International Intercultural

International Intercultural Management

The intercultural dinner is an interesting concept which helps gain insights into the various aspects of a culture. It is important to understand food and life style as well as personality aspects in order to form a better understanding of the culture of a nation (Hamel, 2007). I met all of the group members for dinner and all of us brought a dish belonging to different cultures. I brought Hummus which is a popular dip made from smashed chickpeas and tahini with other seasonings. China and Saudi Arabia were other two predominant cultures which were presented at the dinner. The learning and outcomes of this dinner was that culture is an extremely important aspect which impact management as well. As we discussed cultures, we were able to understand how history, lifestyle and exposure to globalization impacts them.

Culture of Iraq

Iraq is located in the Middle East Asia. Iraq is predominantly an Islamic country (A Country Study: Iraq, 2010). This makes it important to understand the laws of Islam and the preaching’s of Quran or Prophet Mohammad (Abdul-Jabar, 2002). Prophet Mohammed has been a very popular Prophet not only among the Muslims or the followers of Islam but also among several religion researchers, philosophers, diplomats and other people. Their culture and thought on food is that food is a blessing given by God. They believe in rich food which is enriched with nutrients and contains fruits, nuts and even meat. The teachings of Prophet led to his popularity growing from time to time and there are nations like Arabia, Pakistan and India where Islam is popularly preached and forms one of the main religions (Abdul-Jabar, 2002). Prophet Mohammed is as popular as Jesus Christ in America and United Kingdom. Similarly the food and cuisine of Iraq is also popular all around India, Pakistan, Arabia and other Eastern countries. Though the economy of Iraq is not very stable, it has a very rich culture (A Country Study: Iraq, 2010).

The revelations of God, received by Prophet Mohammad included the will of God and the principle of submission to God’s will (Musharraf, 2012). Prophet Mohammad narrated these principles to the people. The revelations of God include the Apostle of Peace which propagates love and brotherhood (Abdul-Jabar, 2002). So the people of Iraq believe in being good hosts and serving food generously to people that visit them. This is also an important part of celebrations of festivals like Id and Bakrid. Considerations of prestige and family strength are important values of the culture of Iraq (A Country Study: Iraq, 2010).

In Medina there were eight different tribes which had several conflicts among themselves. These led to them inviting Prophet Mohammed as a neutral negotiator and resolve these conflicts (Musharraf, 2012). So the  food habits and lifestyle varies significantly among different sub groups in Iraq itself (A Country Study: Iraq, 2010).

Iraq does not have political stability and such elements like instable political situation, poor economic conditions and war has led to deterioration of life and business, but their culture still remains extremely rich (A Country Study: Iraq, 2010). The texts of the “Quran” play an important role in formation of the texts of several other religions including Judaism (Abdul-Jabar, 2002). It has also greatly influenced middle-eastern ethics and common beliefs as it is one of the oldest religions practiced (Abdul-Jabar, 2002).

Comparison of culture of Iraq with China and Saudi Arabia

Culture refers to the values and lifestyle adapted by a society. The post-globalization era has been a time of merging of cultures and this leads to one culture impacting another and understanding these influences is extremely important in the present times as they impact the management of human resources in multi-national corporations (Dauber, 2012). Culture refers to the several lifestyle elements like food, dressing, sports, entertainment and several such factors along with the values like uncertainty tolerance or emotional involvement and independence, openness and several other faiths (Greenfeld, 2013). Culture is shaped through the interaction of people and their ideas as well as ideologies (Schein, 2004).

The comparison of cultures of these countries has been based on two models – one being Hofstede’s cultural framework and another being Hall’s cross cultural framework. These models help understand the similarities and differences between the cultures of Iraq, China and Saudi Arabia.

Hofstede’s cultural framework

The culture of Iraq does have several similarities with that of Saudi Arabia but is very distinct from that of China. Hofstede’s cultural framework helps evaluate cultures based on five cultural and behavioural parameters as explained below.

