1. Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Kwame Ohene Djan
(BSc, MSc, PhD)
Department of Marketing & Corporate Strategy
KNUST School of Business
2/7/2023 K Ohene Djan 2
Introduction to Intercultural Management
Unit 1: Role of Culture in International business management
2.1 Culture and its effects on Organizations
2.2 Cultural Value Dimensions
2.3 Project GLOBE Cultural Dimensions
2.4 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
2.5 Trompenaars’s Value Dimensions
2.6 Developing Cultural Profiles
2.7 Culture and Management Styles around the world
Unit 2: Communication Across Cultures
3.1 The Communication Process
3.2 The Culture-Communication Link
3.3 Managing Cross-Cultural Communication
2/7/2023 K Ohene Djan 3
Course Outline Cont’d
Unit 3: Motivating and Leading
3.1 Global Leader’s Role and Environment
3.2 Cross Cultural Research on Motivation
3.3 Cross-cultural research on leadership
3.4 Contingency leadership: The Culture Variable
Unit 4: International Human Resource Management
4.1 Expatriation and Repatriation
2/7/2023 K Ohene Djan 4
Introduction to Intercultural Management
Origin of the concept
Intercultural management as a concept assumed an identity on its own in the mid
1980s. It gained considerable ground during the 1990s from international
Intercultural management concerns itself with the management of
workforces functioning in culturally different operating contexts.
These differences can be either ‘external’, where an organization operates across
national and ethnic cultures, or ‘internal’, where an organization operates across
different branches or regions.
Intercultural management may be viewed as a subset of international
2/7/2023 K Ohene Djan 5
Unit 1: Culture and Intercultural Management
What is culture?
Over 160 definitions of culture were uncovered in the research of Kroeber and Kluckholm
(1985), cited by North and Hort, (2002). There is no universally satisfactory definition of
the domain of culture (Daniels, 2004).
Culture represents a complex pattern of beliefs, expectations, ideas, values, attitudes and
behaviors shared by members of a group or team (Hellriegel and Slocum, 2004) who come
from the same village, town, country or region – or from the same work unit, department,
division or organization.
Hofstede (1984, p.13) sees culture as “the collective programming of the mind, which
distinguishes members of one human group from another
Culture consists of people with shared attitudes, values and beliefs. Cultural activities could
be national or organizational.
2/7/2023 K Ohene Djan 6
Culture also refers to …
A set of shared values, understandings, assumptions,
and goals that are learned from earlier generations,
imposed by present members of a society, and
passed on to succeeding generations (Deresky, 2017)
7. Visible and Invisible cultures
• There are two dimensions to culture: visible and invisible.
• The visible dimensions of culture include:
Language: that spoken language in different countries, organizations which
reveals the existence and non-existence of certain concepts;
Short vs long term orientation: different cultural attitude toward time,
either short-term thinking and pressure on time, or a more unhurried, longer-
Use of space: it varies among different cultures, in terms of comfort in being
close; physically to strangers or not;
Religion: that most people follow in each country or a group of countries,
and it is the most influential part that can affect the society as whole.
8. Visible cultures Cont’d
• Founders’ values - are critical as they hire the first set of managers
• Founders likely hire those who share their vision. This develops the culture of the
• Socialization - Newcomers learn norms and values
• Learn not only because ‘they have to’ but because they want to
• Organizational behavior, expectations, and background are presented
• Symbols - Anything visible representing a shared value: simplest, basic
cultural expression such as logos, architecture, parking priorities, uniforms,
office location/size, art on the wall etc.
9. Invisible culture
• Shared assumptions (e.g. time orientation) are the underlying
thoughts and feelings that members of a culture take for granted and
believe to be true. Societies differ in their assumptions about time. E.g.
In India, Hindus belief that time is everlasting and frequently arrive
late to meetings
• Values and norms inform workers about what goals they should
pursue and how they should behave to reach these goals – basic belief
about condition that is important. E.g. TQM to Toyota. Some
organizations work hard to create a culture that encourages and rewards
risk-taking eg. Microsoft, Oracle seek innovation. Others create an
environment of caution eg. Oil refineries, nuclear power plants must
focus on caution.
Levels of Culture
A culture starts developing in a context where a group of people have a shared
- Family members share a life together
- In a business context, culture can develop at different levels within a
department or at the various ranks of hierarchy.
- A company can develop its own culture provided it has ‘a sufficient shared
history’ (Schein, 1999).
- Applies also for a collection of companies within a particular business or sector
(e.g. airline companies, car making companies, public sector organizations etc.
- Regions of a country, regions across countries, or groupings of nations sharing
a commonexperience like language, religion, ethnic origins or a shared history in
11. E.g. Swahili is a Bantu
language spoken mainly in
Tanzania, Uganda and
Kenya, and also in
Oman, Somalia the
Democratic Republic of
the Congo and South
Africa by about 98 million
people. Swahili is an official
language of Tanzania,
Uganda and Kenya, and is
used as a lingua franca
throughout East Africa.
K Ohene Djan
2/7/2023 K Ohene Djan 12
3 Main Levels of Culture
1. Societal Culture
Tayeb (2003) argues that there is a constant thread through our lives which
makes us distinguishable from others, especially those in other countries: this
thread is our national culture.
Societies are organized politically into nations, but within this national unity
subcultures may exist with specific cultural characteristics.
These groups use the society in which they are embedded as their framework of
reference, and share their nationality, language and institutions, while being
delineated by their socio-economic, historic or geographic characteristics.
National variables + Sociocultural variables = Societal Culture
14. 2. Organizational Culture
1. Exists within and interacts with societal culture
2. Varies a great deal from one organization, company, institution, or group to another
3. Represents those expectations, norms, and goals held in common by members of
4. Cultural elements affect the way strategy is determined, goals are established and
how the organization operates
• Organizational culture functions equivalently to societal culture, but varies a great
deal from one organization to another—even within a single societal culture.
