Managing Cultural Differences

Case Study of Danish Organization’s Cultural Need & Aspects

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Introduction to Managing Cultural Differences

Cross cultural activities are the most essential part of every business and it plays a crucial role in business expansion and helps to conduct successful operation at global marketplace. In other words, it can be said that it facilitates in offering better understanding about cultural characteristics of different country. Technological progress in human activity and transportation system has enhanced the cross-cultural fundamental interaction within organizations. Culture is the common source of conflict that arises in the organization. It permits leader to have employment on the basis of different civilizations of contrasting nations. Leadership and management are the two different concept that effectively benefit the organization to run smoothly in the external environment and attain the success. Effective leadership aims to list the goals and objectives of the organization, and guides the employees to attain these stated objectives. While management main purpose is to plan, organize, direct and control the manpower to achieve the mission of organization.

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Danish organisations also need to focus over fresh resolutions to overcome the cultural problems in an effective manner. Cross culture difference in the Danish firm will lead to encourage the wide variety of ideas and suggestions in the workplace that will help in attaining the gaols and objectives. This report will provide better study of Danish view over Japan market. It will make them understand that there are a great number of similarities in the values and cultures of the two countries.

In the support of this statement it can be said that Danish companies to focus over some attributes of managers to have better business development in Japanese market (Adler, 2002). As per the argument in case study it can be stated that different managers of Danish firms need to focus over some factors and need to improve capability to have better information about emergence of marketplace or modifications in the market. In the support of above argument, it can be argued that manager of Danish organizations must have better examination of future conditions of their concerned industry as well as mental representation of clients or marketplace (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 1998). Another explanation might be that, the manager of new business sites in Japan must focus over new thoughts to force more and more clients towards their services and products with an aim to become leader in international market.

It will also provide better knowledge about work force management and boost the performance in the global market (Beamer, & Varner,2005). In the support of the statement it can be said that, management of diversified organizations can take feedbacks from local workers (Japanese) through conducting conversation and meetings. These meetings and discussions must be with those local employees who have proper knowledge of common language so that goal can be achieved without any issue. This will facilitate manager to have better understanding of employees which are needed by the Japanese market and also provide enhanced decisions to overcome the issues (Blasco & Gustafsson, 2003). As per the structured study of cross cultural and management of diverse culture it can be said that manager of Danish organisations also need to focus over emotional intelligence to have better work management in different cultures.

It will help in maintaining culture and environment of organization and move towards success (Brannen & Salk, 2000). In the support of this statement, it can be debated that administrator must have proper information about changes that are made in competition.

Monitoring is also one of leading distinctive that Danish managers require for improvement in working conditions of Japanese market and for success of social group. It is essential because the improved consideration of monitoring and better information gathering of market changes can create amended geographical area to employ and provide better business opportunities for future (Clausen, 2006). A better organized examination of cross-cultural activities has identified that, civilization is concerned to share psychological feature, behavioural standard that can assist grouping to live in families, units and gatherings (Clausen, 2007).

Leadership and management style

In the context of Danish organisations and Japanese organisation working it can be said that the improvement of tourism merchandise is depended over the exchange of thoughts which are related to facets of the Scandinavian lifestyle that would be of interest to Japanese tourists. The differences in management style of Japanese organisation also affect the business expansion of Danish organisations (Kvale, 1996).

According to the structured study of cross-cultural leadership it has been identified that there are differences in director's management style between both nations companies. Danish organisation directors are more focused over participative management style and motivate their employees to have improvement in working style but on the other side, the Japanese organisation director's are not focused towards interaction with employees. In other words, it can be said that Danish organisation are adopting Scandinavian style for better and improved business expansion in Japanese marketplace (Lauring, 2008).

Another explanation might be that Japanese are more focused towards traditional Japanese management style that is creating differences among employees and management of Danish organisations. According to traditional management approach the Japanese employees only thought that they have to follow the rules and instructions of management like bureaucratic management style. This is also creating a differences understanding of the company’s vision, core values and employee roles. According to the president of the Japanese company with having a consideration of pressure or frustration that is occurring from Danish managers is eventually bringing a change in working style as well as management style of Japanese firms (Lippmann, 1922).

Even if retail organisations want to skip wholesalers and sell their products directly to department stores but management cannot take that steps due to the tradition of the industry and Japanese market (Maanen, 1988). It has also been identified that it is one aspect of the Japanese market that is incomprehensible to foreigners or Danish organizations.

In the support of individual management style the president of Japanese firm has stated that the more focus towards traditional approach is affecting the business and its goal. For example, the Japanese firm has decided to cut the operation cost by having improvement and reduction in editor cost As per the case study, Danish enterprise manager focuses on implementing the Scandinavian and Japanese management practices at their workplace to achieve the objectives.