International Intercultural Management
International Intercultural Management

Fig 1: Comparison of culture of Iraq with the cultures of China and Saudi Arabia, based on Hofstede’s cultural framework

Power Distance

This refers to the extent of importance and influence of hierarchical relations in a culture. It reflects the degree of unequal allocation of power and psychological detachment that is accepted in a country. Power distance in China is high (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). Subordinate-superior relationship tends to be polarized and hierarchical ranks are followed strictly. Power distance is extremely high in Saudi Arabia and Iraq (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). Inherent inequalities, centralization of decision making and bureaucratic hierarchy marks the culture of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Uncertainty avoidance

Uncertainty avoidance refers to the risk appetite of the culture of a country. Hofstede refers this as “what is different, is dangerous” (Khastaret, et.al., 2011). China is low on uncertainty avoidance (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). Adherence to laws and rules in China are flexible and adapted on situational basis (Country Profile: China, 2008). Iraq and Saudi Arabia are very high on uncertainty avoidance (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). The rules play an important role in all aspects of life. People of Iraq and Saudi Arabia are bound to abide by the stringent codes of belief based on Islamic preaching. They are intolerant of modernisation and influence of western cultures.

Individualism vs collectivism

This dimension reflects the relative importance that a company places on interests of an individual or a group (Ryh-Song and Lawrence, 1995). China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are collectivistic society (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). Individualism is found to be very low because the cultures are relationship driven. In China relationship needs to develop before doing business (Hatch, 1993). The traditional root of Chinese culture is Confucianism. Confucianism focuses on long term orientation, thrift and perseverance (Ryh-Song and Lawrence, 1995).

Masculinity vs femininity

This dimension reflects the importance of the level of dominance of masculine values for achievement of the organizational goals. Chinese, Iraq and Saudi Arabia cultures have more of Masculinity aspects than femininity (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). Chinese often prioritise work over family and leisure (Country Profile: China 2008). In Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the leaders in the organisation are decisive and assertive. Conflicts are often resolved by confrontation.

Long term orientation

The Chinese culture has a high long term orientation and Iraq and Saudi has a short term orientation (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). The Chinese are comparatively more employer oriented and the employee retention rate in China is higher in comparison to other countries (Bu and Xu, 2000). Cultures of Iraq and Saudi Arabia immensely respect and follow traditions. Propensity to save is low as Shariah law and Islamic banking does not encourage savings (Aggarwal and Tarik, 2000).

Hall’s Cross Cultural Model

Hall presents a popular cross cultural framework and when we apply that to these 3 cultures, they have been found to be extremely compatible. The Hall’s model is based on cultural awareness, cultural adaptation and effective management of the elements of personal, social and cultural aspects in present times of multiculturalism (Schneider and Barsoux, 2003).

Cultural Awareness

Awareness is high in Iraq and Saudi Arabia when compared to China. But in present times technology enables people everywhere to find information easily.

Cultural Adaptation

The model explains that multiculturalism is an important element of present times and seamless communication and technology promote it and the same can be observed in various cultural texts as well and in present times of globalization (Schneider and Barsoux, 2003). The adaptation of these elements is based on cultural adaptation, which is high in China as compared to Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Management of Cross Cultures

This can help create effectiveness and better competency (Schneider and Barsoux, 2003). It can help bring teams together and also create an environment that is suitable for work and helps create several competencies. It also helps ensure that there be effective balance between operational and strategic level planning and organizing.

Comparison of leadership styles in these countries

Leadership behaviour in organizations is demonstrated through taking initiatives, considering broader roles and helping the organization achieve better progress through focus on improving the overall organizational performance (Pillai, et.al., 1999). This is evident in China when compared to that of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Leadership in Iraq and Saudi Arabia

In case of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, senior levels of management focus on overall performance of the organization and its competitive position. In order to create effective business development, leaders focus on operational efficiency as a whole and deal with managers who actually communicate with the team members. Leaders at the senior management levels set goals and targets which help in ensuring that the organization is able to form the common vision (Hofstede, et.al., 2002).

Authoritative style of leadership is focused on the creation of authority. The leader is mostly expressing the authority and passing the judgment during using such style leadership. The management communication follows a top down approach (Zaharna, 1995). This is evident in the day to day organizational activities in several of the local organizations. This is evident in Iraq and Saudi Arabia where in the rules and regulations are extremely strict and stringent. It is important that the authoritative style of leadership be based on mutual understanding and acceptance in order to avoid conflicts and retaliation (Smith, et.al., 2007).

In case of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, religion and political systems have a great impact on the leadership style used in these countries (Smith, et.al., 2007). It forms an essential impact on the styles in which the government and the public sector is managed. It also impacts the various business ideologies and set of ethics followed in these organizations (Smith, et.al., 2007).

