Supply Chain Management Business Success

The Impact of Supply Chain Management in Business Success

Title: Supply Chain Management in Business Success. Advancement in technology has played a major role in the success of businesses in the U.S. The internet in particular has played a major role in increasing the output and returns of companies selling goods and providing services all across the country. With globalization, escalating competition, geographical scope and complexity in the business environment has necessitated the continued improvements in the way technology is incorporated in businesses, both private and government owned.

Many companies in developed countries have been forced to adapt to the area of supply chain management has not escaped the proliferation of technological innovation. According to Cagliano, Caniato and Spina (2005), supply chain management is described as the broadened focus of management that emphasizes the combined implications of the stakeholders involved in the production of services and goods, including suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and the final consumer. In this understanding of the management of production and logistics networks, conviction is that all the participants in the process of delivering goods to consumers form part of a pipeline, network, or a supply chain.

Supply chain management can, therefore, be understood as encompassing everything needed for customer satisfaction, including the determination of the products that consumer prefer, how to produce such products, and how to deliver them to the final consumer. The aim here is to ensure that the consumers receive the right products at the appropriate time, in the desired location, and at a friendly price. Electronic mail and the internet have revolutionized the communication and data exchange process, supporting the required flow of information between firms in the supply chain. The present paper explores the impact of the internet on supply chain management with particular focus on order processing, customer service, transportation, managing vendor relations, inventory management, purchasing and procurement, and production scheduling.

The Benefits of Internet-Enabled Supply Chain Management

An important premise informing the philosophy of supply chain management is the consideration of the network of processes, facilities, and individuals that procure raw materials, convert them into finished products, and eventually circulate them to the consumer as an integrated chain, instead of a collection of separate, but rather interconnected, tasks (Wisner, Leong & Tan 2005). This integration of the supply chain is important since the links of the chain are essential in achieving the goal of customer satisfaction. As noted by Barratt and Rosdahl (2002), though every company may have a supply chain, not every company effectively manages its supply chain for the attainment of strategic advantage.

By enabling and connecting procurement, inventory management, order processing, transportation, production scheduling, and customer service, not only reduces costs associated with managing the supply chain, but also increases the efficiency of the entire process. Streamlining the entire process of supply chain management with internet technology requires a good understanding of the vital business processes involved in supply chain management and the appropriate technological solution for handling the complex flow of information, human resource management and material flow.

Purchasing and Procurement

The application of internet technology in the management of procurement is gradually developed in the recent past, with various studies indicating various applications of the internet in procurement processes, including communication with vendors, confirmation and comparison of vendor price quotes, and conducting purchases from the catalogs of the vendor (Croom 2000). An example of a company that uses the internet is General Electric, which reported reduced costs of procurement due online purchasing from vendor catalogs (Auramo, Kauremaa & Tanskanen 2005). By enabling purchases and negotiation from the vendor’s website at any time, the internet helps the company transcend the geographical restrictions that often characterized traditional procurement.

Supply Chain Management Dissertation
Supply Chain Management Dissertation

As shown by Gunasekaran and Ngai (2004), one of the benefits of using the internet in procurement is the reduced paperwork flows, and reduced time taken from the time the order is placed to the time the products are delivered to the company. In addition, the internet also streamlines the process of vendor negotiation by introducing and online form of negotiation that is more effective and efficient than face to face negotiation.

Such negotiations include bargaining, price agreements, renegotiation, and term agreements. Price negotiation is particularly improved by the internet since there is room for comparing different offers from vendors (Croxton et al. 2001). Another area where the internet supports procurement is by lowering the costs associated with handling returned or damaged goods enhancing the tracking of goods and by enabling notification by vendors before damaged goods can be shipped (Barratt & Rosdahl 2002; Gunasekaran & Ngai 2004). Other procurement issues handled through the internet include warranty issues and credits posted by vendors.

Despite the improved efficiency, competitive sourcing opportunities and inter-organizational coordination of the procurement process due to the use of the internet, it is important to note that the adoption of an e-procurement strategy is considerably complicated.

Consequently, Boyer and Olson (2002) advise that the challenges in implementing e-procurement can be mitigated through the adoption of an effective e-procurement strategy, setting and managing realistic managing expectations, and engineering procurement processes. Another problem in the e-procurement process concerns the verification of the credibility of the vendor. As shown by Auramo, Kauremaa and Tanskanen (2005), it can be challenging to determining the credibility of a company over the internet, leaving room for fraud and cons. Measures should be taken, therefore, to determine the credibility of a company before any business can be conducted over the internet.

Inventory Management

One of the most essential and significantly costly elements of the supply chain involves the management of inventory (Wisner, Leong & Tan 2005). Studies have also shown that lack of proper information flow in the process of inventory management can cause inventory buffers and inefficiencies in the management of the supply chain. Consequently, to keep inventory levels low and lower the overall costs of holding, while still offering high quality service to the customers is a significant challenge in strategic inventory management.

To mitigate such challenges, internet-enabled inventory management enables processes that can be used to reduce costs without compromising the quality of customer service (Kevin Chiang & Monahan 2005; Cagliano, Caniato & Spina 2005). For instance, the internet can be used in inventory management for the notification of stock-outs offered by companies to their clients, or even the communication of stock-outs made by clients to vendors.

The internet also enables companies to quickly implement electronic data interchange (EDI) information systems with their customers throughout the world. In inventory management, EDI is understood as the electronic exchange of information between the information technology systems of two or more organizations (Boyer & Olson 2002). With the help of the internet, EDI technology can be used to process order entry, order changes, order confirmation, pre-shipment notices, and invoicing. Through internet-based EDI, companies like Wal-Mart and Target realize success in the retail industry by quickly exchanging information with their suppliers, which would normally take long periods of data entry.

The internet also positively influences the ability of companies to proactively manage their inventory systems. For instance, using the internet, a company can track out-of-stock inventory items and ensure that customers are notified in case of order shipping delays and any inventory emergencies. The improved inventory management also enables the company to replenish the inventory without delays. Tracking of items in an efficient and timely manner is also enabled by the internet by integrating various technological applications such as communication technologies, radio frequency technology and the internet. Identification In addition, inventory information needed for informed decision-making can also be made available to the decision-makers in good time.

Order Processing and Customer Service

Other areas of importance of internet technology in strategic supply chain management are in customer service and order processing. For instance, using the internet to place orders has been found to streamline the process of quotation and result in reduced overall costs by enabling order placement and checking of order status as well as improved speed of processing. In this regard, reduced paperwork in the order processing not only saves time, but also lowers costs.

With regards to customer service, the internet enables improved communication between the customer and the vendor, thereby improving awareness of customer needs and preferences, and enabling the tailoring of products to meet customer needs. It also offers a platform for the customer to communicate concerns and suggestions. Ultimately, through improved customer service, the internet enables the company to build a strong customer loyalty for its products and services.

