Subject: Imagine there is a proposed amalgamation between a Chinese company and a South-African company. You are appointed to take a squad dwelling of directors from both states to analyze any cultural jobs linked to the proposed amalgamation. Using the work of Hofstede and Trompenaars, how near would the cultural tantrum be ; and how might you seek to better cultural apprehension between the two groups of directors?


In today ‘s concern environment, possessing direction accomplishments entirely is no longer sufficient to be successful. Contemporary concern patterns require that directors have knowledge and experience sing the differences between direction and taking every bit good, and how both activities must be integrated for concern success.

With the importance of International Business environment is raising, understanding the host state ‘s civilization can give directors a competitory advantage.

The aim of this assignment is to analyze any cultural jobs linked to the proposed amalgamation between Chinese Company and a South-African Company, by utilizing Hofstede ‘s dimensions of National civilization, and so research solutions which can better cultural apprehension between the two groups of directors.

This assignment chiefly has two parts ; the first portion will give out the cultural jobs from two company ‘s side ; and the 2nd portion is traveling to happen the solutions for the issues.

Part One-Cultural Problems

China -South Africa team-work

As we may recognize that the globalisation of the universe economic system, on one manus, has created enormous chances for planetary coaction among different states ; on the other manus, nevertheless, it has besides created a alone set of jobs and issues associating to the effectual direction of partnerships with different civilizations. With the increasing importance of the China market in the universe economic system, many business communities rushed to come in China to research concern chances.

Predominantly motivated by the pursuit for stuff inputs ( oil and other primary trade goods ) required for its infrastructural investings and dining fabrication sector, Chinese presence in Africa is quickly turning ( Song Li, 2004 ) . The rapid growing and significance of enhanced Chinese engagement in Africa has of import deductions while speaking about cultural facets.

Hofstede ‘s Cultural Dimensions on China and South Africa

By using Geert Hofstede ‘s Cultural Dimensions, the civilization difference between China and South-Africa has been displayed in the below charts.

Five factors have been discussed on Hofstede ‘s Cultural Dimensions ( Hofstede, 1997 )

Power Distance Index ( PDI ) that is the extent to which the less powerful members of organisations and establishments ( like the household ) accept and expect that power is distributed unevenly.

Individualism ( IDV ) , on the one side versus its antonym, Bolshevism, that is the grade to which persons are inte-grated into groups.

Masculinity ( MAS ) , versus its antonym, muliebrity, refers to the distribution of functions between the genders which is another cardinal issue for any society to which a scope of solutions are found.

Uncertainty Avoidance Index ( UAI ) which deals with a society ‘s tolerance for uncertainness and ambiguity ; it finally refers to adult male ‘s hunt for Truth.

Long-run Orientation ( LTO ) which versus short-run orientation.

Harmonizing to Hofstede ‘s Value Dimensions on China ( See below chart ) , it can be concluded that China has a relatively high long-run orientation. This has a historical relationship with its economic system. Normally, most of Asiatic states are belonging to the less developed / developing states. Suffering bad times taught many Chinese people to believe and move on a long-run footing.

Prior to China ‘s economic reform, the authorities ruled all schemes, supplies, and fiscal allotments. Leaderships, under the modern-day definition, did non be, because all organisations had to make was to do certain that the allocated quotas were fulfilled, and that the people assigned to them were cared for. The impression of leaders was fulfilled wholly by Confucian values, alining commitment to CEO ‘s with commitment to the authorities. However, in 1978, directors of state-owned companies were now responsible for corporate operations and profit-making.

Example 1- China

Beginning: Cultural Dimensions on China, 2009

Now looking at the figures of South Africa cultural dimensions, it is easy to happen that the South Africa has a comparable high IDV and MAS, and its PDI and UAI are a small spot low. It means that people are be givening to work separately and certain of societal hierarchy exist which has much relation with its history.

Example 2- South Africa

Beginning: Cultural Dimensions on South Africa, 2009

Analysis on different cultural dimensions

To clear up the differences between China and Africa, the pupil will concentrate on Hofstede ‘s five cultural dimensions: power distance, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, and uncertainness turning away and long-term/short-term orientation besides called “ Confucian Dynamism ” ( Hofstede, 1997 ) .

China and Africa differ greatly with respect to their economic systems, political systems, societal values, and Torahs, despite the significant alterations that have occurred in China during recent old ages ( McCoy, 2005 ) . Some differences can be found harmonizing to Hofstede surveies on civilization differences.

Power Distance

China is centralized ( though it has shown some inclination toward decentralised power ) while Africa is comparatively decentralized. In high power distance civilizations, authorization is built-in in one ‘s place within a hierarchy. There are strong dependence relationships between parents and kids, foremans and subsidiaries and a important societal distance between superior and subsidiary. In low power distance or power tolerance civilizations, persons assess authorization in position of its sensed rightness.


The pupil notices in both instances that contrary to western states which have a strong individuality, China and Africa have a strong Bolshevism. Individualism-collectivism refers to the comparative importance of the involvements of the single versus the involvements of the group. In collectivized societies, the involvements of the group take precedency over single involvements. Peoples see themselves as portion of in-groups and the in-groups expression after them in exchange for their trueness. In individualistic civilizations, the involvement of the single takes precedency over the group ‘s involvement.