The culture of Saudi Arabia and Iraq is based on  the preaching of Prophet Mohammed. In discussing the leadership style of Saudi Arabia, it would be relevant to evaluate the leadership style of Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad can be considered as a transformational leader (Musharraf, 2012). His teachings and public speeches have inspired thousands of people to do things for greater good of mankind (Musharraf, 2012).

Intellectual Stimulation: Prophet Muhammad not only inspired them for good deed and good thought, he also made is followers aware of following the right path. He increases awareness about what is right and good.

Individualized Consideration: the followers of Prophet Muhammad were trained by Prophet himself (Musharraf, 2012). He guided them to become leaders in their own ways.

Inspirational Motivation: He motivated his followers to spread Islam fearlessly.

Charisma or idealized influence: Prophet Muhammad can be considered an ethical charismatic leader. He had a unique vision for his followers and a long run perspective. His high ethical and moral values, forgiving nature and optimism for future showed direction to the followers (Musharraf, 2012).

Leadership in China

A futuristic measure is ensured in case of leadership in China. It assists the organization to take futuristic decisions and helps in implementation of the firms’ long term plans or strategies (Management in the People’s Republic of China in comparison with the West: Convergence, divergence or crossvergence?, 1997). Mostly, all organizations follow some core values according to their business strategies to serve the customers with better products and services  (Hirst & Thompson, 1996). The mission and vision creates an alignment with the strategic planning of the organization. These values impact the leadership as the leaders of the organization or the top management form these and ensure that they are effectively passed on to the subordinates (Management in the People’s Republic of China in comparison with the West: Convergence, divergence or crossvergence?, 1997). But this is not the case in present day multinational organizations as they belong to globalized environments. In this way the leadership styles used in organizations in China are compatible with the trends in leadership in several of the globalized countries and this helps them take benefit or advantage of globalization to propagate economic development. Leadership in China has been considered as effective and has been used to benchmark leadership strategies in several of the multinational firms all around the world (Management in the People’s Republic of China in comparison with the West: Convergence, divergence or convergence? 1997).

Future Trends

Transformational leaders are those who influence others based on the usage of participation with all of the other members of the team. In this way they are able to accept the leader as a part of the team (Wade, 2013). This form of leadership is coming up rapidly in all of the countries including Iraq, Saudi Arabia and China. In case of democratic leadership, it is crucial that there be consideration of opinions of everybody. A leader requires ensuring that things are understood by the people who are to actually implement them. He should be very careful about the client requirements as well as the need of the project (Wade, 2013). This is not consistent with the cultures of all the three countries and may not be adopted in the near future.

Conclusion

To conclude, culture forms an extremely important part of all nations and the global culture as well   (Albala, Ken, 2011). Culture is an extremely important factor that affects the business environment of an international business. It is important for present day organizations, especially multinational organizations to reform their policies in order to suit the present day need of these organizations. It is important that the business environment is well researched and cultural change adaptation strategies are formed for the purpose of creating better synchronization with the cultural changes. It is extremely important that there be effective balance among the culture and the dynamic environment around the world in the present times of globalization. It is also important that the focus on the required changes in organizational environments be made slow and steady in order to ensure smooth transitions.

References

A Country Study: Iraq, 2010, Federal research division, Library of congress.

Country Profile: China, 2008, Federal research division, Library of congress.

Aggarwal, R. K. and Tarik, Y., 2000, Islamic Banks and Investment Financing, Journal of Money, Banking and Credit, 32 (1), pp. 93-120

Abdul-Jabar, F., 2002, Ayatollahs, Sufis and Ideologues: State, Religion and Social Movements in Iraq, Saqi Books

Albala, K., 2011, Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, pp. 251–252

Bu, N. and Xu, J., 2000, Work-related attitudes among Chinese employees vis-a-vis “American”

and “Japanese” management models. In M. Warner (Ed.), Changing workplace relations in the

Chinese economy: Beyond the iron rice bowl (pp. 185-204). London: Macmillan

Dauber, D., Fink, G. and Yolles, M., 2012, A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture. Sage publications.

Greenfeld, L., 2013, Mind, Modernity, Madness: The Impact of Culture on Human Experience, Harvard University Press

Schein, E., 2004, Organizational culture and leadership, 3rd ed. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Khastar, H., Kalhorian, R., Khalouei, G.A. & Maleki, M., 2011. Levels of Analysis and Hofstede’s Theory of Cultural Differences: The Place of Ethnic Culture in Organizations. [online] Paper presented at International Conference on Financial Management and Economics. IPEDR, 11. IACSIT Press, Singapore.