Implications on Management

With the rapidly increasing use of the internet in supply chain management, it is increasingly important for managers to leverage the benefits of the internet for competitive edge. It is important for the supply chain manager to react quickly to information and adjust inventory, transportation and production to ensure cost efficiency and quality of service. It is important to note that the information provided over the internet is only useful if it is delivered in a timely and comprehensible manner.

One implication on management concerns the dynamic pricing strategies enabled by the internet. As indicate by Keskinocak and Tayur 2001, the internet has altered the way goods are marketed and sold, and influences pricing. Supply chain managers can leverage the ability of the internet to offer flexible and dynamic pricing through online auctions and negotiation (Bapna, Goes & Gupta 2003). In addition, the internet offers collaboration of different components of the supply chain which can be leveraged to smooth the flow of products and information. This is important since collaboration between enterprises has been shown to be a considerable challenge to effective supply chain management (Lewis & Talalayevsky 2004).

Leveraging the potential of the internet offers the supply chain management accessibility and standards that enable the integration and transmission of data across the supply chain components (Bartezzaghi & Ronchi 2004). An important consideration for management is that the supply chain collaboration is enabled through information sharing, creation of supply chain communities, and coordinating plans. These must be invested in and effectively implemented for an effective supply chain.

Another important managerial factor concerning the internet and supply chain management is supply chain visibility, which is linked to reduction of the bullwhip effect. According to Jap and Mohr (2002), supply chain visibility implies to offering each level of the supply chain with accurate and complete information on customer needs and inventory levels, production levels, fulfillment needs, and shipment status. Managers need to understand that visibility reduces the bullwhip effect since if information on demand is shared, the actual customer demand data can be used to generate accurate forecast instead of depending on orders obtained from the previous stage. In addition, visibility of the supply chain enables the various components of the supply chain to coordinate production and distribution more effectively, subsequently reducing costs and lead times (Bartezzaghi & Ronchi 2004).

The important implication here is to ensure that the information is accessible to all partners in the supply chain and in a format that can enable business decision-making. Managers also need to invest in tools that enable the visualization, plan and make decisions based on large databases. Essentially, the proliferation of technology and the internet in business cannot be avoided. Ultimately, there is need to protect the data obtained and transmitted over the internet from fraudsters and identity thieves (Ngai & Gunasekaran 2004). Given the numerous benefits linked to the use of the internet in supply chain management, proper structures need to be developed for companies to leverage the potential of the internet.

Conclusion

The present analysis examined the role of the internet in effective supply chain management. From the analysis it is evident that the internet can offer supply chain management the benefits of reduced costs, improved customer service, enhanced procurement and order processing, as well as collaboration and visibility throughout the supply chain. It is also apparent that the internet enables partners in the supply chain to collaborate in order to improve planning and forecasting. Other benefits include improved customer service, data sharing, and product flow.

However, information sharing has various technological, legal and commitment implications, requiring observation of certain principles and goodwill from organizations. It is also important for organizations to adopt measures to protect the information obtained and shared over the internet. Ultimately, though the internet offers an important tool for improving the effectiveness of supply chains, security and management concerns must be addressed for the optimal benefits to be realized.

References

Auramo, J, Kauremaa, J & Tanskanen, K 2005, “Benefits of IT in supply chain management: An explorative study of progressive companies”, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 82-100.

Bapna, R, Goes, P & Gupta, A 2003, “Analysis and design of business-to-consumer online auctions”, Management Science, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 85-101.

Barratt, M & Rosdahl, K 2002, “Exploring business-to-business market sites”, European Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 111-122.

Bartezzaghi, E & Ronchi, S 2004, “A portfolio approach in the e-purchasing of materials”, Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 117-126.

Boyer, K & Olson, J 2002, “Drivers of Internet purchasing success”, Production and Operations Management, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 480-498.

Cagliano, R, Caniato, F & Spina, G 2005, “E-business strategy: How companies are shaping their supply chain through the Internet”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 25, no.12, pp. 1309-1327.

Croom, S 2000, “The impact of web-based procurement on the management of operating resources supply”, The Journal of Supply Chain Management, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 4-13.

Croxton, K, García-Dastugue, S, Lambert, D & Rogers, D 2001, “The supply chain management processes”, The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 13-36.

Gunasekaran, A & Ngai, E 2004, “Virtual Supply-Chain Management.” Production Planning & Control, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 584–595.

Jap, S & Mohr, J 2002, “Leveraging internet technologies in B2B relationships,” California Management Review, vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 24-38.

Kehoe, D & Boughton, N 2001, “Internet based supply chain management: A Classification of approaches to manufacturing planning and control.” International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 516-524.

Keskinocak, P & Tayur, R 2001, “Quantitative analysis for Internet-enabled supply chains,” Interfaces, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 70-89.

Kevin Chiang, W & Monahan, G 2005, “Managing inventories in a two-echelon dual-channel supply chain,” European Journal of Operational Research, vol. 162, no. 2, pp. 325-341.

Lewis, I & Talalayevsky, A 2004, “Improving the inter-organizational supply chain through optimization of information flows,” Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 229 – 237.

Ngai, E & Gunasekaran, A 2004, “Information systems in supply chain integration and management,” European Journal of Operational Research, vol. 159, no. 2, pp. 269-295.

Wisner, J, Leong, K & Tan, K 2005, Principles of supply chain management: A balanced approach. Thomson South-Western, Mason, OH.

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System Development Life Cycle SDLC

System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

Seven Step SDLC

The System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) ensures end-state solutions in accordance to the requirements provided by the user in support of business strategic goal and objectives. It represents a structured, systematic approach that aims at developing information systems. The SDLC incorporates a comprehensive checklist of rules and regulations governing IT systems. The provisions are aimed at ensuring system developers adhere to the different set guides. The seven step SDLC incorporates seven phases that need adamant consideration by the developers to ensure accurate realization of the intended goals. The phases include planning, analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, and maintenance.

Seven Step SDLC
Seven Step SDLC

First, the planning phase of the SDLC demands the developers need to determine a solid plan for developing the information system desired. In the phase, three primary activities need to be ensured for optimality. The system to be developed must be defined, identified and selected in accordance with the strategic goals of the organization (Balaji& Murugaiyan, 2012).  Secondly, the developer needs to consider the scope of the project. The scope provides the high-level system requirements. It is the basic definition of the system. Lastly, the system development team needs to define the project plan. Hoffer (2012) argues that a plan responds to the what, when and who questions in the system developing activities together with all the activities to be performed including the individuals and resources to be involved in the SDLC process.

