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ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE – AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

Does behaviour change according to the culture? Culture to an individual is like water to fish.


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Riya Gote
2 months ago | 3 min read
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The behaviour of an individual changes depending on its surroundings. Imagine you had a bad day at work. This has direct impact on your behavioural pattern when you come back home. These behavioural changes have a great impact on your daily routine and working pattern. The main motive to understand behaviour is that, no two individuals are same, everyone is unique in their own way. An individual’s behaviour depends on number of factors such as genetic factors, cultural factors, individual factors, environmental factors and attitude towards a situation.

The individual behaviour changes as per the situation and as per the time. As said by many, the behaviour of human is unpredictable. There is no fixed behavioural pattern of any individual. In an organisation, the behaviour of the top management has a direct impact on the employees. Organisational behaviour is concerned with people, structure and technology which are interlinked. Moreover, the organisation’s culture depends on the nation’s culture. Every nation has its own cultural values. In India people greet by saying ‘’Namaste’’, Germans and British shake hands and say ‘’Hello’’, and Japanese, on the other hand, bow to greet people. This all boils down to one basic constant - CULTURE.

What is culture? – It can defined as an idea, belief and characteristics of people of a particular society. Organisational culture is defined as values, assumptions and beliefs which administrates how people behave in an organisation depending on the nation’s culture. These values have an impact on the employees of an organisation. The behaviour of the top management decides the organisation’s culture. According to the Dutch researcher Hofstede: ‘’Culture is the collective programming of mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another group or category of people.’’

A nation’s culture has an effect on its work culture which has a direct influence on an individual. When an organisation goes international, it must be aware of that country’s culture. The work culture in Britain is far different from the work culture in China. When it comes to human inequalities, the British employees are straight forward while working on a project. On the other hand, the Chinese believe that there are inequalities within the employees and their focus is on minimising the inequalities. The second factor is all about taking risk while working on the project. The Chinese are tolerant of differences in work culture and easy-going people, hence they do take risk. The British are intolerant people and avoid taking risk. They prefer to concentrate on the project which has assured positive results. When it comes to long-term or short-term goals, the Chinese focus on long-term goals as they are having pragmatic culture in the work place. The British focus on short-term goals as they are intolerant people.

The key factor in a work culture is - Whether the work culture is achievement oriented or nurturing oriented? A work place which focuses on success and competition is achievement oriented work place. Whereas, if the work place focuses on quality of life and caring of colleagues, it is nurturing oriented work place. In achievement oriented work place, the people are supposed to focus only on work and leisure time is considered unnecessary. Here, failure in work means disaster. In nurturing oriented work place, the staff is important and maintaining relations with the employees is considered mandatory. Here, all the employees are treated equally. They believe failure is minor accident. China is considered as achievement oriented work culture country. Whereas, British are considered to have a nurturing oriented work culture.

In a bottleneck, it can be concluded that internationalisation affects an organisation’s culture. Each country’s culture has some differences compared to other countries. There are differentiable differences between every nation’s work cultures. Hence, every country’s culture has enormous effect on an organisation. A company must cope up with its country’s culture and has to understand the effect on day-to-day work culture. One must respect every country’s culture. An individual must adapt the work culture with its requirements, values and beliefs. This may force an individual to change its behavioural pattern. Apart from these factors, there are differences in organisational practices and a person must adapt to these working patterns.

- Riya Hemant Gote

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