Hatch, M.J., 1993, The Dynamics of Organizational Culture. Academy of Management Review, 18 (4).

Hofstede, G., Van Deusen, C.A., Mueller, C.B. and Charles, T.A., 2002, What Goals Do Business Leaders Pursue? A Study in Fifteen Countries Journal Of International Business Studies, 33 (4), pp. 785-803

Musharraf. H. M., 2012, The Independent. Muhammad (SM): Transformational Leadership.

Management in the People’s Republic of China in comparison with the West: Convergence,

divergence or crossvergence?, 1997, Speech at the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives Forum: Chinese

Interpretation of Western Institutions. University of Victoria. Victoria, B.C.

National culture – Iraq, n.d., The Hofstede Centre.

Pillai, R.,  Scandura, T.A. and William, E.A., 1999, Leadership – Similarities and differences accross Cultures, Journal Of International Business Studies, 30 (4), pp. 763-779

Ryh-Song, Y. and Lawrence, J. J., 1995, Individualism and Confucian Dynamism: A Note On Hofstede’s Cultural Root To Economic Growth, Journal of International Business Studies, 26 (3), pp. 655-669

Schneider, S.C. and Barsoux, J.L., 2003, Managing across Cultures, Financial Times Prentice Hall

Smith, P.B., Achoui, M. and Harb, C., 2007, Unity and Diversity in Arab Managerial Styles, SAGE Publications

Wade, L., 2013, Hook up culture: College kids can handle it. LA Times.

Zaharna, R.S., 1995, Understanding cultural preferences of Arab communication pattern, Public Relations Review, 21 (3), pp. 241-255

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Corporate Social Responsibility

McDonalds A Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Challenge

Corporate social responsibility provides business with significant benefits. One of these benefits is sustainability (Lindgreen & Swaen, 2010). Every company strives to establish a business model that will provide them with long term success. McDonalds has been faced with a CSR challenge that threatens its ability to establish long term sustainability (Slama, 2014). As McDonalds leaders, it is our responsibility to identify the implications of this challenge, what caused the problem, and initiatives to fix it.

The problem facing us is the quality of the food that we serve at our restaurants (Slama, 2014). There have been incidents where our restaurants have served contaminated food. Furthermore, there is a growing concern that our food does not promote a healthy lifestyle. Obviously, McDonalds strives to provide the highest quality products to our customers. Consequently, it is imperative that we examine our policies in order to find the source of the problem.

Corporate Social Responsibility Dissertation

In the naturalistic decision making process, we have made decisions in the context of framing bias (Evans, 2008). Our emphasis on profit has hindered our efforts to improve our products and McDonalds has been unwilling to take risks to improve the quality of its products. However, without providing a better product to customers, it will be extremely difficult to maintain profits in the future.

While our current decision making methods have been partially responsible for this problem, it would be extremely dangerous to change it suddenly. Consequently, future efforts must be made within the context of our current decision making context (Evans, 2008). McDonalds’ current decision making consists of preserving current profits instead of providing future solutions. This is not a morally responsible attitude (Gigerenzer, 2010). McDonalds must incorporate social considerations into its decision making. This will enable it to give customers a quality profit and achieve long term sustainability.

Corporate Social Responsibility Decision Making

In this new context of decision making, McDonalds can look at feasible solutions for the future. The most important initiative for the future is a quality reporting system (Toby, Sr., 2012). Incidents of food contamination are unacceptable. Consequently, McDonalds must establish systems to carefully monitor the quality of its food. This would include McDonalds’ managers regularly inspecting the food distribution centers it buys from. Another important initiative is establishing a system to expedite the processing of customer feedback (Toby, Sr., 2012). This is especially important as people become more health conscious. McDonalds will be able to easily change its products to suit their demands.

These policy changes and initiatives will enable McDonalds to move confidently into the future. Changes in our policies will not harm McDonalds. Instead, they will strengthen the core of our organization and propel us on a path to long term sustainability (Toby, Sr., 2012). McDonalds has a moral and social obligation to provide the best quality products to its customers. If that means a change in policy is necessary, that change must take place. It will benefit both McDonalds and its customers. Ethical considerations are not a burden. They are a catalyst to future economic growth.

References

Evans, J. (2008). Dual-Processing Accounts of Reasoning, Judgment, and Social Cognition. Annual Review of Psychology, 59, 255-278.

