Irrespective of management styles, all managements go in for setting goals and apply the same steps to planning. Nowadays all the organisations go in for strategic planning which integrates three management planning concepts – the annual business plan, diversification planning and long-range planning (usually consists of straight line extrapolation).
Strategic choices are not to be driven only by industry conditions and firm resources but are also a reflection of the formal (political rules, judicial decisions, and economic constraints) and informal (social norms of behavior as embedded in culture and ideology) constraints.
The second form of planning is called operational planning. It is the design of what the organisation intends to accomplish, how and when it will operate to fulfill that intention, and by whom.
2. Behaviour in Organisations:
There are three important processes in regulating behaviour in organisations – goal setting, feedback, and performance appraisal. There are mainly two issues to goal setting – goal commitment and goal choice.
Among people with collectivistic values and low power distance group participation in goal setting is more effective to seek goal Commitment.
With regard to goal choice or preferences it has been found that group members with collectivist values are less likely to loaf than group members with individualistic values. In a collectivist culture like China, social loafing occurs rarely but occurs more often in individualistic culture like the US.
Feedback, i.e., any information from the task, others, and the self about the task-related performance helps people in setting reasonable goals and adjusting effort, direction and task strategies. Greater power distance seems to cause lower trust in the source, which in turn causes lower acceptance of the feedback information.
Workers in England had greater trust in task-related information conveyed by shop stewards than the superiors, but American workers do not make such difference. With regard to feedback acceptance, people with high collectivistic values and high power distance seem to be more receptive to harsh feedback, when it comes from in-group, high status members. Collectivists are less receptive to the “frog pond effect”, whereby people feel better when doing better in comparison to poorly performing group than when doing poor comparison to a highly performing group.
Culture also affects feedback seeking behaviour. Japanese are more likely to seek failure feedback than Americans. Americans are more likely to desire success feedback. And Chinese are likely to seek both success and failure feedback.
Performance appraisal serves many functions – setting measurable goals, evaluating results, basis for long-term training and resource allocation. In the North America performance and efficiency is the criteria, but Indian culture emphasises relationship and loyalty over performance and efficiency.
Appraisers are easily swayed by appraises. The system allows ambiguity and evaluation is heavily based on personal liking than performance. Recruitment is based on obligations and promotions based on seniority
Values concerning relative importance of individualism versus collectivism can influence the way employees work together. Many Americans tend to assert their individuality and revel in their differences, while many Japanese tend to emphasize harmonious interdependence with others and shun the spotlight.
In a study of the US, Japan, Korea, India and Australia significant differences have been found in personal values of the managers in these countries. American managers tend to be high in pragmatism, achievement orientation and a demand for competence.
They place a high value on profit maximisation, organisational efficiency, and productivity. Japanese and Korean managers also value pragmatism, competence and achievement, but emphasise organisational growth instead of profit maximisation. Indian managers emphasise moralistic orientation, a desire for stability instead of change, and the importance of status, dignity, prestige, and compliance with organisational directives.
And, Australian managers stress the moral and human orientations, an emphasis on the growth and profit maximisation, a high value on loyalty and trust, and a low emphasis on individual achievement, success, competition, and risk.
Work values are practised differently in different countries. In a research survey of eight countries, of the 24 values identified, interesting commonalities and differences across nationalities were found. Achievement was considered the most important work value in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Israel; second most important in Holland, Hungary, and the US; and ninth in Germany. Job interest was ranked first in Germany, Holland, and the US; second in Taiwan and Israel; third in Korea; seventh in Hungary, and eighth in China.
Apart from personal values, other factors affecting motivation include (a) individual need strengths; (b) cognitions, goals, and perceived equity; (c) incentives rewards and reinforcement; and (d) individual beliefs and social norms concerning levels of required effort. People are motivated by needs. But Maslow’s need hierarchy is not universally applicable across cultures – due to variations in country values. Focus and priority varies by cultures. Achievement motivation has been found to be the highest in individualistic cultures like the US and the lowest in collectivist cultures like Japan and Hungary.
In Asia, a fixed compensation is preferred over variable compensation. In the Western world, everyone tries to maximise his earnings, because earning determines success and status. In Japan, a collectivist culture, commissions are tied to the performance of the entire group.
With regard to monetary versus non-monetary rewards, these cannot be applied universally. In Northern Europe, non-economic motivators work better (since tax rates are very high). In high- context cultures, like Latin America and Asia, economic rewards are less significant than social recognition. In many cultures, obligations to friends and family supersede obligations to one’s company or profession
In brief, the needs are likely to vary in intensity across the nations. The culture, history, geography, and language affect the degree of motivation. A need felt in one contest may not be significant in another, and a successful motivator on one culture may have no effect elsewhere. An international business manager must identify the needs correctly so as to design appropriate motivators.
Interpersonal communication across cultures is of core importance both at the workplace (within the organisation) and the marketplace (negotiations between the people from the organisation and the outsiders). Basically, there are two models of communication, viz., the one-way model of communication and the two-way communication. The kind of model to be adopted depends upon power distance.
Higher the power distance more the one-way communication. People using one-way model are averse to conflict. Apart from power distance the task is task also determines the communication. When tasks are complex and non- routine a two-way communication style may be appropriate even in a society, where one-way communication is the norm. Problems do creep in when the participants fail to recognise the need to modify their habitual styles when communicating with superiors and subordinates, and fail to recognise the communicative meaning of a modified style.
Communication style is efficient when it is appropriate to the task. Economic development has created new industries and new tasks, which are often complex, open-ended and non-routine, and demand communication styles that are not typical of the old style. There is need for greater participation, sharing perceptions and developing skills in communicating. The need is greater at the level of CEO/employer than to the junior manager.
In low-context/doing culture, little time is spent on establishing rapport and contact between the parties will be direct, brief and informal. However, in high context/being cultures (like China and Japan); the successful manager will have to develop personal relationship first.