the year 600 A.D. Like Christianity, Islam teaches
and moral purity. However, Muslim practices such asNthe required five daily
prayers and modest dress for women tend to transcendEother cultural influences more than the practices of many
other religions. Hence, where Muslims comprise a high percentage of a nation’s population, its influence is
usually more prominent in daily life, customs, and even business dealings.
, percent of the world’s population, although most are
Hinduism claims about 16
situated in the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism can be traced back about 4,000
years. In general, HindusBbelieve that one’s karma—the spiritual progression of
the soul—is influenced by how one lives. Through reincarnation, individuals can
make the soul more perfect with each life and eventually attain nirvana, or spiritual
perfection. Hinduism supports the caste system whereby individuals are born into
B that cannot be readily changed. Because Hindus place
a clearly defined social class
A do not consume beef and many are vegetarians.
the cow in high esteem, most
Buddhists comprise about six percent of the world’s population, mostly in parts of Asia. Buddhism was founded
by Siddhartha Guatama in about 600 B.C. It’s followers believe that suffering emanates from the pursuit of
pleasure, which can be suppressed by following the Noble Eightfold Path: right understanding, right thought,
2 right mindfulness, and right concentration. Although
right speech, right action, right livelihood, right efforts,
8 the caste system.
Buddhism has its roots in Hinduism, it does not support
About 13 percent of the world’s population follows one of many other religions. These religions
can be very important in certain geographical locations where they might be prominent, such
as the domination of the nation of T
Israel by followers of Judaism. Hence, the influence of
Sshould not necessarily be discounted.
religions represented in this category
The non-religious category is often ignored in discussions of world religion because it does not represent a
religious affiliation. This group can have a strong influence on culture, however, and includes approximately
13 percent of the world’s population. This is a very diverse category, including individuals who deny the
existence of any god (i.e., atheists), those who are skeptical but undecided (i.e., agnostics), and those who are
simply nonreligious. It should be noted that atheists represent less than one percent of this category, which is
characterized by a general passivity towards religion. Individuals in the non-religious category often argue for
high tolerance and diversity in general. In many cases, they seek to deemphasize the influence of a religion on
culture. About 7.5 percent of Americans and 15 percent of Australians identify with this group.
The influence of religion on organizational practice is often mediated by a nation’s culture. In the West, for
example, Sunday—a preferred day of worship for Christians—is often considered to be a “day off” in many
lines of employment. In contrast, offices in much of the Middle East are closed on Friday, a preferred day of
worship for many Muslims. Most organizations function around these culturally-defined workweeks without
regard to the religious preference of the managers or workers.
12-2 Global Influences on the External EEnvironment
Differences in economies across borders can influence organizations in a number of ways. Most notably, these
differences include economic and related concerns, as well as differences in social changes and trends. Each of
these areas is discussed in greater detail.
12-2a The Economy, Regulations, and Protectionism
Organizations functioning across borders must account for differences in legal systems. Bribery, for example,
is an accepted practice in some countries but outlawed
B in others. In the United States, the Foreign Corrupts
Practices Act of 1977 forbade any bribery involvingArepresentatives of any American business operating in
another country even if the practice is condoned there. As a result, American managers cannot engage in bribery
when operating in less developed nations where “financial incentives” are often provided as a matter of course.
The economic environment also varies substantially
A across borders, especially between developing and
emerging nations, where the cost of borrowing can beR
as high as 100 percent annually. These high interest rates
are often accompanied and influenced by excessive rates
A of inflation, as was the case in parts of Latin America
in the 1990s. Routine decisions such as pricing and costing become almost impossible to make under such
conditions. High and unpredictable inflation rates also cause the prices of goods and services to rise and become
less competitive in international trade.
The effect of global economic forces on organizations
8 is affected by political influences, especially as they
relate to regulations of business activities and restrictions on global trade. The period from the 1940s to the late
1980s was marked by increased trade protection in most countries. Many protected their industries by imposing
tariffs, import duties, and other restrictions. Import duties in some developing Latin American countries even
exceeded 100 percent.11 However, this trend was alsoSpervasive in the developed world. Countries in Europe
and Asia—and even the United States—imposed import fees on a variety of products, including food, steel,
and cars. In the 1980s, the United States also convinced Japanese manufacturers to voluntarily restrict exports
of automobiles to the U.S. in lieu of a tariff. Interestingly, this particular tariff may be largely responsible for
Japanese automobile manufacturers establishing a large number of production facilities in the United States,
thereby blurring the concept of the “foreign car” among American consumers.