Nonetheless, organizational culture is at least partially a function of and must
respond to societal culture.
15. • Examples:
– IBM vs. Apple
– McDonald’s in Russia
• IBM is considered a traditionally to be very formal, hierarchical, and rules- bound, and
with its employees usually in suits, and Apple Computer, whose organizational culture
is very organic or “loose” and informal with its employees typically wearing casual
clothes and interacting informally.
• Airline KLM responded to Dutch attitudes regarding families and norms regarding
relationships by extending its travel benefits policy to any couple who formally registered
as living together—regardless of whether the couple was heterosexual or homosexual,
formally married or not.
• McDonald’s provides more extensive training to employees in Russia than to those in the
US because Russians are less familiar with working within a capitalist system.
17. 3. Corporate Culture
• Corporate culture takes the question of organizational culture a step further
• If an organization develops into a multinational conglomerate, the culture at
headquarters may influence that of its subsidiaries abroad.
• Similarly, a firm involved in a joint venture with a company from another
country may well find that the presence of the foreign partners influences the
underlying culture of the firm
• What evolves over time in terms of ‘corporate culture’ can have as its basis
the ‘original’ organizational culture, or the national/regional culture- or a
combination of the two.
The extent of influence of corporate culture is disputed among experts in the
Some regard a clearly defined corporate culture as key to a (multi)national
Others consider flexible culture to be the key to success because it can adapt to,
and respond more effectively to, a local/national environment.
Group Assignment to be submitted 3rd June, 2021.
Is it necessary for a Multinational company to change its organizational culture?
When and Why?
22. An example of the need to overcome the self-reference criterion is when
Japanese workers must put courtesy aside and interrupt conversations with
Americans when there are problems.
P & G demonstrated ethnocentrism when they ran a popular European
advert for Camay soap in Japan. The ad depicted a man walking in on his
wife in the bath. The commercial backfired in Japan because the Japanese
viewed the man’s behavior as bad manners.
2/7/2023 K Ohene Djan 22
26. 2/7/2023 26
Values determine how individuals probably will act in given circumstances. They
are communicated via the eight subsystems just described and are passed down
Contingency management requires managers to adapt to the local environment and
people and to adjust their management styles accordingly.
Value dimensions and resulting cultural profiles provide only an approximation of
national character. There may be variations in national culture—i.e., subcultures
may exist as well. For example, American tend to think of the Chinese as
culturally homogenous, but distinct ethnic groups within China have their own
customs and dialects.
27. GLOBE STUDIES (1993 by Robert J House )
Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research
How culture influences leadership and organizational processes
What cultural attributes affect societies’ susceptibility to leadership
To what extent do cultural forces influence the expectations that individuals
have for leaders and their behavior
To what extent will leadership styles vary in accordance with culturally
specific values and expectations?
What principles and laws of leadership and organizational processes
28. To understand and measure: cultures and
17,370 middle managers who worked in
Asked about culture, leadership and organization
Tested 27 hypotheses
Included archival data, media analysis, individual and group
interviews and unobtrusive measures
30. Important to know:
What the dimensions mean
What high/low on a dimension means
Where your country fits on the dimensions
GLOBE studies: Defining the dimensions
1. Uncertainty avoidance
The extent to which a society, organization, or group relies on social
norms, rules, and procedures to alleviate unpredictability of future events
2. Power distance
The degree to which members of a collective expect power to be
3. Collectivism I: societal collectivism
The degree to which organizational and societal institutional practices
encourage and reward collective distribution of resources and collective
4. Collectivism II: In-group collectivism
The degree to which individuals express pride, loyalty, and cohesiveness
in their organizations or families.
32. 5. Gender egalitarianism
The degree to which a collective minimizes gender inequality.
The degree to which individuals are assertive, confrontational, and aggressive in their
relationships with others.
7. Future orientation
The extent to which individuals engage in future-oriented behaviors such as delaying
gratification, planning, and investing in the future.
8. Performance orientation
The degree to which a collective encourages and rewards group members for performance
improvement and excellence.
9. Humane orientation
The degree to which a collective encourages and rewards individuals for being fair, altruistic,
generous, caring, and kind to others.
35. Hofstede (1983)
• Hofstede’s research, which was conducted prior to the
GLOBE project, is based on 116,000 people in 50
countries. Nonetheless, all of the research was conducted
in a single firm—IBM. As such, the result should be
interpreted with caution.
40. Trompenaar’s (1993) value dimension
• He used 15,000 managers from 28 countries and they are as follows
1. Universalism vs. Particularism – many ways / one right way
2. Individualism vs. Communitarianism – Individual / group
3. Specific vs. Diffuse cultures – Extroversion / Introversion
4. Affective vs. Neutral cultures – Openly on emotions
5. Achievement vs. Ascription – Societal standing on effort towards
success and vice versa
6. Sequential vs. Synchronic cultures – Systematic and simultaneous
7. Internalistic vs. Externalistic – Power over nature and vice versa
45. • Though profiles have their limitations, managers can use them to anticipate
differences in the level of motivation, communication, ethics, loyalty, and
individual and group productivity that may be encountered in a given
culture. This Comparative Management in Focus section illustrates how to
synthesize information from Hofstede and others to gain a sense of the
character of a society.
• Much of Japanese culture and working relationships can be explained by
the principle of wa. Wa is embedded in the value of indulgent love, which
leads to mutual confidence, faith, and honor necessary for business
relationships. As such, the workplace is characterized by a mix of
authoritarianism and humanism—much like a family. Management systems
stress rank and looking after employees. There is devotion to work,
collective responsibility, and a high degree of employee productivity.