Secondly, the analysis phase, which involves the end users and IT specialists. The two stakeholders gather, understand and document business requirements for the intended system. Primarily, the developers at the stage aim at gathering sufficient information regarding the business or end user requirements (Rosenblatt, 2013). The requirements are the knowledge workers’ requests that the system must meet to be qualified as successful. This can be undertaken using a Joint Application Development (JAD) session. A process in which knowledge workers and IT specialists engage one another to define and review business requirements.

In the third phase, the design, the developers build a technical blueprint detailing how the proposed system will work. According to Rosenblatt (2013), the point of view shifts from a business perspective to a technical one. Immediately, the development phase follows. The phase takes consideration of all detailed design documents from the design phase and transform them to an actual system. The developers during the phase build the different technical architecture by purchasing and setting it up. In addition, the necessary software programs are written in the database for ease of navigation by the end user.

Once the system is developed, there is a need to test the program. This comes in handy as the fifth step in the seven step SDLC. Here the system is verified on whether it executes all the business requirements as defined in the analysis phase. A detailed test condition is developed and performed with the expected results evaluated. Once the developers are satisfied that the system works appropriately, they proceed to the implementation phase. In this step, the system is distributed to all knowledge workers who begin using the system to perform their routine jobs. However, a user documentation must be provided, which details how the knowledge workers will use the system.

The implementation phase might take different approaches depending on the end user and the developing team (Leau, Loo, Tham & Tan, 2012). Such include the pilot, phased, plunge or the parallel implementation. Each of the implementation holds merit and demerits that the stakeholders need to consider.

The seven step SDLC considers maintenance as the last phase. In the phase, stakeholders monitor and support the new system to ensure its ability to enable the business to realize its goals. During the phase, the developers and knowledge workers can advance the system with the different changes of the business environment.

Four Step SDLC Model

Four Step SDLC
Four Step SDLC

The four-step SDLC model considers a different number of steps to be involved in the development of a system for a business entity. The different steps include identification, design, construction and evaluation and risk analysis. Under the four step SDLC, the project goes through the four phases in iterations (Boehm, 1988). The SDLC model similar to the seven-step model begins by the identification of the objectives in relation to the business that the developers and the knowledge workers desire to execute using the system.

In the initial phase, identification, business requirements are gathered and later a system appropriate for the requirements identified. In addition, subsystem requirements and unit requirements are executed at the phase to ensure consistency during the development phase. Therefore, the knowledge workers and the developer need to interact excessively to ensure a mutual content on the needs that the system should satisfy. Significantly, the different alternatives and constraints are identified by the parties who later see a way of mitigating each of the shortcoming for the benefit of developing a perfect system.

Once the identification stage is complete, the team launches the design phase. The phase involves a conceptual design and an architectural design, logical design, physical product design and the final design. The different designs serve a greater role in ensuring systematic analysis of the project at each level of design to address any likely challenges. The construction stage comes in handy after the two phases are successfully executed. In the phase, the actual system is developed and engaged for the different needs.

A Proof of Concept document needs to accompany the system during the delivery to the knowledge workers to get feedback on the system (Boehm, Lane, Koolmanojwong & Turner, 2014). The information is often used for advancing or corrective measures necessary to ensure client satisfaction. The testing of the project is also done at the stage to optimize correction of the system.

In the last phase of the four-step SDLC process, the developer and client conduct a risk analysis procedure where they identify, estimate and monitor any technical feasibility probable. The appropriate management risks are engaged to ensure optimal results. For instance, a schedule slippage and cost overrun can be conducted to optimize the process. The customer needs to evaluate the system developed to determine whether it meets the project specifications provided during the first phase. In case the client or the developer identifies any issues concerning the system, the necessary steps are undertaken to resolve the problem. Considering the short cycle of the four-step model, reviews are inevitable in each phase (Boehm, 1988). The client and developers concerned with the system development analyze the previous cycle. The review covers all products developed in the previous cycle, including the plans for the next cycle. In addition, the required resources are evaluated for executing the subsequent cycle.

Comparing and Contrasting the Seven Step and Four Step Models

The seven-step and four-step model elicit similarities and differences worth considering in the study. The two models embrace the need to conduct preliminary analysis and ensure constant communication between the client and developer for the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. In the planning and identification phases, the need to optimize on information gathered, especially the objectives to be realized by the system is highlighted. Additionally, the design phase between the two models also elicits similarities. The two models rely on analysis, although the latter does not provide a higher prominence when compared to the seven-step model, which assumes analysis as a phase in the system development process (Boehm, Lane, Koolmanojwong & Turner, 2014).

Contrastingly, the four-step model considers the elimination of risk in the system establishment as the focus in defining the success of a system. This varies with the seven-step model that considers the adoption of the client needs into the system as the focus. As such, the four-step system ensures preliminary evaluation of risks in each phase. The review process in the four-step model is engaged at each phase. This is different to the seven-step that tends to review the project during the maintenance stage. As such, maintenance is cheaper in terms of cost and time for the four-step compared to the seven-step. The review explains why the four-step model does not have any phase identified as maintenance iterations (Boehm, 1988). In addition, the high status of the review in the different phases optimizes the ability of the developer to minimize any risk that might destabilize the organization. Thus, the system is developed in accordance with the inherent risks within the organization. Therefore, easy to customize the system to suit the needs of the organization.

References

Balaji, S., & Murugaiyan, M. S. (2012). Waterfall vs. V-Model vs. Agile: A comparative study on SDLC. International Journal of Information Technology and Business Management, 2(1), 26-30.

Boehm, B. W. (1988). A spiral model of software development and enhancement. Computer, 21(5), 61-72.

Boehm, B., Lane, J. A., Koolmanojwong, S., & Turner, R. (2014). The incremental commitment spiral model: Principles and practices for successful systems and software. Addison-Wesley Professional.

Hoffer, J. A. (2012). Modern Systems Analysis and Design, 6/e. Pearson Education India.

Leau, Y. B., Loo, W. K., Tham, W. Y., & Tan, S. F. (2012). Software development life cycle AGILE vs traditional approaches. In International Conference on Information and Network Technology (Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 162-167).

Rosenblatt, H. J. (2013). Systems Analysis and Design. Cengage Learning.

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MBA Management Cross Cultural Training

MBA Management Cross Cultural Training

Cross Cultural Training. This MBA paper discusses Cross Cultural Training and its objectives, Importance of intercultural training in globalization, Key intercultural skills for expatriate training, Types and benefits of intercultural training and determinants of cultural difference.

Introduction

Inter cultural training is fast becoming a clearly important element in the world of global industry (Zakaria, 2000) This assignment discusses Cross cultural training and its objectives, Importance of intercultural training in globalization, Key intercultural skills for expatriate training, Types and benefits of intercultural training, Determinants of cultural differences, Differences across cultures in people and practices, Socio-Cultural aspects of expatriate adjustment and  Intercultural training issues.

