By looking at Fons Trompenaars research, one can delve deeper into the understanding of cultural differences. Within Trompenaars model of culture (1993) there are seven dimensions which capture different elements and measurements of culture. If we look at Universalism-particularism e. g. the subject of rules and regulations. This particular dimension focuses on how in some cultures, rules apply to everyone regardless of status, age, colour or ethnicity where as In cultures which are more particularist, people see relationships as more important than applying rules that are the same for everyone (Jackson 2004).
If we look at the Indian culture in particular, and linking this with Trompenaars research, we can see that in recruitment and promotion situations, friendships and kinships can sometimes be used to allow people to get further in their careers. Where as the UK are regarded as more particularist and rules apply to everyone whether they be friends or not. An Anglo-Saxon manager working in India within this type of environment might find it frustrating to adapt to this more democratic way of thinking and as a result may be disliked by his/her staff as they might misinterpret it as being unkind.
Another of Trompenaars dimensions Achievement-ascription is more concerned with status either from their achievements educationally or through their jobs and also through family background or the area they come from/reside. From experience, India is more concerned with status through the family they come from where as in the UK it has more to do with achieving highly in ones career or other such areas in life. In India, quite often if an individual comes from a prestigious family or has a considerable amount of wealth, they would be fast-tracked into getting anything they desire including a job or promotion.
I am now going to talk about if the situation is to be reversed and a team of workers from India were to come to the UK and work under an Anglo-Saxon manager. Now, this has often been the case in the UK where workers from other countries residing here have to find work and sometimes the choice isn’t always there. In my opinion, if a team of workers from India were to work alongside people born and raised in the UK this would be quite hazardous.
One of the main reasons being that if we refer back to Trompenaars dimension Acievement-ascription in particular, there would most certainly be issues between both cultures such as, to an extent, the Indian workers might act as if they are “beneath” the Anglo-Saxon workers because there is a deep-rooted Indian belief that to live and work in the UK you are automatically of a higher status regardless of wealth. Therefore, some of the British workers may use this to their advantage and slack off at work.
The manager would have to be aware of such happenings and would need to learn about the Indian way of thinking in order to manage the team with success or there could be severe implications. There is another issue of corruption and bribery to deal with, and by looking at the transparency international website; one can see that India is one of the countries which has indeed got an extremely high amount of corruption and bribery. This is because of the money situation; money is seen as more important than the law or anything else.
Even the police in India will let someone off if they receive a bribe such as money or gold. A British person in India will never be fully aware of the amount of corruption that goes on around them, an Anglo-Saxon manager in particular being alone in a country that they don’t know very well, would be at the receiving end of such corruption. Take a look at the “1998 Corruption Perception Index” below taken from www. transparencyinternational. com : Judging by this table, we can see that the UK has a very high level of competitiveness and is totally clean in terms of corruption.
Where as India is almost on the opposite end of the scale with a very low level of competitiveness and it is deemed as “corrupt”. Also another source that I have looked at is the “Bribe payers Index” also taken from transparency international. This index shows the percentage of global exports the country has and also shows a number between 1 and 10 which is the percentage of corruption, UK scores at 7. 39 and India consistently ranks lowest at 4. 62. This reinforces the fact that an Anglo-Saxon manager working in India would have to be extremely vigilant in order to rise above it and overcome it.
A recommendation given by Transparency international “companies must conduct due diligence when engaging in partnerships or acquisitions, and adopt and enforce strict internal no-bribes policies that include their agents, subsidiaries and branches”. www. transparencyinternational. com In conclusion, I do strongly believe that there would be more pitfalls associated with a British professional working with a team in India, this has no reflection on the British way of thinking or the like, but more to do with the stark cultural differences which I believe could not be overcome single-handedly.
It would be a mammoth task and years of extensive research and work experience in India would be needed in order for the manager to succeed. However, it is not an impossible feat, the locals of Bangalore are a friendly and hard-working kind of people and if results are wanted they are usually achieved even though it would be a challenge. All in all, by analysing the various researchers, one can see that cultural implications can be overcome with a little education and interaction.
BOOKS Torrington, D/Hall, L/Haylor, I/Myers, J (1991) Employee resourcing, Management studies 2 series. Institute of Personnel management. Lucas, R, Lupton, B and Mathieson, H (2006) Human resource management in an International context. CIPD publishing. Jackson, T (2004) International HRM, a cross-cultural approach. SAGE publications.