Gigerenzer, G. (2010). Moral Satisficing: Rethinking Moral Behavior as Bounded Rationality. Topics in Cognitive Science, 2(3), 528-554.

Lindgreen, A., & Swaen, V. (2010). Corporate Social Responsibility. International Journal of Management Reviews, 12(1), 1-7.

Slama, J. (2014). The Blog: Business. Retrieved from the Huffington Post

Toby, Sr., D. H. (2012). Corporate social responsibility initiatives. African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, 3(1), 95-115.

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I do hope enjoyed reading this post on Corporate Social Responsibility. There are many other titles available in the business management dissertation collection that should be of interest to business management students and building professional. It took a lot of time to write this post and I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.

BREEAM Construction Dissertation

Do Environmental Assessment Methods Influence the Client’s Design Choices?

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Environmental assessment methods such as BREEAM were launched in the UK in the early 1990’s, to encourage clients of the construction industry to consider both the internal and external environment when designing new build and refurbishment construction projects. Do these assessment methodologies actually influence clients design choices, or are there other factors that need to be considered? Different professions within the design team appear to have contrasting views on the success that BREEAM has had in improving the quality of our buildings and their surroundings. Interviewing seven design team members provided a sound base on which to assess the impact BREEAM has and is having on clients of the construction industry. Of the design team members interviewed, those employed by clients in the public sector were very familiar with BREEAM and its assessment methodology, with the exception of the local authority architects who suggested that they would only apply the methodology when forced to do so. They were unconvinced of the assessments merits and preferred to use their own assessment guidelines, despite recommendations by central government to use BREEAM. Those design team members employed in the private sector had limited or no knowledge of BREEAM or other assessment methodologies. The results indicate that public sector clients who are bound by government instruction are employing BREEAM on many of their projects. In situations where clients have a choice, cost is still the bottom line that determines whether sustainable solutions are agreed. The fragmented nature of the construction industry has hindered the knowledge transfer of sustainable issues to professionals, which appears to have arrested the adoption of BREEAM.

BREEAM Dissertation
BREEAM Dissertation

BREEAM Influences

The aim of this research is to assess how BREEAM influences the design solutions and the workings of the design team process, on new build and refurbishment construction projects. There are two hypotheses that answer the main aim of this dissertation:

  1. BREEAM adds confusion and complexity to the design team process.
  2. Knowledge of BREEAM among construction professionals is limited as a result of its voluntary nature, and the fragmented characteristics of a construction industry with an inherent resistance to change.

In line with the above quote, more organisations are procuring green commercial buildings. The idea of having an assessment methodology encouraging clients of the construction industry to think about the impact that their new project will have on the environment, is essentially a good idea. In a world that is becoming increasingly concerned about its future it is important that clients and design team professionals can use these assessments to measure buildings’ specific environmental qualities. However, these tools are only useful if knowledge of their application is widely available and communicated to all those that require it and in a format that is straightforward and easily understood. There are a number of environmental assessment methods in use. However, in line with the above quote, this study will concentrate on BREEAM as it is considered to be the most familiar with clients and construction professionals. But, despite the sentiments of the above quote, it is unclear whether BREEAM has had a major impact on the construction industry and its clients. This dissertation aims to establish through qualitative research whether environmental assessment methods such as BREEAM are as influential as envisaged. It will address how BREEAM integrates itself into an already complex design process, within an industry that has inherent communication problems. The research will also examine other factors influencing clients’ decision-making processes, and establish how effective BREEAM is in the pursuit of sustainable practice.

I do hope enjoyed reading this post on environmental assessment methods and client decision making. There are many other titles available in the Construction Dissertation Collection that should be of interest to construction management students and building professional. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of construction such as project management techniques, environmental management, building and construction methods to name a few. It took a lot of time to write this post and I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.

Media Systems India China

Similarities and Differences between the Media Systems of India and China

China and India are the two most populated countries in the world with over 30% of the entire world’s population. Both countries are currently undergoing massive transformations due to the implementation of liberal economic policies (O’Connor, 2007). The GDP growth rate in 2007 rose by 8.5% in India and 11.4% in China (CIA, 2008). “Nicholas D. Kristof, Beijing bureau chief (1988–93) of The New York Times, predicted in 1993 that ‘the rise of China, if it continues, may be the most important trend in the world for the next century’. Only five years into the new millennium, China has become the fourth largest economy in the world. Many believe China will eventually overtake the US around the mid-21st century” (Kristof, 1993, p. 59 cited in Cao, 2007, p. 431). India is projected by McKinsey “to become the world’s fifth-biggest consuming nation by 2025” (O’Connor, 2007). Both countries also have very long historical and cultural traditions that span thousands of years but the actual nation-states of both countries are quite young (Pashupati, K. et al, 2003).