Intercultural Training

Inter cultural training means “Any intervention aimed at increasing an individual’s capability to cope with and work in foreign environment” (Tung, 1981). It includes one to one discussion and imitation of the situations of other culture to understand the culture of host country.  In other way cross cultural training means “Formal methods to prepare people for more effective interpersonal relations and job success when they interact extensively with individuals from cultures other than their own” (Brislin and Yoshida, 1994). Definition of cross cultural training hence is wide to include differences in areas like linguistic skills, corporate manners, views and principles, social system, negotiating styles etc. of any culture. The benefits of inter–cultural training are (Zakaria, 2000);

  1. A distinct advantage for organizations
  2. By continuous changing home country mode to a socially adjustable and suitable culture
  3. By improving how to cope up with unpredicted events and by dealing with cultural shock in host country culture
  4. By decreasing uncertainty in expatriates while dealing with host country citizens
  5. Increasing expatriates managing skills by reducing stress and disorientation (Zakaria, 2000) So this is the instrument for increasing the corporate culture and follows constantly reviewing the activity of expatriates in the companies

Importance of Intercultural Training in Globalisation

Changing Nature of International Organisations

Because of increasing co enterprise and unions and the huge developments in minor to major businesses as significant contributions in globalisation. Due to shift in financial circumstances changed the way of organisations looking at the value efficiency of expatriates (Harris and Kumra, 2000)

Change in Host Location

Due to huge foreign direct investment in foreign countries and inter cultural improvements the demand of expatriate assignment rise between established countries with a drop in the percentage of managers moving from developed world to the Third World (Harris and Kumra, 2000)

Key Intercultural Skills for Expatriate Training

According to Hofstede (1980, p. 398) important intercultural skills are as follows:

  1. The ability to interconnect esteem
  2. The ability to be broadminded
  3. The ability to accept others ideas and views
  4. The ability to show sympathy
  5. The ability to be elastic
  6. The ability for giving chance to others in debates
  7. Patience for doubtfulness

Gudykunst and Hammer (1983) focused on types of cross cultural training approaches. According to them there are two approaches:

Experiential versus Didactic: This method is based on an observation that individuals, mainly grownups, study by performing the task. (Knowles, 1972, 1975, 1990; Tough, 1979) For effectiveness in this approach learner have to study the processes and tactics for their significance in their society; improve a positive approach to the concept which will bring positive outcomes for them and also for another (Richards, 1997). In the didactic (information giving) approach, based on the thoughts that a cognitive understanding is essential before people can interact with another culture. This can be done by information giving such as lectures, videos and group discussions.

Culture Specific versus Culture General: Culture specific training gives information and direction about culture where expatiate is moving soon for his assignment. Culture specific method includes methods like culture specific briefings, assimilation and readings, giving expatriate knowledge about the country (e.g. past and present situation, creed); important ethics, or what to do and what not to do in that particular culture. (Harris and Kumra, 2000)On the other hand, Culture general training is about providing information to the peoples which they can use in any new culture with anew  variety of know hows and developing expatiates with a set of expertise of how to deal with unknown cultures. Types of approach used in this include simulations and self-assessments (Harris and Kumra, 2000)

Types and Benefits of Intercultural Training

Pre Departure Training: This is the traditional form for intercultural training and it is conducted in the home country and organised about a month ago before departure. For better efficiency, the training should be given when the trainees are most motivated to learn (Selmer, 2009) For example, if a person is unable to concern learning about another culture may not benefit from pre-departure training. The duration of most Cross Cultural Training programmes is depends upon the cultural distance from home country to host country. For example between the West and China (Branine, 2005). This experience is called ‘‘tourist  phase’’ (Torbiorn,1982)

Post Arrival Training: Post arrival training is further beneficial when provided after expatriate coming back from host country to home country. (Gudykunst et al., 1996; Selmer et al., 1998). This takes around three to six months to start and focused on developments in the host country culture, world view, mentality, values, living patterns and social structure (Torbiorn, 1994). This training can take place at the host country, the home country or any other place. This is like ‘‘on site’’ training of expatriates. ‘‘on site’’ training supports to study innovative administrative measures, and help them adjust to the new cultural background.

Sequential Training: This training must be progressing in steps starting at pre departure and continuing to the post arrival phases which provides a complete direction for expatriate’s step by step improvement towards knowing the value and beliefs of the host culture. (Selmer, 2009) Sequential training has three pre conditions. First, expatriate’s encounters a much diverse societal atmosphere, that the expatriate has faced situations which were unknown before without any option. Then, the relocation to the overseas nation is within a short period of time. Third, expatriate Stays in the host culture for long time for situation to be restructured and the new behaviors to be taught (Selmer et al., 1998).

Content and Duration of Cross Cultural Training

Brislin (1979) has identified three different contents of Cross cultural Training as being cognitive, effective and behavioral in nature. The cognitive content matches to a distribution of information through discussions and other non-participatory resources. Cognitive content contain facts and figures important for real world measures, for example geographic knowledge, weather, accommodation, universities etc. The effective content aims at aggravating individual responses to learn how to deal with critical cultural situations.

Cross Cultural Training Dissertation
Cross Cultural Training Dissertation

The behavioral content aims at improving the communication style of participants for decent relationships with members of host culture and could enables communication with natives, shows an ability to show the interest to learn about overseas culture, supports expatriate to be well mannered (Eschback et al., 2001; Selmer, 2006). Duration of Cross Culture Training sessions are depending upon what training expatriate is getting ranging from one day or designed for few days or a month (Caligiuri et al., 2001; Gudykunst et al.). For example, language training from basic level to advance level reneging from one day to one month.

Benefits of Cross Cultural Training

Cross cultural training improves consciousness amongst people in order to promote clear lines of communication and better relationships. Cross Cultural Training should enable expatriates to determine appropriate cultural behaviours in the host country and suitable ways to perform their job tasks (Black and Mendenhall, 1990). Through Cross Cultural Training, expatriates may get familiar with unexpected happenings in the new cultural background and to reduce conflict due to unexpected actions and situations. Furthermore, it also shows that in the pre departure Cross Cultural Training, the training may help expatriates to create accurate outlooks with respect to living and working in the host country. (Black and Mendenhall, 1990; Black et al., 1991)

An Integrated Cross Cultural Training Model

This model relates the success of training to the development of acculturation. This supports expatriates to act very effectively and reduce stressful practices while facing the insecurity in overseas nations. This model defines acculturation as both a development and a state. For individual persons, family support and willingness to acculturate features added. The type of job assignment, length of assignment and type of training added in situational features. The main improvement in this model is the adding of extra critical process earlier cultural contact takes place, both of which are antecedents to the acculturation process. (Zakaria, 2000)

