As the InternationalBusiness Development Manager, I will be working in United Kingdom for theduration of 3 years. The main objectiveof this report is to allow myself to get ready about various of toughchallenges which I could face in a country that I have never been work for.Through this assignment, the research of cultures, management practices as wellas skills required to be successful in UK’s firm has been carried out.
Under the cultural dimension’s research done byHofstede, the first crucial element goes to power distance. Power distance is referred to the degree or a range where members of organization or corporation of a countryholding less authority, accept the unequal distribution ofpower. For United Kingdom, the data was showing that 35% falls under classification of power distance which isconsidered as lower rating of PDI (Power Distance Index). This mean the localsociety wishes to lessen the inconsistency or inequalities amongst people.
Thepeople are more emphasize on equally treatment among the community as theybelieve whatever religions and birth rank cannot restrict their ways towardsuccess in life. Secondcultural dimension will be individualismsince United Kingdom is ranked with 89%,which is the highest score compare to other individualist scores. The Britishare more towards egocentric tendency and self-centred people, witnessed thearising phenomenon of ‘ME’ culture.
They have been educated since they werechildren with the concept to consider for themselves first instead of takingcare of others, which is known as collectivism. Personal fulfilment is the onlyinitiative to achieve happiness and they have to seek out their actualcapabilities in life in order to dedicate to their community. Thirdcultural dimension would fall under masculinitysince United Kingdom is scored at 66%.
British’s society is mainly emphasizingon competition as well as accomplishment, which mean the one who is on top inthe particular fields and has higher achievement will be considered as success.Sometimes there are some obvious contradictions can be seen in United Kingdomsince the culture of British is built up of humility, however, their valuesystem is more focus and based on success. It is vital to find out what theBritish are trying to indicate because what they have said is not what it meantto be. There can be some hidden meaning of what they are trying to say as theytend to imply rather than stating it clearly. Fourthcultural dimension goes to uncertaintyavoidance and United Kingdom has scored 35% on that, which mean the Britishare not afraid of ambiguous or uncertainty circumstances and even attempt toprevent those changes.
They are not worrying about what may happen and varytoday; likewise, they feel quite comfortable to try out somethings withoutformal guidelines to form their own planning due to the dynamic environment. Theway how they organize their planning will be in a narrow boundary sinceanything may occur the next day that their plan will not be useful anymore. Thecombination of the British’s characteristics which are individualism and notbeing scared by changes, will fulfil the requirements for creativity andrevolution. Lastly,United Kingdom has scored at 51%, which is a neutral position that fall under long-term orientation. Generally, it isa pragmatic society where the British are emphasizing on facing with future’schallenges. People in United Kingdom tend to adopt and apply new ways of doingand solving things in term of changes, meanwhile they are keeping the links tothe past.
In its business world, the traits such as endeavours and thrift aremore favourable as a way to plan for future. United Kingdom is a country made up of a diversereligions and beliefs, where the British are provided with the rights toreligious liberty. The core religion andfaith in United Kingdom go to Christianity, which is further divided into severalbeliefs such as Anglican Christianity, Non-Catholic Christian, RomanCatholicism Christians and Islam. However, approximately 49% of people inUnited Kingdom are recognized as irreligious, meaning this sort of people arenot believe in the presence of god, in another word they can be referred asantitheism. There are a variety of official local languages which arespoken in United Kingdom, but the British commonly apply their major language whichis English while communicate and speak to others.
People who live in Wales,Scotland, England and Northern Ireland which are considered as British’scountries might be able to speak in Welsh Language, Irish and Cornish Languagesrespectively. In United Kingdom, people there may speak English in their ownaccents. The British are capable of identifying each other in which cities theycome from through their tone and pronunciation while speaking English. Forexample, people there have the ability to determine the natives who come fromLiverpool through the Scouse Language used by them. People from London aregenerally easier to be recognized as well via their major dialect which iscockney accent. Management practices indicate the ways and styles of themanagers in strengthening the productivity and competency of employees as wellas the accomplishment of the firm simultaneously.
First and foremost, one of the common managementpractices which is adopted in United Kingdom would be anti-technical orientation. All-powerful managers can be found inUK’s organizations generally, which mean they are separated from specialistsince they are highly knowledgeable and capable person in a variety ofdifferent fields or domains. UK’s managers, the generalist strongly believethat the relationship between management and technical required in employmentis independent. They think that the management of a firm has nothing to do withtechnical skills since they have some sort of mindset that their prestige andmanifestation will be weaken due to technically-oriented. Furthermore, themanagers from UK tend to have wider and comprehensive views while they arehandling with different tasks and troubles faced in their organizations. Secondly, a tendency of informality managing style can be seen in business world of UK. Themanagers of UK generally possess the traits such as friendly and easy-goingattributes, in another word, it can be referred as altruistic person. UK’smanagers with their charisma personality, strive to make decision and influencetheir subordinates without applying any official powers given by theorganization to them.