During this time, however, leaders from many nations recognized that all countries would likely benefit if trade
barriers could be reduced across the board. After the end of World War II, 23 countries entered into the cooperative
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), working to relax quota and import license requirements,
introduce fairer customs evaluation methods, establish a common mechanism to resolve trade disputes. The
World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were also established at this
time. By 1994, GATT membership had expanded to more than 110 nations when it was replaced by a new
WTO, viewed more as an organization than as a treaty. Today the WTO contains 147 members and continues
to negotiate global trade agreements, although member nations must ratify the agreements before they become
A major shift in U.S. policy occurred in the late 1970s and the 1980s to reduce business regulations, eliminating
B trucking, and banking. By 1990, a reversal of trade
a number of legal constraints in such industries as airlines,
protectionism and strong governmental influence in business
operations began to take place in the United States
and many parts of the world. In the U.S., new economic
N policies reduced governmental influence in business
operations by deregulating certain industries, lowering
Ncorporate taxes, and relaxing rules against mergers and
acquisitions. Although this trend has continued into the twenty-first century, corporate scandals and concerns
over outsourcing sparked new calls for business regulation in a number of areas.
The move toward free trade was also seen in Europe,Twhere a number of nations banded together to develop
a trade-free European Community. Today, Europe is fast
, becoming a single market of 350 million consumers.
The European Union represents the largest trading bloc on earth, accounting for more than 40 percent of the
world’s gross domestic product (GDP).12 Meanwhile, the United States, Canada, and Mexico established the
B its own strategic trading bloc.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to create
Many analysts believe that global business soon will be divided into several such blocs, each providing preferred
trading status to other nations within the bloc. Such blocs have strengthened business relationships in North
America (NAFTA), Europe (EU), Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The notion of a trading bloc can
be viewed as a compromise between the protectionist A
model on one end of the spectrum and “totally free world
trade” on the other. Because a bloc includes only a R
subset of the world’s nations, and cultural and political
differences among nations in a bloc are usually less substantial
than exist among the world’s nations as a whole,
the trading bloc concept allows a nation to pursue free trade with its neighbors without engaging in a degree of
conflict that is more likely to occur on a global scale.
This trend toward less regulation has even extended 8
to the former communist countries. As the nations of the
former Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe overturned their8 governments, they began to open markets and to invite
foreign investment.13 In addition, China officially remains
2 a communist nation, but its economic development
policies have taken a distinctively free market approach since the late 1990s. Nonetheless, regulation—or the
lack thereof—always seems to be a key political and business issue, most recently in copyrighted products
distributed electronically such as software, music, and movies.14
It should be noted that trade restrictions will always exist to some extent, especially in politically sensitive areas.
For example, the United States and other Western countries have banned the export of advanced technology in
some circumstances. The United States prohibits the export of certain electronic, nuclear, and defense-related
products to many countries, particularly those believed to be involved in international terrorism. Many of these
restrictions were revised and strengthened following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.15
12-2b Global Social Forces
Changes in social forces occur constantly throughout the world but can take different forms in different nations.
Some social changes may occur in many or all nations, but at different times. For example, the pastime of
watching television took hold in the United States in the 1950s. Because of its link to technological advances,
however, it did not spread to emerging nations for several decades. Other social forces, such as preferences for
clothing styles or particular sporting activities, show varying amounts of consistency across borders.
Managers in progressive organizations recognize that cross-cultural differences in norms and values require
modifications in their structure and activities. Consider, for example, that business negotiations may take
months or even years in countries such as Egypt, China, Mexico, and much of Latin America. Until personal
friendships and trust develop between the parties, negotiators
are unwilling to commit themselves to major
business transactions. In addition, Japanese business E
executives invite and even expect their clients or suppliers
to interact socially with them after working hours, for N
up to three or four hours an evening, several times a week.
Westerners who decline to attend such social gatherings
N regularly may be unsuccessful in their negotiations
because these social settings create a foundation for serious
E business relationships.
Managers of American organizations should rememberTthat their firms have exceptionally high visibility because
of their American origins. As such, citizens of other countries
may disrupt the business operations of American
corporations as a form of anti-American activity. For ,example, only two months after Euro Disneyland opened
in France, hundreds of French farmers blocked entrances to the theme park with their tractors to express their
displeasure with cuts in European Community farm subsidies that had been encouraged by the United States,
even though 90 percent of the food sold at the park was produced in France.17
12-2c Technological Change in the Global Environment
Changes in technology have had pronounced effectsAfor organizations operating across borders, especially
R been implemented differs markedly across nations. In
when the extent to which technological advances have
A such as access to e-mail, cellular telephone service,
developed countries, for example, technological amenities
and reliable scheduled internal transportation services are expected as a matter of course. In less developed
nations, however, Internet and cellular telephone service
2 may be available only in certain areas and internal
bus or train transportation may not be reliable. These differences must be taken into account when conducting
The effect of technology on global business can viewed
2 from an economic development perspective. For years,
manufacturers in technologically advanced nations established
operations in developing countries to minimize
production and other costs. These expansions have generally
been successful for both manufactures and the
societies where they expand because they bring capital, workforce training and development, and technology to
the host country. In many cases, this interaction has benefited the developing country over the long term, most
notably in the cases of emerging nations such as Mexico, Brazil, India, and China.18
Leaders in developing nations have not always been pleased with this global business expansion, in part because
anticipated economic and social benefits do not always materialize. In some cases, the expanding organization
promises, but does not deliver specialized business development assistance, the establishment of research and
development (R&D) facilities, and the hiring of locals in managerial and other
professional positions.19 On-the-job training notwithstanding, the overall longterm contribution to the host country is sometimes questioned by leaders in the
12-3 Global Influences on Organizational
Mission and Direction
An organization’s mission may be closely intertwined with the global environment
Bresources from abroad.