The new procedure is the moderating process which needs good training programs. The main purposes of this procedure are: adjust the individual and situational characteristics; decrease the culture shock like stress, disorientation, learning and skills deficits; accomplish improved acculturation results. Cross cultural training is important element. With the help of integrated cross cultural training program organisations gain benefits if training is provided in a proper way (Nixon & Dawson 2013)

Determinants of Cultural Differences

Pioneering study of cultures across modern nations done by Hofstede, Dutch social psychologist, in different cultures evaluated the outcomes and establishes forms of likeness and variance among the answers along these five dimensions. According to Hofstede (1981, in Hofstede, 2001) there are some magnitudes in to the cultural factors. These factors are as follows:

  1. Power distance index (PDI): This state to the degree of dissimilarity that exists – and is accepted – between persons with and without power. A high PD score shows that culture agrees an unequal circulation of power and people recognise “their place” in the system. A Low PD shows that power is shared and well distributed. It also means equality in the society members.
  1. Individualism (IDV): means specific point at which persons take care about them beyond family and with a very few close friends or stay incorporated into groups usually around the family.
  1. Masculinity (MAS) vs. feminism: means the circulation of emotional roles amongst the sexes. It opposes a tough masculine to tender feminine society. The assertive pole has been called ‘masculine’ and the modest and the caring pole called ‘feminine’.
  1. Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI): this deals with a culture’s open mindedness for uncertainty and ambiguity; which shows the states to man’s hunt for reality. It shows to what level a culture programs its members to feel in unstructured conditions. For example, uncomfortable or comfortable.
  1. Long term orientation (LTO):  This state that at what dimensions values and ethics age old works as opposite to short term customs and beliefs. Countries those are having a high Long term orientation score, bringing on social responsibilities and side stepping “loss of face” are count very significant.

Differences across Cultures in People and Practices

Many people behave significantly different in different situations because of their cultures differences. The motivational desires of the expatriates and executives differ from culture to culture. The driving force which causes peoples to do the job in India may not be the same for Chines peoples; international manager must understand the modifications in the people’s mode of doing work. (Neelankavil and James, 2012)

The manufacture services of organizations may be same through divisions but the mind-set of the people’s changes organizations to organizations. For example, Japanese management system like quality circles failed when they have applied into Indian organisations. Neelankavil, Mathur and Zhang (2012) study shows that in four countries for management development and motivational aspects in both different training found diverse management values, value dimensions and relative administration. India established a similar value to America than its neighbor country china though less geographic distance. For example, Drive and ambition were significant for American managers (91) for achievement which is not the instance for China (7) (Neelankavil, Mathur and Zhang, 2012)

Socio Cultural Aspects of Expatriate Adjustment

There is difference in Socio-Cultural and psychological adjustments in the concept of inter cultural adjustment (Searle and Ward, 1990; Ward and Kennedy, 1992, 1993; Ward and Searle, 1991). Socio-Cultural adjustment communicates the capability to successfully interact with the peoples of overseas country (Ward and Kennedy, 1996) which has been linked with objects that encourage and enable to learn other countries culture and acquire social skills. (Cross, 1995; Searle and Ward, 1990) The Socio-Cultural stressed on social behavior (Black and Mendenhall, 1991; Furnham, 1993; Klineberg, 1982).Psychological adjustment means person’s happiness in their new social backgrounds linked with persons emotions, cognitive views, and individual features (Ward and Kennedy, 1996). Black et al. (1991) discussed in their recommended model for international managers modification, difference in three types of modification is as follows:

  1. Modification towards expatriates work;
  2. Modification towards communicating with citizens of the host country;
  3. Modification towards social situation.

Conclusion

It is very important that for sending their expatriates to the host country must be aware of situations in an overseas. Managing with an overseas nation both administrative and national require well organized homework. A very well equipped cross cultural training will help the organizations to be ready for, with the fluctuations in the functioning policies, principles and ethics they are predicted towards the future. There is a degree of variance expatriate may see while moving to a host country. An organisation may face losses due to unorganized cross cultural training and that is the matter of great concern.

For preparing the expatriates for an overseas mission is equally advantageous for the companies and for international managers. In cross cultural training it is very important that which type of training program organisation using. A good organised inter cultural teaching program might help in uncertain circumstances; from this activity industry can get the best possible output from the international managers by taking care of the employee confidence and inspiration. Now from the above arguments we can say that inter cultural training is the main factor for success in international human resource management.

References

Black, J. and Mendenhall, M. (1990) Cross Cultural Training Effectiveness: A Review and a Theoretical Framework for Future Research. Academy of Management Review [Internet], 15(1), January, pp.113 136.

Brislin, R. and Yoshida, T. (1994) Intercultural Communication Training: An Introduction [Internet], Sage publication ltd., London.

Graf, A. (2004) Screening and training inter cultural competencies: evaluating the impact of national culture on inter cultural competencies. International Journal of Human Resource Management.

Graf A, Mertesacker, M. (2009) Intercultural training: six measures assessing training needs. Journal of European Industrial Training.

Harris, H. and Kumra, S. (2000) International manager development—Cross cultural training in highly diverse environments. Journal of Management Development.

Hofstede, G.S. (2001) Culture’s Consequences:  Comparing Values, Behaviours, Institutions and Organizations across Nations, 2nd ed.,   Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Ltd., United Kingdom.

Interview by Powell, S. (2006) Geert Hofstede: challenges of cultural diversity, Human Resource Management International Digest.

Mathur, A, Zhang, Y, and Neelankavil, J. (2012), Critical managerial motivational factors: A cross cultural analysis of four culturally divergent countries, International Journal of Cross Cultural Management.

Neelankavil, and James P.(2012) ‘Determinants of Managerial Performance: A Cross cultural Comparison of the Perceptions of Middle level Managers in Four Countries’, Journal of International Business Studies.

Nixon, J. and Dawson, G. (2013) Reason for cross cultural communication training, Corporate Communications.

Selmer J. (1999) Culture shock in China? Adjustment pattern of western expatriate business managers. International Business Review.

Selmer, J. (2004) Psychological barriers to adjustment of Western business expatriates in China: Newcomers vs long stayers. The International Journal of Human Resource Management.

Selmer, J. (2005) Cross cultural training and expatriate adjustment in China: Western joint venture managers.

Selmer, J. (2009) Expatriate cross cultural training for China: views and experience of “China Hands”, Management Research Review.

Waxin, M. and Panaccio, A. (2005) Cross cultural training to facilitate expatriate adjustment: it works!

Zakaria, N. (2000) The effects of cross cultural training on the acculturation process of the global workforce. International Journal of Manpower.