The media landscapes of both countries are not immune to the effects of commercialization. There has been a shift away from state-run media towards private ownership. This process is currently more prevalent in India than in China because not all of India’s media is state-run. Another trend is the use of advertising by state-run monopolistic media. According to India-based researcher A. Joseph, “Media systems and structures have undergone dramatic transformations at both the global and the national level since the mid-1980’s” (Joseph, 2006, p. 18). The countries are also affected by technological changes including the shift to cable and satellite television broadcasting and the growth of the internet. British Media Researcher Margaret Gallagher wrote, “In Asia the media in many countries have recently seen a spectacular transformation with the arrival of new commercial cable and satellite channels, and the privatization of old state-run media has led to new market-oriented content” (Gallagher, 2000, quoted in Joseph, 2006).

This essay will outline and discuss the similarities and differences in the media systems of China and India. The first section will focus on the basic demographics of the countries and how they impact the media system. The research will then shift to the state’s control of the media. Then, the media’s role in the two countries will be compared. The next section will discuss the impact of modernization theory and globalization and the final section will be the conclusion.

Demographics

First of all, it is important to consider the demographics of the countries in order to make a reasonable comparison between the two. China and India are the only two countries which have a population greater than a billion people. According to a July 2008 estimate by the CIA World Fact Book, India’s population will reach 1,147,995,898 and China’s population will reach 1,330,044,605 (CIA, 2008). India is made of 28 states and 7 union territories and China is made of 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions and 4 municipalities (CIA, 2008). The government style is very important because the political economy of the country directly impacts the media system. India’s formal name is the Republic of India and it is a federal republic (CIA, 2008). The country became independent from British control in 1947 (Pashupati, K. et al, 2003). China is a Communist State and the formal name is the People’s Republic of China (CIA, 2008). The Chinese republic was founded in 1949 (Pashupati, K. et al, 2003).

Both countries have the difficult task of integrating diverse populations into one united nation-state. An example is the amount of languages spoken in both countries. Hindi and English are the two most popular languages in India. There are 15 other languages recognized in the constitution and also hundreds of different dialects (Pashupati, K. et al, 2003). According to the CIA World Factbook:

“English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 21 other official languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanscrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language” (CIA, 2008).

Media Systems Dissertation
Media Systems Dissertation

In China, the major languages include “Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)” (CIA, 2008).

The State’s Control of Media Systems

Because China and India have two different government styles, their approach to media regulation is not the same. India has a ‘mixed economy’ which means that it is a mixture of public (state-run) and private ownership of media. Telecommunication and broadcasting is state-owned and the print media and film industry are private (Pashupati, et al, 2003). “The prerogative of investing in certain ‘core industries’, including telecommunication and broadcasting, was reserved exclusively for the state sector. On the other hand, ownership of the print media, as well as the film industry, remained largely in private hands, and the press in India has enjoyed considerable freedom from state control throughout the history of the republic” (Pashupati, et al, 2003, p. 256).

Because the Chinese government is Communist, all of the media is controlled by the state. The Chinese Communist Party controls all 358 television channels and over 2,000 newspapers (Esarey, 2006). The largest television network in mainland China is called CCTV which stands for Chinese Central Television and is a government agency controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (About CCTV International, 2005).

The Chinese press has developed into a distinctive pattern of a two-tier system after two decades of reform: the propaganda focused Party press and the market-oriented press as the commercial arm of the Party press. The former consists of the ‘traditional’ morning dailies run by the CCP propaganda departments, serving principally as the authoritative voice of the Party-state. The latter are largely reader-centered, fully commercialized newspapers controlled and sponsored by their parent Party organ press (Cao, 2007, p. 442).

The Central Propaganda Department of the Communist Party is in charge of keeping an eye on members of the media workforce and restricting the content of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and film (Esarey, 2006). The most widely read newspaper in China is the People’s Daily which is “a key vehicle through which major government policies and Party ideological guidelines are promulgated” (Cao, 2007, p. 432).