in a number of ways. Most organizations require inputs and
This phenomenon is most pervasive in organizations whose
located in a small or less developed nation. Consider, forNexample, that virtually
all of Japan’s industries would grind to a halt if imports of raw materials from other
nations ceased, because Japan is a small island nation and its natural resources are
Organizational mission and global involvement are alsoTconnected through the
economic concept of comparative advantage, the idea that
, certain products may
be produced more cheaply or at a higher quality in particular countries due to
advantages in labor costs or technology. Chinese manufacturers, for example,
have enjoyed some of the lowest global labor rates for unskilled
production in recent years, resulting in increases in the outsourcing of production
to facilities there. As skills rise in the rapidly emerging R
nation, some companies
have succeeded in extending this comparative advantage B
to a number of technical
skill areas as well. The annual salary for successful engineers
A in China had risen to
around $10,000 in 2002, a level well below their comparably skilled counterparts
in other parts of the world.20
the idea that certain
products may be
produced more cheaply
or at a higher quality in
particular countries, due to
advantages in labor costs
Global involvement may also provide advantages to the firm not directly related to
costs. For political reasons, a firm often establishes operations
2 in countries where a
substantial proportion of sales are made. Doing so can also8provide managers with
a critical understanding of local markets and customs.
12-4 Global Corporate Strategy
The most fundamental global strategic decision concerns the extent to which an
organization will become engaged in activities outside of its host country. An
organization may choose to be involved only in its domestic market, or it may
compete abroad at the international, multinational, or global level. The use of
these three terms to represent three different levels of involvement should not
be confused with their relative interchangeability in everyday conversation. In
general, large organizations are more likely to emphasize competition abroad, although small organizations can
also be successful pursuing activities across borders.21
The most conservative means of moving outside the domestic market is to become involved on an international
basis. Such organizations operate in various countries but limit their involvement to importing, exporting,
licensing, or strategic alliances. Activity at this level can be beneficial to many organizations. Exporting alone can
significantly benefit even a small company. International joint ventures—a form of strategic alliance involving
cooperative arrangements between businesses across borders—may be desirable even when resources for a
direct investment are available. For example, in 2001, GM launched a $333 million joint venture with Russian
firm OAO Avtovaz to provide technological support to the struggling holdover from Soviet-era industry for
engineering a stripped-down version of an SUV currently offered by the Russian carmaker. By engaging in
the joint venture, GM gains immediate access to the market but places its reputation on the line by putting its
E weak automobile producer.22
“Chevy” name on a vehicle produced by a technologically
Organizations with global objectives may decide to invest
N directly in facilities abroad. Due to the complexities
associated with establishing operations across borders, however, strategic alliances may be particularly attractive
to firms seeking to expand their level of involvement. Organizations often possess market, regulatory, and other
knowledge about their domestic markets but may need to partner with companies abroad to gain access to this
knowledge as it pertains to international markets. ATnumber of international strategic alliances can be seen
among automobile producers, including production facilities
owned jointly by General Motors and Toyota or
those owned jointly by Ford and Mazda.
Internal growth is usually both attractive and challenging when an organization expands outside its borders. In
2003, for example, McDonald’s announced plans to expand its cadre of 566 stores in China by approximately
R grown to about 900 eateries in China with plans for
100 annually. By that time, however, KFC had already
an additional 200 units annually. McDonald’s slowerBgrowth resulted from its struggle to build a network of
local suppliers, many of whom are the same ones it utilizes
A in the United States, whereas KFC built a network
of Chinese suppliers while aggressively adapting toRlocal tastes in an effort to speed up its growth efforts.
Starbuck’s had fewer than 100 locations in 2003 and has found it difficult to convert a nation of tea drinkers to
International strategic alliances provide a
number of advantages to an organization.
They can provide entry into a global market,
access to the partner’s knowledge about the
foreign market, and risk sharing with the
partner. They can work effectively when
partners can learn from each other and when
both partners share common strategic goals
McDonald’s struggled with slow growth in China
because of the organizations problems in building a
network of local suppliers.
image © BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons
but are not in direct competition. However, problems can arise from international
joint ventures, including disputes and lack of trust over proprietary knowledge,
cultural differences between firms, and disputes over ways to share the costs and
revenues associated with the partnership.