They opted to adopt practices like 'Thinking out of the box' this help the Scandinavian and Japanese employees to achieve the goals. Both the companies that is Japanese organization and Danish firm should adopt the Hofstede's cultural theory in the practices, as it is a model that is framed by Geert Hofstede's as it describes how the culture of society affect the values and beliefs of their employees working in both the companies. This theory is widely adopted by many international organization to research about the cross-cultural communication, international management etc. Danish and Japanese firm both have different culture that affect their working environment, this theory help them in understanding about the cross culture psychology. This theory focuses on six dimensions of national culture that is:

Power distance index: This the common cultural dimension in which employees employed in the organization views inequality as a normal practice. There is high inequality in the enterprise when the resources are limited.

Individualism vs collectivism: This concept focus on how employees specify themselves and their human relationship to others. In individualism, organization concentrate on the individual employees culture and believes that is important and reward may be achieved by the individual. While in collectivism, Danish and Japanese enterprise focus on group and relationship among the group members. Group takes all the crucial decisions.

Uncertainty avoidance: Another cultural dimension is uncertainty avoidance, employee performing in the different culture are made nervous by understanding that situation that has been given is unstructured and unpredictable. By adopting Japanese practice thinking out of the box then it will ensure the low uncertainty avoidance in both the organization.

Masculinity vs. femininity: Another cultural dimension that Danish and Japanese organization has to follow is concept of Masculinity and femininity. Masculinity culture include assertiveness, ambition and power etc. while the femininity culture include more emotions and focus on valuing relationships. Danish and Japanese firm should maintain the balance between Masculinity and femininity cultures to attempt good practices.

Long term orientation vs short term: Danish and Japanese firm should also focus on Confucian dynamism. This dimension of cultures that focuses on long term positioning and short term positioning. Long term focus on the future that include savings, reward system etc. while short term orientation are related to past and present cultures.

Indulgence versus restraints: This culture concept focuses on the degree to which social group members try to control their desires.
There are different theories of management and leadership styles that can be adopted by the Danish organization to manage their employees working in the organization. the various leadership styles are:

Authoritative: Manager of Danish enterprise can adopt the authoritative style of leadership to guide and motivate their employees. In this leadership style manager closely supervise the activities of employees. Managers takes the decisions by their own without consulting any third person.

Democratic: In democratic style of leadership, Danish enterprise managers should consult their employees ideas and suggestions to take effective decisions. As the company have cross-cultural difference in their enterprise, democratic leadership style help the employees to cope up with the changes. It effectively manage the employees to take active part in the decision making process.

Laissez-faire: Laissez-faire is also a type of leadership style that managers follows when the enterprise employees are highly qualified and skilled. This method ensure no supervision from the manager side that will result in low production and increasing extra cost for the company etc.

From the above leadership style, Danish enterprise might adopt the democratic style of leadership to manage the cultural difference at the workplace. With the help of this style different background employees will effectively contribute in the enterprise.

To manage their different culture employees, Danish enterprise can use the McGregor's theory X, this theory assumes that employees usually dislike the working and they are demotivated towards their work. Manager use the carrot and stick approach to get the work done by their employees. They provide some reward for completing the task. Hence, Danish enterprise can prefer theory X to manage the diversified workforce.

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Issues that can affect working

According to the case, the small Danish enterprise is looking for business expansion in Japanese market but management is having limited international experience and does not have proper information about inter cultural strategy. Other than this, the Danish graphic designer is not having improved knowledge of Japan and its trends that can affect the working of firm and may also lead Danish firm towards number of issues (Fang, 2003).

In the support of above statement it can be said that organisation need to focus over advanced knowledge of Japanese market needs. So it is necessary for organisation and management to overcome the language issues and meet the needs of Japanese market. In the support of this, it can also be said that Danish organisations is also facing some work force hiring issues that is affecting the effectiveness of work.

As per the case study 3 in order to combine the Scandinavian and Japanese work practices, employees faces the several issues that were very difficult it included:

Attitudes towards work: Different cultural employees working in the Danish enterprise may possess different attitude towards their work. Cultural difference will lead to different perceptions to carry out the work.

Respect for procedure: Different culture employees will also face problem, regarding following the companies procedures. Danish enterprise workers may face the issues regarding following the stated norms of the organization (Fang, 2005).

Ability to express opinion: Different culture employees will also face the certain issues that is they would be lacking in expressing their opinions in the enterprise. With the cultural difference employees will not able to express their thought and belief to their colleagues.

Another issue faced in the Danish enterprise is that, Scandinavian focuses on having the open dialogue sessions with their colleagues and with their superior boss. But the Japanese are total opposite the Scandinavian they won't prefer the open dialogue with their subordinate so this contrasting attitude can also act as a issue in the enterprise.

As per the case study there is variation in the understanding the company's vision, values and employees roles and duties is also consider as the primary issues for the organization (Zander, 2004). They need the employees those are capable of understanding the different values and culture to avoid the consequences within the organization. Hiring qualified employees will benefit the Danish organization in taking effective part in the decision making process.