The advertising industry has had an impact on both countries and originally initially both countries did not allow advertising at all. This changed in the late 1970’s-mid 1980’s. India’s Doordarshan network allowed soap operas which were sponsored by companies like Nestle and Colgate (Singhal and Rogers, 1989). The soap operas were a huge success and were very profitable and it became very common for the networks to accept advertising. Although the media is technically owned by the state in China, the government has become much more relaxed about allowing commercial advertising. In the past, the communist party funded all of the media. China’s CCTV began allowing paid advertising in 1979 and now almost all state media does not receive government subsidies and relies on commercial advertising for funding. Now, the funding comes from advertising and indirect ownership by private and collective businesses.

Media’s Function in Society

Both India and China are similar because the media serves a specific function in society which was originally set out by the governments of both countries. Because the Chinese Communist Party controls the media personnel and the content of the media, it is used as propaganda for the party and as a form of political communication (Esarey, 2006). “As an authoritarian society, China is characterized by a largely linear pattern of political communication. The political elite rules on the one hand with a centralized administrative machine with all its associated penal power; and on the other, a pervasive discursive campaign of propaganda to condition the public for uniform thinking” (Cao, 2007, p. 433). This is very clear in the four main tasks of the Chinese Television Industry:

  1. To have a positive function for society by publicizing and explaining the policies of the Party and the government;
  2. To offer a set of socio-moral standards based on Marxism-Leninism and Maoism and to encourage and educate the people of the entire nation to strive to create a socialist civilization that is both materially and culturally rich;
  3. To help the Party and the government in the smooth running of the country and maintaining established social order and stability; and
  4. To follow the Party’s and the government’s guidelines, and to prevent anti-Party and anti-government coverage” (Peng, 1987 quoted in Pashupati, K. et al, 2003, p. 258).

Also, the Chinese Communist Party closely monitors all internet usage by Chinese citizens and “access to politically threatening Internet sites and web logs is blocked; uncensored satellite television is not legally available to the general public; foreign radio broadcasts are scrambled; and the sale of publications” (Esarey, 2006, p. 2). The media in India does not seem to serve the same function at all. Instead, it is used to achieve the goal of improving the nation and educating and entertaining Indian citizens. According to the Doordarshan’s Citizen Charter, the India public service network agrees to do the following;

  1. Inform freely, truthfully and objectively the citizens of India on all matters of public interest, national and international.
  2. Promote social justice, national consciousness, national integration, communal harmony, and the upliftment of women.
  3. Provide adequate coverage to sports and games.
  4. Cater to the special needs of the youth.
  5. Pay special attention to the fields of education, and spread of literacy, agriculture, rural development, environment, health and family welfare and science and technology. (Doordarshan, 2006)

Modernization and Globalization

The belief that the media can be used to educate citizens in order to improve a nation is embedded in Modernization Theory. Basically, Modernization theory believes that a country must become ‘modernized’ in order to achieve economic growth (Melkote, 1991). “Critics have argued that there is a pro-western bias inherent in the assumptions of this theory, because the notion of what is ‘modern’, and therefore ‘good’, is dictated primarily by western nations and values” (Pashupati, K. et al, 2003, p. 253). Globalization is very closely linked with modernization and is generally associated with “an acceleration of the spread of ‘Western-style’ modernization” (Thomas, 2005, p. 54). The theory ignores centuries of historical change and is used to describe the situations of massive economic growth in India and China while overlooking the fact that both countries were once massive, wealthy empires. Signs and symptoms of globalization process are very much in evidence within the Indian media context today: early stages of media concentration (including cross-media ownership), growing ascendancy of the profit motive, dilution of the public service role of the media, abuse of market power, translation of economic power into political power, promotion of certain ideologies and values (and devaluation of others), supremacy of ‘mainstream’ content, increase in formulaic content, neglect of the interests and concerns of individuals, communities and groups who do not figure in the priorities of the market, absence of ‘minority’ voices and views from public debates and discussions, decline in public discourse in terms of both seriousness and plurality, spread of a ‘culture of entertainment’, and so on. Commercial interests have apparently become the driving force of much of the country’s media, both public and private” (Joseph, 2006, p. 19).

Media critics McQuail and Siune believe that when the number of television channels increase that the channels become less public-service oriented and more concerned with profits because they are owned by large privately owned media conglomerates. Siune wrote “Public service monopolies, with national obligations, have disappeared, and the content has increasingly become internationalized and commercialized” (1998, p. 4-5).

Conclusion

India and China are very highly populated countries which both share the interesting combination of having long historical traditions and being young nation-states at the same time. Also, both countries are undergoing massive transformations due to implementations of liberal economic policies. India and China’s citizens all speak a variety of languages which can make it difficult to reach everyone in the nation.