Other options are also available to a firm seeking an international presence. Under
an international licensing agreement, a foreign licensee purchases the rights to
produce a company’s products and/or use its technology in the licensee’s country
for a negotiated fee structure. This arrangement is common among pharmaceutical
firms. Drug producers in one nation typically allow producers in other nations to
produce and market their products abroad.24
International franchising is a longer-term form of licensing
in which a local
franchisee pays a franchiser in another country for the right
N to use the franchiser’s
brand names, promotions, materials, and procedures.25NWhereas licensing is
predominantly pursued by manufacturers, franchising is more commonly employed
in service industries, such as fast-food restaurants.
T of activity abroad, the
If top managers are interested in a more substantial degree
organization can become involved at the multinational level,
, where the organization
an arrangement whereby a
foreign licensee purchases
the rights to produce a
company’s products and/
or use its technology in
the licensee’s country for a
negotiated fee structure
a form of licensing in
which a local franchisee
pays a franchiser in
another country for
the right to use the
franchiser’s brand names,
promotions, materials, and
pursues direct investments in other countries, and their subsidiaries operate
independently of one another. Colgate-Palmolive has attained a large worldwide
market share through its decentralized operations in a number of foreign markets.
R investments and
Finally, some firms are globally involved, with direct
interdependent subdivisions abroad. Global organizations
B operate in multiple
nations and view their markets from a global perspective,
A often without giving
primary consideration to national borders.
A Developing global
Organizational pursue a global orientation for many reasons.
markets can reduce per-unit production costs by increasing volume. A global
strategy can extend the product life cycle of products whose
2 domestic markets may
be declining, as U.S. cigarette manufacturers did in the 1990s.
8 Establishing facilities
abroad can also enable an organization to benefit from comparative advantage,
the difference in resources among nations that provide certain production cost
2 tend to be produced
advantages in a particular country. For example, athletic shoes
most efficiently in parts of Asia where rubber is plentifulTand labor is less costly.
A global orientation can also lessen risk because demandSand competitive factors
tend to vary among nations.
International growth is often pursued through expansion into emerging economies,
those nations that have achieved enough development to warrant expansion but
whose markets are not yet fully served. Although emerging economies such
as China, South Africa, Mexico, and parts of Eastern Europe are attractive in
many respects, poor infrastructure (e.g., telecommunications, highways, etc.),
cumbersome government regulations, and workforce limitations can create great
challenges for the organization considering expansion.
12-5 Global Influences on Business Strategy
Global competition is complex and in many cases intense. There is no simple formula
for developing and implementing successful business strategies across national
borders. Having a global presence does not guarantee success. Organizations must
B and expertise on a
cultivate a global mindset whereby its members seek knowledge
global scale and develop the ability to integrate it into attractive
E courses of action.26
Organizations can convert global presence into global competitive
adapting to local market differences as needed, exploiting economies of scale
and scope that become available at the global level, tapping optimal locations for
activities and resources, and facilitating knowledge transfer across its global sites
so that managers at each location can learn from the others.
Fundamentally, an organization has three choices when it, develops a competitive
strategy for a market abroad. First, it may pursue standardization whereby it
markets the same product or service in all of its international markets. Second, it may
B or services to meet
pursue customization whereby it modifies its home products
A an entirely different
the needs of markets abroad. Finally, it may choose to develop
set of products or services for its markets abroad. If oneRof the first two options
is pursued, then the organization must determine whetherB
the communication and
promotional efforts should be standardized or customizedAas well. As a result, the
organization has five options as depicted in figure 12-3.
a global strategic approach
whereby the organization
markets the same product
or service in all of its
a global strategic approach
whereby the organization
modifies its product or
Purchase answer to see full
Why Choose Us
- 100% non-plagiarized Papers
- 24/7 /365 Service Available
- Affordable Prices
- Any Paper, Urgency, and Subject
- Will complete your papers in 6 hours
- On-time Delivery
- Money-back and Privacy guarantees
- Unlimited Amendments upon request
- Satisfaction guarantee
How it Works
- Click on the “Place Order” tab at the top menu or “Order Now” icon at the bottom and a new page will appear with an order form to be filled.
- Fill in your paper’s requirements in the "PAPER DETAILS" section.
- Fill in your paper’s academic level, deadline, and the required number of pages from the drop-down menus.
- Click “CREATE ACCOUNT & SIGN IN” to enter your registration details and get an account with us for record-keeping and then, click on “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” at the bottom of the page.
- From there, the payment sections will show, follow the guided payment process and your order will be available for our writing team to work on it.