Working in a country that one is not familiar with, is a great challenge in itself. More so, when it involves the establishment of a branch office of one's company or deals with the successful initiation of an extension of the company, in a scenario completely different from the one, one are familiar with. Heading these operations that delve into international horizons and expansion plans build up more responsibility that needs to be fulfilled, on one's part. Therefore, a great amount of thought-processing and execution must go down into such plans, before embarking on a conclusion.
You are partners in a leading management consultancy in London. You have been asked to set up an office in the capital city of CHINA. You are required to write a report for the senior partners. What is striking in an international expansion programme, is the Cultural Difference and Incompatibility one is bound to face. Numerous theories have been put forth, with regards to this. One such theory, is Geert Hofstede's 'Cultural Dimensions Theory'. Hofstede believes that management is not something that is related solely to business, but also extends in other aspects of life. (Website: http://www.valuebasedmanagement.net/methods_hofstede.html). He divides the cultural dimensions into four different dimensions, and later on went on to add a fifth dimension.
The first dimension that he talks about is Individualism, wherein he highlights the extent of individual handling of projects, and the degree of group or team work that is existent in a management scenario. The second dimension is that of power distance, wherein he talks about the partisan politics. He delves into areas like inequality in management, biased outlook of those in superior positions and the like. The third, is that of certainty, which is nothing but the risk factor that is prevalent in businesses that expand beyond cultural borders. The fourth dimension is that of achievement or masculinity, which is the difference s in the task management between the sexes. The fifth dimension, that was later proposed by him, is Long term vs. Short term orientation, which talks about the time period of existent of the business unit in the extra-cultural scenario. Therefore, his theory states that management not only requires a business to look into the business operations, but to also look into other operations that govern an individual involved with the business. This is where culture comes into the perspective in business expansion.
China is one of the favourable fast-growing sites for international expansion of business, trade and commerce. Transfer of technology, the