The hiring in organisations is more dependent over local authorities but it is affecting the selection process because it is difficult for local management to shuffle difference among local request and international priorities. In other words, it can be said that the more attraction and involvement of local manager might ignore the priorities of global market and concentrate only over local demand (Ferraro, 2002). This personal preference can also affect the working of Danish organisations.

According to the study, company’s Danish brand manager in Copen-hagen, it can be said that tourism promotion in Japan is contrastive as compare to rest of the world due to differences in Japanese civilization. So it is necessary for organisations to have improved focus over better identification of needs and cultural differences (Zander, 2004). In the support of this, it can be argued that the difference s in culture also leads the differences in perception of citizens so this may be hard for managers to understand the interest of Japanese citizens. Other than this, the highest degree crucial conflict is communication.

So the Danish Managers are facing number of issue and problems that are concerned to communication and it might be due to fluctuations in culture as well as language. This is also leading to increase in miscommunication and generating various issues among members or among manager and subordinates (Ferraro, 2002).

Behaviour fluctuation is also one of leading characteristic of social issue, it can be said that behavioural variations between workers from different civilization will lead to misinterpretation and influence the public presentation of organization. In the support this, it can also be said that number of culture is consisted of some standardized and managers have to consider those standards for improved and appropriate behaviour (Clausen, 2007). For illustration in some civilizations, looking in some one eye while having a conversation is reasoned as rude but in some other civilizations if individual is not looking in eye while having a conversation then it means individual is not confident.

It is essential for Danish manager to have improved psychological feature about behaviour fluctuations. These behaviour fluctuations can be barriers to effectual communication if they are not familiar with each other (Beamer & Varner, 2005). At the end it can also be said that emotional demonstration is also one of social issue that can have influence over effectiveness of every business and working of Danish organizations. A negative result of emotional demonstration can make up misunderstanding betwixt workers and manager of Danish organisations.

As per systematic study it can have also determined that a proper showing of emotional aspects can also be dissent from civilization to civilization or nation to nation (Blasco & Gustafsson, 2003). While on the other side, in other civilizations workers and participants of communication anticipate the emotions (Brannen & Salk, 2000). These kinds of diversifications in civilization create misinterpretation and impact the performance as well as organizational culture.

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Ways to overcome issues or implications

In the support of above discussed issues there are number of ways through which Danish organisations can overcome these issues and lead firm towards better success in Japanese market. Firstly, this paragraph will discuss current ways that Danish organisations are using to overcome the issues and to have improved business expansion in international market. As per the structured study of provided cases it has been spotted that Danish organisations are focusing over merger to have better identification of Japanese cultural aspects (Clausen, 2006). In this Danish organisations can have merger and acquisition of various local organisation so that they can have staff who have improved knowledge of Japanese culture.

Other than this, Danish companies are also focusing over translation, so they are hiring translator for better communication with Japanese people. To overcome the language barrier Danish firm may hire an interpreter or agent to understand the information and convey to the employees (Udobong, 2004). This is helping them effectively and providing better business opportunities in Japanese market but the appointing a translator is also increasing the cost of operation (Clausen, 2007). In the support of the discussion it can also be stated that Danish firms can have better business expansion and manage business activities in diverse cultures by advanced focus of leadership style (Brannen & Salk, 2000).

Danish firm should provide proper induction program to the newly hire employees in the organization. By providing proper information to the employees, they can understand the values and beliefs of the different employees. A better organized study of leadership reflects that leadership style is manner of supplying direction and applying plan of action or programme with subjective of encouraging workers for success of business expansion. Danish managers can adopt participative and cross cultural leadership.

According to the case study, participative leadership is form in which manager will motivate associates to have improved participation in business activities and decision making process. Employees should suggest their different ways and solutions to overcome the problem. It will also provide improved information of goal and offer better problem solving method. But in this, managers have to make sure that final decision must have their own consideration (Zander, 2004).

A positive result of cross-cultural leadership is that it supplies amended understanding of social causes on leadership as well as organizational practices. It also supplies possible ways to manager to change work actions on the basis of differences in environment and culture. In the starting days of business expansion Danish firms may face some issues in implementation of participative leadership but as the president of Japanese firm said it is beneficial for business and provide better opportunities to industry. Other than this, it can also be recommend that the improved focus over individualistic leadership and management style (Maanen, 1988).

This leadership and management style will allow organisations to reduce their operation cost in their own manner. It will also improve the innovation skill of employees that is beneficial because it improves capability and provide better interaction with management. Which is important for better public relation as well as employee relation.


According to the above study, it can be said that cross cultural and learning of managing diverse culture is important for every organisation because it provides better business opportunities and offer improved understanding of diversifications in various cultures. Other than this, it can also be said that Danish organisations can focus over various cultural factors and leadership to have improved business expansion in Japanese marketplace. Organizations can also focus over improved identification of cultural needs and aspects.


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