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Project Management Constraints

Project Management Constraints

Efficient project management has become one of the most popular tools for both private and public organizations as project handlers have sought ways to improve their operations. Project managers seek to achieve success across all sectors when handling a project. Technological advancement, new product development and streamlining of business perspectives are examples of targets set by project managers. During the inception of a project, there is the careful planning, organizing and prioritizing available resources achieving the desired outcome or the projected results in the least. At the inception stage, a project seeks to achieve the set target within minimal time while using the least amount of resources. However, every project manager faces challenges during the implementation of a project. Such challenges arise from the presence of different constraints within project management.

Background of the study

Even though a project manager prefers to achieve success all through, there are instances where resources allocated become minimal. Timeframe awarded to a project may also exceed leading to the scope of a project taking a new approach. Project constraints hinder project success hence the need to address each constraint. Despite the fact that project constraints are not consistent, schedule, resources and quality seem to be popularly present hindering success. The omnipresence of these three constraints has led to the name triple constraints, and this research study will address these constraints discussing how they affect project success (Kendrick, 2009).

Making a project successful within the triple constraint proves to be a challenge for every project manager. Regardless of whether its quality, resources or time, the three elements have the notion of working in tandem manner. Significantly, the absence or scarcity of one of these elements adversely affects the triumphant completion of projects. An efficient project manager comprehends that the main key of achieving success for a project entails the balancing of the triple constraints (Dobson, 2004).

Research methodology

The research methodology involved entails a presenting approach adopted within the study. Careful analysis of the triple constraints will be presented. The analysis will involve illustrations of various ways in which such project constraints affect the successful completion of a project. The approach taken will require meeting the expectations of the constraints of project management. The approach taken requires meeting the expectations of constraints in project management. Such entails the researcher to espouse a comprehensive research methodology enabling the understanding of project constraints adverse effects.

Approach

In order to remain consistent with this research, there is the approach of extensive methodologies adopted to assist readers in achieving the required results. There were appropriate considerations of projects that have failed or succeeded. Essential to this study, it is significant for a project manager to identify basic project management aspects in order to determine the purpose of a project. Such allows the understanding of project constraints leading to identifying ways of overcoming the constraints (Russell, 2011).

Project Constraint – Quality and Scope

Functions, features, content and data all constitute the scope of work to be done for any project. In order to achieve quality for any piece of work to be done, a project manager is required to provide a precise and specific statement identifying the desired final result of the project undertaken (Dobson, 2004). Every project should have a well-defined and articulate scope of work. However, it is essential to note that the scope of a project is dependent on the output quality. The output quality is essential since it ensures that a project scope is achievable.

Notable to this research, project scope requires effective planning, use of available resources, and proficient management techniques achieving the set target. Failure to adhere to such aspects will frequently lead to project failure. Mandatory for any project manager, changing the scope halfway through the project is suicidal, and often leads to project failure. Nonetheless, every project requires minor changes that are permissible during implementation in order to ensure success (Kendrick, 2009).

The quality of work done is dependent on a project manager’s understanding of project outcomes. Prior to proceeding on with a project, the client will usually have issued instructions on the expected outcome of an assignment. Nonetheless, several prospects of divergence will ensue regarding the necessity to stabilize around the existent resources. A competent project manager has the ability, and resources to cultivate success among projects undertaken. Organizations need to realize the significance of succeeding in projects as these increases their clientele base.

The project manager should have subdivisions that enable tasks undertaken within an organization (Goodpasture, 2004). There are assorted personnel dealing with the diversified projects. For instance, the manager is responsible for overseeing that the objective of the project is realized. The manager is also responsible for directing vast and significant decisions to avoid project failure. Executing this in a resourceful manner requires the program manager to ensure discipline and order is present among supervisors and other member staff.

Project Constraint – Time and Scheduling

Being the primary consideration, time management should be analyzed to the smallest detail. A competent project manager realizes the essentiality of analyzing the required time, and component to ensure successful completion of a project (Dobson, 2004). After careful analysis, each of the components is broken down in order to assign specified amount of time for handling a particular task. A project undertaken requires such aspects since they allow the estimation of a period with which the project can be undertaken. Apart from the estimation of the project period, resources required are identified to ensure success.

Despite the three constraints having a correlation to one another, time management within a project is seen as a diverse unit. Such view is alongside the realization that proper execution of any project within the allocated time is dependent on circumstances and efficient techniques. Project failure may occur despite the project manager having allocated a specific timeframe for each task. Failure can occur should there be exact resources to handle a project (Goodpasture, 2004). Abrupt emergencies may require the use of more resources in handling scrupulous tasks, leading to limited resources. The limitations of resources will often lead to an extended time-frame for a project risking failure (Russell, 2011).

Project Management Constraints
Project Management Constraints

Most project failures have resulted from undermining time allocated to different tasks. However, this often occurs when a project manager is unfamiliar with tasks undertaken. Failure of a project will frequently arise from unexpected events, risks and uncertainties. If the project manager is deemed to be inexperienced, the rise of potential risks will prolong the previously allocated time. Present in most projects undertaken, there ought to be an effective organization, proper restructuring and estimation techniques. Such will ensure that time is managed in an effective manner reducing the risk of failure for undertaken projects.

Project constraint – Cost and Resources

A competent project manager realizes that success of a project is compliant with the readiness and available resources. Even though time has been allocated to different tasks, it is also essential to allocate needed resources to complete the tasks at hand. However, providing the needed resources requires a project manager to have the capital needed to acquire the necessities. Such aspects require wholesome efforts on all levels of accountability. Ranging from casual workers, permanent employees, middle and top level managers, successful project completion requires collaborated efforts from parties involved. Realizing that resources like manpower are the most essential in achieving success, a resourceful project manager ought to ensure that the needs and requirements of labour present is met. Resources pose as the greatest risk in project failure (Wysocki, 2011). There are variables present like rate of materials, machinery and equipment, labour expenses which determine success or failure of a project.

Depending on market prices, the rate of materials seems to be at a constant change requiring the individual assigned to be per with the new prices. The new prices of different prices lead to subsequent changes in quality. There ought to be available capital to purchase high quality materials. For instance in building constructions, it is paramount to purchase quality materials, and failure to do so has a definite chance of project failure resulting from building collapse (Goodpasture, 2004). The purchase of machinery and equipment is also determined by price ranges within the market. However, in order to ensure success, there needs to be the use of high quality machinery and equipment.

Project running is comparative to embrowning a project plan comprehensive of the scrupulous objectives and missions. In addition, there ought to be a quantification of the assets required, the accounts should be indomitable within a timeline that is set. There is the existence of a variety of gear that is essential in making projects undertaken to be successful. The responsibilities of the manger should be as minimal as possible to avoid exhaustion from too much pressure to perform. Essential to this study, it is essential to identify different project phases and measure the success. However, the project manager should ensure that the manpower available is well taken care of since they are the success of any organization.