Both countries use their media systems in order to have a direct social impact on its citizens although they have different goals. China’s Communist government directly controls all of the media and also uses it to spread propaganda. India is a federal republic and has a mixed system whereby telecommunication and broadcasting is state owned and the print media and film industry are privately owned. India’s media seems to serve the function of improving the nation, and educating and entertaining its citizens. The television broadcasting systems in both countries were previously all state-controlled and no commercial advertising was allowed but now they have relaxed their rules and allow commercial advertising.

References

About CCTV International. (2005)

CIA. (2008, May 01). The World Factbook

Cao, Q. (2007). Confucian Vision of a New World Order?: Culturalist Discourse, Foreign Policy and the Press in Contemporary China. The International Communication Gazette, 69 (5), 431–450.

Doordarshan. (2006). Citizen Charter

Esarey, F. (2006, February). Speak No Evil: Mass Media Control in Contemporary China.

Joseph, A., & Sharma, K. (2006). Whose News? The Media and Women’s Issues. New Delhi: SAGE.

McQuail, D. & Siune, K. (1998). Media Policy: Convergence, Concentration and Commerce. London: SAGE Publications.

Melkote, S. (1991) Media Systems and Communication for Development in the Third World: Theory and Practice.London: Sage.

O’Connor, A. (2007, December 01). Sharp-Eyed L’Oréal Gets Head Start in India. Media Systems – The Sunday Times.

Pashupati, K., Sun, H. L., and McDowell, S. D. (2003). Guardians of Culture, Development Communicators, or State Capitalists? Media Systems A comparative analysis of Indian and Chinese policy responses to Broadcast, Cable, and Satellite Television. Gazette: The International Journal for Communication Studies , 65 (3), 251-271.

Singhal, A. and E.M. Rogers (1989) India’s Information Revolution. Media Systems New Delhi: Sage.

Thomas, A. O. (2005). Media Systems, Imagi-nations and borderless television: Media, Culture and Politics Across Asia. London: SAGE.

View Media Communication Dissertations Here

New Rules of Measurement Construction

The Deployment and Utilization of New Rules of Measurement within Quantity Surveying

View This Dissertation Here

The construction industry has always been viewed as being the last to adopt modern technology and methods compared with other industries. The need for major change in the industry is abundantly clear as many projects in recent years have been going over budget and clients have not been satisfied with the work. This has been down to new developments in construction technology and materials. Quantity surveyors have tried to use traditional methods to price and measure these new techniques but it has been proven that the current SMM were not adequate to do so. The creation of the New Rules of Measurement aims to change all of this and provide the client with great cost accuracy on modern projects from start to finish. This dissertation aims to analyze the impact the New Rules of Measurement have had in QS firms and whether they are being used effectively by firms that have currently adopted them. The opinions and experiences of current Quantity Surveyors have been gathered by reviewing literature on NRM and by conducting interviews with quantity surveyors from the contracting and consultancy side of the profession. The general feeling in the industry is that quantity surveyors are not utilizing the NRM to its full potential and there are various reasons why this is.

New Rules of Measurement Dissertation
New Rules of Measurement Dissertation

Many professionals in the construction industry are against change and tend to have the opinion of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” in regards to the current measurement rules they use (SMM7). Companies have a lack of spare capital to invest in new methods and training. As the full set of documents has not been released people are unwilling to integrate an uncompleted document into their work. A lack of guidance and information from the RICS has also been to blame. The aim of this dissertation is to analyze how NRM is being used in the UK industry by QS professionals and to evaluate whether it is being utilized to its full potential and if it is providing effective cost certainty on construction projects.

Dissertation Objectives

  • Analyze the issues that quantity surveyors have encountered in the industry with measurement and costing.
  • Compare NRM with SMM7 and how NRM can address issues arising from the use of SMM7.
  • Evaluate whether NRM has had a noticeable impact on the UK QS profession since its release.
  • Evaluate the problems that quantity surveyors may incur when trying to implement NRM into their everyday work and why some are against using it in the UK industry.

I do hope you enjoyed reading this post on new rules of measurement and how it affects the UK construction industry. There are many other titles available in the construction dissertation collection that should be of interest to construction management students and building professionals. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of construction such as project management techniques, environmental management, building and construction methods to name a few. It took a lot of time to write this post and I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.