Using these five dimensions, this study aims to identify cultural issues that may arise from the employees of Vodafone and Hutchison Essar. This study also aims to provide a critique of Hofstede's claims to determine its applicability and reliability on assessing this kind of analysis.
According to Hofstede's study of national influences, there are five dimensions of culture: a) Power distance or the degree to which the less powerful members of society expect differences in the levels of power, b) Individualism vs. collectivism which tackles the extent to which people are expected to stand up for themselves, c) Masculinity vs. femininity which refers to the value placed on traditionally male or female values, d) Uncertainty avoidance which reflects the extent to which a society attempts to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty and e) Long vs. short term orientation which describes a society's "time horizon," or the importance attached to the future versus the past and present. Based on this five dimensions, Hofstede were able to attribute a score for each dimension to a particular county though some lacked scores in the fifth dimension because this was a later addition to the original four dimensions. (Hofstede and Hofstede, 2005). We will be using the scores of both countries to help facilitate our analysis.
India has Power Distance Index (PDI) score of 77 compared to UK's 35. The high score for India is attributed to the fact that there exist social hierarchies called castes in Indian society and the large economic gap between the different caste levels. Placing it into an organizational perspective, it can be expected that there is wider salary differentials for different levels of position in an Indian organization as compared to a British one. Managers in the UK are more probable to consult their subordinates because they have a greater sense of equality than Indians who expect that their decisions are followed with minimal questions from subordinates.
Due to the great importance given to status and privilege, Vodafone should expect certain events occurring among the employees of Hutchison Essar. For example, conflicts may arise such as qualms of a higher caste person placed under the directive of a lower caste manager as pointed out in the study of Communicaid (2004). This may seem trivial to a foreign company such as Vodafone which bases its promotion to performance rather than societal status or ranking of a person. Vodafone could face employees who are unwilling to recognize a lower caste superior and these persons may sabotage the whole operation. On the other side of the coin, they may find it difficult to persuade highly qualified lower caste persons to assume higher positions because of their fear of retribution from the higher castes that the person will be governing. There is also the scenario that Vodafone may be the focus of criticism if they employ high caste persons in high ranking positions thereby lowering their appeal to consumers majority of which are from the lower castes.
Trainers or managers from the United Kingdom, who are expected to handle Vodafone's operation of Hutchison Essar especially in the integration phase, may find it difficult to deal with higher caste people as these people perceive themselves as