Conclusion

The prioritization of the constraints within a project is the foremost task needed to be undertaken by a project manager. In addition to the development of strategies in the management of multiple constraints, it is also instrumental that a project manager effectively maintains communication with the client. This ensures that they are both on the same page and that the client’s expectations are being met. Additionally, any competent project manager must ensure that they have a thorough knowledge of project management skills. This greatly assists them in being able to effectively and efficiently cater for any unforeseen project constraints. The act of balancing a project’s responsibilities is facilitated by the project manager’s ability to chart, analyze and implement it. This is because the project manager is aware of and has experience with a project’s concurrent risks.

References

Dobson, M, S. (2004). The Triple Constraints in Project Management. Arizona: Management Concepts.

Goodpasture, J, C. (2004). Quantitative methods in project management. Arizona: J. Ross Publishing.

Heldman, K. (2011). PMP Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide. USA: John Wiley & Sons

Kendrick, T. (2009). Identifying and Managing Project Risk: Essential Tools for Failure-Proofing Your Project. Phoenix: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Russell, D. (2011). Succeeding in the Project Management Jungle: How to Manage the People Side of Projects. Phoenix: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Wysocki, R, K. (2011). Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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Hofstede and Trompenaars

How Do Different Cultures Affect Consumer Behaviour and Organisational Structure: An Inquiry Using Hofstede and Trompenaars Models

This study will analyse the effect of different cultural practices on consumer behaviour belonging to different cultures. Utilizing Hofstede’s cultural framework and Trompenaars dimensions of cultural framework, this study will exhibit the cultural differences create differential impacts on organizations and structural changes associated with them. Furthermore, theoretical frameworks constructed by other behaviourists as well as psycho-sociologists will be discussed in brief to determine the stimulant triggering consumers to consumer goods. How far cultural orientations are effectively managing consumer behaviour and how much these orientations are making organisations to adapt to specific set of practices in local context will be studies Moreover, this study will argue that cultural differences affect not only the behaviour of consumer but lead the managers to change their decision making style and to make strategic decisions on the basis of consumers’ choice.

Culture: What It Holds for Consumers

Culture consists of collective elements and practices which provide a conduit for perception, judgment, calculation, correspondence, and action amongst those who share a historical period, a language, and a geographic location according to Arnolds and Thompson (2005). Culture is a prevailing power in regulating human behaviour and shaping their values in the formation of their collective actions. According to the authors, the culture is comprised of a commonly-accepted set of behaviour models that are transported and well-preserved by the members of a specific society through different means. Cultural values touch almost every facet of human life according to Mourali et al., (2005). The cultural value scheme includes cultural fundamentals that the people of a particular region have in common with the group to which they belong as observed by Luna and Gupta (2001). From the start of an individual’s actuality, the personal experiences the profits and restrictions of a particular culture, and those profits and limitations may become a leading stimulus upon consumers’ purchasing choices.

Hofstede’s Model of Cultural Dimensions: Analysis of Consumer Behaviour and Organisational Ethos

Hofstede’s (1984) study entitled as ‘Culture’s Consequences’ investigates into the field of studying multinational companies and international organizations. Hofstede collected and analysed data collected from different countries to formulate concrete theoretical framework for the analysis of culture on various aspects of organisation. Through that data analysis, he concluded that “organizations are culturally-bounded” implying that structure and functions of organisation are deeply affected by the culture in which it functions. Hofstede used the analysis to create different “dimensions of culture”, the consumer behaviour and organizational styles have been discussed below.

Individualism-collectivism

This cultural dimension developed by Hofstede expounds that the kind of relationship an individual has with him or herself and with others in every culture. In societies where idea of individualism is of paramount importance, most of the individuals are expected to take attention and upkeep of themselves and their immediate family. In this kind of culture the consumer behaviour is self-dependent, which implies that societal values are of less significance for their consuming habits. In these cultures the management style revolves around the self-efficiency which is driven by motives of promotions and development. However, in collectivistic-oriented societies which are, by and large traditional societies, focus has been on societal good and community’s welfare as observed by Yeniurt and Townsend (2003). In these cultures, consumers’ behaviour is largely dependent on societal approval for the consumption of goods and services being offered by various companies. Moreover, the organizational styles are deep rooted into efficiency, but they also take into consideration the cultural values. In these cultures, individuals are merely regarded as the members of groups who are expected to look after them in give-and-take for allegiance to organisation. Furthermore, Yeniurt and Townsend (2003) are of the view that in collectivistic culture, there has been greater chances of innovation as these cultures are better equipped to trap organizational energies.

Uncertainty Avoidance

According to Hofstede (1991), this dimension mainly deals with the necessity to formulate rules and regulation for prescribed and proscribed behaviour of people against their sense of uncertainty. Hofstede observes that countries marked with political stability and strong sense of cultural identity score low on this dimension as they feel usually secure. However, countries like those of Latin America score high on this dimension because people (consumers) feel insecure about political climate which adversely affect their collective psyche. In these states, organisations usually rely on ad hoc practices as they could change or wind up their business owing to uncertain prevailing conditions. Consumers in these states are quite inactive as they do not indulge into buying spree out of trust problems.

Power Distance

This dimension unravels the costs of discrimination found in the authority and power relations within a specific society according to Hofstede (1991). It adversely affects the hierarchy and reliance relationships in the outline of family and organisations. For example in patriarchal societies, power within a family rests on the male. His decisions will be regarded as the most influential with regard to what is to be bought. Applying similar analogy at organisational level, in such societies the organisational structure is predicated on gender relations which value more to male workers.

Masculinity-Femininity

Hofstede (1991) through this dimension points the in masculine cultures the dominant values are success and achievement. The implication of this dimension at organisational level incorporates that in masculine societies organisations prefer to focus on success and achievement and its structural style is male-dominated which propels the values of competition, progress and organisational efficiency. However, contrary to this finding, the feminine cultures put a great of emphasis on the concern for others. In this situation, organisation mainly focuses on social responsibility which forms the part and parcel of their organisational ethos. At consumer level, it would certainly imply that countries which have concerns for other will pay less heed to consumer values; whereas culture which puts lot of significance to success and achievements in terms of their financial strength and professional success, these states (or cultures) will put more emphasis on consumption values.

Long-Term Orientation

This dimension in Hofstede Model envisages the bringing forth attributes which are oriented towards futuristic prospects by long term awards (Hofstede, 1991). Hofstede in his later studies proposed that long-term versus short term dichotomy is more useful for his theoretical construct. The societies having long-term collective vision usually rely on deferred gratification patterns. Their main thrust is on saving for the future; therefore consumer behaviour in those societies is usually tilted towards lower levels of consumptions. According to Hofstede (1991), this pattern is usually found in emerging economies like China and India. At organisational level, there is an increasing tendency towards competition in these cultures which focus on long-termism.