Africa has higher value than China in maleness, which indicates that Africa is average maleness while China is average muliebrity. Masculinity-femininity or end orientation pertains to the extent to which “ traditional ” male orientations of aspiration and accomplishment are emphasized over “ traditional ” female orientations of nurturance and interpersonal harmoniousness ( Song Li, 2004 ) . Cultures differ on what motivates people to accomplish different ends. Cultures of the aggressive end behavior type ( maleness ) value material ownerships, money, and assertiveness whereas civilizations of the inactive end behavior type ( muliebrity ) value societal relevancy, quality of life and public assistance of others.

Uncertainty Avoidance

China and Africa have higher values for uncertainness turning away the West. This shows that in both sides, people are comparatively risk-avoiding while western people are comparatively risk-taking. Uncertainty turning away captures the grade to which persons in a civilization feel threatened by equivocal, unsure, or new state of affairss. Cultures are characterized as either high or low on uncertainness turning away. Whereas low uncertainness turning away civilizations prefer positive response to alter and new chances, high uncertainness turning away civilizations prefer construction and consistent modus operandi.

Long/Short-term Orientation

Africa has a short-run orientation while China has a long-run orientation. Besides called “ Confucian dynamism ” , this last dimension assesses a society ‘s capacity for forbearance and delayed satisfaction. Long-run orientated civilizations ( China and Hong Kong ) tend to salvage more money and exhibit more forbearance in harvesting the consequences of their actions. Short-term orientated civilizations ( African states ) want to maximise the present wagess and are comparatively less prone to salvaging or expecting long term wagess. It has been widely accepted that cultural differences greatly affect human thought and behavior and therefore concern organisations in which people interact on the footing of shared values. Management is embedded in a wider societal scene, and is to a great extent influenced by local historical and cultural norms ( DiMaggio and Powell, 2003 ) . The important differences between Africa and China seem to impact some facets of their concern direction pattern.

Part two-Solutions

Cultural Differences in concern Schemes

Because entrepreneurs mature within a social context, their attitudes toward cooperation are likely to be influenced by the underlying values of their society ( Weaver, 2000 ) . As discussed above, Africa and China have a strong Bolshevism. Peoples depend more on groups or establishments to find what they should make and stress trueness to the group. They are more likely to collaborate with others to avoid hazards and cut down duties. However due to the medium maleness, Africans sometimes are loath to collaborate because their masculine civilization position cooperation in general as a mark of failing and topographic point a high value on independency and control. In the procedure of cooperation, Chinese tend to pay more attending to relationships. The pupil has to advert the term “ Guanxi ” which in English means relation or connexion is at the Centre of concerns in China. In Weaver ‘s surveies ( 2000 ) , the pupil found that enterprisers from societies that are masculine and individualistic have a lower grasp for concerted schemes as compared to enterprisers from societies that are feminine and leftist in nature.

Cultural Differences in Conflict Management

In order to work out struggles, Chinese and Africans have different ways. For Chinese where harmoniousness and personal relationship are really of import, they do n’t wish unfastened struggle ; therefore they use indirect ways to work out jobs. Anytime there is struggle, they use the authorization to stop up with it or settle things in private. Negotiation and via media are deciding for them in this instance. Contrary to them, Africans directors like Europeans or Americans, will straight face jobs and convey them out in the unfastened ( Richmond and Gestrin, 2008 ) . To decide jobs, everybody is involved in order to convey rational statements and thoughts to propose solutions. We can detect that Chinese avoid this method because for them that will make dissension which is really unwanted. African directors are loath to give their clip and attempts together in work outing concern struggles. Other people ‘s aid is needed. In contrast, harmonizing to Bond ( 2001 ) , the strong corporate orientation and uncertainness turning away values in China promote Chinese directors to utilize indirect signifiers of influence that involve the aid of a 3rd party. Indirect signifiers are used by Chinese directors to cover with a hard or controversial petition. In this manner, they avoid losing face or damaging “ guanxi ” .

Cultural Differences in Decision-making Risk-taking/Risk-avoiding

Chinese and African directors differ from in the attitudes toward hazards when they make determinations for their different values in uncertainness turning away. Chinese directors with a high uncertainty-avoidance have a deficiency adventuresome spirit and the sense of hazards. Immediate determinations which make them lose the chance to vie in a market are avoided in the instance they feel the circumstance is unsure. Most of the clip, they want to be safe by taking less hazardous determinations. For African directors, it is about the same. Middle and lower degree supervisors are less willing to do determinations without respect to higher-ups. The consequence is that decision-making takes much longer than anticipated and requires more input from participants at assorted societal and professional degrees. Uncertainty Avoidance steps for Africa indicate low hazard pickings and a opposition to alter which can further detain undertakings which encounter jobs mid-cycle.