For British Managers, the fragmentation of market isrelying heavily on customers’ preferences and benefits instead of emphasizingon formal criterion stated in the organizations. Open conflict is very uncommonin UK’s business world as the managers try so hard in avoiding this phenomenonwhich is considered as unmannerly and disrespectful. They will instead takeimmediate actions such as rectify error and seek for the best solution whilecrisis occurred.
Thirdly, the managers of UK are efficacious in managing anddealing with stumbling block and volatility situations. They are more relyon instinctive in decision-making in order to achieve goals and objectives,rather than depend on facts, statistics and theory from the outcomes ofresearch. UK’s managers think that instinctive plays a pivotal role toeffectively deal with the rapidly changing business environment nowadays withits agility, intelligence and self-motivation.
This is why manager of UK neverafraid of the ambiguity since they hold the conception that there will alwaysbe no proper plan which may completely address to the problems due touncertainty since it is said to be impractical and unrealistic. The leadership style of UK is towards persuasiveness, where the managers are usuallyproviding guidance and justification in a comfortable way to inspire andstimulate the productivity of their junior workers effectively. The managerwill never blame and shout at their subordinates directly under thecircumstance where the staff did something incorrectly. The managers willrather encourage the wrongdoers by using polite words and provide them withpositive reasoning due to their poor performances. Besides, they are capable ofpersuading their staff efficiently through the sharing of their knowledges,experiences and understanding to the staff.
Next, the managers have the production emphasis style where they are focusing on theproductivity and amount of the production. The way on how the managers incontrolling, leading and driving their staff’s effectiveness towards productionis based on interventionist trend. The staffs may need to endure thoseoverwhelming stress and panic as they have to assure that they must be able toreach the target of the production output without any options. Workers whopossess higher intelligence and qualification are more favourable to themanagers as they are recognized as skilful and competent workers within theorganizations. Last but not least, the managers hold the task-oriented leadership style insupervising and administering their staff. Generally, the managers will explainto the staff about their roles explicitly as well as the role and vitalcriteria necessary for their workers to fulfil the mandatory requirement of theperformance. They will demonstrate to the staff of their own obligations andwhat they are seeking and desire from their staff. The managers strive topreserve and keep the performances of their subordinates above or within theestablish standard level.
However, this kind of leaders may demotivate theirworker indirectly which can lead to employee turnover since they only careabout the completion of every task. Firstly, culturalsensitivity skill is deemed to be vital for the potential expatriates whoare going to work in United Kingdom. Cultural sensitivity represents one’scapacity to be conscious of others’ cultural practices and adapt to thatculture spontaneously. In today’s business world, establish relationships withothers is considered as the key of conducting business such as get connected tosuperior, subordinates and even customers.
Cultural sensitivity skill iscapable of helping people to be effectively integrate and convey their messageto others who are from different cultural backgrounds in a courteous manner. AsUK’s firm stress heavily on production output, this skill may foster teamspirit among a group in carrying out the task appropriately since the workersunderstand the discrepancies of culture of each other. The probability for theoccurrence of disagreement and friction among team members can be minimized oravoided efficiently. Secondly, open mindedness is mandatory for people whowill work in foreign country as they are dealing with totally dissimilarcultures. The main reason why open mindedness is extremely important inworkplace is that it indicates this sort of people will be continuouslyimproving and developing their own ability since they always pay attention tothe opinion of their colleagues as well as accept the criticism from others.They will have passion in learning new knowledges and a broader vision inresolving the problem that they may never face in their local firm before. AsUK’s organizations are more emphasizing on achievement of goals, the workerswho are open-minded will be in an advantageous position than others since theypossess the trait of flexibility which may enhance their competencies to managemultiple tasks effectively at the same time.
Open-minded workers are also ableto adjust themselves about the differences of culture and fit into a newforeign working environment. Last but not least, patience is one of the essentialcharacteristics for the workers in the workforce and especially for theexpatriates in dealing with the staff from different cultures. Even themanagers should also need to be patience at all the time as they play a centralrole at motivate and influence their subordinates. Patience is suitable forUK’s working culture since it helps the workers to be more tolerant of the fast-changingbusiness trends and deal with future challenges effectively. Moreover, patienceis capable of cultivating teamwork among every department of a firm sincedispute between members will be reduced and synergy of the group may bestrengthened. When facing with different difficulties brought from the tasks,workers should forbearance from getting frustrated and angry because it willsolve nothing but probably ruin their performance in conducting jobs. In short, the culture and traditional norms of UnitedKingdom are totally differed from what I have experienced in Malaysia’s firm.
Somehow, the culture backgrounds of UK are considered as great and interesting,even there are a lot of challenges are waiting for me to deal with. From allthe research I have conducted, I am mentally and physically prepared for thisassignment without going to affect my local firm’s reputation.