Manufacturing in the United States and India: Hofstede’s Framework
Individualism vs. Collectivism
The first dimension that helps to understand the contrast between American and Indian cultures is based on the examination of whether the respective societies are of individualistic or collectivistic orientation. As such, Hofstede Insights (n.d.) found that while the U.S. society is prevalently individualistic, Indians combine both individualistic and collectivistic traits equally. Therefore, it is clear that top managers of the company that operates in both countries should choose slightly different strategies in building a corporate culture. For instance, in order to increase the motivation level of employees in the U.S., the leaders usually have to emphasize the personal gains that a worker will receive as a result of the successfully completed task. Moreover, the delegation of more responsibility to the subordinate would generally increase her or his engagement with the work. On the contrary, the facility managers in India can also motivate the employees by showing how their efforts would benefit the whole department or the company in general. Furthermore, workers in India would be more willing to solve word problems in a group where they can exchange their expertise and experience.
The second dimension of Hofstede’s theory is related to the worker’s attitudes towards power and inequality. In this regard, Hofstede Insights (n.d.) determined that Indian society is almost twice more egalitarian as compared to American society. In other words, people from the former culture are more tolerant of power differences, more supportive of bureaucratic structures, and show respect to those with higher socioeconomic status. Conversely, Americans generally believe that all people are created with equal rights, and therefore the relationship between managers and subordinates often has a more informal style. As a result, firms in the U.S. enjoy more frequent and less restrained communication between various organization levels.
For the reasons mentioned above, the managers should again have a slightly different approach to the administration of people. If Indian workers are better managed under more authoritarian leadership, American employees would rather prefer to work with a democratic manager. Indeed, the cultural expectations concerning the person’s role with higher status in India would not allow fully embracing the latter style. For example, if a leader delegates the responsibility for decision-making to a group of subordinates, they consequently may lose respect for the manager, which, in turn, will lead to reduced productivity.
Hofstede Insights. (n.d.). Country comparison. Web.