Friday, 27 May 2011

Cross Cultural Management: British and Chinese work culture

Britain and China, they're world apart and very visibly culturally different but how so? Under closer examination – with the help of Hofstede's research, they share a surprising amount of cultural similarities when it comes to the workplace.

    But first a quick refresher on Hofstede: Geert Hofstede conducted research in the early 90's on the cultural differences of the international branches of IBM. He categorised his findings into 5 dimensions (Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance, Long Term Orientation).

Risk Takers

These two cultures share a common trait in coping with ambiguity. British and Chinese branches of IBM exhibited a low score in Uncertainty Avoidance, below the world's average score. What's the significance of this? - Both cultures can undertake risks comfortably.

Taking risks is an essential part of business, as this article explains:

Competitive nature, achievement based

Both cultures also showed an above average score in masculinity. This means that these cultures are very assertive and competitive.

The implications of this on the workplace and management being that successful workplace in these cultures may be competitive commission or reward based working environments. Utilising the cultures competitive and achievement based qualities to increase productivity.

I hope you've enjoyed this post as much as I have researching it.



Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Supply Chains: Let's get global!

'Never break the chain'. Harrowing words from Fleetwood Mac and very appropriate for this blog entry on global supply chains.

In this entry we'll be identifying two advantages from operating a global supply chain


First off the mark, they're extremely competitive. Businesses from other countries have to increase their standards, due to the competitive nature of the 'globalised' world. Because of the many suppliers and contracts available, firms can reduce the amount of stock that needs to be stockpiled.


The ability to respond rapidly to changes to supply chain speed, destinations and volume is a great asset for any firm to have. Firms with global supply chains have a greater supplier selection with multiple sourcing options.

There are many more advantages... and disadvantages such as security problems, demand variations and huge investment costs. But I wanted to keep this entry short and interesting.




Pravin Kumar et al (2008) Flexibility in Global Supply Chain: Modelling the Enablers, Journal of Modelling in management,Vol 3 No. 3 2008