Degrees of Engagement in Decision-making

The decision-making procedure involves doing sense of ambiguity and taking hazards ( Jackson, 2003 ) .The determination shaper is working on the information available about what has already happened, what is assumed to hold happened or is go oning. The 2nd facet is future oriented ( Brady, 2000 ) . A hazard is being taken because one is using a position based on cognition of the yesteryear, and projecting this to what might go on in the hereafter if a certain class of action is followed. Chinese directors or African directors have different degree of engagement in decision- devising. In China, determinations are participatory. Employees accept determinations handed down by their supervisors. Because of their unquestioning attitudes towards their supervisors, they resist engagement in decision-making. In Africa, directors make single determinations. They do n’t confer with with others but can postpone to their supervisors. They value personal equality. To sum up, the pupil can state that Chinese directors adopt the no participatory attack to decision-making. The determinations come from the higher higher-ups to the subsidiaries. However, since the reforms in China, things are altering. More and more, participatory decision-making is get downing to be used in a certain figure of companies.

Cultural Differences in Work-group Features

The first difference about the work-group features is the construct of “ brotherhood, web, household feeling ” which is at the bosom of all Chinese interactions. In African concern manner which is quasi the western concern manner, directors focus on the trade, the possibilities, the hazards and so on. There is less focal point on the people they are making concern with. They may promote their group members to larn from each other, to concentrate on undertaking instead than on societal and interpersonal dealingss, and to construct the assurance required for superior public presentation. They make difference between personal relationship and work.

In China, it is the opposite. Chinese directors may ab initio concentrate more attempt on constructing societal and interpersonal dealingss ( Guanxi ) before come ining into concern or contractual relationship. They would wish to pass clip developing and keeping guanxi during the procedure of interaction and see it as a requirement to make concern. A good trade of clip is spent researching people ‘s characters. Peoples want to cognize your background, your household state of affairs, your likes and disfavors. A good trade of concern is conducted in feasting halls. Chinese believe a individual ‘s true character comes out during these minutes. The lone intent during these meetings is to see a individual ‘s other side, the human side. If they are comfy with you, and if they think they can swear you, that you can be invited to “ fall in the household ” , you and your concern are made. Chinese directors are non interested in short term ; they want long, life-long concern dealingss.

However, as the economic system has become progressively marketized, privatized and competitory, the value and effectivity of the Guanxi system has greatly deteriorated. In industries that have been well deregulated or privatized, or where there is vigorous competition, concern is concern, and Guanxi has been neutralized or marginalized. Relationships or connexions now resemble that which we find elsewhere.

Cultural Differences in Motivation Systems

In concern contexts, the motives of employees, spouses, higher-ups, societal associates, and members of a society spring from cultural values, or what people think is of import. In order to understand how to make concern with members of another civilization, it is necessary to understand what motivates them, to cognize where to get down and what you need to cover all necessary bases.

Harmonizing to Aguinis ( 2002 ) , employees can be rewarded harmonizing to their public presentation, every bit, or based on their demands. In general, the equity rule is common in individualistic civilizations while the equality rule is widely used in collectivized civilizations. Pay for public presentation and pay equity are the two chief differences in motive systems. From the 1950s until the 1980s, every facet of China ‘s economic activity was planned, controlled and operated by the authorities ( Helen, D. 2008 ) . There was no private ownership of any belongings or plus, and, accordingly, no net income motivation for persons or endeavors.

The authorities would apportion everyone a pre-defined piece of the “ large pie. ” If anyone wanted more than what was allocated to him/her, it meant besieging that system and acquiring person in that “ allotment concatenation ” to supply a particular favor. Peoples were obliged to give their single involvements for those of the society. Cooperation, mutuality, group ends that create group harmoniousness are applied in China. The sense of belonging and giving to the group are of import for Chinese people. Concentrating on the position that one ‘s success is chiefly based on group work ; they believe that one can non claim the wages merely for oneself. Contrary to what some Chinese research workers argued on this portion, the pupil can state while puting wages Chinese directors will non pay more attending to the working experience and academic makings of employees. In that instance, the equality rule is reflected in the motive system.

For African directors, single accomplishment is of import. They are expected to accomplish success merely by their single attempts. Value competition, accomplishment and personal ends are their chief motives in order to hold programs to acknowledge their single parts. Their success relies on their ain attempts. Endowments and work public presentation of the employees will be considered by their higher-ups for salary additions and publicity.


As a consequence, understanding other civilizations is more of import than of all time. If we consider that people from the same economic, political, and cultural background have jobs pass oning efficaciously ; we can appreciate the troubles and challenges that people from diverse civilizations face when seeking to pass on. Misinterpretations will ever be a portion of cultural facets. Companies need to believe outside the proverbial box when explicating their concern schemes and when join forcesing and organizing concern partnerships. As sometimes companies move to make concern in other states, a greater sensitiveness to civilization will be required and an apprehension of cultural worlds should ease concern minutess.

Knowing another civilization is a legitimate concern of concerns. More than that, it is indispensable. Those who make attempt the attempt to understand another civilization addition cognition about how to act in that civilization. Otherwise, if you know what people value and understand their attitudes, you wo n’t accidentally make something that offends and decrease your opportunities for concern success. In today ‘s planetary concerns ‘ context, the victors are non those who study the markets they deal with even if it ‘s of import but those who study people they deal with.