Hofstede Trompenaars
Hofstede Trompenaars

Trompenaars’ Dimensions of Culture Framework

The main dimensions of culture framework defined by Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner and summarized by Trompenaars and Woolliams (2003) are predicated on four cultural typologies which are as follow:

The Incubator Culture

According to Trompenaars and Woolliams (2003), this culture resembles like a leaderless and shudderless team. It implies that prevalence of informal relations and low level of centralisation at organisational level. In this culture, the role and responsibilities are not well defined and there can be serious infringes on the overall organisation’s motivations.

The Guided Missile Culture

This cultural typology is mainly task oriented with high level of centralisation and low level of authority (Trompenaars and Woolliams, 2003). The authors are of the view that ‘… rational culture is, in its ideal type, task and project oriented. ‘Getting the job done’ with ‘the right man in the right place’ are favourite expressions. Organisational relationships are very results oriented.’ It shows that Guided Missile cultures have strict sense of responsibility. In these cultures, the managerial style is based on problem solving solutions and managers are in full charge of authority. In these types of organisational culture, the level of adaptability is very high, therefore these organisations are best suited to work in multi-cultural framework.

Family Culture

Family culture is an inverse form of the Guided Missile culture—marked by high degree of authority consolidation and low level of formalisation according to Trompenaars and Woolliams (2003). The employees of organisations marked with such kind of cultural ethos revolve around the core of authority. But like family, there are little rules and therefore there is less room for bureaucratic style. All which matters most is the will of the authority, which is a rule unto itself. In these organisations, managers have little or no say. They remain at the mercy of top slots. There remains a permanent contest amongst organisation’s members to remain as close to authority as possible.

The Eiffel Tower Culture

According to Trompennars and Woolliams (2003), the Eiffel Tower Culture is marked with strict centralisation and high level of formalisation. This culture is highly oriented towards role fulfilment which makes employees of an organisation largely adhere to the organisation’s main motives and business slogans. The whole organisation and its energies are directed towards pre-defined sets of goals and ambitions.

Consumer Behaviour: A Melting Pot for Cultural Effects

The study of the dealings and consumption involve the procedure when people choose, buy, utilize, or dispose of products, services, designs, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires is known as consumer behaviour according to Solomon et al, (2001). From the definition above, consumer behaviour can be viewed as a course that encompasses the issues that affect the consumer before, during and after a purchase. But cultural values operate at each level in imperceptible way. Culture is more than an environmental or collective influence. People were imagined within a culture. Culture is in the heads of people while consuming things which influences their behaviour. To comprehend culture’s effects on consumer behaviour, culture must be incorporated in different aspects of consumer behaviour theory. Preferably, different theories of consumer behaviour are proposed within cultures by studying people’s behaviour within each nation.

Cultural Differences and Consumer Behaviour

At psychological level, the mental approach and general mindset of a consumer which he has begotten towards a product for making rational choices is known as the consumer decision-making style. However, it is well understood by Bennet and Kassarjian (1972) long before the initialization of systematic study that consumer decision-making style hinges upon an unvarying configuration of operative and cognitive responses to their needs and societal approval of these decisions. Moreover, the culture has also been proven to have a greater impact on individual attitudes and values according to Hofstede and Hofstede (2005). Hofstede and Hofstede (2005) pioneered the study of culture and its impact on various aspects of management and business related management practice. The Hofstede Model, which has been elaborated in the following paragraphs has been regarded a mould to study the impact of culture on management practices as well on the consumer-oriented decisions regarding consumption.

Furthermore, Sproles and Kendall (1986) devised three different ways to approach consumer decision making process, which includes consumer typology approach, psychographic approach which is also known as lifestyle approach and, lastly, consumer characteristic approach. The authors elaborated the consumer typology approach categorises customers according to the retail investment and the types of consumers which usually get into particular type of consumption pattern. The consumer psychographic approach hinges upon the overall lifestyle of the consumer. For example, a consumer with middle class lifestyle will tend to emulate the life style of the elite within his or her specific income. In the same, vein consumer characteristic approach depends on the detailed study of different traits and characteristics of consumers, which involves the study what consumer is looking after. Moreover, characteristic approach also underlines the cognitive positioning of consumer towards buying the specific product through their motives as observed by Westbrook and Black (1985). The authors are of the view that pre-defined mental constructs are important stimulants of general human behaviour which, in turn, also affects consumers’ behaviour as they are of the view ‘hypothetical and unobservable psychological constructs postulated to explain both the energized and directive aspects of human behaviour.

Conclusion

The study shows that culture has deep effects on the consumer behaviour as well as organisations’ structure which, in turns, affect organisations’ efficiency. The prevalent mode of cultural values best describes what kind of consumer behaviour and what kind of organisational goals have been embedded into them. Moreover, the study further suggests that an organisation with flexible rules with an adaptive style of operations is best suited in today’s world of multi-cultural workplace when the role of employees especially managers is also becoming complex in the face of global assignments.

References

Arnould, E. J. and Thompson, C. J. (2005), Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research, Journal of Consumer Research, 31:4, 868–882

Bennett, P. D., and Kassarjian, H. H., (1972), Consumer Behavior, Chicago: US, Prentice-Hall

Hofstede, G., and Hofstede, G.J., (2005), Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. 2nd Edition, US, McGraw-Hill

Hofstede, G., (1984), Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, New York: US, Sage Publications

Luna, D. and Gupta, S.F., (2001), An Integrative Framework for Cross-Cultural Consumer Behaviour, International Marketing Review, 18:1, 45 – 69

Mourali, M., Laroche, M., and Pons, F., (2005), Individualistic Orientation and Consumer Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influence, Journal of Services Marketing, 19, 164-173

Solomon, M. R., Polegato, R and Zaichkowsky, J.G., (2001), Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, and Being, Toronto: Canada, Pearson Education Canada

Sproles, G.B. and Kendall, E.L., (1986), A Methodology for Profiling Consumers’ Decision-Making Styles, Journal of Consumer Affairs, 20:2, 267-279

Trompenaars, F. and Woolliams, P., (2003), A New Framework for Managing Change Across Cultures, Journal of Change Management, 3:4, 361–375

Westbrook, R.A. and Black, W.C., (1985), A Motivation-Based Shopper Typology, Journal of Retailing, 61, 78-103

Wong, N. Y., and Ahuvia, A. C., (1998), Personal Taste and Family Face: Luxury Consumption in Confucian and Western Societies, Psychology and Marketing, 15, 423-444

Yeniyurt, S., and Townsend, J.D., (2003), Does Culture Explain Acceptance of New Products in a Country?: An Empirical Investigation, International Marketing Review, 20:4, 377-396

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